By Staff –
George H. Moses, chairman of the board of the Rochester Housing Authority has been charged with a crime—lying to the FBI.
The complaint was laid out by FBI agent Gary Loeffert and U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy Jr. in a press conference Tuesday afternoon, and alleges that Moses lied to the FBI multiple times in an investigation involving funds passed to an organization owned by Rochester City Councilmember Adam McFadden.
In 2014 McFadden was appointed as Interim Executive Director for the RHA the day after the controversial firing of then Executive Director, Alex Castro. McFadden was forced out after nine weeks when federal officials deemed his appointment a conflict-of-interest.
As alleged in the criminal complaint, in March, 2015, Moses, as Chairperson of the Board of RHA, caused that Board to appoint him as one of the three new board members of the Rochester Housing Charities (RHC), and to approve a loan by the RHA to the RHC in the amount of $300,000.
On July 7, 2015, the RHC entered into an $87,500 one year contract with Capital Connection Partners LLC (CCP) for various services including: (a) advocating at the local, state and federal level of government for policy and legislation, reviewing best practices, and issuing presentations to elected officials; and (b) finding self-sufficient resources to include creating entrepreneurial opportunities and workforce development, developing revenue streams for residents, and applying for federal home loan bank grants.
The following day, on July 8, 2105, Adam McFadden, on behalf of his company, Caesar Development LLC, executed a contract with CCP entitled the Pass Through Funding and Services Agreement, which provided that CCP would pass through 75% of the funds it received from the RHC to Caesar Development LLC.
On August 3, 2015, the RHA on behalf of the RHC paid CCP $43,750, which represented the first installment payment under the terms of the RHC and CCP Contract. Thereafter, on August 8, 2015, CCP paid $32,812.50 to Caesar Development LLC, which represented 75% of the funds CCP had just received from the RHA.
Subsequently, on December 23, 2015, the RHC paid $43,750 to CCP, which represented the second installment payment under the terms of the RHC and CCP Contract. On the following day, December 24, 2015, CCP paid $32,812.50 to Caesar Development LLC, which represented 75% of the funds CCP had just received from the RHC.
According to the complaint, other board members were unaware of the arrangement to pass on 75% of the funds from CCP to Caesar Development LLC.
The criminal complaint further alleges the following “material false statements” by Moses to the FBI:
• When asked how RHC learned of CCP, defendant Moses falsely stated that he could not recall specifically who brought CCP to the attention of the RHC, when in truth and in fact, defendant Moses knew that McFadden had brought CCP to his attention and to the attention of the RHC.
• When asked whether he knew if CCP had any subcontractors doing work under the RHC and CCP Contract, Moses stated that he was unaware of any sub-contractors that CCP utilized to execute the RHC and CCP Contract, when in truth and in fact, defendant Moses knew that McFadden and his company, Caesar Development LLC were allegedly performing work on behalf of CCP in connection with CCP’s contract with RHC.
• When told that Adam McFadden and his company received money from the RHC and CCP Contract, defendant Moses stated that he was surprised that McFadden and Caesar Development LLC received such money, when in truth and in fact, defendant Moses knew that McFadden and Caesar Development LLC, had received such money.
• When discussing a meeting held between CCP and the boards of the RHA and RHC on December 11, 2015, defendant Moses stated that he was surprised that McFadden was also at the meeting, when in truth and in fact, defendant Moses knew McFadden would be in attendance at such meeting.
Moses, 50, made an initial appearance before U.S Magistrate Judge Payson and was released.
The Rochester Housing Authority Board of Directors and Executive Team issued a statement saying they were surprised and dismayed by the charges and are cooperating fully with the federal investigation.
“Today, the Rochester Housing Authority Board has named Tynise Edwards as Vice Chair, who will serve as Interim Board Chairperson during this investigation,” the statement said.
“Rochester Housing Charities (RHC), formed in 2012, is an independently operated and managed tax exempt 501(c) (3) entity. RHC has a separate staff, board of directors, officers and business location from Rochester Housing Authority.”
“The entire team at RHA remains focused on our mission and continuing to serve more than 25,000 lower-income families, seniors and disabled residents and program participants in the five-county Greater Rochester area.”
Mayor Lovely Warren weighed in saying “Impropriety at any level of government cannot be tolerated. I was surprised to learn of the allegations outlined today by the US Attorney. Personally knowing the individuals involved, I would be highly disappointed if these allegations are proven to be true. While the Housing Authority is not a department of City government and the City has no day-to-day control over the Authority; it is my goal to ensure that it functions at its highest and fullest capacity to provide for its residents and I will take any action within my authority to ensure their well-being.”
If convicted Moses could face a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
The FBI would not comment on whether or not McFadden would face any charges.
“He (McFadden) has not been charged with anything and it would be unfair to speculate beyond that. We deal with facts and the law and at this point, Mr. Moses has been charged,” Loeffert said.