Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Extortionist inspectors

Armed with little more than hard hats and a fancy name, two men posing as building inspectors carried out an extortion scheme that gave a sinister new twist to the idea of civic virtue, prosecutors said Tuesday.

2 Charged With Demanding Payoffs From Contractors

Preying on small contractors — many of them Asian or Middle Eastern — they toured work sites and threatened to report bogus violations unless they were given hundreds, and sometimes thousands, of dollars in payoffs.

If a contractor dared to refuse the payoff, the men would call city agencies, like the Buildings or Fire Departments, which would often find actual violations, though not necessarily the ones that had been called in, prosecutors said in announcing the indictments.

The fake inspectors even learned to mimic the language used by federal inspectors to call in complaints to agencies like the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration, which does not take complaints from the public, prosecutors said.


Anonymous said...

An idea comes to me.

Let's put these phony inspectors on our payroll.

When a citizen calls in a violation we're ignored.

But these guys seem to know how to do their jobs.

Anyway they can take their bribes
as easily as any real NYC building inspectors can!

Maybe they even charge less than the DOB.

Anonymous said...

Once at a civic meeting Senator Padavan
(who held a position at the DOB many years ago)
told a story of a crooked building inspector
who actually had a list of bribe fees
that indicated the amounts required to overlook
each particular violation.

That crook was caught.

His own wife turned him in to get back at him
because he was seeing
some other woman on the side!