Published on:

Federal bribery defense attorney explains recent charges against 70 NYCHA employees

On Tuesday, federal prosecutors announced criminal charges against 70 current and former employees of the New York City Housing Authority for allegedly accepting bribes in exchange for work contracts. It purports to be the largest federal bribery prosecution in American history. The Southern District of New York’s press release is available here, and the complaints for the individual defendants are available here.

The gist of the crimes is that from time to time, construction or maintenance needs to be performed on buildings operated by the New York City Housing Authority (an agency which receives a tremendous amount of federal financing, notably). For large work projects, the NYCHA has to solicit multiple bids from various service providers. However, on smaller projects, there is a “no-bid” system by which an employee can simply choose the contractor that will do the work. This “no-bid” system appears to have given rise to a system of bribery, whereby contractors would simply pay the right NYCHA employee to win the work contract. It is remarkable that so many employees have been accused of this illegal conduct, and that the arrests all happened simultaneously. It is an impressively coordinated operation by law enforcement, to say the least.

Generally, the accused people are facing Conspiracy to Solicit and Receive a Bribe by Agent of Organization Receiving Federal Funds, which carries a five year maximum jail penalty. This applies to those NYCHA employees who agreed or discussed bribes in exchange for NYCHA funds. Some defendants are further accused of Soliciting and Receiving a Bribe by Agent of Organization Receiving Federal Funds, which carries a ten-year maximum jail penalty. Basically, the maximum penalty increases by five years for actually accepting the bribe. 18 USC 666(a)(1)(B). Some defendants are charged with Extortion Under Color of Official Right, a violation of the Hobbs Act under 18 USC 1951. That carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison.

Some of these defendants may be able to successfully argue that they were entrapped into conspiracies to discuss bribes for contracts. Most will likely plead guilty and seek non-jail sentences in exchange for felony convictions and restitution payments. Each case will need to be investigated carefully and treated individually, however.

Matthew Galluzzo is a former Manhattan prosecutor with over twenty years of experience. He practices primarily in New York area federal courts and has successfully defended individuals charged with federal bribery charges. Last year, the nation of France knighted him on account of his skillful and successful defense of so many French citizens accused in American courts.

If you or a loved one have been accused of a federal bribery charge, you should strongly consider contacting him for assistance.

The defendants include the following people with the following charges:

James Baez 58 years Valley Stream, NY Solicitation and Receipt of a Bribe: 10 years

Extortion Under Color of Official Right: 20 years

Selwyn Barley 61 years Brooklyn, NY Solicitation and Receipt of a Bribe: 10 years

Extortion Under Color of Official Right: 20 years

Gwendolyn Bell 38 years Baldwin, NY Solicitation and Receipt of a Bribe: 10 years

Extortion Under Color of Official Right: 20 years

Nymiah Branch 44 years Elmont, NY Solicitation and Receipt of a Bribe: 10 years

Extortion Under Color of Official Right: 20 years

Marc Buckner 54 years Stroudsburg, PA Solicitation and Receipt of a Bribe: 10 years

Extortion Under Color of Official Right: 20 years

Patrick Butler 58 years Brooklyn, NY Solicitation and Receipt of a Bribe: 10 years

Extortion Under Color of Official Right: 20 years

Roberto Cartagena 48 years Union City, NJ Solicitation and Receipt of a Bribe: 10 years

Extortion Under Color of Official Right: 20 years

Vernon Chambers 45 years Brooklyn, NY Solicitation and Receipt of a Bribe: 10 years

Extortion Under Color of Official Right: 20 years

Rigoberto Charriez, a/k/a “Ricky” 34 years Toms River, NJ Solicitation and Receipt of a Bribe: 10 years

Extortion Under Color of Official Right: 20 years

Hector Colon 45 years Bronx, NY Solicitation and Receipt of a Bribe: 10 years

Extortion Under Color of Official Right: 20 years

Michael Davis 54 years Groton, CT Solicitation and Receipt of a Bribe: 10 years

Extortion Under Color of Official Right: 20 years

Victor De Los Santos 54 years Bushkill, PA Solicitation and Receipt of a Bribe: 10 years

Extortion Under Color of Official Right: 20 years

Mauricio Escobar 55 years East Elmhurst, NY Solicitation and Receipt of a Bribe: 10 years

Extortion Under Color of Official Right: 20 years

Jose Espinal 57 years Howard Beach, NY Solicitation and Receipt of a Bribe: 10 years

Extortion Under Color of Official Right: 20 years

Joseph Fuller 42 years Brooklyn, NY Conspiracy to Solicit and Receive a Bribe: 5 years

