Two Jersey City police officers today admitted fraudulently collecting income for off-duty work they never performed, Acting U.S. Attorney William E. Fitzpatrick announced.
Ehab Abdelaziz, 38, of Clifton, New Jersey, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge John Michael Vazquez in Newark federal court to an information charging him with one count of conspiracy to commit bribery.
Authorities said Andrea Fahrenholz, 38, of Clifton, pleaded guilty before Judge Vazquez to a separate information charging her with one count of conspiracy to commit fraud.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
Private contractors and utility companies sometimes needed the services of off-duty Jersey City police officers for certain projects, including work in Jersey City that could obstruct the flow of traffic. Abdelaziz and Fahrenholz were Jersey City police officers who were eligible to perform off-duty work.
From December 2015 through June 2016, Abdelaziz engaged in a conspiracy in which he made a total of $11,825 in bribe payments to another Jersey City officer who was authorized to assign off-duty work, in exchange for that officer’s official assistance in submitting phony vouchers to Jersey City indicating that Abdelaziz had completed certain off-duty assignments. As a result, Abdelaziz was compensated for work he never performed.
From March 2014 through May 2016, Fahrenholz conspired with a Jersey City officer who was authorized to assign off-duty work. The officer – with Fahrenholz’s knowledge and consent – submitted phony vouchers to Jersey City indicating that Fahrenholz had completed certain off-duty assignments.
As a result, Fahrenholz was compensated for work she never performed.
Both officers face a maximum potential penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine, or twice the gross gain or loss from the offenses. Pursuant to their plea agreements, Abdelaziz and Fahrenholz must forfeit $22,449 and $116,346, respectively.
Sentencing for Abdelaziz and Fahrenholz is set for Jan. 3, 2018 and Jan. 25, 2018, respectively.
Acting U.S. Attorney Fitzpatrick credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Timothy A. Gallagher in Newark, with the investigation.
The Jersey City Police Department is cooperating with the investigation.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Vikas Khanna of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Criminal Division in Newark.