LOWER MANHATTAN (WABC) -- Six people were indicted Friday in what prosecutors call a scheme to send campaign money to New York City Mayor Eric Adams.
The alleged plan was to raise money for the 2021 primary campaign and then push for construction contracts in return.
They are accused of illegally structuring campaign contributions to maximize the amount of additional money gained through the NYC Matching Funds Program.
The indictment alleges the defendants wanted to give out money orders to people who would then donate to the campaign -- and then the money would be matched by public funds. So a $250 donation would garner a $2,000 match.
Dwayne Montgomery, 64, Shamsuddin Riza, 70, Millicent Redick, 77, Ronald Peek, 65, Yahya Mushtaq, 28, and Shahid Mushtaq, 29, are charged with conspiracy, attempted grand larceny, offering a false instrument for filing and attempted offering a false instrument for their alleged roles.
In one email between two defendants -- Riza writes to Montgomery, a retired police inspector, about a potential construction project in Brooklyn saying: "FYI! This is the one I want, Safety, Drywall and Security one project but we all can eat! Please show to him before Event. it will start when he's in office."
Neither the mayor nor his campaign were charged, and in a statement, a spokesperson for the campaign thanked the Manhattan District Attorney's Office "for their hard work on behalf of taxpayers."
"We would never tolerate these actions," the spokesperson said, adding "there is no indication that the campaign or the mayor is involved in this case or under investigation."
However, according to court papers, the mayor was aware of at least one of the fundraisers the contracted employees threw.
"(The Candidate) said he doesn't want to do anything if he doesn't get 25 Gs," one told another, according to the criminal complaint.
"We allege a deliberate scheme to game the system in a blatant attempt to gain power. The indictment charges the defendants with subverting campaign finance laws by improperly structuring campaign contributions," said District Attorney Alvin Bragg. "The New York City Campaign Finance Board program is meant to support our democracy and amplify the voices of New York City voters. When the integrity of that program is corrupted, all New Yorkers suffer."
A city official said out of an abundance of caution, the administration will do an internal review of all city agencies to see what contracts they may have with the defendants and when they were signed.
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