Construction kickback scheme inflated NYC tax bill: DA’s office

December 19, 2013 12:11PM

The Manhattan District Attorney’s Office indicted a purchasing agent for Unity Electrical Company who allegedly funneled millions of dollars to electrical supply companies. More than 15 companies and 17 people, some who have pleaded guilty, have been charged in the alleged construction kickback operation.

“As a result of kickback schemes like this one, New Yorkers are footing an inflated bill for public construction throughout the five boroughs,” District Attorney Cyrus Vance said in a statement.

Vance cited the New York Police Academy at 235 East 20th Street, JPMorgan Chase Tower at 270 Park Avenue, New York City Center at 131 West 55th Street, and JFK Airport in Jamaica, Queens, as examples of hefty tax bills for residents.

Syosset, N.Y., resident Donald Russo was accused of created a shell company known as Bar Electrical Company through which he received bribes, the New York Observer reported. Charges against him include grand larceny, falsifying business records, criminal tax fraud, offering a false instrument for filing, and commercial bribe receiving. [NYO]Mark Maurer