American Law News – Former Mount Vernon Commissioner And Associate Guilty of Federal Corruption Charges – US Legal Newswire –
LEV L. DASSIN, the Acting United States Attorney for the
Southern District of New York, announced that CONSTANCE G. POST,
former Commissioner of the Mount Vernon Department of Planning
and Community Development as well as Executive Director of the
Mount Vernon Department of Planning and Urban Renewal Agency, and
WAYNE CHARLES were found guilty today following a month-long jury
trial in White Plains federal court on charges stemming from
their diversion of more than $2 million in state and federal

As established by the evidence at trial:

POST and CHARLES, who had a romantic relationship,
arranged to steer a computer services contract to a company
secretly owned by CHARLES. Using the name of a defunct computer
services company that a friend had operated, CHARLES concealed
from the City of Mount Vernon that he had no computer expertise,
no employees, and no ability to perform under the contract. POST
hired and directed people to work for CHARLES’ company, which
enriched CHARLES but ultimately cost the City more than twice
what it would have paid if the employees had worked directly for
the City. POST also disregarded the monetary restrictions placed
upon her by the Mount Vernon board that approved the computer
services contract and steered hundreds of thousands of dollars
beyond her authorization to CHARLES.

Separately, in connection with a $500,000 loan awarded
by the City to CHARLES to renovate property on Third Street,
CHARLES, with the approval of POST, falsely stated that he had
not used any other names, and falsely certified that he had no
other business with the Mount Vernon Urban Renewal Agency. In
fact, CHARLES used numerous false names with the approval and
assistance of POST in order to conceal his involvement in various
matters in the City. Then, after renovations were complete at
the Third Street property, another lender, in accordance with the
terms of the City’s loan, repaid $250,000 of the loan, leaving an
unpaid balance of $250,000. POST buried the unpaid balance on
Mount Vernon’s books via a series of complicated financial
transactions, ensuring that CHARLES was not required to repay the
loan to Mount Vernon. Years later, in 2005, when federal
investigators were examining the Mount Vernon Urban Renewal
Agency’s financial records, POST retroactively recorded the
unpaid balance of the CHARLES loan on the books of the Urban
Renewal Agency. Shortly thereafter, CHARLES made a few payments
on the loan, which otherwise remains unpaid. POST also received
$30,000 from CHARLES and did not file the financial disclosure
forms required by local law for her position.

POST and CHARLES were each convicted of one count of
conspiracy to commit mail fraud and one count of mail fraud.
CHARLES was also convicted of making false statements to federal
agents who interviewed him in 2006.

Sentencing is scheduled for July 23, 2009, before United
States District Judge KENNETH M. KARAS. POST, of Mount Vernon,
New York, and CHARLES, of New York City, face up to 20 years in
prison on the conspiracy charge and up to 20 years in prison on
the mail fraud charge of the Indictment. CHARLES also faces up
to five years in prison on the false statement charge.
Mr. DASSIN praised the joint efforts of the Federal
Bureau of Investigation and the United States Department of
Housing and Urban Development, Inspector General.
Assistant United States Attorneys CYNTHIA K. DUNNE and
ANDREW S. DEMBER are in charge of the prosecution.

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