Brooklyn Man Indicted For Contract Rigging
Attorney General Spitzer and New York State Inspector General Roslynn R. Mauskopf today announced the indictment of a Brooklyn man for allegedly submitting fake bids on repair contracts for group homes operated by the New York State Office of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities (OMRDD) through the Brooklyn Developmental Disabilities Services Office (BDDSO).
Spyridon Frangoulis, 57, of 1328 84th Street, the owner of Swan Contracting Corporation, has been charged in a 16-count indictment with larceny and criminal antitrust violations. The indictment comes as a result of a referral and investigation by OMRDD and alleges that between May of 1995 and April of 1998, Frangoulis submitted multiple fictitious bids for housing repair contracts at BDDSO in order to improve his chances of winning the contracts. Frangoulis is also accused of stealing in excess of $60,000 as payment from the state for repair work performed as a result of the fraudulent bids.
"My office will vigorously prosecute those who try to bilk taxpayers by artificially influencing the bidding process for their own good, Spitzer said. "My office will continue to work with the Inspector General and OMRDD to ensure that bidding laws are enforced and the integrity of the process is protected."
Frangoulis was arraigned in Brooklyn Supreme Court. He was charged with one count of Grand Larceny in the Second Degree; one count of Combination in Restraint of Trade and Competition; seven counts of Falsifying Business Records in the First Degree; and seven counts of Offering a False Instrument for Filing in the First Degree. If convicted, he faces up to 15 years in prison.
"A state contract is not a license to steal," said Inspector General Mauskopf. "Contractors who seek to do business with New York state should understand that their conduct must conform to the highest standards of integrity and accountability."
OMRDD Commissioner Thomas A. Maul said, "We vigilantly monitor the quality and oversight of all our operations on behalf of the taxpayers of New York State to ensure that the laws are upheld, quality programs are in place and, efficient and effective methods are utilized when acting on behalf of the more than 130,000 people with mental retardation and developmental disabilities who are served here. As in this case, when we suspect improper activity, we will continue to vigorously refer possible violations for investigation and prosecution, and work cooperatively with enforcement agencies to assure successful outcomes."
BDDSO is the regional office of OMRDD and provides both day and residential support and services for people with mental retardation and developmental disabilities and their families who live in Brooklyn.
The charges against Frangoulis are accusations and the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.
The case is being handled by Assistant Attorney General Bernadine Agocha, of the the Criminal Prosecutions Bureau, under the supervision of Bureau Chief Janet Cohn.