Three people have been charged with taking $874,000 in bribes from co-op owners in Coney Island who sought to leap over lower-income residents on a waitlist for affordable housing.
The scheme, which took place at the 1,574-unit Luna Park housing complex, involved the doctoring of applications submitted to a government waitlist, and allowing those willing to pay a bribe to jump the queue, according to the New York Daily News.
The property has long been part of the Mitchell-Lama housing program, which provides affordable rental and co-op housing to low- and middle-income families.
Brooklyn prosecutors found that the defendants — Anna Treybich, Irina Zeltser and Karina Andriyan — used the bribes to pay for Florida real estate, fur coats, handbags and jewelry. The 78-count indictment involved charges of conspiracy, grand larceny and other crimes over the past six years.
Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez told the outlet that the scheme “exposed a pervasive pattern of corruption and bribery in deciding who received an affordable apartment.”