On Wednesday, January 14, 2015, a Guttenberg resident and business owner admitted to rigging the selection process for Union City projects, causing the city a $120,000 loss, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.
Leovaldo Fundora, 53, of Guttenberg and owner of a Guttenberg contracting company pleaded guilty to his actions before the U.S. District Judge William H. Walls in Newark Federal Court.
Fundora’s wife, Monica Fundora, is currently an acting Councilwoman for the town of Guttenberg. Reference: Hudson Reporter (2010, February 28). Retrieved from: http://www.hudsonreporter.com/view/full_story/6481581/article-A–NEW-TOWN-COUNCILWOMAN—2-28-10
The Union City projects are run by the Union City Community Development Agency (UCCDA) who receives funding from HUD for home improvement, sidewalk replacement and other city-improving projects.
From 2007 to 2011, Fundora owned Falcon Remodeling Inc., a general contracting company. In June 2010, Fundora colluded with two unnamed UCCDA inspectors and two other contractors. He then used fraudulent proposals to improperly obtain two HUD Grants. Fundora submitted a proposal to the UCCDA from Falcon for $3,900 for sidewalk replacement projects at Kerrigan Avenue and 13th St. in Union City. Along with his proposal, he submitted fraudulent proposals from other contractors at a much higher rate of $4,200. Falcon then secured both projects for $3,900.
U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Aaron T. Ford; and special agents of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Office of Inspector General, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Christina Scaringi, for the investigation leading to today’s guilty plea.
Leovaldo Fundora was charged with one count of embezzling, stealing, purloining, and converting to his own use and the use of another, money from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The charges carry a maximum potential penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Sentencing is currently scheduled for April 22, 2015.