Tag Archives: bribes

Building inspectors from Queens among those arrested in $450K city bribery scheme


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

HANDCUFFS 1

Building and housing inspectors from Queens were among the 50 suspects who were allegedly involved in slimy, widespread corruption that uncovered about $450,000 in bribes, according to Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance.

The borough contributed nine of the individuals who were arrested in connection with the citywide bribery scheme to skirt city building and construction regulations.

In addition to the city agents, Queens property managers, owners and two reputed mob members were arrested on Tuesday, after a two-year-long sting, which began with an inquiry into the attempted bribery of a single Buildings Department inspector, Vance said.

“Bribery schemes compromised two important city agencies and fair competition in our robust housing and real estate development markets,” Vance said. “Today’s cases demonstrate that the same surging demand that drives the pace of development can inspire the taking of shortcuts.”

The arrested Queens members include Housing and Preservation Department inspectors Barry Rice Jr. and Steven Crawford; Department of Buildings inspector Artan Mujko; property owners and managers David Weiss, Sandro Cabrera, Frank Campasano and Aleksander Zivkovic; and brothers Agostino and Michelangelo Accardo, who have reported mob connections.

Here are the alleged roles of the Queens individuals charged in the group bust and a citywide map showing where the schemes took place:

-Queens Department of Buildings inspector Artan Mujko allegedly accepted $70,000 in bribes for “signing off” on inspections for David Weiszer, an unregistered expeditor. Weiszer would send a list of properties his clients owned to the Buildings Department chief of development for Brooklyn construction, and Mujko would inspect the properties at his chief’s request and invariably the buildings would pass inspection.

-Queens HPD inspector Barry Rice Jr., working with Brooklyn inspector Luis Soto, was allegedly bribed to order tenants to leave buildings in Bushwick without a valid vacate order.

-Frank Campasano was one of the building’s owners Rice took a bribe from.

-Rice also allegedly arranged “pre-inspections of certain properties to ensure violations on buildings would be resolved before he conducted official inspections, after which the violations would be dismissed,” the district attorney’s office said.

-Rice and Associate Housing Inspector Stanley Hall allegedly promised to dismiss violations from a Bushwick property owned by Shea Sigal for more than $3,000 in bribes.

-Rice and Steven Crawford allegedly negotiated bribes from Joel Rubin, a property manager, to “pre-inspect” and dismiss violations from properties. Rice accepted $600 in bribes from Rubin.

-Rice allegedly accepted $300 in bribes from Aron Stuhl, a property manager for “pre-inspection” violations.

-Sandro Cabrera and David Weiss were among other property owners and managers charged with allegedly offering bribes ranging from $200 to $2,800 in exchange for various Department of Buildings favors.

-Aleksander Zivkovic is among a list of property owners and managers charged with allegedly paying bribes to HPD inspectors Olive Ortiz and Luis Soto to remove building violations. The bribes totaled around $41,000 for the property owners. The violations included a rotted door frame, non-working hallway lights, and presence of mice, flies and roaches.

-Agostino Accardo, an alleged member of the Bonanno crime family, and his brother Michelangelo, were charged with operating an illegal check bundling and money transmission service. It was not clear exactly what role they played in the corruption probe.

RECOMMENDED STORIES

Man Suspected Of Sexually Abusing Two Pre-Teen Girls In Elmhurst


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

Feds arrest NY lawmaker on new bribery charges

Less than three weeks after being acquitted in a federal corruption case, a New York state lawmaker was arrested Tuesday on new charges that he sought and accepted bribes from a carnival promoter and two undercover FBI agents posing as real estate developers. William Boyland Jr., a Brooklyn assemblymember from a long line of politicians, was to appear later Tuesday in federal court in Brooklyn on charges of soliciting more than $250,000 in bribes in exchange for performing official acts. There was no immediate response to a phone message left with his attorney. Read More: NBC News

Man Suspected Of Sexually Abusing Two Pre-Teen Girls In Elmhurst

Investigators are on the hunt for a man wanted for sexually abusing two 12-year-old girls in Queens. Police released a sketch of a man they say lured a girl into his car on 54th Avenue in Elmhurst on the morning of November 12. Investigators say he began sexually abusing the girl inside the car before she ran out. Police believe on November 25 he lured another girl into his car on 55th Avenue. He is described as about 6-feet tall and about 40 years old. Police say the suspect’s white sedan has a green, white and orange or red flag sticker on the driver’s door with an eagle in the middle. Read More: NY1

