70 NYC Housing workers charged in largest bribery takedown in DOJ history

At least 70 current and former New York City Housing Authority employees are being charged in a vast kickback scheme that federal prosecutors are calling “the largest single-day bribery takedown in the history of the justice department.”

U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said superintendents, assistant superintendents and other NYCHA officials accepted more than $2 million in kickbacks from contractors in exchange for over $13 million in NYCHA business across at least 100 developments.

Williams said at a press conference on Tuesday that the workers exploited a no-bid process for contracts worth less than $10,000 to complete minor construction projects, window repairs and other small-scale jobs. He called the scheme “classic pay-to-play.”

“Superintendents accepting and extorting bribes from contractors had become business as usual,” Williams said. “They used their jobs at NYCHA to line their own pockets.”

Williams said the “culture of corruption” permeated through scores of developments, where superintendents and associates allegedly skimmed relatively small amounts of $500 to $2,000 from the contracts.