Police & Fire

West Orange Woman Involved in $1 Million Kickback and Fraud Scheme

913e5f593df72ee9b04d_US_Attorney_s_Office.jpg
913e5f593df72ee9b04d_US_Attorney_s_Office.jpg

NEWARK, NJ — The 57-year-old former executive director of the Newark Watershed Conservation and Development Corp. (NWCDC)—identified by Acting U.S. Attorney William Fitzpatrick as Linda Watkins Brashear of West Orange—was recently sentenced to 102 months in prison for accepting nearly $1 million in kickback payments in exchange for her assistance in awarding work to various vendors and contractors of the agency.

According to Fitzpatrick, Brashear had previously pleaded guilty to Counts 1 and 5 of a five-count information charging her with a wire fraud scheme to defraud the NWCDC by accepting bribes and kickback payments from contractors and an employee of the corporation, which were funded by payments from the NWCDC based on fraudulently inflated invoices or issued for work that was not performed by the contractors (Count 1), and subscribing a false tax return for the year 2012 (Count 5).

Linares imposed the sentence in Newark federal court. In addition to the prison term, Linares sentenced Brashear to three years of supervised release and ordered her to pay $1.3 million in restitution.

Sign Up for E-News

On July 13, 2017, Linares sentenced Bernard to eight years in prison for his role in the kickback scheme and for filing false tax returns.

According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:

“Brashear served as the executive director for the NWCDC from 2007 to March 2013. During this time, she and others devised a scheme to defraud the NWCDC of her honest services in the affairs of the NWCDC and of the NWCDC’s money and property. The object of the scheme was for Brashear and others to accept a substantial stream of concealed and undisclosed kickbacks from NWCDC contractors and an employee of the NWCDC for her direct and indirect benefit in exchange for action and assistance in the affairs of the NWCDC, and for her violating her official duties and responsibilities.

"Brashear routinely accepted payments from some of these contractors through Donald Bernard Sr. Brashear and Bernard also used their email accounts to facilitate this kickback and fraud scheme. Bernard was previously charged in December 2014 in a 20-count indictment with various federal offenses involving a scheme to defraud the NWCDC of his honest services and the NWCDC’s money and property by accepting and agreeing to accept bribes and kickbacks from certain NWCDC contractors, which were financed at least in part through the contractors’ fraudulent padding of invoices to the NWCDC.

"Brashear admitted taking payments from James Porter, a contractor who pleaded guilty in January 2015 to conspiracy to defraud the NWCDC of honest services, money and property through the use of interstate wire transmissions, as well as tax evasion for his role in the kickback scheme. The roofing contractor referred to in Count 1 of the information, Giacomo “Jack” DeRosa, was charged in a six-count fraud and money laundering indictment in December 2014 for his role in passing kickbacks to Bernard, which were shared, in part, with Brashear.

"Brashear also admitted making and subscribing a U.S. Individual Income Tax Return, Form 1040, for tax year 2012, signed and filed with the IRS under penalty of perjury, which she did not believe to be true and correct, including approximately $316,000 in unreported income that she received through the kickback payments.”

The above information was provided by the United States Attorney’s Office, District of New Jersey. 

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

West Orange

Free Class at CylcleBar Livingston to Support Sustainability

June 22, 2018

LIVINGSTON, NJ — Join us at CycleBar Livingston for Uplift Humanity's first charity event! In addition to getting your sweat on for FREE, you can learn about about how we are using a sustainability-first approach to solve poverty in developing countries around the world. Meet our Board and Founder and get information on volunteer opportunities.

We've partnered with ...

Deegan Dental Implant Special!

WEST ORANGE, NJ - OUR NEW DENTAL IMPLANT SPECIAL OFFER WILL GIVE YOU REASON TO SMILE!

Deegan Dental is happy to announce our New Dental Implant Special Offer that will give you a reason to smile! Our New Special Offer, that expires 11/30/2018, covers a single Complete Tooth Replacement (including the Implant, Stock Abutment and E-max Crown) for only $2,200 per Implant; a Great Value ...

Former Jefferson School (Maplewood) Staffer Facing Criminal Charges For Alleged Lewd Photos of Students

June 22, 2018

MAPLEWOOD, NJ - A former Jefferson Elementary School paraprofessional has been charged with criminal behavior believed to be related to lewd photos of students at the school that were found on his cell phone after he was arrested in Morris County on an unrelated sexual charge.

It also appears that South Orange Maplewood School District officials knew about the arrests as early as ...

Upcoming Events

Carousel_image_5e177eaae57739064cd4_397f63ad2fb50392a776_29178074_2107642336134787_2638697507160326144_n

Sun, June 24, 11:00 AM

Totowa

MakerFest 2018

Tue, June 26, 8:15 AM

Whole Foods market, West Orange

JBN Presents: Women's Networking in West Orange

Business & Finance

Wed, June 27, 11:00 AM

United Way of Northern New Jersey, Montclair

Volunteer Advocate Info Session

Giving Back Law & Justice

Michael T. McCormick, Jr. Memorial Foundation Donates New Scoreboard to the West Orange PAL Baseball Field

On Sunday, April 15, the West Orange PAL baseball teams began their opening ceremonies of the spring season with a heartfelt dedication of a new scoreboard, donated by the Michael T. McCormick, Jr. Memorial Foundation.  The foundation was created to honor the life of Michael, a lifelong West Orange resident, who tragically died in a car accident on the day after his 19th birthday, Aug.

Mt. Olive Memorial Weekend Tournament: Bringing Baseball Back to West Orange!

“I’ve got to find the right spot”

“Two out rally!”

“Protect the ball”

“You fired up? I’m fired up! I can’t hear you!”

“Breathe!” “Deep breath, reset”

“Whoa..where are you going?? You can’t move”

Just a few of the statements you may have heard this past weekend at the ...

Essex County Turtle Back Zoo Schedules Family Nights and Zoo-vies This Summer

June 21, 2018

WEST ORANGE, NJ - Essex County Turtle Back Zoo will have Family Nights with extended evening hours to 8:30 p.m. on Wednesdays and Thursdays during the months of July and August, with the last admission to the zoo at 8 p.m.

In addition, on Wednesday evenings during July and August, Zoo-vies, featuring animal-related movies, will be shown on the top floor of the Turtle Back Zoo Parking ...

My So-Called Graduation

The last of my children graduated from high school.  

 

My son and daughter threw their caps high into the air and cheered their liberation from one symbolic institution before contemplating their matriculation into other, much larger institutions significantly further away.  

 

Or at least far enough away that they won’t be needing rides home from ...

'Half Time' delivers with sterling cast

MILLBURN, NJ – The Paper Mill Playhouse is putting on a smashing new production of “Half Time” to round out its current season.

With actress Georgia Engel in an engaging performance, the cast also features Donna McKehnie, Andre De Shieilds and Lilias White, among a host of other talents.

The musical centers on an effort to have seniors perform a dance number during ...

'Half Time' lights up Paper Mill stage

‘Half Time’ turns the tables on aging in gleeful production

By Liz Keill

MILLBURN, NJ – The Paper Mill Playhouse is putting on a smashing new production of “Half Time” to round out its current season.

With actress Georgia Engel in an engaging performance, the cast also features Donna McKehnie, Andre De Shieilds and Lilias White, among a host of other ...