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Former NYC shelter boss gets jail time in $1.2million bribery scheme

“Mr. Rivera was paid well,” said David Abramowicz, assistant United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York. “He didn’t need more. He wanted more.

Mr. Rivera took more than $66,000 in bribes from a company called RJP Construction and its owner, Fernando Rodriguez, a pastor from the Bronx, according to court documents. He arranged for RJP to get subcontract work at a shelter in the Bronx in exchange for 7% of the construction contract. The bribes were disguised as “consulting fees” paid to a company operated by Mr. Rivera and his ex-wife. Mr. Rodriguez was criminally charged in a separate health care fraud lawsuit to which he pleaded guilty.

Mr Rivera pocketed an additional $492,000 in bribes from a security firm called Prime Protective Bureau, which had been awarded $12 million in contracts to monitor Bronx Parent Housing Network shelters. Mr. Rivera asked the security firm’s CEO to write checks to his for-profit company, Community Outreach Consulting Firm, and another company run by Mr. Rivera’s son, called TLV Consultants, according to prosecutors and Mr. Rivera’s attorney.

Mr Rivera also asked the security company to hire his ex-wife, Lanet Rivera, according to court documents, after she was forced to resign from the Bronx Parent Housing Network due to conflict of interest rules. interests. Last year, the Prime Protective Bureau paid Ms Rivera more than $372,000. The couple, who married in 2009, separated due to Mr. Rivera’s infidelity and the criminal case, according to a legal filing from Mr. Rivera’s lawyer.

Prosecutors said the largest bribe payments to Mr. Rivera — nearly $690,0000 — came from a real estate company that rental records show was linked to his former business partner, Sheina. Wine.

In exchange for renting a shelter from Urban Residences Corp., Mr. Rivera demanded bribes from a consulting firm run by his son, which had “little or no business expenses”, according to Mr. Rivera’s lawyer and the government. presentation of the sentence. Mr. Rivera used most of the money to pay off the mortgage on his home, prosecutors said.

Lawyers for Ms Levin declined to comment.

Mr. Rivera’s lawyer had argued that Mr. Rivera should be sentenced to probation and community service because of his years of charity work and cooperation with the government. But federal prosecutors said the jail time was necessary to serve as a warning to other shelter operators who may seek to exploit taxpayer funding.

nytimes Gt

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