FORMER STATE LAWMAKER SENTENCED FOR FRAUD

Former Assemblyman and Perth Amboy Mayor Joseph Vas and his longtime aide Melvin Ramos were sentenced today to 78 and 37 months in prison, respectively, for corruptly misusing Vas’ position as mayor to steal affordable housing funds and for committing federal election fraud, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.

The defendants were convicted following a three-week trial before U.S. District Judge Susan D. Wigenton, who also imposed the sentences today in Newark federal court. Vas, 56, and Ramos, 55, both of Perth Amboy, were each convicted of two counts of mail fraud for misappropriating $360,000 in affordable housing funds. The jury also convicted Vas of one count of fraud and misapplication of funds in connection with unlawfully misapplying $90,000 in low income housing funds; one count of making false statements to FBI agents; and one count of accepting contributions to a federal candidate in the names of others.

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