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Three Luna Park Housing Corp. Officials Indicted for Conspiring to Receive Bribes, Forge Documents to Corrupt the Process by Which Mitchell-Lama Apartments are Acquired – The Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, Might 21, 2019

Three Luna Park Housing Corp. Officials Indicted for
Conspiring to Receive Bribes, Forge Documents to Corrupt the
Process by Which Mitchell-Lama Apartments are Acquired

Defendants Embrace President and Treasurer of Board of Directors and Office Manager

Brooklyn District Lawyer Eric Gonzalez, together with New York Metropolis Division of Investigation Commissioner Margaret Garnett, right now announced that three ladies who controlled the course of by which prospective consumers utilized for excessive demand cooperative flats at the Luna Park Housing Company, a Mitchell-Lama complicated in Coney Island, have been named in a 78-count indictment during which they are charged with conspiracy, grand larceny, forgery and different fees, together with accepting roughly $874,000 in bribes to get flats for ineligible candidates.

District Lawyer Gonzalez stated, “These defendants allegedly conspired to corrupt the process by which eligible prospective tenants could have access to affordable housing in Brooklyn, and then used their illegal proceeds to fund lavish lifestyles. Their alleged greed cheated people who were entitled to apartments that instead went to those willing to pay bribes.  My office, working with our law enforcement partners, will continue to root out fraud and corruption to ensure that New York’s scarce affordable housing opportunities are not corrupted by fraudsters trying to make a profit, but distributed fairly and honestly.”

Commissioner Garnett stated, “Protecting affordable housing in New York City is not just about building more units but also preserving fair access to the ones we have. These defendants undercut that effort by manipulating the rules on access to affordable housing apartments in return for hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes, according to the indictment. The corruption vulnerabilities DOI found during this investigation are being addressed with the City’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development, which has already begun strengthening its oversight of City-supervised Mitchell-Lama developments. DOI thanks the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office for their partnership and commitment in this important investigation.”

Christina Scaringi, Particular Agent in Cost at the U.S. Division of Housing and Urban Improvement, Office of the Inspector Basic, Northeast Region, stated, “All around us, we see that the nation is in the grips of an affordable housing crisis. The arrests and charges announced today send an important message that this office has no tolerance for those who would undermine the administration and management of the precious few affordable housing units available for our citizens. The defendants’ alleged actions were designed to enrich themselves at the expense of New Yorkers who were denied fair access to affordable housing. HUD OIG commends the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office for its committed and steadfast efforts in bringing this case forward.”

The District Lawyer identified the defendants as Anna Treybich, 71, Irina Zeltser, 66, and Karina Andriyan, 38, all of Coney Island. They are going to be arraigned at the moment on a 78-count indictment through which they are charged with fourth- and fifth-degree conspiracy, second-degree grand larceny, second-degree forgery first-degree falsifying enterprise data, first-degree offering a false instrument for submitting and first-degree business bribe receiving.

The District Lawyer stated that, according to the indictment, between January 1, 2013 and Might 6, 2019, the defendants conspired to steal and promote the right to purchase flats at Luna Park Housing Corporation. Luna Park is a Mitchell-Lama property in Coney Island constructed and operated with public funds to present reasonably priced cooperative housing for working families. It is a five-building complicated consisting of studio, one, two, and three-bedroom flats housing roughly 6,000 individuals.

Candidates for Luna Park fell into three classes: inner applicants looking for to transfer from one condominium into one other house; external applicants who had no prior ownership or occupancy at Luna Park; and succession candidates who lived with house owners and sought successor ownership rights. Inner and external software ready lists have been supposed to be maintained in the order during which they have been acquired.

Treybich and Zeltser have been members of the Board of Administrators of Luna Park, serving, respectively, as president and treasurer. Andriyan was the workplace supervisor of the Luna Park administration office, and was tasked with sustaining all ready lists authorised by the New York City Housing Preservation and Improvement Corporation for all purposes for flats and processing the purposes. Anyone in search of to purchase an house had to submit numerous supporting paperwork together with revenue verification, and in the case of successor candidates, start and marriage certificates and different documents proving that the applicant lived in the condominium for no less than two years and had a familial relationship with the occupant who relinquished the house.

