While it may be the functional equivalent to a theft of nickles and dimes to the average New Yorker, Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance, Jr. has announced the indictment of John Haggerty for defrauding New York’s billionaire mayor out of over $1 million. Charged with Grand Larceny in the First Degree, Money Laundering in the Second Degree and Falsifying Business Records in the First Degree, Mr. Haggerty faces up to 25, 15 and 4 years respectively on each offense.
According to the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, Mayor Bloomberg was duped out a cool million after Mr. Haggerty received the monies to operate an Election Day security and polling organization to be run by the New York State Independence Party. It is alleged that Special Election Operations LLC was to run the security. Instead, prosecutors claim that Mr. Haggerty’s Special Election Operations LLC was a scam. In lieu of using this money to secure the polls, Haggerty is alleged to have spent merely $32,000 for this purpose while using approximately $600,000 to purchase his own home. Compounding matters, prosecutors claim that Mr. Haggerty did not come clean when questions arose as to where the money went. It is further alleged that Mr. Haggerty produced fraudulent paychecks to corroborate that staffers were paid the missing money to watch the polls on Election Day.
Certainly, time will tell what the outcome of this case will be. Unfortunately for Mr. Haggerty, however, District Attorney Vance, Jr. is still finding his prosecutorial niche after the decades long leadership of Robert Morgenthau. If recent cases are any indication, the niche that District Attorney Vance, Jr. is seeking to carve out as his own is the prosecution of public employee and governmental corruption. Regardless of the outcome, this case will be another black to the face of New City politics.
A New York criminal defense firm, Saland Law PC was founded by two former Manhattan prosecutors.