Touro College construction manager jailed for kickback scheme

August 04, 2011 09:46AM

Former construction manager for Touro College Lawrence Pesce was sentenced
yesterday in Manhattan Federal Court to three years in prison for defrauding Touro College out of more than $2 million through a commercial kickback scheme, U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara’s office announced yesterday.

“Lawrence Pesce was a corrupt employee who deceived Touro College, stealing millions
from the very non-profit educational institution whose pocketbook he was supposed to protect. He will now pay for his crimes with jail time,” Bharara said.

In May 2008, Touro College sought competitive bids for a construction project located at 230 West 125th Street. Prior to bids being received by the college, Pesce reached out to a developer and indicated that he could ensure that the developer’s company would get the project if the developer agreed to pay him kickbacks, ultimately inflating the initial bid and subsequent charges to Touro College by over $2 million. At least $1 million of the $12.4 million paid by Touro for the development was kicked back to Pesce over two years.

Pesce previously pled guilty to wire fraud in October 2010. In addition to jail time, he was sentenced to three years of supervised release and ordered to pay $2.5 million in restitution to Touro. He will also forfeit $1 million and his interest in the real estate projects that he purchased with his proceeds from his crimes.
— Katherine Clarke