Friday, April 24, 2009

City raids office of builder who donated campaign money to Obama aide Adolfo Carrión

Friday, April 24th 2009, 4:00 AM


Hermann for News

NYPD and Department of Investigation officers at the Atlantic Development Group.

Investigators Thursday raided the Manhattan office of a major developer who funneled thousands in campaign cash to local politicians, including White House aide Adolfo Carrión.

City Department of Investigation agents spent hours gathering documents from the 155 Sixth Ave. offices of Atlantic Development Group.

Armed with a search warrant from the Manhattan district attorney's office, agents and cops removed dozens of boxes of records.

DOI spokeswoman Diane Struzzi confirmed the raid but declined further comment.

A spokesman for Atlantic, Lee Silberstein, said only: "There's an ongoing investigation, and Atlantic is cooperating with authorities."

One target of the probe is a major Bronx project, Boricua Village, that's at the heart of a Daily News investigation into Carrión, the director of White House urban policy who, until last year, was Bronx borough president.

In the last few years, Atlantic's owners, Peter Fine and Marc Altheim, and other company execs gave Carrión $52,400 in political contributions.

During that time, the then-borough president recommended approval of Atlantic's Boricua Village, one of the biggest publicly subsidized projects in the Bronx.

Carrión also sponsored $7.5 million in taxpayer funds for the project, which includes 675 units of housing and a 14-story tower for Boricua College.

The Boricua project was designed by an architect who was doing renovation work on Carrión's City Island home.

Carrión has yet to pay the architect, Hugo Subotovsky, for work completed by February 2007. After The News revealed this arrangement, the White House told him to pay.

Carrión and Subotovsky would not comment.

Sources familiar with the investigation said the agency is looking at whether Atlantic illegally influenced local politicians to win approval for its many projects.

Another source said the probe arose during a gambling and loansharking probe involving organized crime figures operating at the Boricua Village job.

Investigators are examining allegations that Atlantic paid bribes to city Building Department employees to expedite permits.

The source said the probe could evolve into how Atlantic got permission to build and how they acquired land in Manhattan and the Bronx.

Altheim is a target, the source said.

He and Fine have made tens of thousands of dollars in contributions to numerous politicians and parties, including $40,000 to the New York State Democrats in 2007 and $16,800 to Bronx City Councilman Joel Rivera from 2003 to 2006.

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