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Executives from Bloomberg LP conspired with Turner Construction and other building contractors on Manhattan projects to steal $15 million by inflating bids, generating phony work orders and misappropriating other cash, according to charges announced by the Manhattan district attorney’s office.
“New York’s sky-high construction costs are driven not only by market demand, but by pay-to-play industry corruption that makes it impossible for honest companies to compete,” the district attorney, Cy Vance, said in a press release.
Fourteen individuals and three contractor companies are charged in two New York Supreme Court indictments with conspiracy in the fourth degree, as well as various counts of grand larceny in the first and second degrees, money laundering in the first and second degrees, commercial bribing in the first degree, among other charges.
The contractor companies named are HOK Electric and Litespeed Electric, both of Manhattan, and Cooling Guard Mechanical of Middle Village, Queens.
As charged in the indictments, the conspiracy centered on interior construction work for two Bloomberg LP offices located in Manhattan. Inside information on highly prized contracts was passed to subcontractors to help them secure bids for lucrative interior construction jobs.
As part of the extensive and complex conspiracy, the defendants filed falsified documents including phony invoices and purchase orders to inflate their budgets, as well as falsified applications for status as a Women’s Business Enterprise to help secure bids. In exchange for help securing contracts, subcontractors provided the former Bloomberg and Turner executives with cash bribes and incentives including vacations and home renovations.