An employee of the Fire Department in New York City has been accused of taking bribes. The employee, Carlos Montoya took thousands of dollars as bribes and compromised the safety standards of day care centers in New York City. Montoya helped day care centers in obtaining fake paperwork which certified the organizations as being eligible to take care of infants.
Montoya appeared before a federal magistrate judge on Friday in a US District Court in Manhattan. The judge, Henry B. Pitman, ordered a bail of $100,000 for Montoya’s release.
Preet Bharara on the White Collar Crime
US attorney, Preet Bharara stated that the crime committed by the accused is severe. Montoya was responsible for ensuring that all day care centers in New York City complied with the fire safety standards of the state. The accused instead overlooked the flaws in safety measures adopted by the institutions.
Investigation Started in August 2010
An investigation was announced by the Department of Investigation in August 2010. The body described a scheme in which a group of immigrants, who spoke Russian, controlled over thirty day care centers across Staten Island and Brooklyn. This group of Russians paid around $100,000 in bribes to city workers so that they would overlook the loopholes in safety regulations adopted by the organizations.
The city workers had worked for the Human Resource Administration, Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and Administration for Children’s Services. These organizations play significant roles in benefit programs related to child care. Such programs pay for child care related expenses to low income families.
The first employee of the Fire Department to be arrested as a part of the investigation process is Mr. Montoya. He had been involved with the department since 1993. Montoya had been a supervising inspector since 2005.