Affordable Housing or Lack Thereof
House of Shame
A NYCHA caretaker has been arrested after she allegedly took cash payments from individuals desperate to secure a placement in public housing. Magnolia Diaz, 49, who has been employed by NYCHA as a caretaker since 1997, supplemented her $40,019 annual income by collecting bribes from individuals whom she falsely promised to secure apartments for, according to the city Department of Investigation.
House of Shame
It has a 24-hour doorman and river views, but the real appeal of 377 Rector Place—a building that is about as bland as a luxury tower can be—lies in its name: Liberty House. Particularly if one is about to start a 10-year prison sentence.
The New York Post reports that Peter Madoff and wife Marion have moved into a $3,200-per month one-bedroom rental in the Battery Park City building. For someone who has agreed, as part of plea bargain, to the criminal forfeiture of $143.1 billion, including all real estate and personal property, a rental is definitely the way to go.
In the midst of running their elaborate Ponzi scheme, the Madoff family invested money in some actual investments—namely, real estate in Manhattan, Long Island and Greenwich.
The government came for Ruth and Bernie Madoff’s penthouse years ago, but the real estate holdings of the rest of the family have taken a little longer to claim, as the courts untangle the many complications of recovering cash stolen by the clan.
FINANCIAL CRIMINAL OF THE DAY
The U.S. Attorney and Postal Inspection Service announced Tuesday that Eric Stein, age 53, had been arrested and charged “with running an investment scam through Return-A-Pet LLC–a Manhattan-based company he operated…” Authorities who investigated Stein’s business say he may have lined his pockets with up to a half-million dollars over the last 3 years by hoodwinking consumers into buying “sham Return-A-Pet distributorships using false and misleading advertisements.”
This is familiar territory for Eric Stein.
Duane Reade has recently been busy rehabbing its image—a refrigerated beer cave selling vintage beer brands in Williamsburg’s, a sushi bar in Wall Street’s, etc—after being routinely criticized for (among other things) slow service. Which is mostly tolerated because, well, it’s just everywhere. Well, that image took a slight hit today, when the drugstore chain’s former President and CEO Anthony Cuti was sentenced to three years in prison for fraud. UPDATE: Statement from Mr. Cuti’s defense team below.
The trial of former Suffolk County legislator George Guldi went to the jury today, and a verdict is expected sometime this week, according to the Hampton Bays Patch. Guldi has been charged with absconding with an $853,000 insurance check, which he received after fire destroyed his historic Westhampton Beach home in 2008. Read More
Last Monday, in a windowless courtroom in Riverhead, L.I., George Guldi approached a wood lectern and delivered a lesson in aesthetics. A former Suffolk County legislator, Mr. Guldi is currently defending himself against charges that he stole an $853,000 insurance check, following a fire at his home. But what color was the check? he wanted Read More
Authorities are throwing cold water on a transcontinental story of alleged fraud involving the CEO of a major U.S. bank: Indian police say that Citi CEO Vikram Pandit is unlikely to be pulled back to his homeland for questioning in an inquiry concerning one of his bank’s branches on the subcontinent. Previous reports Read More
Update: A Citi spokesperson contacted The Observer with the following statement:
As this individual well knows, Citi identified the fraud and immediately reported the matter to the regulators and law enforcement agencies. His claims against senior executives are completely without basis and we intend to contest them vigorously. It was on Citi complaint that the Read More
After a judge sent her to jail last month, former Bernie Madoff employee Annette Bongiorno is once again asking to please be let out on bail, The Wall Street Journal reports.
Authorities accuse the 62-year-old ex-Madoff assistant of defrauding investors and helping keep Mr. Madoff’s Ponzi scheme in motion. Says The Journal: Read More