Thursday, January 23, 2014

Former Roosevelt Island Operating Corp Vice President Of Operations Pleads Guilty To Filing False Payroll Records With Intent To Defraud RIOC

 Image of former RIOC VP Of Operations Fernando Martinez (center) at 11/15/12 Ops Committee

Former Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Vice President Of Operations Fernando Martinez plead guilty today to a felony of Offering a False Instrument for Filing in the First Degree.

Here's what is known at this time.

At the end of last night's Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) Public Safety Committee meeting, I asked Manhattan District Attorney's Office Community Affairs Coordinator Denise Liriano about the status of the NY State Inspector General (IG) investigations into RIOC. Ms. Liriano replied that as a result of the IG's investigation, Mr. Martinez had been arrested. Ms. Liriano added:
Fernando Martinez was arraigned on January 14, 2014 on a charge of Offering a False Instrument for Filing in the First Degree for offering falsified payroll records to the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation. Martinez plead not guilty and was remanded. The case was adjourned to January 23, 2014 and there should be an outcome shortly.
Earlier today, the Manhattan District Attorney's Press Spokesperson reported that Mr. Martinez:
...pleaded guilty today, and his sentencing is scheduled for February 20.
According to the Complaint submitted by the Manhattan District Attorney's Office:
Statutory Language - the defendant, knowing that a written instrument contained false information and with intent to defraud the state and a subdivision thereof presented it to a public office believing that it would become a part of the records of such office.

Complaint Language - I am informed by Defendant that on October 1, 2010, Defendant, acting in concert with Javier Ramos, caused to be filed the certified payroll records of Bright Cleaning Solutions, Inc., with the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation, Inc., (the "RIOC")(a public office) located at 591 Main Street, New York, New York 10044, that he knew contained false information, with intent to defraud the RIOC, knowing that it would be registered with and become part of the records of the RIOC.
Mr. Martinez resigned effective December 21 from RIOC.

UPDATE 1/24 - I asked RIOC President Charlene Indelicato and the RIOC Board of Directors for comment about this matter yesterday. Have not received a reply yet.

In reply to my inquiry, former RIOC President Steve Shane wrote:
The event occurred after my tenure so I have no knowledge of what was involved. I presume the allocution accompanying the guilty plea would contain the details.

I always preached the Caesar's wife standard and never had any reason to doubt Fernando's loyalty, dedication or integrity.

I am sad for him and his family.
Mr. Shane added:
In reading the comments, the record should be clear that Fernando had absolutely nothing to do with the hiring of Keith Guerra. After rating and ranking the many resumes that were submitted in response to the public advertisement, a committee of Board members held face to face interviews and made the selection of Keith, who after checking his references, was duly hired.


Budulay Leopoldovich said...

keep digging

Denise K Shull said...

Good gawd.... how do people become so stupid??

westviewgirl said...

If he did that, then others had to know about this..funny how they all quit right behind each other. A very shady group indeed ! The Governor needs to have all involved arrested and put away...they never cared about the residents here.

Bill Blass said...

Oh my.this is so upsetting.I always thought that Roosevelt island is a utopia

CheshireKitty said...

This is why it's important to have investigations of allegations of financial impropriety or illegality. No matter how much you think you can trust officials, and no matter how much they are actually getting paid, greed is the operative word. On Wall St, financiers constantly pull off tricks and schemes to fatten profits; why is anyone surprised that an official of the State of NY attempted to defraud the State? As another person commenting on the thread said, it's likely there were more RIOC officials/employees involved, rather than just this one over-billing or fraudulent billing scheme committed by one official. Maybe more RIOC employees will now spill the beans in exchange for either reduced or no sentences. This is why the State of NY maintains a permanent Office of the Investigator General because fraud is always bound to occur in some agency or department of the State. No matter how many forms an official signs swearing to uphold the law and behave in an ethical manner, greed unfortunately drives behavior otherwise. Eventually the law catches up with the crooks, and there is once again another NYS gov scandal. With this instance of fraud/stealing, I'm not surprised one bit

NotMyKid said...

This idiot was indicted the other day and was officially arrested yesterday. He is currently in the Manhattan Detention Center and was remanded WITHOUT BAIL.

He will be housed in jail until February 20.

Good riddance. He was always a snake.

CheshireKitty said...

It is said he may have been instrumental in getting Guerra his job when Guerra was PSD Director. Guerra was also no intellectual paragon.

NotMyKid said...

I'm no guerra fan but that's a non issue. I'm pretty sure 90% of rioc staff are intertwined with each other somehow.

Typical politics at play. Same things happen at city hall,etc.

Nosey said...

Bright Cleaning Solutions is known for hiring non-unionized employees, and charging their clients the union wage.

CheshireKitty said...

So Martinez was getting a percentage of the difference for giving them the business? May have added up to a nice bit of change for him.

RooseveltIslander said...

Former RIOC President Steve Shane told me today that Mr. Martinez had nothing to do with the hiring of Keith Guerra as Public Safety Department Director.

Read the update for more from Mr. Shane.