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Newark City Council member charged with plot to obtain bribes and kickbacks from developers

Two men have been charged with setting up a corrupt scheme to collect kickbacks and bribes in exchange for preferential development deals.

Updated: October 22, 2020 - 3:37pm

A Newark, N.J., official has been charged with plotting to obtain bribes and kickbacks, according to the Justice Department.

Joseph McCallum Jr., a member of the Newark Municipal Council and Newark Community Economic Development Corporation, was charged Tuesday with one count of wire fraud for using interstate wire communications to defraud the city of Newark and the NCEDC, said U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito.

Malik Frederick, 60, was also charged for his role in the scheme and pleaded guilty to two counts relating to the plot.

From 2017 through February 2020, McCallum, 65, allegedly plotted to receive bribes and kickbacks from Frederick by way of developers, contracting companies, real estate companies, and other businesses with contract and construction interests.

The businesses were approached by Frederick to hire his consulting firm, which marketed access to the council, which allegedly meant an introduction to McCallum.

McCallum then allegedly received bribes and kickbacks through the fees obtained by Frederick's consulting company from the businesses. 

McCallum used his official positions to help those who retained the services of Frederick's firm, and prevented those who refused to pay from obtaining contracts and working with the NCEDC and city of Newark, according to the Justice Department. 

The crimes with which both men have been charged and to which Frederick has pleaded guilty carry a maximum sentence of three years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000. Sentencing for Frederick is scheduled for early March 2021. 


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