Victor Rivera, N.Y. Shelter Operator, Pleads Responsible in Bribery Scheme

The scheme lasted from 2013 to 2020, the authorities mentioned, as Mr. Rivera rose to grow to be a significant participant within the metropolis’s huge social security internet. In public, he regularly invoked a compelling private story: He mentioned he grew up poor within the South Bronx, even turning into homeless for a time, and went to jail for drug possession earlier than turning his life round.

He based the Bronx Mother or father Housing Community in 2000 on a shoestring finances with members of his church.

However as metropolis cash got here in, Mr. Rivera’s private fortune additionally grew, based on The Occasions investigation. His wage swelled to $306,000 in 2019, and the group additionally leased him a Mercedes-Benz with a customized license plate selling his charity: BPHN ORG.

He mingled the nonprofit’s funds with for-profit housing firms he owned, steering profitable contracts to buddies and associates and offering jobs to a number of members of his household, the investigation discovered.

“Victor Rivera sought to leverage his place because the C.E.O. of a nonprofit into a really a lot for-profit scenario for himself,” Audrey Strauss, then the U.S. lawyer in Manhattan, mentioned when the fees had been first introduced.

A consultant for the U.S. lawyer’s workplace didn’t reply to a request for touch upon Monday.

The authorities didn’t specify which contractors paid Mr. Rivera off, precisely how a lot cash he collected or how he laundered the cash. However The Occasions had reported that Mr. Rivera began a for-profit firm in 2011, Group Outreach Consulting Agency, that offered housing for folks residing with H.I.V. and AIDS. Former workers of the Bronx Mother or father Housing Community advised The Occasions the agency shared employees and assets with the nonprofit group. When Mr. Rivera stepped down from the consulting firm in 2018,his spouse, who additionally labored on the agency, took over.

As homelessness has soared in New York lately, town has entered into contracts with dozens of nonprofit organizations to run shelters and supply companies. Final 12 months alone, town awarded $2.6 billion to those teams. However officers have been reluctant to carefully scrutinize the funds of nonprofit teams or to finish contracts as a result of town is so reliant on the organizations. Victor Rivera, N.Y. Shelter Operator, Pleads Responsible in Bribery Scheme

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