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Brother of major Menendez donor gets probation for $21,000 in illegal campaign contributions

Photo Credit: Cliffview Pilot File Photo

A federal judge in Newark today sentenced an Elmwood Park businessman to two years of probation and fined him $8,600 for making $21,400 in illegal campaign contributions to U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez on behalf of his wealthy, politically-connected brother.

Benedetto Bigica, 45, admitted in federal court in Newark this January that he steered the illegal contributions to “the campaign committee of a federal candidate” and then was reimbursed by his brother, Joseph Bigica.

Joseph Bigica, an insurance broker with several major municipal contracts in North Jersey, was sentenced to five years in federal prison last December for illegally dropping more than $100,000 into Menendez’s warchest. He also was ordered to pay $2.1 million in restitution.

Benedetto Bigica owns and operates a private radiology center in Newark.

A spokesman for Menendez said the senator was a victim of the crimes.

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