Unraveling an HPD scam

A play-by-play look at corruption in the world of NYC affordable housing
By Adam Fusfeld | November 02, 2011 03:32PM

Wendell Walters, an assistant commissioner at the NYC Department of Housing Preservation and DevelopmentFrom the November issue: Last month, six developers and Wendell Walters, an assistant commissioner at the NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development, were arrested on charges of wire fraud, money laundering, racketeering, extortion and bribery. Prosecutors alleged that Walters, a former college basketball player also known as “The Tall Guy” or “The Big Man,” demanded bribes from the developers he selected for multimillion-dollar HPD contracts, pocketing cash, a Harlem townhouse and a Bronx apartment building. The developers, in turn, allegedly solicited kickbacks from contractors seeking construction work, according to the 73-page indictment. Investigators eventually cracked the case with the help of several developers, unnamed in the indictment, who cooperated with the investigation. Walters pleaded not guilty, and is out on $500,000 bail, along with most of the defendants. The Real Deal used court documents to untangle the complex web of corruption. [more]