In recent months, we’ve secured multiple notable indictments and convictions, launched a Housing and Tenant Protection Unit, and created the Office’s first-ever Worker Protection Unit. No matter the crime, the Manhattan D.A.’s Office has the resources and expertise to help.
- In April 2023, we announced a 34-count felony indictment of former President Donald J. Trump. We allege Donald Trump and his associates repeatedly and fraudulently falsified New York business records to conceal damaging information and unlawful activity from American voters. “These are felony crimes in New York. No matter who you are. We cannot normalize serious criminal conduct. As this office has done time and time again, we today uphold our solemn responsibility to ensure that everyone stands equal before the law. No amount of money and no amount of power changes that enduring principle,” said D.A. Bragg.
- In January 2023, The Trump Corporation and The Trump Payroll Corp. were sentenced to the maximum fine of $1.6 million. The former president’s companies were sentenced following a historic trial conviction for 17 felony crimes. “While corporations can’t serve jail time and these are the maximum fines allowed under the law, this consequential conviction and sentencing serves as a reminder corporations and executives that you cannot defraud tax authorities and get away with it,” said D.A. Bragg.
- In January 2023, Allen Weisselberg former Chief Financial Officer of the Trump Organization was sentenced to 5 months in jail for a 15-year scheme to defraud federal, New York State, and New York City tax authorities, evading paying taxes on $1.76 million in unreported income. After testifying at trial, he directly implicated the Trump Organization in criminal conduct. “In Manhattan you have to play by the rules, no matter who you are or who you work for. These consequential felony convictions put on full display the inner workings of former president Trump’s companies and its CFO’s actions,” said D.A. Bragg.
- In September 2022, we announced the indictment of Stephen Bannon and WeBuildTheWall for a year-long fundraising scheme that netted more than $15 million from thousands of donors across the country based on false promises, and for laundering the proceeds of that scheme. “It is a crime to turn a profit by lying to donors, and in New York, you will be held accountable,” said D.A. Bragg
Housing and Tenant Protection Unit
We launched the Office’s first Housing and Tenant Protection Unit because we know that housing is a public safety issue. The Unit targets systemic criminal harassment of tenants and abuse of government programs by landlords and developers. Areas of focus include harassment of rent-regulated tenants, deed fraud, and defrauding of government subsidy programs by landlords and developers.
“New York City is in the midst of a housing crisis, and that means tenants are particularly vulnerable to unscrupulous landlords,” said District Attorney Bragg. “By taking a targeted approach to complex and pervasive criminal activity, we can root out the bad actors who are seeking to game the system for profit at the expense of ordinary New Yorkers. The creation of this unit represents our firm commitment to fully utilizing the resources of our office to ensure Manhattan residents can exercise the right to live safely and securely.”
In Manhattan, we’re holding accountable companies that line their pockets at the expense of their employees. Whether it’s combatting wage theft or demanding safe worksite conditions, we’re standing up for hard-working New Yorkers.
In January 2023, we indicted 24 individuals and 26 companies for engaging in a multi-million-dollar construction industry kickback scheme that undermined fair play in NYC’s construction industry for more than eight years. The defendants allegedly conspired to corrupt the competitive bidding process and stole more than $5 million from developers during this scheme. “When the bidding process is rigged, we all lose. I hope this indictment sends a message that the Manhattan D.A.’s Office and our partners at the NYPD and Department of Investigation will not tolerate bribery, corruption, or fraud,” said D.A. Bragg.
In February 2023, we launched the Office’s first Worker Protection Unit to investigate and prosecute wage theft and other forms of worker exploitation across Manhattan. The Unit will pursue criminal charges against individuals and corporations that jeopardize their workers’ safety and steal their wages. We also announced the creation of a $100,000 Stolen Wage Fund operated in partnership with the New York State Department of Labor. “Again and again, we see companies taking advantage of our most vulnerable populations, including low-income and undocumented New Yorkers, and abusing power imbalances to line their pockets. Together with our partners in law enforcement, the legislature, the community, and beyond, we will make sure workers are treated fairly, and bad faith employers who violate the laws are held accountable for their crimes,” said D.A. Bragg.
In May 2023, we announced a series of indictments charging eight individuals and six companies with pervasive fraud and corruption within the construction industry. We allege the defendants used cash payrolls, ripping off the New York State Insurance Fund and leaving workers uninsured. They also conspired to use Minority and Women Owned Business Enterprise firms solely and explicitly as pass-throughs to land contracts. “When the field is rigged, law-abiding companies and legitimate MWBEs are cheated out of much-needed contracts. And when executives care more about their bottom line than their employees and the law, hard-working New Yorkers suffer. These indictments send the message that the Manhattan D.A.’s Office does not tolerate fraud in any form,” said D.A. Bragg.
In May 2023, we also announced the expansion of our Construction Fraud Task Force, which previously solely city agencies. The Task Force now includes statewide and federal agencies including the New York State Department of Labor, the New York State Insurance Fund, the New York State Office of the Inspector General, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the Wage and Hour Division of the U.S. Department of Labor. “Construction fraud can fleece the public, hurt law-abiding business owners, and endanger the lives of workers. The expansion of the Construction Fraud Task Force demonstrates the seriousness of our commitment to rooting out illegal activity and creating a safe and fair industry,” said D.A. Bragg.
- April 2023: We announced the guilty pleas of SAMCO Electrical Corporation and three employees for stealing more than $1 million in wages from workers on School Construction Authority and NYCHA projects. “It is unacceptable to steal from employees. New Yorkers work hard to provide for their families, and they should get paid what they are owed,” said D.A. Bragg.
- January 2023: We announced the indictment of Oneteam Restoration Inc, its owner, and a Certified Public Accountant for defrauding the New York State Insurance Fund of more than $7 million in workers’ compensation insurance premium payments. “NYSIF provides critical insurance coverage to injured workers, including those in some of our most dangerous industries like construction and manufacturing. By intentionally underreporting payrolls, scammers save millions in premiums at the expense of hardworking New Yorkers who put their physical safety on the line,” said D.A Bragg.
- August 2022: We indicted an electrical company, its principals, and project foreman for stealing more than $1.7 million in wages from workers on School Construction Authority and New York City Housing Authority projects. We allege company supplied non-union, unqualified labor through two shell companies – pocketing the difference in wages – and bribed an investigator in an attempt to cover up the scheme.
- October 2022: We secured the guilty plea of Dragonetti Brothers Landscaping, a longtime city contractor, for evading more than $1 million in insurance premiums by misclassifying workers for financial gain. “New Yorkers who do dangerous work deserve every protection possible to ensure that they go home safely to their families,” said D.A. Bragg.