How dirty is the New York construction business?

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Sheldon Silver in police car arrestedDecember 3, 2015- BP.TV has reported on the shady RFP process used by the BPCA to award construction contracts to cronies of the governor. In the news today is a related story that sheds light onto how such illegal practices actually go down.

The NYT times reports, ” Manhattan prosecutors said the man at the center of the bribery scheme was John Cassisi, an electrician and former child actor who in early 2012 had risen to become the director of global construction for Citi Realty Services, the Citigroup unit that manages its offices and branches.

The bribes were sometimes delivered as cash-stuffed envelopes to the Citigroup executive. Other times, contractors seeking business sent checks to a fake company that the executive ran from his house.

One electrical company bought him a lavish hunting trip in Alaska. Another contractor built a patio and barbecue at the executive’s home.

The companies paid Mr. Cassisi more than $500,000 in bribes over three years in an effort to win contracts on a $1.6 billion project to renovate the corporation’s future headquarters at 388 Greenwich Street in TriBeCa, the Manhattan district attorney’s office said.

Mr. Cassisi, 53, an avid hunter from the Long Island community of East Northport, was sentenced on Tuesday to two to six years in state prison after pleading guilty to money laundering and receiving commercial bribes. As part of a plea agreement, he also promised to forfeit $500,000.

Wearing a pullover with the logo for Beretta handguns, Mr. Cassisi did not apologize for his actions to Justice Roger Hayes in State Supreme Court in Manhattan. After sentencing, he smiled tightly, shook his lawyer’s hand and was led away in handcuffs.

Mr. Cassisi’s plea was a victory for District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr. in the white-collar arena after a string of setbacks in higher-profile cases. Mr. Vance’s investigators have aggressively pursued fraud in the construction industry as building has boomed.

In a related case, David Adelhardt, 47, the chief executive of Adelhardt Construction Corporation, pleaded guilty on Tuesday to falsifying purchase orders to conceal his firm’s construction work at Mr. Cassisi’s home and its payments for his hunting trips in upstate New York.

The president of Adco Electrical Corporation, Edward J. Welsh, 71, has pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor for having signed off on a $21,500 Alaskan hunting trip for Mr. Cassisi a year ago. His lawyer, Alex Spiro, said Mr. Welsh “took the misdemeanor to save his great company.””

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