- Attorney General Zulima V. Farber and
Division of Criminal Justice Director Gregory
A. Paw announced that former New Jersey
state trooper James J. Harney pleaded guilty
today to charges of conspiracy, official
misconduct and promoting gambling for his
part in operating a multi-million dollar
sports bookmaking enterprise.
40, of Marlton, N.J., pleaded guilty before
Superior Court Judge Thomas S. Smith Jr.
in Burlington County to all three counts
in an accusation filed by the Division of
Criminal Justice charging him with second-degree
conspiracy, second-degree official misconduct
and third-degree promoting gambling. In
pleading guilty to the conspiracy count,
Harney admitted that he conspired to commit
the crimes of official misconduct, promoting
gambling and money laundering.
the plea agreement, Harney faces up to seven
years in state prison and will forfeit hundreds
of thousands of dollars in assets, including
a townhouse, bank accounts, plasma TV’s
and a collection of expensive watches. Harney
was forced to resign from the State Police
and will be barred from ever holding public
employment in New Jersey.
investigation began roughly nine months
ago, when the State Police discovered that
one of their own was corrupt," said
Attorney General Farber. "That crooked
police officer has now been brought to justice.
He has pleaded guilty to serious crimes
and faces serious punishment for violating
the law, the public trust and the honor
of the uniform and the badge he wore."
investigation is continuing," said
Criminal Justice Director Paw. "We
will prosecute all of those responsible
for this criminal enterprise."
the plea hearing, Harney, an eight-year
veteran of the State Police, admitted his
part in running a bookmaking ring which
was based in South Jersey and the Philadelphia
area but which took in millions of dollars
in sports bets from all over the country.
Deputy Attorney General Mark Eliades, head
of the Division of Criminal Justice - Organized
Crime Racketeering Bureau, represented the
Attorney General at the plea hearing.
New Jersey State Police Organized Crime
Bureau began investigating the ring in late
October 2005 when it uncovered information
that Harney was involved in sports bookmaking.
As the investigation unfolded, it expanded
to include former Philadelphia Flyer Richard
Tocchet, who allegedly was a partner with
Harney in the illegal gambling enterprise,
sharing in the profits and covering losses.
Tocchet, 42, of Phoenix, Arizona, is currently
on leave from his position as assistant
coach for the Phoenix Coyotes.
Attorney General’s Office charged
Harney and Tocchet in February, along with
Swedesboro resident James A. Ulmer, 41,
who allegedly served as a "sitter"
who funneled wagers to Harney.
and Ulmer were each charged with promoting
gambling, money laundering and conspiracy.
The investigation is continuing, and those
charges remain pending.
State Police investigation painted a picture
of a highly organized sports betting system,
which in a 40-day period processed over
1,000 wagers exceeding 1.7 million dollars
on professional and collegiate sporting
part of the investigation, search warrants
were executed at a number of locations and
voluminous records of sports betting were
seized, along with computers. The Division
of Criminal Justice employed the criminal
provisions of New Jersey’s racketeering
and money laundering statutes to seize currency
and other proceeds of the alleged illegal
gambling activity, including various assets
owned and/or maintained by Harney and Ulmer.