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Former High-Ranking New Jersey Department of Corrections Official Sentenced to 46 Months in Prison for Extortion

U.S. Attorney’s Office January 03, 2013
  • District of New Jersey (973) 645-2888

TRENTON, NJ—Lydell B. Sherrer, a former deputy commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Corrections (NJDOC), was sentenced today to 46 months in prison for attempting to obtain $10,000 from an employee in exchange for securing that person’s continued employment with the department or its private contractor, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.

Sherrer, 53, of Neptune, New Jersey, who previously served as deputy commissioner of the NJDOC and as assistant commissioner of its Division of Programs and Community Services, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Joel A. Pisano to count one of an indictment charging him with the extortion of a cooperating witness identified in court filings as “Individual One.” Sherrer was previously charged in a 12-count Indictment with extortion and bribery for soliciting money from five separate employees or former employees of NJDOC between February 2010 and October 2010 in exchange for his official action and assistance. Judge Pisano imposed the sentence today in Trenton federal court.

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

Following Individual One’s layoff notice from the NJDOC in April 2010, Sherrer said he could secure Individual One’s continued employment with the NJDOC or with private entities that contracted with the NJDOC in exchange for $10,000. Sherrer admitted that on May 17, 2010, he accepted $5,000 in cash from Individual One as an installment of the agreed upon $10,000. Sherrer said he solicited and received $69,000 in bribes between 2006 and 2008 from the five individuals identified in the indictment and from three additional people. Sherrer agreed to forfeit $9,000, which represented proceeds of his criminal activity, and to pay approximately $22,500 in restitution.

In addition to the prison term, Judge Pisano sentenced Sherrer to three years of supervised release and ordered him to pay $22,500 in restitution.

U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Acting Special Agent in Charge David Velazquez, for the investigation leading to today’s sentence. He also thanked the New Jersey Department of Corrections Special Investigation Division for their cooperation and assistance throughout the investigation.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Matthew J. Skahill and J. Fortier Imbert of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Special Prosecutions Division.

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