Last year, the New York attorney general’s office opened a criminal investigation into Jenny Rivera, then chief executive of another group, Aguila, suspected of bribery and money laundering, according to a search warrant reviewed by the Times. As part of the investigation, authorities examined a subcontractor who billed the association more than $ 225,000 in warehouse storage fees, according to invoices reviewed by The Times and a person familiar with the investigation. . Ms Rivera, who was fired from the organization, declined to comment.
In a statement, Aguila’s new chief executive, Raymond Sanchez, said the investigation showed “the need for better and smarter oversight of the sector to protect New York City’s vulnerable homeless populations. “. The city said it had broken most of Aguila’s contracts and that the group would not operate any shelters by the end of the year.
Earlier this year, The Times showed that the CEO of the nonprofit Bronx Parent Housing Network had awarded contracts to for-profit companies with ties to him and had faced multiple charges of sexual misconduct. After the article was published, federal authorities charged executive Victor Rivera with accepting bribes from contractors and paying the mortgage on his house by laundering money by the intermediary of a for-profit business run by his family. Mr. Rivera pleaded not guilty and his lawyer declined to comment.
These cases have been reported. The Times found numerous other examples of financial entanglements in the city’s shelter system that had not previously been revealed.
For about two decades, Bronx homeowner Abraham Finkelstein received millions of dollars from the city to house homeless people in private apartments he owned with partners. When the city began working primarily with nonprofit groups in 2017, Mr. Finkelstein changed its approach.
A charity he founded, New Hope Transitional Housing, began operating homeless shelters. Since last year alone, the group has won more than $ 60 million in urban contracts, according to the records.
Although the organization has said Mr. Finkelstein is no longer involved, the nonprofit has spent millions of dollars on businesses related to him, the Times found. Through limited liability companies, he owns a stake in three buildings in the Bronx that New Hope uses as shelters, collecting millions in rent each year. New Hope also donated $ 1.3 million to a for-profit maintenance company owned by Mr. Finkelstein’s nephew.