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Hudson County Corruption in the Kenny Era – Investigation Of The Hudson County Mosquito Extermination Commission
Fraudulent Vouchers

Hudson County Politics

The final witness in the two-day public hearings was Max Zark, of Englewood Cliffs, owner of Royal Mart, an appliance store in Jersey City. Zark told of supplying Mr. Callari and his associates with more than $23,000 worth of electrical appliances such as air conditioners, ice makers, toasters, freezers, vacuum cleaners and television receivers, over the last six years.

Mr. Zark, whose relationship with Callari was uncovered by agents of the State Commission of Investigation, also testified under immunity.

He said Mr. Callari first came to his store in 1964 and ordered a few items. To cover all future purchases, the witness testified, Callari arranged a scheme under which Callari would send him official vouchers made up for items used in mosquito control work, but items which Zark never carried in his store.

For instance, there were 23 vouchers signed by Mr. Zark for shovels, wheelbarrows, spray mixtures, etc. The amount on 23 fraudulent vouchers uncovered by the investigation always matched the amount of electrical appliances provided by Royal Mart in separate transactions with Callari.

Mr. Zark explained the system when he gave details on two of the fradulent vouchers.

Q. And I ask you, sir, to examine those two rouch,ers and to read for the record the contents o f those vouchers. What goods were supposed to be shipped pursuant to those vouchers?
A. "15 wheelbarrows, 24 long-handle shade shovels, 16 pair of boots." That's on 39.

Q. All right. And the other voucher, sir?
A. This has two vouchers in it.

Q. Just with reference to the first one, to 42A.
A. 6 pair of lineman's shoes, 8 pair of lineman's shoes, a different size, 6 pair of hip boots, 8 pair of other hip boots, 6 pair of heavyweight top-lace shoes and 8 pair of the same in another size.

Q. Mr. Zark, what is the total valve represented by that voucher?
A. $997.20.

Q. Mr. Zark, you run an appliance store, dotn't you.?
A. Yes, sir.

Q. Do you, carry hip boots?
A. I do not.

Q. Do you carry in your store any of the iteurs listed on that voucher?
A. I don't cam any of the items listed on this voucher.

Q. What, ni fact, did you ship that was paid for by the proceeds from that voucher?
A. Assorted appliances, sir.

More exotic items in Zark's non-existant inventory included pipet racks, trunnion carriers, and mosquito larvae. Some were so outlandish that Benjamin Callari, son of the Mosquito Commission's executive director, was obliged to supply Zack, even after the investigation was underway, with backdated vouchers to replace those submitted originally.

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