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Health and Hospitals official accused of stealing $64K from vendors

October 6, 2021 By Brooklyn Eagle Staff
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Eugene Roberson, a director of contracts for the New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation, has been charged with stealing $64,000 from HHC between March 2018 and June 2021 and filing several false bank statements with the city Department of Investigation.

Roberson is charged in a State Supreme Court indictment with Public Corruption, Grand Larceny in the Second Degree, and five counts each of Criminal Possession of a Forged Instrument in the Second Degree and Offering a False Instrument for Filing in the First Degree.

In his role as director of contracts at five city hospitals, Roberson managed vendor contracts for 542 Café, also known as “Moonstruck,” and Imperial Parking, also known as “Impark,” which both rent retail space at Bellevue Hospital.

In December 2020, DOI investigators interviewed Roberson about financial improprieties with Imperial Parking, including allegations that Roberson was receiving free parking. Roberson was asked to provide bank documents to support his claim that he was paying for parking at the garage.

Roberson submitted to DOI five forged bank statements from one of his personal bank accounts, which were altered to falsely show payments to the parking garage vendor from Roberson, according to the indictment.

In addition, other financial records revealed that between March 2018 and June 2021, Roberson deposited 32 rent checks, totaling $64,000, from 542 Café to HHC into his own personal bank accounts. He allegedly then used these funds to pay for personal expenses, such as dining, shopping, travel and rent, according to the charges.

According to HHC, Roberson did not have permission or authority to deposit the checks into his personal accounts or use the funds for personal use.

“Stewards of city funds must be held to the highest possible ethical standards,” said Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance. “As alleged, this director of contracts shirked his duties and padded his pockets with money intended to pay rent to New York City Health + Hospitals. Together with our partners at DOI, we are committed to ensuring honest dealings in our city agencies, and will continue to sniff out fraud wherever it may be.”

DOI Commissioner Margaret Garnett said, “This senior-level, long-time Health + Hospitals (H+H) employee is charged with using public funds as if they were his own, depositing checks meant for H+H into his personal bank account. A tip from a city employee started this investigation, underscoring the value of city employees reporting wrongdoing and corruption, as they are mandated to do. I commend this employee for stepping up and doing the right thing.”

Assistant D.A.s Bonnie Seok and Jena Tiernan are handling the prosecution of the case under the supervision of Assistant D.A.s Julio Cuevas (Deputy Bureau Chief of the Major Economic Crimes Bureau), Steve Pilnyak (Principal Deputy Chief of the Major Economic Crimes Bureau), Julieta V. Lozano (Chief of the Major Economic Crimes Bureau) and Gloria Garcia (Deputy Chief of the Investigations Division).

DOI’s investigation was conducted by the Office of Inspector General for H + H, specifically Senior Special Investigator Glenn Russo, Special Investigator Winston Harrison, and Confidential Investigators Christopher Bender and Joseph Pira, under the supervision of Chief Investigator Peter Mills.

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