Huge Bust Nabs Scores of NYC Housing Authority Extortionists

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The bribery and extortion scheme was so widespread that practically everyone at the New York Housing Authority was in on it. It’s being widely reported that around “seventy current and former NYCHA workers were busted.” The DOJ revealed the “10-year, $2 million pay-to-play corruption scheme” produced “the largest number of federal bribery charges brought in a single day in Department of Justice history.

Abuse of Housing Authority

On Tuesday, February 6, New York City dwellers were shocked to see practically the entire New York Housing Authority staff being perp walked on TV. It’s being called an “avalanche of bribery and extortion crimes.

Nearly a third “of the 335 developmentshandled by the agency involved extortion and bribery. If the applicant didn’t offer cash, or it wasn’t enough, the agent would demand the appropriate figure.

NYCHA happens to be “the country’s biggest public housing agency.” Anyone who wanted one of their “lucrative construction, maintenance and no-bid contracts” had to pay upfront for the privilege.

Each staffer quickly developed a streamlined routine of their own to handle the tricky transactions.

The defendants, all of whom were working for NYCHA at the time, sought between 10% and 20% of the contracts’ values — or kickbacks of between $500 and $2,000 — though some asked for higher amounts,” authorities relate.

When they got done totaling up the evidence, the DOJ figured the rogue housing authorities “received more than $2 million in bribes involving $13 million in contracts between 2013 and 2023.

Hauled away in handcuffs

It was a great little side gig until “dozens of New York City Housing Authority employees were hauled away in handcuffs as part of a large-scale raid.” The DOJ notes that “the scheme spanned all five boroughs.

U.S. Attorney Damian Williams held a press conference. They’re under a lot of pressure to show the public they can investigate more than just Donald Trump supporters and Catholics who pray the Rosary.

Williams claims his office was on a crusade to clean up the housing authority corruption.

My Office is firmly committed to cleaning up the corruption that has plagued NYCHA for far too long so that its residents can be served with integrity and have the high-quality affordable homes that they deserve. The culture of corruption at NYCHA ends today.” The culture of corruption at the DOJ is an entirely different story.

The next step is to close a few legal loopholes. “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.

That’s how the housing authority workers were able to get away with it for so long.