Former NJ mayor sentenced in property flip scheme

AP News
Posted: Apr 12, 2011 4:29 PM
Former NJ mayor sentenced in property flip scheme

A longtime New Jersey mayor and an aide convicted of participating in a scheme involving illegal campaign donations and property flipping have been sentenced to prison.

Former Perth Amboy mayor Joseph Vas (vahs) and aide Melvin Ramos were convicted last fall of mail fraud, election finance violations and lying to authorities. A federal judge Tuesday sentenced Vas to six years and six months and Ramos to three years and one month.

The Middlesex County Democrat was mayor of Perth Amboy from 1990 to 2008. He and his aide have to pay restitution to the city of about 50,000 residents 35 miles northeast of Trenton.

Vas' attorney extolled his client's efforts in fixing Perth Amboy's streets and parks. Ramos apologized.

Prosecutors say what the men did was "an egregious abuse of the public's trust."