Brooklyn Assemblywoman Pamela Harris Indicted For Defrauding Government Agencies
The indictment also included four counts of making false statements and two counts of bankruptcy fraud. Furthermore, the indictment also included one count of witness tampering and one count of conspiracy to obstruct justice.
The DOJ alleges Pamela Harris defrauded various government agencies between 2012 through 2016. She alleges defrauded the New York City Council and the NYC Department of Youth and Community Development. She also allegedly defrauded FEMA and HUD.
Harris also allegedly defrauded the NYC Build it Back Program and the US Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of New York.
Pamela Harris Allegedly Defrauded NYC Council / DYCD
Pamela Harris was Executive Director of a Non-Profit between August 2014 and July 2015 when she allegedly defrauded the NYC Council of nearly $23,000 in discretionary funding. She claimed that the Non-Profit would use the funds to rent a studio space.
As part of her scheme, Pamela Harris submitted to DYCD a forged lease agreement. Once the non-profit received the funding, Harris diverted the funds to her personal checking account and used the money to pay for personal expenses.
Pamela Harris committed a nearly identical scheme between July 2015 and January 2017. This time as a sitting Assemblywoman. In fact, when the non-profit received the discretionary funding, Harris diverted $11,400 in funds for her personal use.
Pamela Harris Allegedly Operated Scheme To Defraud FEMA
She allegedly lied to FEMA that she had been forced out of her residence by Hurricane Sandy. Pamela Harris claimed her Coney Island residence was badly damaged by Hurricane Sandy. She allegedly told FEMA she had to move to a temporary residence in Staten Island.
Furthermore, she submitted to FEMA fake lease agreements that she had entered into with the landlord of the Staten Island residence. She also supplied FEMA with bogus rent payment receipts.
In reality, Harris continued to live at her Coney Island residence and pocketed the FEMA payments for herself.
Pamela Harris Allegedly Operated Scheme To Defraud HUD And NYC Build it Back
In 2016, while Harris was a sitting New York State Assemblywoman, she repeatedly made the same misrepresentations and submitted the same fake documents to the NYC Build it Back Program.
She also made other false claims in order to persuade Build it Back to pay for substantial construction to her home.
Pamela Harris Allegedly Operated A Bankruptcy Fraud Scheme
Harris also filed for Chapter 13 bankruptcy in Brooklyn. She was receiving $1,550 each month from FEMA based on the misrepresentations described above. She told the Bankruptcy Trustee that she was receiving $1,200 a month in financial assistance from the same landlord that she told FEMA she was paying $1,550 a month in rent. Neither statement was true.