Manhattan DA: City employees among 18 charged in 'interconnected scheme'

Ghost guns and a plot to steal more than $1 million - that’s what’s at the center of what Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg has called an “interconnected scheme” that led to this week’s announcement of four indictments, with some charges involving city employees.

Ashley Mastronardi

Mar 8, 2024, 11:15 PM

Updated 34 days ago

Share:

Ghost guns and a plot to steal more than $1 million - that’s what’s at the center of what Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg has called an “interconnected scheme” that led to this week’s announcement of four indictments, with some charges involving city employees.
Cliffie Thompson was investigated in 2022 for running a ghost gun factory in the East Village. He later pleaded guilty. Bragg says that bust uncovered two more ghost gun conspiracies, pandemic unemployment fraud and a residential burglary.  Five of the defendants worked for the Department of Homeless Services.  In some cases, he says they stole information from homeless residents to commit the fraud.
“Once they had the personal identifying information, they would fill out fraudulent applications for unemployment pandemic assistance to the New York Department of Labor.  Once the claims were accepted, DOL would provide a...bank card...to the address on the applications.  Oftentimes the defendants would just use their own addresses,” Bragg said at a recent news conference.
Officials say they then enlisted the help of a U.S. Postal Service letter carrier and would send the funds to addresses specifically on his mail route.  Other defendants in this scheme worked for NYCHA, the NYPD and the MTA.  In total, 18 people were charged.


More from News 12