Friday a jury in Cape May County found a South Jersey man guilty of second-degree bribery of a government official so that he could increase the sale price of an Atlantic City property he was selling.
The report states that Cape May resident Anthony J Christaldi gave a cash bribe to a Casino Reinvestment Development Authority (CRDA) official after his application to sell his property in Atlantic City to their land bank program was rejected by the agency in 2014. After the agency rejected Christaldi’s proposed $157,000 price tag saying that the asking price was too high, the 70 year-old then contacted an unnamed official telling her he’d reduce the sale price to $75,000 and submit paperwork to reflect the adjustment, according to the state Attorney General’s Office.
Authorities said when the envelope was delivered by Christaldi along with the amended paperwork it contained a note offering her between $9,000 and $15,000 if she approved the higher asking price for the property, and $1,000 in cash. Christaldi assumed that the bribe would ensure she would agree to spend more public funds for his benefit, but instead she alerted her legal department who then contacted the state Division of Criminal Justice.
Detectives arrested Christaldi on bribery charges after an undercover operation by law enforcement where an officer posing as the CRDA official’s brother accepted the $9,000 cash bribe. Christaldi faces a possible 10 year prison stretch and a fine of up to $150,000 at his sentencing scheduled for December 4, according to acting Attorney General John Hoffman.