Cape May Court House man indicted for allegedly bribing a CRDA official

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Anthony Christaldi Anthony Christaldi  TRENTON – A Cape May Court House man was indicted today on charges he paid a bribe to a Casino Reinvestment Development Authority official to get a higher price for his Atlantic City property, Acting Attorney General John J. Hoffman said.

A state Grand Jury indicted Anthony J. Christaldi, 69, on a second degree charge of bribery for allegedly paying a $10,000 bribe to a CRDA official who handles real estate purchases for the organization’s voluntary land bank program.

The indictment alleges that Christaldi contacted the CRDA in January about selling his property at 204 Atlantic Ave. to the agency for its redevelopment program. He submitted paperwork proposing a $157,500 sale price, which was rejected. Christaldi spoke to the official on the phone and told her that he would reduce the price to $75,000 and submit new paperwork seeking a quick sale.

It is alleged that he delivered an envelope containing the paperwork, $1,000 in cash and a note that saying if he could get a sale price of $105,000, or $30 per square foot, he would pay her an additional $9,000 in cash, or $15,000 for a sale price of $40 per square foot.

The official alerted the Division of Criminal Justice, which conducted an undercover investigation. The investigation led to Christaldi allegedly delivering $9,000 on Jan 16 to a man he believed was the official’s brother, but was in fact, an undercover detective.

Detectives arrested Christaldi after he left a convenience store where he allegedly delivered the cash.

“Those who seek to bribe public officials pose a serious threat to the integrity of government,” Division of Criminal Justice Director Elie Honig said. “These cases are a top priority for us, and, as here, we will take aggressive investigative action, including undercover action, to detect and prosecute corruption offenses.”

Lead detectives were John Sheeran and Paul Marfino of the Corruption Bureau, under Sgt. Robert Feriozzi, Jr.’s supervision. Deputy Attorneys General Peter Lee and Valerie Butler presented the case to the grand jury.

The indictment was handed up to Superior Court Judge Mary C. Jacobson in Mercer County, who assigned the case to Cape May County, where Christaldi will appear in court.

Second degree crimes carry a five- to 10-year sentence in state prison and a fine of up to $150,000.

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