HALEDON, N.J. — Three men await sentencing for their roles in a scheme in which New York-Presbyterian Hospital laundry managers received bribes from the owner of a laundry supply company in exchange for steering business to his firm, according to Paul Di Lella, Passaic County, N.J., senior assistant prosecutor.
Pleading guilty to conspiracy to commit theft by deception were Michael Strauss, Englishtown, N.J., owner of Chempac Distributors, a Englishtown company that was based in Haledon at the time of the crimes; and Howard O’Neill, East Brunswick, N.J., and Joseph Liriano, Bellmore, N.Y., laundry managers at New York-Presbyterian Hospital in New York City.
Strauss admitted paying O’Neill and Liriano $100,000 in bribes over a five-year period starting in 2004 in exchange for directing business worth $1.2 million to Strauss’ company, Di Lella says.
The defendants admitted billing the hospital for laundry supplies that it never received, and taking a $2,500 golfing trip to the Dominican Republic and billing it as expenses for attending a laundry management conference.
Under the plea agreement, Strauss, 67, would make $100,000 restitution to the hospital and be sentenced to 364 days in the Passaic County Jail. O’Neill, 55, also would repay $100,000 to the hospital and be subject to a sentence of probation and up to 364 days in county jail.
Liriano, 45, would enter the Pre-Trial Intervention program for a year (no criminal record if completed) and be required to pay back $5,000.
Had the defendants been convicted at trial, they could have received a state prison sentence of five to 10 years on the charge to which they pleaded guilty, Di Lella says.
The court is conducting pre-sentence investigations before formal sentencing slated for Sept. 17.