The District Lawyer stated that, according to the indictment, Luna Park’s flats have been bought at costs considerably under market worth and subsequently have been in high demand. The defendants allegedly abused their positions at Luna Park by accepting bribes in amounts ranging from $10,000 to $120,000 from applicants for flats in Luna Park. In change for the bribes, the defendants allegedly prepared and submitted to HPD for approval false, cast and fraudulent documents, giving those that paid the bribes precedence over in any other case eligible candidates. The defendants allegedly collected a total of $874,000 in cash bribes, involving the transfer of 18 flats, over the course of the scheme, for which they have been indicted. The truthful market value of the 18 flats was approximately $5 million in complete.

It is alleged that the defendants identified candidates prepared to pay cash bribes by way of phrase of mouth or by counting on individuals to recruit candidates prepared to pay money bribes.

It’s alleged that, because HPD relied on the applicant screening and software evaluation carried out by the Luna Park management office and routinely authorised all purposes submitted by the administration workplace, the defendants deceived HPD into approving the purposes of bribe-paying applicants by creating false, cast and fraudulent purposes and supporting documents and submitting them to HPD for remaining approval.

Examples of the scheme are as comply with:

  • On January 1, 2013, it’s alleged, Zeltser solicited a cash bribe of $93,000 to help an individual recognized as Witness four purchase a three-bedroom condominium. The witness allegedly paid the defendant $10,000 each two weeks until it was paid in full by April 2014. In change, the defendant offered Witness 4 a pre-filled out Luna Park revenue affidavit and informed her that so as to buy the condo as a successor tenant she would have to say that the tenant of document was her sister. HPD permitted the software after it was supplied with cast and fraudulent paperwork from the defendants. For instance, the individual giving up the condominium had a delivery certificate together with her mom’s identify listed as Ida and her id as Jewish. To mirror that they have been sisters and had the similar mother, the defendants allegedly altered the purchaser’s delivery certificates to mirror that her mom’s identify was Ida and her id was Jewish, regardless that on the real delivery certificates, the purchaser’s mother’s identify is Ekaterina and she or he is listed as Ukrainian.
  • Between March 1 and March 16, 2015, Treybich allegedly solicited a $26,000 cash cost from an individual recognized as Witness 13 in trade for serving to Witness 13 purchase a three-bedroom condo in Luna Park. Witness 13 offered Treybich with a delivery certificate, a marriage certificate and a passport. Treybich allegedly altered the paperwork, as well as revenue affidavits, to mirror that the purchaser and tenant of report have been brother and sister and had both lived in the house for at the least two years.

Lastly, throughout the execution of search warrants at the houses or storage models of the defendants, investigators recovered dozens of fur coats, designer handbags and jewellery. It is alleged that the defendants additionally used the cash bribes to purchase actual estate, including flats in Florida.

The District Lawyer thanked HUD for its help in the investigation.

The case was investigated by DOI, specifically Assistant Inspector Basic Maria Horvat, beneath the supervision of Deputy Inspector Basic Michael Antolini, Senior Inspector Common Jessica Heegan, Affiliate Commissioner Jay Flaherty, Deputy Commissioner / Chief of Investigations Dominick Zarrella and First Deputy Commissioner Daniel Cort, with help from DOI’s NYPD Squad of Detectives.

The District Lawyer thanked KCDA Detective Investigators assigned to the Investigations Bureau for their assistance on this case, as well as KCDA Financial Investigator Ludwig Sanchez, of the Asset Forfeiture and Crimes Towards Revenue Bureau; and Investigative Analyst Megan Carroll and Paralegal Zachary Gitman of the Investigations Division

The case is being prosecuted by Senior Assistant District Lawyer Vivian Young Joo, of the District Lawyer’s Frauds Bureau and Senior Assistant District Lawyer Theresa Robitaille, of the District Lawyer’s Organized Crime and Racketeering Bureau, beneath the supervision of Assistant District Lawyer Christopher Blank, Bureau Chief, and the general supervision of Assistant District Lawyer Patricia McNeill, Chief of the District Lawyer’s Investigations Division.

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An indictment is an accusatory instrument and never proof of a defendant’s guilt

Notice: Materials introduced during the press conference are obtainable right here.