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Franklin Lakes Insurance Broker Sentenced to 5 Years

Joseph Bigica was convicted of failing to pay more than $2 million in personal income tax and using straw donors to make almost $100,000 in illegal contributions to a federal campaign committee.

A Franklin Lakes insurance broker was sentenced today to 60 months in prison for failing to pay more than $2 million in personal income taxes and using straw donors to make almost $100,000 in illegal contributions to a federal campaign committee, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced Tuesday evening.

Joseph Bigica, 47, of Franklin Lakes, previously pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Faith S. Hochberg on charges of corruptly interfering with the due administration of the internal revenue laws and one count of conspiring to violate the Federal Election Campaign Act. 

Judge Hochberg imposed the sentence today in Newark federal court, according to a release from the office of the United State District Attorney of New Jersey.

Federal Election Commission records show that as a major Democratic donor, Bigica, 47, and his wife Laura, gave thousands in contributions to the Robert Menendez, and Edward and Patrick Kennedy campaigns over multiple years, Wyckoff-Franklin Lakes Patch reported earlier this year. 

While claiming he was unable to pay taxes, Joseph Bigica spent tons of cash on personal expenses like a Lamborghini and a Ferrari; pool service; vacations; a residence in St. Thomas; and unlawful contributions to a federal campaign committee, according to the district attorney's office.

As part of his guilty plea in May, Bigica agreed to pay more than $2.1 million in restitution to the IRS. 

Have a question or news tip? Contact editor Joseph M. Gerace at Joseph.Gerace@patch.com, or find us on Facebook and Twitter. For news straight to your inbox every morning, sign up for our daily newsletter.

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