A former Newark police officer was sentenced today to 108 months in prison for conspiring to defraud the Newark Watershed Conservation and Development Corporation (NWCDC) and giving kickbacks to its former executive director, Acting U.S. Attorney Rachael A. Honig announced.
Janell Robinson, 45, of Newark, was previously convicted of one count of conspiracy to defraud the NWCDC facilitated by use of mails and wire transmissions, two counts of mail fraud, and one count of conspiracy to commit extortion under color of official right affecting interstate commerce, following a jury trial before U.S. District Judge Susan D. Wigenton. Judge Wigenton imposed the sentence today in Newark federal court.
According to documents filed in this case and the evidence at trial:
Between March 2010 and May 2013, while Robinson was a Newark police officer, she controlled Protected and Secured Services LLC (P&S), a company that purported to provide security consulting services to its only client, the NWCDC. Robinson conspired with Linda Watkins Brashear of West Orange, New Jersey, the former executive director of the NWCDC, to pay Brashear a stream of concealed and undisclosed kickbacks from the proceeds that P&S received from the NWCDC. In exchange for Brashear’s assistance with securing P&S a contract with the NWCDC and approving completely fraudulent or inflated invoices that Robinson submitted, Robinson paid Brashear cash kickbacks from the proceeds of the fraud.
The NWCDC paid P&S approximately $289,000 during the scheme, approximately $50,000 of which was used by Robinson used to pay Brashear kickbacks.
In addition to the prison term, Judge Wigenton sentenced Robinson to three years supervised release and ordered her to pay restitution of $288,950 to the NWCDC.
Acting U.S. Attorney Honig credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge George M. Crouch in Newark, and special agents of IRS – Criminal Investigation, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Michael Montanez, with the investigation leading to today’s sentencing.
The government is represented by Senior Trial Counsel Leslie F. Schwartz of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Special Prosecutions Division.