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Former Building Inspector Faces Prison

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

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Prosecutors have accused a former New York City Department of Buildings inspector and the owner of a local construction business of conspiracy to commit extortion.

building inspector
© iStock.com / sturti

“New York City’s Building Inspectors are entrusted with a vitally important public safety mission,” stated United States Attorney Robert L. Capers. Authorities say a former building inspector bullied property owners and threatened to issue "stop work" orders.

A grand jury handed down the one-count indictment of former building inspector Massimo “Max” Dabusco, 54, and Vito Menadi, 43, of A&G Contracting Group Corp., in Brooklyn federal court in early November, authorities announced. Dabusco resigned from his job as a DOB inspector in August 2015, after two years.

Dabusco and Menadi face 20 years in prison if convicted, prosecutors said.

Kickback Scheme

According to the indictment, Dabusco allegedly served as a silent partner to Menadi’s A&G Contracting Group in violation of the New York City law. Dabusco was said to have used his official position to influence property owners and contractors, over whom Dabusco had regulatory authority, to hire A&G and Menadi to perform excavation and demolition jobs. 

As part of his efforts to secure business for A&G, Dabusco illegally warned contractors about impending DOB inspections. 

"When I have loyalty with somebody, I have loyalty," Dabusco allegedly told Menadi, who rewarded him with a share of the company's profits, according to a DNA info report, citing the criminal complaint. 

Threatening ‘Stop Work’ Orders

In addition, Dabusco allegedly abused his position as a DOB Inspector by threatening punitive action against contractors and property owners in an effort to benefit Menadi and A&G, authorities said.

For instance, prosecutors said Dabusco threatened to use his authority as a DOB inspector to shut down all of a contractor’s existing jobs if the contractor did not pay outstanding fines owed by Menadi and A&G.

“New York City’s Building Inspectors are entrusted with a vitally important public safety mission,” stated United States Attorney Robert L. Capers. “[This] indictment makes clear that public officials who place personal gain above this public trust and those who assist those officials in such corrupt practices will be aggressively prosecuted. Maintaining safe buildings and safeguarding the health and wellbeing of New Yorkers demands no less.”

A&G Contracting Group Corp. does not have a website.

   

Tagged categories: Business management; Business matters; Construction; Demolition; Ethics; Fraud; Good Technical Practice; Government; Health and safety; Inspection

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