Leadbeater sentencing set for Sept. 14


The U.S. Attorney’s Office confirmed this week that the sentencing of former Kearny councilman John Leadbeater has been put off until Sept. 14 at 9:30 a.m. before U.S. District Court Judge Jerome Simandle in Camden.

Leadbeater, 58, also a former Kearny Board of Education member, originally was to be sentenced June 26 after he had pleaded guilty March 9 to one count of wire fraud in connection with what the feds characterized as a multi-defendant, $13 million mortgage fraud scheme.

Asked the reason for the postponement, Matt Reilly, a spokesman for federal prosecutors, said he did not know, adding, “That wouldn’t be part of the [court] record.”

Mention of the new date was included in a June 9 government press release announcing the acceptance of a plea agreement with David Cardillo, 51, of Wildwood, who had been charged with Leadbeater as part of the alleged mortgage fraud scheme.

Cardillo pleaded guilty in Camden Federal Court to a superseding information charging him with one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud.

According to documents filed in the case and statements made in court, Leadbeater and others identified homes in Wildwood and Wildwood Crest for which they would recruit straw buyers, including Cardillo, to buy those homes at inflated rates. These buyers had good credit scores but lacked the financial resources to qualify for mortgage loans.

The government said that Cardillo submitted a fraudulent loan application for more than $400,000 prepared by other conspirators that contained false information about his income, assets and intended use of the property.

Cardillo is to also to be sentenced Sept. 14.

After having requested a three-month delay in bringing Leadbeater to trial on the grounds that it was “a complex case,” requiring time to line up “geographically diverse” witnesses and experts, the government finally brought Leadbeater to trial in March, only to have the defendant take a plea on the second day of the trial.

As part of the plea agreement, the government dropped a second charge of money laundering.

– Ron Leir 

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