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For Immediate Release:  
For Further Information:
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June 24, 2009  

Peter Aseltine
609-292-4791

Office of The Attorney General
- Anne Milgram, Attorney General
Division of Criminal Justice
- Deborah L. Gramiccioni, Director

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Ex-Treasurer of Florham Park Elks Lodge Admits Conspiring with County Tax Commissioner to Steal from Elks to Gamble in Casinos

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TRENTON – Attorney General Anne Milgram and Criminal Justice Director Deborah L. Gramiccioni announced that the former treasurer of the Florham Parks Elks Lodge pleaded guilty today to conspiring with Morris County Tax Commissioner Anthony Crecco to steal from the Elks to gamble in Atlantic City casinos.

According to Director Gramiccioni, Konstantin Belenky, 42, of East Hanover, the former treasurer and house committee chairman of the Florham Park Elks Lodge, pleaded guilty to an accusation charging him with third-degree theft by unlawful taking before Superior Court Judge John B. Dangler in Morris County.

The state will recommend that Belenky be sentenced to a term of probation and be ordered to pay $35,540 in restitution to the Elks lodge. He must forfeit any public positions he holds. He must also continue to cooperate in the pending prosecution of co-defendant Anthony Crecco. Deputy Attorney General Robert Czepiel Jr. is prosecuting the case and took the plea for the Division of Criminal Justice.

Judge Dangler scheduled Belenky to be sentenced on August 28.

Belenky is tax assessor for Berkeley Heights and also runs his own company, Pyramid Appraisal Group, which performs real estate appraisals and consults clients on tax assessments. He was tax assessor for East Hanover and Franklin Township, Somerset County, from 2004 to 2008.

In pleading guilty, Belenky admitted he conspired with Crecco to steal funds from the Elks that the two men used to pay their gambling debts. An investigation by the New Jersey State Police and Division of Criminal Justice determined that Crecco and Belenky used the money to pay off “markers” in Atlantic City. Markers are lines of credit that casinos offer to gamblers. The markers were in Crecco’s name and were used to cover the two men’s gambling debts. When markers were paid off, Crecco obtained new markers, which were used to return part of the money to the Elks lodge. However, the men failed to repay thousands of dollars to the Elks.

Crecco, 62, of East Hanover, was indicted by a state grand jury on April 29 on charges he conspired with Belenky to steal from the Elks. The indictment also charges that he voted to award a county contract to a software vendor, Vital Communications, with which he had personal dealings; that he rigged a raffle to obtain a computer donated by Vital; and that he underpaid state sales tax on a Mercedes he bought from Vital’s chief executive officer, a friend, by underreporting the price by $14,700. The nine-count state grand jury indictment charges Crecco with official misconduct and theft, among other crimes.

A full list of the charges against Crecco is included in the April 29 press release at www.njpublicsafety.com. The indictment is merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

The investigation was conducted and coordinated by New Jersey State Police Official Corruption Bureau, North Unit, and Analyst Allison Callery and Deputy Attorney General Robert Czepiel Jr. of the Division of Criminal Justice Corruption Bureau.

Attorney General Milgram noted that the Division of Criminal Justice Corruption Bureau has established a toll-free Corruption Tipline for the public to report corruption, financial crime and
other illegal activities. The statewide Corruption Tipline is 1-866-TIPS-4CJ. Additionally, the public can log on to the Division of Criminal Justice Web page at www.njdcj.org to report suspected wrongdoing. All information received through the Division of Criminal Justice Corruption Tipline or Web page will remain confidential.

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