Victor Coca, owner of YYY Enterprise LLC in West New York, New Jersey, has been sentenced to 19 months in prison and two years supervision for paying $7,000 in cash bribes to a West New York fire official to eliminate $8.7 million in outstanding fire code fines and penalties on buildings his company was renovating.
The fines had been accumulating at a rate of $5,000 a day since 2008 while the property was held by a different owner. Coca acquired the building in 2013.
U.S. District Judge Esther Salas said she could have imposed a "hefty" fine on the 50-year-old Coca as well, but decided against it after hearing Coca say just before being sentenced that he owes more than $750,000 to others for expenses related to his contracting business. Salas said the sentence needed to "send a message" that corruption will not be tolerated.
Coca also runs a political action committee called West New York Future Vision, according to the Jersey Journal.
Source: Department of Justice, New Jersey