Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Ex-Code Enforcement Agent To Spend 30 Days In Halfway House, Then Gets Six Months House Arrest After Pleading Guilty To Squeezing Bribes Out Of At Least Five Connecticut Homeowners Under Threat Of Official Action Against Them

From the Office of the U.S. Attorney (Bridgeport, Connecticut):
  • [F]RANK BIANCUR, JR., 41, of West Haven, was sentenced [] by U.S. District Judge Victor A. Bolden in Bridgeport to 30 days of incarceration in a halfway house, followed by two years of supervised release, for seeking and receiving illegal payments while employed as a Zoning Enforcement Officer for the Town of East Haven. During his term of supervised release, BIANCUR must spend six months in home confinement with electronic monitoring and perform 200 hours of community service.

    According to court documents and statements made in court, BIANCUR was employed as the Town of East Haven’s Planning and Zoning Administrator/Zoning Enforcement Officer. In pleading guilty, BIANCUR admitted that he sought and received payments from at least five individuals in exchange for official acts he rendered as the Zoning Enforcement Officer.

    In May 2015, a resident of East Haven contacted the East Haven Police Department and the FBI with information that he/she had been extorted by BIANCUR since approximately October 2012 and, as a result, had made cash payments to BIANCUR.

    On May 19, 2015, BIANCUR called the victim and informed the victim that BIANCUR had to inspect an addition to the victim’s residence. Although BIANCUR stated that he was “fighting” for the victim, he also required a payment of $200 or he would make the victim tear down the addition. On May 21, 2015, the victim engaged in a consensually-recorded meeting with BIANCUR at BIANCUR’s office in East Haven Town Hall. During the meeting, the victim gave BIANCUR $200 in cash, which BIANCUR put in his pocket.

    BIANCUR also has admitted that he sought and received $500 cash payments from two additional East Haven residents in order to resolve zoning violations.

    BIANCUR was ordered to pay $6,265 in restitution.

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