Five Long Island companies charged in NYC corruption case

Five Long Island construction and engineering companies were indicted on corruption charges in separate schemes in New York City involving bribery, business fraud and political campaign contributions to officials in city agencies, Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. announced Wednesday.

The firms are: CIMA Associates LLC of Lindenhurst; D&B Engineers and Architects PC of Woodbury; Haider Engineering PC of Farmingdale; JCMS Associates LLC of Massapequa; and MCC General Office Services LLC of Amityville.

They were among nine companies and 13 individuals charged in a series of indictments in State Supreme Court with corrupting the government, bribery and bribe receiving, among other charges, authorities said.

The charges resulted from a lengthy investigation into schemes involving bribery, minority business program fraud, and illegal campaign contributions by construction management companies and high-level executive officers in the industry.

The district attorney’s office partnered with agencies including the Port Authority, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, and state and federal inspectors general, officials said.

“From 2007 to 2016, a handful of industry players transformed our city’s water infrastructure procurement process into their own personal swamp,” Vance said in a statement. “For construction management companies, public works are highly prized jobs, and any competitive edge in the bidding process could mean the difference in the award of a contract worth millions.”

At least one of the firms — D&B Engineers and Architects PC of Woodbury — has several current contracts with Nassau County. Since April 2015, the county has paid nearly $8.5 million to D&B, which also goes by the company name Dvirka & Bartilucci, according to the Nassau comptroller’s office.

Michael Martino, spokesman for Nassau County Executive Laura Curran, said: “The county has begun reviewing the current D & B contracts.”

Curran, a Democrat who took office on Jan. 1, ran on a platform of reforming the county’s contract procurement process.

D&B since 2011 has made about $27,000 in campaign contributions, primarily to the Nassau Republican Committee.

“I think we’re going to need an inquiry into many of our contracts at this point,” said Legis. Delia DeRiggi-Whitton (D-Glen Cove).

In the main bribery case announced Wednesday, Vance’s office alleged that Iffeayi “Manny” Madu, 56, a former midlevel manager at the New York City Department of Environmental Protection, leaked confidential information about millions of dollars in city contracts pertaining to the maintenance of New York City’s water system to companies including D&B and Haider.

Madu shared internal agency documents such as schedules for upcoming contracts with the companies and executives, according to the charges.

The companies compensated Madu with more than $7.5 million in subcontracts to companies he was affiliated with, according to officials. They also provided him with meals, gifts, hotel stays, Broadway show tickets and employment opportunities for his relatives, according to the charges.

Nelson Boxer, an attorney for D&B’s former president and CEO Henry Chlupsa, 74, of Smithtown, denied the allegations on behalf of his client.

“Mr. Chlupsa, now retired, is an award-winning engineer with over 50 years of experience related to the design and construction management of wastewater collection and treatment facilities,” Boxer said in a statement.

Todd Spodek, an attorney representing Haider Engineering and company president Syed Haider, 60, of Melville, also disputed the allegations.

“The ‘inside’ information that the district attorney alleges Mr. Haider received is routinely provided in advance of projects,” Spodek said. “Any subcontractors that Mr. Haider chose, were on a preapproved list, and highly recommended by the city agency. This is routine in this business.”

Attorneys for CIMA Associates, JCMS Associates MCC General Office Services could not be reached for comment Wednesday.

Another of the indicted firms Vance’s office announced Wednesday was HAKS Engineering, based in Manhattan.

In 2016, Nassau County public works officials recommended HAKS to manage the final phase of rebuilding West Shore Road, a vital artery in Oyster Bay damaged in superstorm Sandy. The company acknowledged it was under investigation in New York City.

It was unclear Wednesday whether HAKS was awarded the Nassau contract, which was accompanied with a certificate of compliance in which HAKS chief executive Husam Ahmad — a frequent donor to politicians across the state, including former Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano — confirmed the probe by the city’s Department of Investigation. Charges against Ahmad, 61, of Queens, included offering a false instrument for filing, a felony, bribery and corrupting the government.

Ahmad’s lawyer, Howard Rubin, declined to comment Wednesday, according to the New York Daily News.

Newsday | April 19, 2018