- Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance announced Tuesday the indictments of former Bloomberg LP and Turner Construction Co. executives, as well as subcontractors and vendors, on charges of conspiracy, bribery, bid-rigging and other offenses after they allegedly tried to steal approximately $15 million from Bloomberg during a major renovation of the financial media giant’s New York City offices.
- Charges against 14 individuals and three corporations include conspiracy, grand larceny, money laundering and commercial bribery. Those indicted include Bloomberg's former head of global construction, Anthony Guzzone, and former construction manager, Michael Campana. Also charged in the matter are Turner's former vice president and account executive, Ronald Olson, and former project superintendent, Vito Nigro. Vance’s office said the four allegedly conspired to inflate subcontractor bids, create bogus work orders and change orders and misappropriate unused subcontractor allowances. Subcontractors Litespeed Electric Inc., Cooling Guard Mechanical Corp. and HOK Electric Inc. and associated individuals were charged with allegedly furthering the conspiracy by paying bribes, participating in bid-rigging, falsifying business records and laundering criminal proceeds.
- Vance said “inside information” about the Bloomberg project was given to subcontractors in order to help them win contracts for the job. The defendants, he said, inflated their budgets with fake invoices and purchase orders and even filed phony applications for women-owned business status. Subcontractors allegedly gave the former Bloomberg and Turner executives cash and other incentives like vacations and free home renovations in exchange for their lucrative contracts. "Today’s indictments and guilty pleas,” Vance said, "demonstrate that if you are engaging in organized crime that blocks fair competition in Manhattan, our prosecutors will find you, turn over every stone, and shut you down."
“Turner applauds the hard work by the District Attorney’s staff in bringing this case and appreciates the District Attorney recognizing Turner for its assistance in the investigation,” Turner spokesman and attorney Thomas J. Curran of Peckar & Abramson told Construction Dive. "Of course, Turner rejects the conduct alleged against two former employees as an absolute betrayal of Turner’s core values of integrity, which are followed by the 9,000 Turner employees who work hard, honestly and well every day.”
The revelations about the Bloomberg project came to light earlier this year at the same time as details emerged about a joint state police and Manhattan DA investigation into similar crimes within New York City's interior construction industry, totaling approximately $100 million. Construction in this sector is worth about $9 billion annually, and, at the time, experts said fraud was one of the factors keeping building costs there so high.