Published: Wed, January 10, 2018
Markets | By Rosalie Gross

New York Assemblywoman Indicted On 11 Counts of Fraud, Witness Tampering

New York Assemblywoman Indicted On 11 Counts of Fraud, Witness Tampering

It notes that Harris and her husband lived in Coney Island in fall 2012 when Hurricane Sandy ravaged the Northeast.

Pamela Harris, a former correction officer elected as a Democrat in November 2015, faces an 11-count indictment in Brooklyn federal court.

Federal prosecutors in Brooklyn announced an 11-count indictment against a Brooklyn assemblywoman on Tuesday, alleging a raft of fraud, witness tampering and other charges, just the latest allegation of corruption and bad behavior among legislators in Albany.

"As alleged in the indictment, the defendant defrauded government agencies out of tens of thousands of dollars in public funds and tried to fraudulently obtain even more", said Richard P. Donoghue, Interim U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of NY.

"She conducted her schemes victimizing the federal and New York City governments, and then obstructed a federal investigation into her crimes while a sitting New York state assemblywoman".

She is also accused of keeping $23,000 in New York City funds that were meant for Coney Island Generation Gap, a non-profit she once led, and directing two people to lie to FBI investigators when they were interviewed in her case.

A NY state lawmaker was accused of pocketing tens of thousands of dollars meant for Superstorm Sandy victims in an 11-count felony indictment unveiled Tuesday.

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In one aspect of the case, between 2012 and 2014 Harris defrauded FEMA out of almost $25,000 by falsely claiming she had been forced out of her home by Hurricane Sandy.

From 2012 and 2016, Harris defrauded various government agencies, including the City Council, the city's Department of Youth and Community Development, FEMA, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the NYC Build It Back Program and U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of NY, according to Richard Donoughue, interim U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of NY. This politician allegedly ended up with $24,800 in this scheme. Her schemes were fairly similar and involved phoney rental apartments, and false damage claims related to Superstorm Sandy.

Associated plots sought to drain money from other government entities like the New York City Council, as well as hiding $10,010.08 from creditors in bankruptcy court, the indictment said.

She instead diverted the cash into her checking account to cover personal expenses in 2015, the indictment charged.

The indictment says she took almost $25,000 from the agency and pocketed it because she did not need the money to fix her undamaged home.

To establish in bankruptcy court that she could cure any arrears, the indictment says Harris inflated her monthly income by falsely representing to the court that she was getting $1,200 in financial assistance every month from the individual identified as Landlord #2.

Harris faces more than 50 years in prison if she is found guilty of the charges. The wire fraud, witness tampering or obstruction of justice charges each carry a punishment of up to 20 years in jail.

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