Port Authority cop nabbed in fraud scheme

October 13, 2009 1:51:45 PM PDT
A police detective who has investigated major crimes for the last 11 years as part of an FBI task force in New Jersey has been charged with using a cooperating witness in a fraud scheme. Michael Palermo, a 16-year veteran of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey's police force, is charged with mail fraud.

Prosecutors say he had the witness do work on his house for free and then used a bogus receipt as evidence in a lawsuit.

The 50-year-old Palermo appeared in federal court in Newark Tuesday but did not enter a plea. His lawyer declined to comment.

Prosecutors say Palermo used a fake $10,000 receipt in a lawsuit against a contractor and real estate agent involved in building and selling him his house in 2006. Palermo eventually was awarded $50,000 in the suit.

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