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Nassau County CIO Sentenced To Federal Prison In $1.14 Million Bribe Scheme

U.S. Attorney for New Jersey Craig Carpenito credited special agents of IRS–Criminal Investigation with the investigation.
U.S. Attorney for New Jersey Craig Carpenito credited special agents of IRS–Criminal Investigation with the investigation. Photo Credit: irs.gov

A Roslyn man was sentenced Friday to a plea-bargained two years in federal prison for demanding bribes from the owner of two New Jersey IT staffing firms to get contracts from a Texas financial services company.

Mark Berger, 59, must serve all of the sentence handed down by a U.S. District Court judge in Trenton, New Jersey. There’s no parole in the federal prison system.

Berger was the chief information officer of SWBC, a financial services company based in Texas, with "the ability and authority to hire certain companies to perform work," U.S. Attorney for New Jersey Craig Carpenito said.

As a condition of hiring the two companies, Berger demanded that the owner, Anthony Curlo of Chester, NJ, pay him off, the U.S. attorney said.

Curlo’s companies got $3 million worth of work and Berger got $985,000 delivered to his Long Island home as part of an agreed-upon $1.14 million in kickbacks, Carpenito said.

Curlo pleaded guilty to his role in the scheme on Sept. 21, 2016 during an IRS investigation and is awaiting sentencing

Berger pleaded guilty in July 2018 to conspiring to violate the national Travel Act in exchange for leniency at Friday’s sentencing.

In addition to the prison term, he was sentenced to two years of supervised release..

Carpenito credited special agents of IRS–Criminal Investigation with the investigation. Handling the prosecution is Assistant U.S. Attorney Jonathan W. Romankow of the his Criminal Division in Newark.

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