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Help Us Crack a Case of Albany Corruption: The $3 Million Mystery

Wednesday, December 04, 2013

WNYC

There’s a new report out that alleges corrupt misdeeds in Albany, including hidden campaign expenditures and bundles of contributions made to non-profits connected to lawmakers. Among the many findings, one stood out to us: A non-profit, housed in a New York City storefront, has received $3 million in funding from state lawmakers to provide medical services, but doesn't appear to have offered much in the way of services.

The Moreland report, which spans nearly 100 pages, says the investigation into this particular non-profit is inconclusive so far, and it didn't name names. We'd like to do our own digging, and we need your help. Check out the description of the place, including the details we highlight below, and tell us if you have any leads. What's the name of this non-profit? And who are the lawmakers who funded it?

We’re going to be reporting out the investigation on our end, and following up on any tips you all provide us (anonymously, if you prefer). Email us at newstips@wnyc.org and we can start cracking the case.

  • A non-profit, a provider of medical services, operates a storefront somewhere with in the borders of New York City.
  • It has received $3 million in "legislatively-directed discretionary state funding," including "member item funding."
  • The funding came from a "geographically and politically diverse" group of the "state's most powerful lawmakers" also described as "high-profile"
  • The funding does not appear to have come from a competitive bidding process.
  • Its director makes a six-figure salary.
  • It has offices in NY, NJ, and two other countries.
  • It receives a taxpayer-funded rent subsidy.
  • It sublets much of its space to another non-profit.
  • It employs an in-house lobbyist.
  • It employs a "top-shelf outside lobbying firm."
  • It runs a "hotline."
  • It operates with "little scrutiny and no medical oversight."
  • Investigators placed a pole-camera outside the shop, and filmed it for 25 days -- "showing little foot traffic to the building."

The Moreland Commission was empaneled by Governer Andrew Cuomo in July to investigate Albany practices. You can read the full report here -- including more puzzles -- or browse it below.

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Comments [4]

HCT

This is more distraction and misdirection. Willie Sutton robbed banks, not shoeshine boys. Why are you wasting time on small-time nonsense when the big stuff is right in front of you? Follow the real money. Who is getting it and why? Cuomo's people are engaged in a campaign of misdirection. Why do you think Steve Cohen wrote the extraordinary op/ed in City and State about Hartunian's failure as Northern Dist US Attny? What do you think Moreland is actually about? Where has JCOPE been this entire time? Why does it take Moreland to do fraud analysis using readily available data, or to look at the many cases of small bore pay to play? Why? Because JCOPE is a complete failure. But if JCOPE is a joke, what has Cuomo been doing about corruption? Mainly nothing, because he can't and get an on time budget passed. In Cuomo world four on time budgets are building blocks for running for president.

Dec. 10 2013 10:50 AM

i made a complaint to the Moreland commission many months ago concerning the Attorney General office refusing to get involved, or take any action on behalf of co-op apartment shareholders.
I had a call concerning this on Nov 27th, three days before the end date. I was never told i had three days.I was never told of any deadline.
The AG has a co-op Division, and as an original owner from 1983, I knew that the AG"s office had approved the conversion Plan from rental apartment to co-op and that they also approved the proprietary lease and by-Laws . On the AG's website it had the very fundamental requirements that a Board must provide if requested by a shareholders. A list of the other shareholders is one of the basic obligations the Board must fulfill if requested in writing. This Board refused to do that and everything else.
If you write a complaint letter against them, reciprocation will come, a parking ticket using plates that had been turned in about 4 years previous. Your board self deals, board members don't pay their sublease fees for 20 years, They refuse to show you the finances as your proprietary lease states.
And surprisingly when there has been a bill sponsored by Liz Krueger on the floor for the last 3 plus years to create a co-op ombudsmen , to help the owners who are having their investment decrease every year due to the Boards self dealing policies. , they would have a place like housing court to quickly address their grievances, the real estate companies have been successfully lobbying against any positive traction on that bill.
I would venture that the same people who lobbied for the co-ops , are lobbying against any oversight.

The AG should be enforcing the NYS business corporation Laws , but they refuse. Isn't the AG supposed to be representing the people when the state laws are broken?
They tell you to hire an attorney to enforce NYS laws. These attorneys cost upwards of 450 an hour, and i haven't spoken to one that i even wanted to meet. Remember they work for the other side with way deeper pockets than non high paid working people.
At least two of the original owner occupied apartments, are fraudulent . one has been vacant since 1983 and the other has been rented out since approx 1983 . Those are not owner-occupiers.
Plus there is also the 1988 memo from the AG office concerning unsold shares, which would mean almost all the original unsold shares, should never have been sold to people that could put up a year of maintenance as a bond. Then when i checked the other owners of unsold shares, surprise, it was the same name of one of the building manager , an employee of the sponsor. Another conflict.
So the original offering plan was fraudulent, there is rampant self-dealing, Zero due diligence and lack of fiduciary duty to the co-op
What say Moreland committee ?

Dec. 08 2013 07:00 AM
Peter from Harlem

How can they spend money on a surveillance team for 25 days and not be required to release the name of the place? zThis moreland thing is smoke and mirrors to distract from the real corruption, the governor is raising money from walmart and then appears with walmart and the army even misusing them in the days before the demonstrations against them nationwide!!

Dec. 06 2013 11:49 AM
Worhty from Chelsea

FOIL

Not the Espadas, def a Sheldon Silver thing

Dec. 06 2013 09:10 AM

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