Plumbers Business Agent in Central New Jersey Pleads Guilty

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Plumber at workPeter LoMauro was a person who for a fee could make a contractor's labor problems disappear. Now he himself is likely to disappear for a while. LoMauro, a business agent for United Association of Plumbers and Pipefitters Local 9, pleaded guilty in Trenton, N.J. federal court on Tuesday, May 8 to soliciting and receiving a bribe and to embezzling funds from the Englishtown, N.J. (Monmouth County) union. The plea was not unexpected; the U.S. Attorney's Office already had taken statements from two cooperating witnesses indicating how LoMauro had solicited bribes and then deposited them into an account he controlled.

Union Corruption Update had covered this case in October. Peter LoMauro, now 42, a resident of Monroe Township, N.J. (Middlesex County), had been employed as an organizer and then as a business agent for Plumbers Local 9. Court documents based on testimony from a pair of cooperating witnesses, each a contractor with whom the local did business, provided extensive evidence of guilt. In the case of "Cooperating Witness One," LoMauro approached the contractor and told him that a $6,000 "donation" to the union could make his liability to the union vanish. In the case of "Cooperating Witness Two," LoMauro told the contractor that to avoid having to contribute to a union benefit fund, he should remit payments to an account he controlled; eventually, the contractor wrote four checks totaling $7,000. In each case, the presumed beneficiary was an uncle of LoMauro bearing the initials "A.C." LoMauro eventually was arrested last October 5. The two counts to which he pleaded guilty each carry a prison term of up to five years and a fine of up to $250,000.

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New Jersey Plumbers Business Agent Arrested for Soliciting, Taking Bribes