- Associated Press - Wednesday, September 2, 2015

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) - A former federal official is headed to prison for using a straw company to get grant funds he also oversaw as part of his job.

Federal prosecutors say Lawrence Cullari Jr. received a 21-month sentence on Wednesday. He had pleaded guilty in March to mail fraud.

The 43-year-old Tinton Falls resident served as assistant division administrator for the Federal Highway Administration’s New Jersey division and could influence how federal transportation funding was allocated. He also operated a private consulting and engineering company owned by his ex-wife.

Cullari admitted that in 2006, he and his father-in-law agreed to use the latter’s firm as a straw contractor to get FHWA-funded work for the consulting firm from Rutgers University’s Center for Advanced Infrastructure and Transportation and the New Jersey Institute of Technology.

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