Home Newark Press Releases 2009 Pleasantville Man Sentenced to 12 Months in Prison for Being a “Bagman” for Corrupt Payments to Board of Education Member...
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Pleasantville Man Sentenced to 12 Months in Prison for Being a “Bagman” for Corrupt Payments to Board of Education Member

U.S. Attorney’s Office January 28, 2009
  • District of New Jersey (973) 645-2888

CAMDEN—A Pleasantville man was sentenced to 12 months in federal prison today for his conviction on charges of assisting former Pleasantville Board of Education member Maurice “Pete” Callaway in the receipt of cash bribes, Acting U.S. Attorney Ralph J. Marra, Jr. announced.

U.S. District Judge Jerome B. Simandle, who presided over the six-day trial, also ordered Louis Servon Mister, 58, to serve three years of supervised release upon the completion of his prison term. Judge Simandle continued Mister’s release on a $200,000 unsecured bond pending his surrender to the U.S. Bureau of Prison on April 13.

On May 14, 2008, after five hours of deliberations, a jury convicted Mister of one count of aiding and abetting the attempted obstruction of commerce by extortion under color of official right and one count of accepting and agreeing to accept a bribe.

The jury convicted Mister of aiding and abetting Callaway’s receipt of corrupt cash payments, which Callaway accepted in exchange for using his official position to steer Pleasantville Board of Education roofing business to a cooperating witness. During the trial, the jury heard testimony that the defendant accepted two cash payments of $1,500 each from the cooperating witness, which the defendant then gave to Callaway.

Callaway pleaded guilty on Nov. 1, 2007, before Judge Simandle to attempted extortion under color of official right; his sentencing is pending. At his plea hearing, Callaway admitted that on June 5, 2006, he directed Mister to accept the two separate corrupt cash payments on his behalf.

Callaway admitted that the corrupt payments were paid to him, through Mister. Callaway is scheduled to be sentenced by Judge Simandle on Feb. 6.

In determining the actual sentence, Judge Simandle consulted the advisory U.S. Sentencing Guidelines, which provide appropriate sentencing ranges that take into account the severity and characteristics of the offense, the defendant's criminal history, if any, and other factors. Judge Simandle is not bound by the guidelines in determining a sentence.

Parole has been abolished in the federal system. Defendants who are given custodial terms must serve nearly all that time.

Marra credited Special Agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Weysan Dun, for the investigation leading to the conviction. He also credited prosecutors and investigators with the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Prosecutor Theodore F.L. Housel, for their assistance in the investigation.

The government was represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jenny R. Kramer and Christopher J. Gramiccioni of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Special Prosecutions Division in Newark.

Defense Counsel: Brian Reilly, Esq., Assistant Federal Public Defender

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