Acting U.S. Attorney William E. Fitzpatrick announced Friday the former executive director of Newark Watershed Conservation and Development Corp. was sentenced to 102 months in prison for receiving almost $1 million in exchange for awarding work to specific contractors and vendors.
Fifty-seven-year-old Linda Watkins Brashear of West Orange, New Jersey previously pleaded guilty to counts one and five of a five-count indictment charging her with wire fraud. Brashear accepted payments from a NWCDC employee and contractors in exchange for violating her official responsibilities and duties from 2007 to March 2013, according to the news release.
Brashear received about $999,000 in kickbacks between 2008 and March 2013. The contractors and employ obtained the money illegally obtained from the NWCDC with Brashear’s assistance, through materially bogus representations, promises and pretenses.
Between September 2012 and March 2013, Brashear accepted $39,000 from a NWCDC employee. From January 2009 to December 2012, she accepted $260,000 from the “partner of the special projects manager, James Porter.
From January 2008 and April 2013, Brashear accepted kickbacks from printing, marketing, cleaning and Homeland Security contractors, as well as an interior designer and Internet research, Political, media and security consultants. Those kickbacks totaled up to $616,000. Between January 2008 and March 2013, she accepted 27,000 from Giacomo “Jack” DeRosa, according to the news release.
Brashear also admitted to filing a fraudulent tax return in 2012. In addition to the 102-month prison sentence, she was ordered to pay $1.3 million in restitution.
Porter pleaded guilty in January 2015 to tax evasion and conspiracy to defraud the NWCDC of money, property and services through the use of interstate wire transmission. DeRosa was indicted on money laundering and multiple counts of fraud charges in December 2014.