Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Kotis City Council real estate deal, only different

"The raid comes roughly three months after the Fair Political Practices Commission announced it would investigate a vote by Pougnet that awarded the sale of city property at a questionable price to developer Richard Meaney and his partner.

...Meaney and Zhou purchased the property for $195,561 not long after purchasing a similar adjacent lot from a private owner for $1 million."
"...Real estate deal under investigation

Officials in Bell paid more than double the appraised value for a parcel of land that was never redeveloped. The latest scandal involves a tract of land presently leased by a carwash. The Los Angeles Times reported that Rizzo and former General Services Manager Eric Eggena negotiated its purchase for $1.35 million, despite its appraisal of $612,000. "This is a real estate deal that ran amok", said Larry Kosmont, a Los Angeles real estate consultant.

"Essentially, they cooked the books on this".
"City's Building Giveaway Prompts Council Inquiry

A battered but potentially lucrative tenement on the Upper East Side is at the heart of a tug of war between a charity with prominent supporters and a developer with City Hall connections.

...The city's Department of Housing Preservation and Development, which matches buildings in the program to applicants, chose Mr. Spitzer, who owns about two dozen apartment buildings and three small office buildings.

...The choice stunned the Met Council and angered its supporters. Adding to the furor was the fact that Mr. Spitzer is close to Mayor Giuliani and his chief of staff, Anthony Carbonetti.

Mr. Spitzer raised $83,500 for Mr. Giuliani's re-election campaign in 1997, while his wife, Helen, contributed $7,700. In 1999, the Spitzers received 2 of 11 special mayoral parking permits that allow them to park anywhere in the city.

...Former Mayor Edward I. Koch, who once wrote a fund-raising letter for the Met Council, said he was dismayed that the Giuliani administration had chosen a developer with close ties to City Hall, and he called for an investigation."
"...According to court records, from 2005 to 2007, Miller, served as chief administrative officer and chief information officer for the City of Detroit. In these capacities, Miller had authority over the lease and sale of properties owned by the City of Detroit. During that period, Miller accepted $115,000 as corrupt rewards from a real estate broker who received commissions in connection with the lease or sale of city properties.
"Honest services fraud refers to a 28-word sentence of 18 U.S.C. § 1346 (the federal mail and wire fraud statute), added by the United States Congress in 1988,[1] which states: "For the purposes of this chapter, the term scheme or artifice to defraud includes a scheme or artifice to deprive another of the intangible right of honest services."[2]

The statute has been applied by federal prosecutors in cases of public corruption as well as in cases in which private individuals breached a fiduciary duty to another.

...Federal prosecution of political corruption in the United States

Honest services fraud is generally more easily proven in the public sphere than in the private, because honest services fraud by public officials can include most unethical conduct...

Federal courts have generally recognized two main areas of public-sector honest service fraud: bribery (direct or indirect), where a public official was paid in some way for a particular decision or action, and failure to disclose a conflict of interest, resulting in personal gain."