New schedules to clear ‘chaos’ at Queens Metropolitan High School

The class confusion should be over at Queens Metropolitan High School following new schedules distributed prior to the Thanksgiving break. The first two-and-a-half months of the school year saw some students’ schedules changed over 10 times. Parents and students complained of the chaotic hallways, constant changes and no gym classes. Queens Metropolitan shares the building with two other schools – Metropolitan Expeditionary Learning School and Maspeth High School. Read More: Queens Courier

NYPD Stats: Officers Have Stopped, Frisked Four Million Residents Since 2004

The New York City Police Department is on pace to stopping-and-frisking a record number of New Yorkers this year. According to a New York Civil Liberties Union analysis of new police data, during the first nine months of 2011, the NYPD made more than 500,000 street stops. The group says officers are on track to conduct just more than 675,000 stops, which is a nearly 13 percent increase over last year. The NYCLU claims most of these interrogations involved blacks or Latinos, and nearly 90 percent of the stops did not result in an arrest or ticket. Read More: NY1

$680,000 drug bust in Queens

A drug thug was busted in the middle of a Sports Authority parking lot in Queens on one of the busiest shopping days of the year — with 20 kilos of coke in his trunk, cops said yesterday. Kwame Deschamps, a 27-year-old licensed barber from Lynn, Mass., was acting suspiciously Saturday in the store’s lot on Woodhaven Boulevard in Forest Hills, police said. Cops investigated and reported finding in his car’s trunk more than $600,000 in cocaine and about 4,000 OxyContin pills, which can go for up to $20 a pop, or a total of $80,000. Deschamps was arraigned and charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute. He had been arrested in Massachusetts in 2009 for marijuana possession, according to police. Read More: New York Post


Queens’ Morning Roundup – 11/11/2011: Jury Acquits Assemblyman of Conspiring to Take Bribes


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

Jury Acquits Assemblyman of Conspiring to Take Bribes

William F. Boyland Jr., a Democratic assemblyman from one of Brooklyn’s most prominent political families, was acquitted on Thursday of conspiring to take $175,000 in bribes in return for using his influence on behalf of a health care organization that runs hospitals in Queens and Brooklyn. Read More: Wall Street Journal

 

Barbara Sheehan sentenced to five years in prison

After dodging a murder conviction for the death of her husband, Barbara Sheehan has been reportedly sentenced to five years behind bars on a second degree weapons charge related to the case. Sheehan, who faced up to 15 years in prison prior to her sentencing, was acquitted of murder after a jury determined she acted in self-defense when she shot her husband, Raymond, a retired NYPD sergeant, 11 times on the morning of February 18, 2008. Read More: Queens Courier

 

Queens Councilman Pleads Guilty To Charges Stemming From 1996 Larceny Case

Just two days after winning re-election, a City Councilman pleaded guilty Thursday to charges stemming from a 15-year-old larceny case. Queens Councilman Ruben Wills admitted to stealing items and damaging a Manhattan office building in 1996. The case will be closed without jail time or probation if he does three days of community service and pays $2,500 in restitution. Wills said the incident arose from a business dispute. An outstanding warrant was issued for his arrest after he missed court dates. Read More: NY1

 

10th Anniversary Memorial Ceremony for American Airlines Flight 587 on Saturday

Saturday, November 12 American Airlines Flight 587 10th anniversary memorial ceremony

Beach 116th Street, Belle Harbor – 9 a.m.

There will be a moment of silence at 9:16 a.m. at the time of the crash, followed by a reading of the victims’ names. The ceremony will be held at the memorial site, which was unveiled for the fifth anniversary. More Event Details: Queens Courier

 

Stalled Road Construction Keeps Forest Hills Residents From Getting Sleep

Forest Hills residents are complaining they cannot get any sleep because of the noise stemming from cars driving over a work site on 71st Avenue. Read More: NY1

 

City surrenders in long battle to turn historic St. Saviour’s site into Maspeth park

The city has given up its long fight to acquire the land where a historic Maspeth church once stood and turn it into park space. But the city and now looking into purchasing a City Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley (D-Middle Village) are smaller parcel of land from the nearby Martin Luther School as an alternative to the St. Saviour’s site. Read More: Daily News

 

Woodside monument honoring World War I heroes gets face-lift for Veterans Day

The majestic statue that stands at the foot of the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway in Woodside was created to honor local soldiers who paid the ultimate price in World War I. The female figure, sword in one hand and shield in the other, stands sentry over the tiny plaza in the neighborhood formerly known as Winfield. Read More: Daily News