Corrupt Brooklyn developer sentenced to 22 months in prison

Sergio Benitez had taken $200K in kickbacks, bribed HPD official

New York /
Jul.July 18, 2013 09:00 AM

A Brooklyn real estate developer who pocketed over $200,000 in kickbacks from a city Department of Housing Preservation and Development contractor was sentenced to 22 months in prison Wednesday, the New York Daily News reported.

Affordable housing builder Sergio Benitez was also ordered to pay $456,400 in penalties and was told by Brooklyn Federal Judge Nina Gershon that he must turn himself in by Aug. 30. Benitez, a Brooklyn native, had built about 80 two- and three-story affordable homes on properties that the city had sold him for only $1 each, according to Brooklyn Federal Court papers seen by the Daily News.

He was also featured in a HPD brochure in 2011 touting his contribution to the community. Meanwhile, he accepted the kickbacks and even bribed an HPD official, assistant commissioner Wendell Walters.

“In reality, all he gave the people of the city of New York was a hefty bill for his own corruption,” Brooklyn U.S. Attorney Loretta Lynch told the Daily News.

“Benitez stole from the very community he had pledged to serve by diverting funds meant for affordable housing construction into his own pockets,” Lynch added. [NYDN]Hiten Samtani


Related Articles

arrow_forward_ios
All Falls Down: Kanye West’s “Star Wars”-themed affordable housing plan hits snag
All Falls Down: Kanye West’s “Star Wars”-themed affordable housing plan hits snag
All Falls Down: Kanye West’s “Star Wars”-themed affordable housing plan hits snag
A photo illustration of Governor of New York Kathy Hochul (Getty)
Gov. Yimby? Hochul promises housing blitz next year
Gov. Yimby? Hochul promises housing blitz next year
A photo illustration of NYCHA interim CEO Lisa Bova-Hiatt (Getty, NYCHA)
NYCHA tenants’ rent arrears surge to $443M
NYCHA tenants’ rent arrears surge to $443M
(Illustration by The Real Deal with Getty)
Developer fires back as Saddle River blocks affordable housing
Developer fires back as Saddle River blocks affordable housing
Garden Communities' Brett Tanzman with 800 Sylvan Avenue (Loopnet, Getty, Rutgers)
Development underway on former Unilever hub in Englewood Cliffs
Development underway on former Unilever hub in Englewood Cliffs
East Hampton Town Supervisor Peter Van Scoyoc and 350 Pantigo Road (Zillow, Getty, Town of East Hampton)
Hamptons town could buy former department store land to build homes
Hamptons town could buy former department store land to build homes
Related Companies' Stephen Ross with One Flagler, 360 Rosemary, and 515 Fern (Getty, Related Companies)
Mapping out Steve Ross’ South Florida empire
Mapping out Steve Ross’ South Florida empire
MSquared's Alicia Glen, Mack Real Estate Group's Richard Mack and Association for Neighborhood and Housing Development's Barika Williams (Getty, ANHD)
Richard Mack: New York developers “made to feel like the devil”
Richard Mack: New York developers “made to feel like the devil”
arrow_forward_ios

The Deal's newsletters give you the latest scoops, fresh headlines, marketing data, and things to know within the industry.

Loading...