Solicitation and Receipt of a Bribe: 10 years

Conspiracy to Commit Extortion Under Color of Official Right:  20 years

Extortion Under Color of Official Right: 20 years

Manuel Garcia 59 years Lecanto, FL Solicitation and Receipt of a Bribe: 10 years

Extortion Under Color of Official Right: 20 years

Tuesdai Gaskin 57 years Staten Island, NY Solicitation and Receipt of a Bribe: 10 years

Extortion Under Color of Official Right: 20 years

Corey Gilmore 45 years Garnerville, NY Solicitation and Receipt of a Bribe: 10 years

Extortion Under Color of Official Right: 20 years

Lateisha Harley 48 years Bronx, NY Solicitation and Receipt of a Bribe: 10 years

Extortion Under Color of Official Right: 20 years

Joy Harris 48 years Bushkill, PA Solicitation and Receipt of a Bribe: 10 years

Extortion Under Color of Official Right: 20 years

Jose Hernandez 57 years New York, NY Solicitation and Receipt of a Bribe: 10 years

Extortion Under Color of Official Right: 20 years

Veronica Hollman 47 years Brooklyn, NY Solicitation and Receipt of a Bribe: 10 years

Extortion Under Color of Official Right: 20 years

Deshon Hopkins 47 years Bethlehem, PA Solicitation and Receipt of a Bribe: 10 years

Extortion Under Color of Official Right: 20 years

Nena Huntley 36 years Bronx, NY Solicitation and Receipt of a Bribe: 10 years

Extortion Under Color of Official Right: 20 years

Michael Johnson 58 years Staten Island, NY Solicitation and Receipt of a Bribe: 10 years

Extortion Under Color of Official Right: 20 years

George Kemp 49 years Irvington, NJ Conspiracy to Solicit and Receive a Bribe: 5 years

Solicitation and Receipt of a Bribe: 10 years

Conspiracy to Commit Extortion Under Color of Official Right:  20 years

Extortion Under Color of Official Right: 20 years

Jaime Lan, a/k/a “Jimmy” 57 years Stewartsville, NJ Solicitation and Receipt of a Bribe: 10 years

Extortion Under Color of Official Right: 20 years

Dexter Lino 51 years Rockaway Park, NY Solicitation and Receipt of a Bribe: 10 years

Extortion Under Color of Official Right: 20 years

Nirmal Lorick 58 years South Richmond Hill, NY Solicitation and Receipt of a Bribe: 10 years

Extortion Under Color of Official Right: 20 years

Tara Lucas 50 years Linden, NJ Solicitation and Receipt of a Bribe: 10 years

Extortion Under Color of Official Right: 20 years

Vincent Machado, a/k/a Vincent Arcelay 30 years New York, NY Solicitation and Receipt of a Bribe: 10 years

Extortion Under Color of Official Right: 20 years

Marlon Mackey 51 years Jamaica, NY Solicitation and Receipt of a Bribe: 10 years

Extortion Under Color of Official Right: 20 years

Danny Matos 48 years Effort, PA Solicitation and Receipt of a Bribe: 10 years

Extortion Under Color of Official Right: 20 years

Nakia McCoy 49 years Brooklyn, NY Solicitation and Receipt of a Bribe: 10 years

Extortion Under Color of Official Right: 20 years

Erik McCreary 55 years Far Rockaway, NY Solicitation and Receipt of a Bribe: 10 years

Extortion Under Color of Official Right: 20 years

Henry McPhatter 44 years Bronx, NY Solicitation and Receipt of a Bribe: 10 years

Extortion Under Color of Official Right: 20 years

Joacim Mendez 47 years Milford, CT Solicitation and Receipt of a Bribe: 10 years

Extortion Under Color of Official Right: 20 years

Juan Mendez 52 years Stroudsburg, PA Solicitation and Receipt of a Bribe: 10 years

Extortion Under Color of Official Right: 20 years

Juan Mercado 49 years West Babylon, NY Solicitation and Receipt of a Bribe: 10 years

Extortion Under Color of Official Right: 20 years

James Miller 55 years Stroudsburg, PA Solicitation and Receipt of a Bribe: 10 years

Extortion Under Color of Official Right: 20 years

Daniel Muniz 64 years Long Island City, NY Solicitation and Receipt of a Bribe: 10 years

Extortion Under Color of Official Right: 20 years

Denise Newby-Bovian 54 years New York, NY Solicitation and Receipt of a Bribe: 10 years

