United States Attorney
District of New Jersey
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: Rebekah CarmichaelJune 29, 2012 Office of Public Affairswww.justice.gov/usao/nj(973) 645-2888
FORMER HAMILTON TOWNSHIP, N.J., OFFICIAL ADMITS LAUNDERINGBRIBE MONEY ALLEGEDLY PAID TO MAYOR
TRENTON, N.J. – The former director of Community Planning and Compliance for Hamilton Township, N.J., today admitted he laundered a $5,000 alleged bribe from an insurance broker to township Mayor John Bencivengo, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.Robert Warney, 46, of Hamilton, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Peter G.Sheridan to an Information charging him with one count of money laundering.According to documents filed in this case and statements in court:On May 12, 2011, while serving as the director of Community Planning and Compliancefor Hamilton Township, Warney accepted on Bencivengo’s behalf a $5,000 check from acooperating witness (the “CW”), and gave the proceeds of that check to Mayor Bencivengo incash increments over several weeks. At that time, the CW and the CW’s employer providedhealth insurance brokerage services to the Hamilton Township School District. Warney said thathe, Bencivengo, and the CW agreed to have the check made payable to Warney’s spouse in order to conceal the payment. They also agreed that if anyone asked Warney or the CW about thecheck, they would say that the CW purchased a bedroom sent from Warney’s spouse. A notation“Cherry Bedroom Set” was put on the check to support that story.On June 21, 2012, a federal grand jury indicted Bencivengo in connection with $12,400in bribes he allegedly solicited and accepted in exchange for his official influence in helping theCW maintain the position of health insurance broker with the township’s school districtIn pleading guilty today, Warney also admitted that in March 2006 and November 2007,while serving as a member of the Hamilton Township Board of Education, he received corrupt payments from the CW in exchange for his official action and influence in voting in favor of theSchool Board entering into a three-year contract with the CW and the CW’s employer for them to provide health insurance brokerage services to the school district. Warney admitted that onMarch 26, 2006, at a meeting of the school board, he voted in favor of entering into a three-year contract with the CW and the CW’s employer and that he received two payments of $5,000 inMarch 2006 and in November 2007– $10,000 total – from the CW in exchange for his officialaction. Although not charged in the Information, this conduct will be taken into account by theCourt at sentencing.