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Coney conspiracy: Three women arrested for allegedly accepting bribes in affordable housing scheme

District Attorney Eric Gonzalez announced the arrest of three women who allegedly accepted bribes in exchange for doctoring applications to a Coney Island Mitchell Lama housing, which they spent largely on designer handbags and jewelry.
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Three women were arrested Tuesday for allegedly forging documents that allowed affordable-housing applicants to bypass a decades-long waiting list for a Coney Island cooperative in exchange for a whopping $874,000 in bribes.

The suspects allegedly spent their ill-gotten proceeds on jewelry, furs, designer bags, and Florida beach-front properties, while law-abiding families desperate for affordable housing got the shaft, according to District Attorney Eric Gonzalez.

“This is about working class families being deprived of the affordable housing they’ve been waiting for, and being victimized by the people that managed the availability of this very limited housing stock,” Gonzalez said.

The defendants — ages 71, 66, and 38 years old — served variously on the board of directors and at the management office for Luna Park Housing Corporation — a massive, five-building Mitchell Llama housing roughly 6,000 people — where they conspired to leverage their authority and expertise in the cooperative’s application process to forge documents in exchange for massive bribes, including one $120,000 buy off to secure a two-bedroom apartment at well below market rate.

In several instances, the defendants altered documents including birth and marriage certificates, passports, and utility bills to fool the Department of Housing Preservation and Development in believing that the suspect’s benefactors were related and lived with Luna Park lease holders.

As a result, unqualified applicants were able to nab highly sought-after affordable housing, while hundreds of families continued to wait on applications dating back to the early 90s, according to Gonzalez.

The prosecutor said that the 18 false applications for apartments — altogether valued at $5 million — included in the charges were likely only the tip of the iceberg, and that the women may have committed many more forgeries during their tenure at the co-op.

“We believe that this was the norm, not the exception,” said Gonzalez. “It’s an open secret that this scheme has been in place for many years.”

With criminal charges filed against the suspects, the Department of Housing Preservation and Development is expected to investigate the doctored applications, and may take steps to penalize, or evict bogus tenants, according to the prosecutor.

Reach reporter Colin Mixson at cmixson@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-4505.
Updated 2:31 pm, May 24, 2019
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Reasonable discourse

