NY Assemblywoman Pamela Harris Indicted On Fraud, Witness Tampering Charges

NY Assemblywoman Pamela Harris Indicted On Fraud, Witness Tampering Charges

NY Assemblywoman Pamela Harris Indicted On Fraud, Witness Tampering Charges

Brooklyn Assemblywoman Pamela Harris, a Democrat, has been indicted for cheating various government agencies out of tens of thousands of dollars-including almost $25,000 from the Federal Emergency Management Agency for Hurricane Sandy-and tampering with witnesses, the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of ny announced on Tuesday.

Harris, a former correction officer elected as a Democrat in November 2015, represents Bay Ridge, Coney Island, Dyker Heights and other Brooklyn communities.

Where her Coney Island neighbors saw devastation, crooked state Assemblywoman Pamela Harris envisioned opportunity - and cashed in.

She was arrested on Tuesday morning, and is expected to make her first appearance in Federal court to be arraigned later in the afternoon.

Harris is accused by federal prosecutors of four fraudulent schemes, including two separate plans to pocket Superstorm Sandy funding by falsely claiming the 2012 storm forced her from her Brooklyn home and into a Staten Island residence, according to the indictment.

They said she committed other frauds, including cheating the New York City Council out of discretionary funds meant for non-profits.

According to the indictment, she faces a total of 11 counts: two for wire fraud, one for wire fraud conspiracy, one for disaster relief fraud, three for false statements, two for bankruptcy fraud, one for conspiracy to obstruct justice, and one for witness tempering.

In July 2016, Harris allegedly arranged for Build It Back contractors to enter the residence adjacent to her Coney Island home by claiming on paperwork that her husband "was the owner "by will" of the neighboring structure.

If convicted, Harris faces a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison for one of the charges related to making false statements to FEMA and a maximum of 20 years on each of the wire fraud conspiracy, wire fraud, witness tampering or obstruction of justice conspiracy charges, officials said.

U.S. Attorney Richard P. Donoghue said in a release that Harris defrauded the government of tens of thousands of dollars. "As if these allegations weren't enough, Harris allegedly obstructed a federal investigation into the matters at hand, asking others to lie on her behalf, as alleged".

According to officials, after Harris became aware of a grand jury investigation into her alleged fraud schemes early past year, she told witnesses to lie to FBI investigators, "which the witnesses did", according to the indictment.

She was specifically accused of spending $10,000 of government money to pay for airline and cruise tickets for herself and her husband.

Just a day before she told FEMA about her Staten Island rental, the indictment says Harris made a different claim to defraud the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Harris' office did not immediately respond to a Law&Crime request for comment.

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