Extortion Under Color of Official Right: 20 years

Alexis Nieves 41 years Stratford, CT Solicitation and Receipt of a Bribe: 10 years

Extortion Under Color of Official Right: 20 years

Raymond Nunez 56 years Glendale, NY Solicitation and Receipt of a Bribe: 10 years

Extortion Under Color of Official Right: 20 years

Evelyn Ortiz 55 years Freeport, NY Solicitation and Receipt of a Bribe: 10 years

Extortion Under Color of Official Right: 20 years

Brett Owens 49 years New York, NY Solicitation and Receipt of a Bribe: 10 years

Extortion Under Color of Official Right: 20 years

Orlando Pardo 56 years Maywood, NJ Solicitation and Receipt of a Bribe: 10 years

Extortion Under Color of Official Right: 20 years

Jorge Perez 54 years Bronx, NY Solicitation and Receipt of a Bribe: 10 years

Extortion Under Color of Official Right: 20 years

Curtis Priester 58 years Bronx, NY Solicitation and Receipt of a Bribe: 10 years

Extortion Under Color of Official Right: 20 years

Eddie Quetell 57 years Philadelphia, PA Solicitation and Receipt of a Bribe: 10 years

Extortion Under Color of Official Right: 20 years

Carmen Rivera 53 years Long Pond, PA Solicitation and Receipt of a Bribe: 10 years

Extortion Under Color of Official Right: 20 years

Jaime Rivera 50 years Bronx, NY Solicitation and Receipt of a Bribe: 10 years

Extortion Under Color of Official Right: 20 years

John Rivera 56 years Bronx, NY Solicitation and Receipt of a Bribe: 10 years

Extortion Under Color of Official Right: 20 years

Herbert Rosa 45 years New York, NY Solicitation and Receipt of a Bribe: 10 years

Extortion Under Color of Official Right: 20 years

Dwarka Rupnarain 63 years Middletown, NJ Solicitation and Receipt of a Bribe: 10 years

Extortion Under Color of Official Right: 20 years

Chrisie Salter 46 years Brooklyn, NY Conspiracy to Solicit and Receive a Bribe: 5 years

Solicitation and Receipt of a Bribe: 10 years

Conspiracy to Commit Extortion Under Color of Official Right:  20 years

Extortion Under Color of Official Right: 20 years

 

Clarence Samuel 53 years Irvington, NJ Solicitation and Receipt of a Bribe: 10 years

Extortion Under Color of Official Right: 20 years

Tanisha Sands 51 years Brooklyn, NY Solicitation and Receipt of a Bribe: 10 years

Extortion Under Color of Official Right: 20 years

Carolyn Scott 58 years East Stroudsburg, PA Solicitation and Receipt of a Bribe: 10 years

Extortion Under Color of Official Right: 20 years

Garth Small 55 years Mount Vernon, NY Solicitation and Receipt of a Bribe: 10 years

Extortion Under Color of Official Right: 20 years

Charles Starks 57 years Elmont, NY Solicitation and Receipt of a Bribe: 10 years

Extortion Under Color of Official Right: 20 years

Elizabeth Tapia 54 years Pocono Summit, PA Solicitation and Receipt of a Bribe: 10 years

Extortion Under Color of Official Right: 20 years

Alex Tolozano 57 years Maywood, NJ Solicitation and Receipt of a Bribe: 10 years

Extortion Under Color of Official Right: 20 years

Luis Torres 38 years Bronx, NY Solicitation and Receipt of a Bribe: 10 years

Extortion Under Color of Official Right: 20 years

Segundo Torres 56 years Blakeslee, PA Solicitation and Receipt of a Bribe: 10 years

Extortion Under Color of Official Right: 20 years

Frankie Villanueva 51 years Bronx, NY Solicitation and Receipt of a Bribe: 10 years

Extortion Under Color of Official Right: 20 years

Lindsay Wade 53 years Brooklyn, NY Solicitation and Receipt of a Bribe: 10 years

Extortion Under Color of Official Right: 20 years

Angela Williams 64 years Fayetteville, NC Conspiracy to Solicit and Receive a Bribe: 5 years

Conspiracy to Commit Extortion Under Color of Official Right:  20 years

Destruction of Evidence: 20 years

False Statements: 5 years

Willie Williams 60 years Staten Island, NY Solicitation and Receipt of a Bribe: 10 years

Extortion Under Color of Official Right: 20 years

Calvin Wright 52 years Brooklyn, NY Solicitation and Receipt of a Bribe: 10 years

Extortion Under Color of Official Right: 20 years

 

Contact Information