Henry Ford from Bay Ridge says:
All you fools complaining that undocumented migrants are stealing from you should take a close look that these three. All 3 are native NY'ers and 2 are boomers. Probably Jim's family. Choke on that, bigots!
May 22, 11:59 am
Conservative justice warrior says:
Emigres from former Soviet Union.
May 22, 12:41 pm
Guy From Brooklyn from Coney Island says:
Guys, wake up! They do it everywhere in Mitchell Lama buildings, Senior Buildings with waiting lists. These ladies just got greedy and got busted for that. I had to deal with it myself in Shorefront Building at 3045 West 29 where property manager just tossed my in-laws application in garbage bin and they were waiting for this apartment for 10 years for it. She just found a reason to refuse them, she did it on purpose just to give it someone else for extra bucks like those ladies did. I was trying to get truth from parent property Management Company but it’s ridiculous when you trying to complain someone for wrong doing of their deputy, this will make them liable as well, so they will defend them with all resources they got. To avoid that, the compliance shouldn’t be internal, it should be totally from different company. It’s not the case now.
May 22, 2:11 pm
Gary from Fort Greene says:
So, in your mind the fact that three American born citizens committed a crime means illegal immigrants are not "stealing from us," i.e. receiving tax funded benefits that could instead go to Americans? Nice logic you got there, Henry.
May 22, 2:59 pm
NPC Leftist from Orange Man Bad says:
Henry once again you prove what a crazy nut you are. No one is being racist, we just have to have people come here who respect our laws and who want to contribute to our country and who respect the flag. Tax paying citizens cannot be supporting every person who wants to ‘seek asylum’ if we had no border we would have tens of million coming here to get free handouts. Sanctuary cities that protect illegal criminals are un American. Who is going to pay for all of this while our own citizens are homeless on the streets? Why don’t you take in a few illegals into your home? Personally I would gladly trade one of our wonderful flag-burning, anthem-kneeling, America-bashing leftists for a hard-working Latin American.
May 22, 3:10 pm
Henry Ford from Bay Ridge says:
How exactly is an undocumented migrant "receiving tax funded benefits", genius? You cannot apply for any government assistance without documentation, you idiot. You people are so filled with racist views that you cant even logically explain your ridiculous claims. "Research reviewed by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office indicates that between 50 percent and 75 percent of unauthorized immigrants pay federal, state, and local taxes. Illegal immigrants are estimated to pay in about $7 billion per year into Social Security." Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economic_impact_of_illegal_immigrants_in_the_United_States. What's your source? Trump? You dope.
May 22, 3:32 pm
Henry Ford from Bay Ridge says:
Then this schmuck: "respect the flag". LOL. You mean they should hug the flag like trump does? What about his wife who overstayed her visa, and her parents chain migration, or his anchor baby? Oh yeah, it only angers you when it's a brown person who does that.
May 22, 3:34 pm
Anna from Brighton says:
I think the point everyone is missing is that we might actually have the poor move into these buildings, hindering coney islands progression to rebrand itself as the hipster's new haven :/
May 22, 4:16 pm
Anna from Brighton says:
Also, if it wasn't for illegal Spanish immigrants who slave away @ the fields to pick and grow our products and support our local economy then you would be eating trash daily. Let's not turn this into an immigrant-bashing convo, because no American is hardworking enough to do the tedious jobs illegals do to support their families. Look no further than down south where they hired locals (at a higher wage) and prisoners (free) only to have production decrease by close to 50% lol.
May 22, 4:21 pm
Mara from Sheepshead says:
Let me guess. You would have the names and pictures. If they weren’t anything like what. Russians for sure
May 22, 5:30 pm
Jojo says:
They were russian. Who said American born?
May 22, 7:06 pm
Brooke from Williamsburg says:
Why does their gender matter so much to you? War on women much?
May 22, 7:59 pm
JoJo says:
Jojo is a name of a Boz Scaggs song. You can hear it on you tube if the public library will let you use the internet that long. The question remains, who said those three arrested were American born?
May 22, 10:33 pm
Henry Ford from Bay Ridge says:
Boz Scaggs sucks and the public library is for losers like you.
May 23, 6:37 am
Ms. Me from Bay Ridge says:
Same thing happened with the Bay Ridge Towers years ago ans it was said the bribe takers weren't prosecuted.
May 23, 8:43 am
JoJo says:
You are an insignificant nobody. You wish you could have any success in your life. Better to be a has been than a never was. The public library is too good for you. I feel sorry for your status in the halfway house you live in.
May 23, 8:54 am
Henry Ford from Bay Ridge says:
Little jojo is a loser.
May 23, 11:35 am
SCR from Realityville says:
Peoples with smarts and some money,will never pass up a genuine bargain. And,there are also always humankinds,in positions some authority;who will never pass up a good payoff.(A Bribe). My guess is that,most of these"Bogus"Tenants,will NOT even be evicted? Unless,they are openly critical,of the local politicians? This entire situation,is merely,a matter;of the flawed human-race.
May 23, 12:45 pm
JoJo says:
Ford needs to make some friends. Join a social club. Will anyone have him?
May 24, 10:23 am
Henry Ford from Bay Ridge says:
Little jojo needs to watch his mouth.
May 24, 11:22 am
Daniel Ioannou from Coney Island says:
I hope Eric Gonzalez makes a good example out of the trio, so signals are felt throughout the other city and state operated mitchel-lamas. I'm assuming since the three plead not guilty, the terms of the offer to plead guilty must of been harsh, GOOD! However, where was city oversight? They just handed the keys to these three for 25 years and never checked in? Hmmm... So much corruption/fraud in Coney Island, keep going!
May 30, 11:49 am

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