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A fresh corruption investigation tied to New York City Mayor Eric Adams is putting him in some hot water with the law.
The FBI is investigating whether Adams’s 2021 mayoral campaign conspired with the Turkish government to receive illegal foreign donations to boost election efforts.
The New York Times obtained a search warrant revealing that federal agents raided the home of Adams’ fundraising chief, Brianna Suggs, Thursday morning. However, a report by The Messenger shows New York City police officers were sent to the Suggs’ home just hours before for a wellness check at the request of an internal affairs official.
Agents seized three iPhones and two laptop computers, seven “contribution card binders,” and other materials, including something agents identified as “manila folder labeled Eric Adams,” federal documents show.
Investigators are also looking into the KSK Construction Group in Brooklyn and a small Washington, D.C., university with ties to Turkey and Adams. They’re working to discover if the mayor’s campaign kicked back benefits to the officials and employees of the construction company and Turkish government officials. Campaign finance records show people who work under the construction group donated $14,000 to Adams’ 2021 campaign.
The mayor himself even has ties to Turkey. He has visited the country on several occasions, multiple times as mayor and once while he was campaigning. While he was Brooklyn Borough president, he accepted thousands of dollars to travel to Turkey, China, and Azerbaijan, countries that are notoriously known for serious human rights issues. He even flaunted those ties at a public appearance over the summer in Manhattan, where he said there were probably no other mayors in New York City history who had visited Turkey as frequently as he has.
He has worked for the NYPD for more than 20 years, retiring as captain in 2006.
The feds have been quiet on whether Adams is a target in this investigation. He hasn’t been accused of any wrongdoing, but he has pledged to cooperate with any inquiries.
The warrant suggests that some of the foreign campaign contributions were made as part of a straw donor scheme, a ploy in which donations are made in the names of people who never gave money, The Times reports.
Records show that more than $2.5 million has already been raised for Adams’ 2025 mayoral run, which is a result of Suggs’ highly effective fundraising efforts.
She joins a growing list of city officials tied to Adams’ fundraising activities who have been investigated and in some cases, indicted by law enforcement.
Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg indicted Eric Ulrich, Adams’ former buildings commissioner and senior adviser, on 16 felony charges, including counts of conspiracy and bribe-taking, in September. Ulrich and three other people who were charged in this case helped coordinate a fundraiser for Adams in 2021.
In July, six other people, including a retired police inspector who formerly worked with Adams, were indicted on charges of conspiring to funnel illegal donations to his 2021 campaign.
Adams asserted he had little insight and knowledge of what preceded those indictments, but it might be hard to put some distance between himself and this freshest federal inquiry.
If anything, potential charges that could arise from this FBI probe include the theft of federal funds and conspiracy to steal federal funds, wire fraud and wire fraud conspiracy, as well as campaign contributions by foreign nationals and conspiracy to make such contributions. That’s if the feds gather enough evidence to support any malfeasance.
As far as the wellness check, the NYPD told Messenger that it regularly conducts wellness checks before federal officials raid them. Still, the outlet reports that at least one former FBI agent who oversaw corruption investigations has not heard of such a practice.
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