- Associated Press - Tuesday, May 20, 2014

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) - Federal prosecutors say a northwestern New Jersey contractor tried to bribe a town fire code official to squash more than $8 million in outstanding fines on buildings with fire code violations.

Victor Coca of North Bergen was due to appear in federal court Tuesday afternoon to face a charge of paying a bribe to a local government agent. He faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted.

Authorities say the 48-year-old Coca paid $7,000 in bribes to the fire code official, who was cooperating with the federal government, to eliminate fines at two buildings in West New York. Coca owned one of the buildings, while the other was owned by a friend.

A telephone number for Coca rang unanswered on Tuesday afternoon.

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