Friday, November 25, 2016

Long Island Feds: Ex-Housing Authority Chief Pocketed $100K In Kickbacks In Connection With Fraudulently-Inflated Construction Contracts Bid-Rigging Scheme; Five Co-Conspirators Already Pleaded Guilty, Await Sentencing; Fleeced Loot Intended To Be Used For Repairs At Local Low-Income Housing Project

In Hempstead, New York, News 12 Long Island reports:
  • The former head of the Hempstead Housing Authority is facing federal charges. Former Housing Authority chairman Cornell Bozier is accused of taking $100,000 in an alleged kickback scheme. The North Baldwin man pleaded not guilty to conspiracy, theft and wire fraud in federal court [...].

    Prosecutors say the money that was allegedly taken was supposed to be used to make repairs at a low-income housing complex in the village.

    Federal prosecutors say Bozier secured a $250,000 contract for his alleged co-conspirator to replace a roof at a Housing Authority building. When the job was then subcontracted for $23,000, the FBI says Bozier’s former Housing Authority director Stacy Stackhouse and other co-conspirators pocketed the rest of the money. Stackhouse plead guilty to the charges last year.

    According to the FBI, more than $500,000 was stolen in total from the Housing Authority through the alleged bid- rigging scheme.

    Current Hempstead Housing Director Rosemery Olsen says she was brought in to clean up the corruption after Bozier resigned.

    “We've been making a lot of changes over the last three and a half years and I think that we're a good quality housing authority,” says Olsen.

    Bozier was released on $150,000 bond, and as a condition of his bond, he is not allowed to leave New York. He will also be monitored by the courts.
Source: Ex-Hempstead Housing chief faces federal charges.

For the U.S. Attorney press release, see Former Chairman Of The Village Of Hempstead Housing Authority Indicted In Connection With Bid Rigging And Kickback Scheme (As Board Chair, Cornell Bozier Allegedly Orchestrated a Scheme That Stole Over $500,000 in Federal Funds Set Aside for Low-Income Housing):
  • [A]s alleged in the superseding indictment, Bozier used his position as the Board Chair of the VHHA [Village of Hempstead Housing Authority] Board to recruit and direct co-conspirators to submit fraudulently inflated construction bids for repair projects on VHHA properties, bypass the required procurement process, and ensure that the construction contracts were awarded to companies owned or controlled by co-conspirators.

    Bozier directed the hiring of additional co-conspirators for positions within the VHHA to help facilitate the Board’s acceptance of fraudulent bids and exerted improper influence and pressure on those Board members to vote in favor of the grossly inflated bids submitted by Bozier’s co-conspirators. In exchange for these official actions, Bozier solicited and accepted numerous kickbacks during the course of the conspiracy totaling approximately $100,000.
    ***
    To date, the investigation has identified more than $500,000 that was allegedly stolen from the VHHA as a result of the charged conspiracy.

    The five co-conspirators charged in the underlying indictment have previously pleaded guilty and are awaiting sentence.

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