FEAR-List Bulletin posted by John Paff, 9/28/95
September 28, 1995
Honorable Anne E. Thompson, Chief Judge
U.S. District Court
United State Courthouse
402 E. State Street
Trenton, New Jersey 08608
Honorable John H. Hughes
U.S. Magistrate Judge
United States Courthouse
403 E. State Street
Trenton, New Jersey 08608
RE: Guiffre [sic] v. Bissell, et al Civ. No. 92-2014
Dear Chief Judge Thompson and Judge Hughes:
This letter is written to advise the Court and the parties that a federal grand jury sitting in Newark has publicly returned a 33 count indictment naming Nicholas L. Bissell, Jr. A summary of the charges is provided below. The Guiffre matter is particularly mentioned at Counts 20 and 21.
Counts One through Eleven of the Indictment charge mail fraud. In essence, Nicholas L. Bissell, Jr. is charged with violating the public trust by allegedly engaging in dishonest and illegal conduct while Somerset County Prosecutor which violated his duties as the chief law enforcement officer of that county.
Counts Twelve though Sixteen charge both Nicholas L. and his wife, Barbara J. Bissell, with mail fraud by defrauding their business partner in a gasoline station -- located at Routes 202/206 in Bedminster between 1990 and 1994 -- of his investment in the gas station and by skimming approximately $246,000 of that station's cash receipts. The Bissells are also alleged to have used the gasoline station business to pay for personal expenses including a 1992 Acura Legend, a 1988 Mercedes Benz; and personal credit card bills.
Count Seventeen charges Nicholas L. Bissell, Jr. with mail fraud arising out of a scheme to defraud two Somerset County Prosecutor's Office employees, Robert Lang and Richard Thornburg, who invested in another of Bissell's gasoline stations -- located on Easton Avenue in Somerset. The Indictment alleges that Bissell falsely misrepresented to the employees that the station was losing money.
Count Eighteen charges Nicholas L. Bissell, Jr., with mail fraud in connection with an additional scheme to defraud by fraudulently inflating the gasoline receipts from the Bedminster gasoline station in order to obtain rebate money to which he was not entitled from his gasoline distributor.
Count Nineteen charges Nicholas L. Bissell, Jr., with fraud in connection with the federal student loan program. In this count, Bissell is charged with soliciting a vendor who had an unspecified ongoing relationship with the Prosecutor's Office to create false tax returns in an effort to obtain over $18,000 in student aid for his son.
Counts Twenty and Twenty-One charge Nicholas L. Bissell, Jr., with obstruction and perjury arising out of his conduct in the Guiffre case. In those counts, the Indictment charges that Bissell was sued in May 1992 for official actions he took as the Prosecutor in connection with the arrest and the forfeiture of property of James Guiffre.
Bissell allegedly ordered the destruction of a police report which had references to a request made by Guiffre for legal representation. Bissell then ordered that a new report be manufactured to omit Guiffre's request for a lawyer, Bissell also is alleged to have lied under oath about the facts surrounding the sale of the forfeited property which were sold to persons who had personal and business connections to the Prosector's Office.
Count Twenty-Two charges Nicholas L. Bissell, Jr., with making false statements to federal law enforcement agents when Bissell met with them after the search and seizure of approximately $9,000 in cash from him home on April 19, 1995.
Counts Twenty-Three through Thirty-Three of the Indictment charge both Bissells with tax offenses. Count Twenty-three charges that between 1991 and the present, the defendants conspired to obstruct the IRS in the proper ascertainment of taxes.
Counts Twenty-Four through Twenty-Seven charge the two defendants with evasion of $72,818 in taxes on their personal income tax returns from 1991 through 1994. This evasion resulted from the Bissells' failure to report approximately $246,000 in income that they had earned during those years.
Counts Twenty-Eight through Thirty charge Barbara J. Bissell with subscribing to false business returns filed for the Bedminster gasoline station, in that the returns failed to report over $200,000 in total receipts and failed to accurately reflect the Bissells' interest in the business from 1991 through 1993.
The final counts of the Indictment, Counts Thirty-One through Thirty-Three, charge Nicholas L. Bissell with aiding, assisting and counseling Barbara Bissell to subscribe to the false business returns described in Counts Twenty-Eight through Thirty.
The undersigned Assistant U.S. Attorneys are available at (201) 645-2770 should the Court have any questions. The Indictment will be forwarded to the Court as soon as it is processed by through the Clerk's Office. Counsel may obtain a copy of the Indictment by contracting this Office.
Faith S. Hochberg
United States Attorney
by /s/ Kimberly McFadden Guadagno
Perry A. Carbone
Assistant U.S. Attorneys