CRIME

Details on long-delayed New Jersey megamall surface in powerbroker's racketeering trial

  • FILE- In this Thursday, Sept. 1, 2011 file photo, MetLife Stadium, rear right, and the Izod Center, middle right, are seen behind American Dream, formerly called Xanadu, the unfinished oddly patterned shopping and entertainment complex in East Rutherford, N.J. Court filings in the upcoming racketeering trial of a former prominent Democratic power broker have offered a glimpse into the machinations behind the long-delayed, multibillion-dollar project _ including once-secret grand jury testimony alleging Sen. Robert Menendez, at the time a member of the House, sought $50,000 in donations from a developer after pushing for a needed permit. (AP Photo/Mel Evans, file)

    FILE- In this Thursday, Sept. 1, 2011 file photo, MetLife Stadium, rear right, and the Izod Center, middle right, are seen behind American Dream, formerly called Xanadu, the unfinished oddly patterned shopping and entertainment complex in East Rutherford, N.J. Court filings in the upcoming racketeering trial of a former prominent Democratic power broker have offered a glimpse into the machinations behind the long-delayed, multibillion-dollar project _ including once-secret grand jury testimony alleging Sen. Robert Menendez, at the time a member of the House, sought $50,000 in donations from a developer after pushing for a needed permit. (AP Photo/Mel Evans, file)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE- In this Friday, March 1, 2013 file photograph, Sen. Robert Menendez listens during a news conference, at Newark Liberty International Airport in Newark, N.J. Court filings in the upcoming racketeering trial of a former prominent Democratic power broker have offered a glimpse into the machinations behind the long-delayed, multibillion-dollar project _ including once-secret grand jury testimony alleging Sen. Robert Menendez, at the time a member of the House, sought $50,000 in donations from a developer after pushing for a needed permit. (AP Photo/Mel Evans, file)

    FILE- In this Friday, March 1, 2013 file photograph, Sen. Robert Menendez listens during a news conference, at Newark Liberty International Airport in Newark, N.J. Court filings in the upcoming racketeering trial of a former prominent Democratic power broker have offered a glimpse into the machinations behind the long-delayed, multibillion-dollar project _ including once-secret grand jury testimony alleging Sen. Robert Menendez, at the time a member of the House, sought $50,000 in donations from a developer after pushing for a needed permit. (AP Photo/Mel Evans, file)  (The Associated Press)

The racketeering trial of a former Democratic powerbroker is expected to shed light on the maneuvering behind a long-delayed multibillion-dollar megamall in New Jersey's Meadowlands.

Joseph Ferriero once headed the Bergen County Democratic Organization. The U.S. attorney's office alleges he illegally squeezed nearly $2 million out of a Virginia-based developer in exchange for his political influence with the mall project, then known as Xanadu.

Xanadu was supposed to open in 2007 but was delayed by financial problems and lawsuits. Developer Triple Five took it over four years ago and plans to open it as American Dream Meadowlands next year.

Opening statements in Ferriero's trial are expected to begin Thursday. Ferriero denies the charges.