A federal judge has postponed the trial of former Jersey City political leader Thomas Bertoli less than two weeks after scheduling the trial to begin in May.
Court records do not indicate the reason for the adjournment, leaving some wondering why. It is unusual for a judge to set a trial date and then quickly delay the case. A spokesperson for the US attorney’s office was unavailable for comment.
U.S. District Court Judge Brian Martinotti issued a scheduling order on December 9, setting Bertoli’s trial to begin on May 10.
But a week later, an extension order was filed jointly by the US attorney’s office and attorneys for Bertoli, Jack Arsenault and Gregory Jones. Martinotti adjourned the case on Dec. 22 and scheduled a conference for April 26, according to records.
It is not immediately clear whether the decision to postpone Bertoli’s trial to May was linked to the swearing in of a new U.S. prosecutor, Philip R. Sellinger, on the same day the extension request was filed. The US Senate confirmed Sellinger’s appointment on December 7.
Bertoli was charged in June 2020 with tax evasion, corrupt interference in the administration of IRS laws and failure to file an income tax return.
The complaint alleges that Bertoli “obtained hundreds of thousands of dollars in gross revenue for the calendar years 2009 to 2016. Bertoli had not, as of April 18, 2017, filed federal income tax returns or paid any taxes owed, to except for a nominal amount of $ 5,000. payment in September 2014, for these years.
Bertoli operated several businesses during this period, according to the government, including City Street Associates and Urban Logistics.
According to federal prosecutors, Bertoli has received payments from clients, âincluding payments from developers and construction companies to expedite services on real estate development and construction projects, primarily in Jersey City, New Jersey; and political campaign payments for political advisory services in New Jersey. “
The US Attorney’s Office said that âacceleration in the construction industry generally refers to making it easier to obtain building permits and other government agency approvals required for the completion of real estate projects.
âHe concealed and attempted to conceal his income and assets from the IRS through various means; Bertoli collected check payments from clients, made false and fraudulent statements to the IRS, and used the Urban Logistics bank account for personal expenses, âthe government says.
He is accused of not having paid taxes between 2009 and 2012 and of having evaded the assessment of taxes for 2014.
Following his arraignment, Bertoli was released on $ 500.00 bail.