70 NYC Housing Authority workers hauled away in cuffs for massive pay-to-play corruption scheme

A federal raid has nabbed as many as 70 current and former New York Housing Authority workers and contractors who were caught up in a $2 million pay-to-play corruption scheme.

Those involved were hauled off in handcuffs by federal agents in the raid Tuesday morning. It is believed to be the biggest bust of its kind in history.

“The workers are expected to be charged in connection with a variety of alleged corruption and kickback schemes, according to the Department of Justice, which has called the case the largest public corruption roundup in its history,” the Daily Mail reported.

Those charged in the corruption investigation are set to appear in a Lower Manhattan court later on Tuesday.

(Video Credit: NBC New York)

“While arrests were made at NYCHA facilities in all five boroughs, a sizable number of them were at the Baisley Park Houses on Foch Boulevard in Jamaica, Queens,” ABC7 reported.

According to a statement released by the Department of Justice, the workers will be charged with “accepting cash payments from contractors in exchange for awarding NYCHA contracts.”

“The charges amount to a single-day record of bribery charges for the Department of Justice. The Justice Department is also expected to detail the claims later today,” the Daily Mail wrote.

There were previous complaints against employees who were accused of taking bribes from the contractors in order to secure NYCHA contracts, according to Inner City Press.

The New York Post is reporting that the charges are potentially linked to “micro-purchase” projects for smaller repairs and other construction at city housing.

“As long as city contracts are worth under an estimated $10,000, local development managers can award them without going through the public bidding process — a system ripe for such potential corruption, sources said,” the media outlet added.

NYC’s Housing Authority has struggled with ongoing issues dealing with 175,000 aging apartments. Over 300,000 people live in NYCHA buildings, the largest public housing organization in the country.

“NYCHA has zero tolerance for wrongful and illegal activity,” NYCHA Chief Executive Officer Lisa Bova-Hiatt declared in a statement given to The City. “The individuals allegedly involved in these acts put their greed first and violated the trust of our residents, their fellow NYCHA colleagues, and all New Yorkers. These actions are counter to everything we stand for as public servants and will not be tolerated in any form.”

The investigation involves the city Department of Investigation and Homeland Security Investigations, according to sources who spoke to the New York Post.

“This morning, HSI New York’s Document and Benefit Fraud Task Force executed several arrests pursuant to an ongoing investigation,” HSI New York Special Agent in Charge Ivan Arvelo said via a statement. “We cannot comment further at this time.”


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