Touro construction project manager charged in alleged $2M fraud scheme

TRD New York /
Jun.June 22, 2010 04:15 PM

A construction manager for a Touro College development project has been arrested and charged on allegations that he accepted more than $2 million in kickbacks from a developer, according to an announcement from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York. Lawrence Pesce, whom Touro hired to oversee its construction project, allegedly accepted payments from an unnamed developer in exchange for ensuring the developer would receive the Touro construction contract, prosecutors said. Pesce allegedly orchestrated a bogus bidding process for the project at 230 West 125th Street by colluding with the developer to overbid on the project and then provide phony submissions from fake construction firms that stated estimates exceeding the developer’s offer. The developer’s $10.9 million estimate was eventually accepted, and investigators said Pesce pocketed $1.8 million for his part in the scheme. During the two-year project, officials say Pesce pushed the developer to submit falsely inflated work invoices, from which he received additional cash. The developer in the scheme ultimately became an informant for the Federal Bureau of Investigation, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, helping unravel the fraud. Pesce has been formally charged with one count of wire fraud. If convicted he could spend 30 years behind bars. TRD


Related Articles

Monique Baugh (Credit: Facebook)

Real estate agent abducted during showing and then murdered

Creston Apartments at 2030 Creston Avenue in the Bronx (Credit: Google Maps, iStock)

Construction firm with alleged mob ties worked on Bronx affordable housing project

Former HFZ Capital Group executuve John Simonlaca (Credit: HFZ, iStock)

Meet the HFZ exec accused of taking mob bribes

HFZ managing director John Simonlacaj and The XI development (Credit: LinkedIn and Wikipedia Commons)

HFZ’s High Line condo-hotel project was ATM for the mob, prosecutors say

Fake sultan sentenced after allegedly defrauding Miami real estate billionaire and others

Fake sultan sentenced after allegedly defrauding Miami real estate billionaire and others

From left: 80 Columbus Circle, Jho Low, and 118 Greene Street

Jho Low’s NYC condos to hit market as part of forfeiture lawsuit

Morgan Management CEO Robert Morgan (Credit: Facebook and iStock)

One of the country’s largest landlords accused of “Ponzi scheme-like” scam

Joseph Strasburg of the Rent Stabilization Association (Credit: iStock)

As rent regulation deadline nears, RSA suggests reforms to individual apartment improvements program