Ex-Hempstead Housing Official Charged With Bid-rigging

An ex-Hempstead village housing official was indicted on federal conspiracy and bribery charges for scheming to steal more than $500,000 in kickbacks by steering contracts to crooked contractors, prosecutors said.

Cornell Bozier, the former chairman of the Hempstead village housing authority, pleaded not guilty Thursday at Central Islip federal court to charges of federal program bribery and conspiracy to commit honest services wire fraud.

“The corruption and betrayal of the public trust detailed in the indictment was compounded by the fact that the defendant allegedly orchestrated this scheme to line his pockets with money stolen from a federal program that provides low-income families with safe and affordable housing,” said Robert Capers, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York.

Prosecutors said the 56-year-old North Baldwin man recruited conspirators to submit fraudulently inflated bids on construction projects partly funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

The suspect and his co-conspirators allegedly split the overpayments. Five other suspects previously charged in connection with the scheme have pleaded guilty and are awaiting sentencing. Bozier faces up to 20 years in prison, if convicted.