NEWARK, N.J., Sept. 15 (UPI) -- The former president of the New Jersey state Senate admitted Friday he took payoffs in return for using his influence to get approval for projects.
John Lynch, who is also a former mayor of New Brunswick, remains a major power in the state's Democratic Party. He served in the state Senate from 1982 to 2002.
At a hearing before a federal judge in Newark, Lynch pleaded guilty to mail fraud and tax evasion. Red Bank businessman John Westlake pleaded guilty to tax evasion.
Federal prosecutors said Lynch and Westlake set up two dummy corporations that claimed to provide consulting services to developers. The two men each had a half interest in Executive Continental, while Westlake was the sole owner of Alma Corp.
In one case, a South Brunswick company seeking approval to mine sand on state-owned property made a payment to Alma. The money was passed on to Executive Continental and thus to Lynch, prosecutors said.
Both men face prison terms when they are sentenced in December.