DOI has investigated a number of significant public corruption cases involving elected and public officials, some that have resulted in convictions and prison terms. Here are some examples of DOI’s recent public corruption investigations:
- In 2011, DOI worked with the FBI to expose a bribery-and-kickback conspiracy that led to federal charges against an Assistant Commissioner at HPD and six HPD developers and contractors. During the two-year investigation, DOI’s copious analysis of complex financial records unearthed financial connections among the co-conspirators and uncovered a shell company and bogus transactions that generated large amounts of cash for the defendants as charged in the indictment. The charges state that the schemes resulted in overpayments to developers on HPD projects. The Assistant Commissioner resigned from his position and has pleaded guilty.
- In July 2009, former New York City Councilman Miguel Martinez pleaded guilty to federal fraud and money laundering charges as a result of a joint investigation by DOI and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York. Martinez submitted false invoices to the City and diverted funds from nonprofit organizations that resulted in a personal benefit to him of more than $100,000. In December 2009, Martinez was sentenced to five years in federal prison.
- In March 2008, former state legislator and labor leader Brian McLaughlin pleaded guilty to a federal racketeering and fraud charge. The conviction was the result of DOI’s involvement in an investigation spanning many years that proved, among other things, that McLaughlin stole money from the union’s bank account, accepted payments from union contractors and maintained a secret interest in a company doing business with the union. As part of his guilty plea, McLaughlin agreed to forfeit $2.2 million that he derived from his crimes and to forfeit a property on Long Island. In May 2009 he was sentenced to ten years in federal prison on a racketeering charge.
- In April 2008, then-State Assemblywoman Diane Gordon was convicted on corruption charges resulting from a DOI undercover investigation. The case, prosecuted by the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office, revealed that Gordon had marketed herself as a corrupt legislator ready to use her position to help a private builder unlawfully acquire City-owned land in her district if, in exchange, he would build her a half-million-dollar house in a gated community in Queens for practically no money. Gordon was stripped of her elected office and sentenced to between two and six years in prison.
- In 2008, DOI and federal prosecutors announced the indictment of a City Councilmember’s Chief of Staff, Asquith Reid, and a staffer, Joycinth Anderson, on charges of embezzling $145,000 in discretionary funds allocated to nonprofit organizations. In June 2009, Reid and Anderson pleaded guilty.