DA Vance Announces Charges Against Former Bloomberg LP and Turner Construction Executives in $15M Bid-rigging and Commercial Bribery Conspiracy

December 11, 2018

Defendants Conspired with Subcontractors to Steal from Bloomberg LP

Conspiracy Centered on Interior Construction at 120 Park Avenue and 919 Third Avenue

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr., today announced the indictment of former Bloomberg LP executives ANTHONY GUZZONE, Head of Global Construction, and MICHAEL CAMPANA, Construction Manager, for conspiring with former Turner Construction Company executives RONALD OLSON, Vice President and Account Executive, and VITO NIGRO, Project Superintendent, to steal from Bloomberg LP through inflated subcontractor bids, fictitious work orders and change orders, and misappropriation of unused subcontractor allowance funds. Various subcontracting company owners, executives, and vendors are charged with furthering the conspiracy by paying commercial bribes, engaging in bid-rigging, falsifying business records, and laundering the criminal proceeds of the schemes.

The fourteen individuals and three corporations 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. [1]

“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,” said District Attorney Vance. “Thanks to the unique expertise of prosecutors in my Office’s Rackets Bureau, as well as our partners in the New York State Police, this massive, years-long kickback scheme has come to an end. Today’s indictments and guilty pleas 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. This is exactly the type of the case that our Rackets Bureau was created a hundred years ago to bring.”

The indictments are the result of a joint, long-term investigation into fraud in the interior construction industry by the Manhattan D.A.’s Rackets Bureau and the New York State Police.

As charged in the indictments, the conspiracy centered on interior construction work for Bloomberg LP offices at 120 Park Avenue and 919 Third Avenue. 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.

The indicted subcontractors include:

  • LITESPEED ELECTRIC, INC., and President DONNA FLEMING, Executive Vice President ROBERT FLEMING, Director of Operations LOUIS SQUILLANTE, Chief Financial Officer MEHUL “MIKE” CHANGANI, and Senior Vice President THOMAS CONTE;
  • HUGH O’ KANE ELECTRIC, INC., and President HUGH R. O’KANE; as well as,
  • Former Manhattan Branch Manager RAFAEL BETANCOURT and Former Sales Manager ANGEL OCASIO of Turtle & Hughes.

In total, the defendants are alleged to have stolen more than $15 million from Bloomberg LP.

In addition to the defendants indicted today, more than a dozen individuals and corporations have entered guilty pleas thus far and paid approximately $5.5 million in restitution.

Assistant D.A.s Christopher Beard and James Hanley are handling the prosecution of the case under the supervision of Assistant D.A.s Michael Ohm, Deputy Chief of the Rackets Bureau; Judy Salwen, Principal Deputy Chief of the Rackets Bureau, and Jodie Kane, Chief of the Rackets Bureau, as well as Executive Assistant D.A. Michael R. Sachs, Chief of the Investigation Division. Trial Preparation Assistant Patrick Holland, Investigative Analyst Michael Kelley, Computer Forensics Analyst Ryan Lawrence, and Principal Financial Investigators Michael Kelly and William Tamparo assisted with the investigation.

District Attorney Vance thanked the New York State Police Superintendent George P. Beach II and the members of the Special Investigations Unit for their assistance with the investigation, as well as the New Jersey Attorney General’s Office’s Corruption Bureau, the New Jersey State Police, the Wilton (CT) Police Department, and the New York City School Construction Authority.

District Attorney Vance also thanked Bloomberg LP and Turner Construction for their assistance.

[1] The charges contained in the indictments are merely allegations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty. All factual recitations are derived from documents filed in court and statements made on the record in court.