Manhattan DA’s Office Includes Chief of Development’s Spouse in Bribery Case

Manhattan DA’s Office today announced a broad sweeping indictment and arrests of 50 defendants.  All are accused of having engaged in “widespread housing fraud and bribery schemes in Manhattan.”  One defendant’s inclusion in the case stands out as it appears that her alleged role in the government’s intricate conspiracy is that of wife.  It remains, unclear just what evidence the government plans to introduce as to her involvement in the alleged scheme.  The Manhattan DA’s lengthy press release includes a litany of vividly described allegations against several of the defendants:

Among the government’s wide net of complicated accusations and related players, is an unregistered expediter who “allegedly sent a list of addresses of locations owned by his clients to the then-DOB Chief of Development for Brooklyn Construction, bypassing proper DOB channels, on a near daily basis.”  A DOB inspector “would inspect these addresses at the Chief of Development’s request, and invariably the buildings would pass inspection.”   According to the Manhattan DA’s press release, The Chief of Development would then supposedly “approve” certain inspections on that same day.  The government claims that “the Chief was using his supervisory position to carry out the scheme without detection.”

As for the Chief’s wife, the government had little to say.  According to the article, that same “unregistered expediter” is alleged to have paid the Chief of Development and his wife, bribes totaling $200,000 in the form of mortgage payments.  He also is said to have provided two cars (a Nissan and a GMC) as well as a cruise, and picked up the tab for airline tickets, home renovations, and some personal expenses.  The Blanch Law Firm is currently defending the Chief of Development’s wife from the accusations described above.

Ryan Blanch, Criminal Defense Attorney for The Blanch Law Firm,  had this to offer: “Our client looks forward to entering her plea of ‘Not Guilty’ today in court.  She maintains her innocence and firmly believes that the evidence will show that she has done nothing wrong.  We believe that the net has simply been widened too far to include the wife of an accused city employee.”