Sentence Wraps Up Major Bloomberg-Era Housing Scandal

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The federal courthouse in Brooklyn, where Walters was sentenced.

Jim Henderson

The federal courthouse in Brooklyn, where Walters was sentenced.

A federal judge on Wednesday sentenced former HPD official Wendell Walters to three years in prison for accepting more than $2.5 million in bribes to steer development deals to particular contractors.

The sentence brings to a close a scandal that erupted in 2011 when the first of 12 people were arrested. Charges were dropped against two, and three were acquitted at trial.

The other six pled guilty and received sentences ranging from probation to 22 months behind bars, and were also ordered to forfeit ill property or pay fines totaling $2 million.

Walters’ sentence was well below federal guidelines, reflecting his cooperation with prosecutors, but it was still stiffer than what was imposed on any of the others caught up in the case. He also agreed to forfeit a home worth $2.5 million.

Earlier this year we looked at the case—which grew out of separate investigations into marijuana trafficking and wage theft—and its impact on housing policy in the city.

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City Limits’ coverage of housing policy is supported by the Charles H. Revson Foundation.
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