Federal highway official faces wire fraud charges

Wire fraud charges have been filed against a federal official accused of using a straw company to get grant funds that he also oversaw as part of his job.

Federal prosecutors say Lawrence Cullari Jr., the assistant division administrator for the Federal Highway Administration’s New Jersey division, also falsified federal disclosure documents related to the matter. He was arrested Wednesday at his office in West Trenton.

Besides wire fraud, the 42-year-old Tinton Falls resident also faces five counts of making false statements. He was released on $100,000 bond after making his initial court appearance, where he was represented by a federal public defender.

A telephone number for Cullari could not be located Wednesday. He faces up to 45 years in prison if convicted.

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

Together we can reach 100% of WHYY’s fiscal year goal