More than a dozen executives -- including a former top official at Bloomberg L.P. -- are reportedly set to be arrested Tuesday for their alleged involvement in a construction pay-to-play scheme that cost the company tens of millions of dollars.
The looming raids come after an 18-month New York state investigation surrounding the company, which is owned by former mayor and potential 2020 presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg. The investigation also probed Turner Construction, a general contractor that oversaw work for Bloomberg, the New York Times reported.
Those close to the investigation say there is nothing to suggest Michael Bloomberg was aware of the alleged pay-to-play scheme.
Investigators told the newspaper that, for nearly four years, executives at both companies ran an inside scam in which they were paid bribes and kickbacks by subcontractors and vendors in exchange for artificially raising the bills on construction projects.
The scheme cost Bloomberg tens of millions of dollars in overpayments and some of the construction work happened at the company’s headquarters in Manhattan, the investigators added.
Defense attorneys and an executive who spoke to the New York Times said more than a dozen people are expected to be taken into custody Tuesday on fraud, theft and bribery charges.
One of the names at the center of the investigation is Anthony Guzzone, the former global head of construction at Bloomberg. He was fired last October after police raids at Bloomberg headquarters, according to the New York Times.
Guzzone is alleged to have close ties to Litespeed Electric, a New Jersey-based contractor which is also expected to be facing arrests Tuesday. Guzzone's lawyer has maintained his innocence.
A source also told the New York Post fired Bloomberg facilities director Marilyn Francisco is among those expected to be arrested, too.
Two former top executives at Turner Construction -- Ronald Olson and Vito Negro -- were also fired the same month for going “rogue” and intentionally avoiding the company’s compliance policies, the New York Times reported.
Bloomberg chose Turner Construction as a general contractor after its former client, Structure Tone, pleaded guilty in 2014 to defrauding clients such as Bank of America and Bloomberg itself.
A lawyer for Turner Construction told the New York Times the company and Bloomberg have been cooperating with investigators since the start of the probe and neither will face charges or fines.