Former Jersey City Council candidate Lori Serrano today admitted to converting federal funds illegally for her own use.


Serrano was arrested in 2009 along with more than 40 others in New Jersey's largest-ever federal corruption sting.

She initially was charged with extortion conspiracy and then faced a mail fraud charge. Serrano is one of the last defendants involved with ‘Operation Bid Rig.’

In statements and court documents, Serrano accepted cash contributions from Solomon Dwek, who was cooperating with federal law enforcement agents. She accepted those contributions with the intent to convert a portion of the money without the authority of the campaign committee. She applied up to $1,000 of that money to pay her own campaign expenses. The funds that Serrano admitted converting were federal funds given to Dwek by the FBI as part of the investigation.

The misdemeanor charge to which Serrano pleaded guilty carries a maximum potential penalty of one year in prison and a $100,000 fine. She had been facing a mail fraud charge, which, according to the plea agreement, will be dismissed at the time of her sentencing. Sentencing is scheduled for Aug. 1, 2013.


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