Tuesday, June 18, 2013
Three defendants accused of helping to conceal kickbacks generated in a massive fraud scheme that involved CityTime, a troubled automated payroll project in New York City, are expected to plead guilty in Manhattan on Wednesday, federal prosecutors said in a new court filing.
The three are related to the lead defendant in the case, Mark Mazer, who has been accused of helping to orchestrate the scheme, which prosecutors said involved more than $600 million in city money and more than $40 million in kickbacks.
Mr. Mazer has pleaded not guilty and is scheduled for trial along with two co-defendants in September. In 2012, a government contractor, Science Applications International Corporation, agreed to forfeit more than $500 million as part of a settlement for its role in the case. Two other defendants have pleaded guilty.
The three defendants who are expected to enter guilty pleas are Mr. Mazer’s wife, Svetlana Mazer; his mother, Larisa Medzon; and a cousin, Anna Makovetskaya. All three were charged with money laundering conspiracy, and were accused of using shell companies to help Mr. Mazer hide kickbacks he was allegedly receiving in the scheme.
The office of Preet Bharara, the United States attorney in Manhattan, declined to comment. It said in a letter on Tuesday to the judge, George B. Daniels of Federal District Court, that the three would plead to unspecified charges as part of agreements with prosecutors. Lawyers for the three defendants declined to comment or did not return calls seeking comment.
Rose Gill Hearn, the commissioner of the Department of Investigation, citing the previous guilty pleas and the city’s recovery of $500 million, said, “This case continues to move forward and yield positive results for the taxpayers.”
Mr. Mazer’s lawyer, Gerald L. Shargel, said of the three defendants expected to plead guilty: “It has long been recognized that people may plead guilty to avert the draconian consequences of conviction. I am certain that these issues were in their thoughts.”