Former Executive Director of West Haven Housing Authority Admits Receiving $1.5 Million in Bribes
Deirdre M. Daly, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that MICHAEL SIWEK, 55, of North Haven, waived his right to indictment and pleaded guilty today before U.S. District Judge Michael P. Shea in Hartford to receiving approximately $1.5 million in bribes while serving as the executive director of the West Haven Housing Authority. SIWEK also pleaded guilty to related tax charges.
According to court documents and statements made in court, SIWEK was the executive director of the West Haven Housing Authority (“WHHA”), an agency that received federal funding. As parties of his duties, SIWEK had substantial discretion over awarding WHHA business and contracts. From approximately February 2007 through February 2012, SIWEK received approximately $1.5 million in payments from individuals in exchange for the awarding of business and contracts with the WHHA and entities that the WHHA controlled. SIWEK received these bribes through wire transfers and check payments to himself individually, and to Four Star Development Company LLC, a limited liability corporation that he controlled. SIWEK also received payments that were characterized as “loans,” but which were not subject to any terms or conditions typically associated with commercial loans.
In addition, SIWEK did not report these payments to the IRS, and filed false tax returns that underreported his income and tax liability.
SIWEK pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit bribery in connection with a program receiving federal funds, which carries a maximum term of imprisonment of five years; one count of bribery, which carries a maximum term of imprisonment of 10 years; and one count of tax evasion, which carries a maximum term of imprisonment of five years.
As part of his plea, SIWEK has agreed to pay restitution in the amount of $1,503,096.91, and back taxes, penalties and interest in the amount of $363,781.70.
A sentencing date is not yet scheduled.
On November 6, 2013, Harry Miconi pleaded guilty to paying hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes to SIWEK. He also awaits sentencing.
U.S. Attorney Daly stated that the investigation is ongoing.
This matter is being investigated by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development—Office of Inspector General, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and Internal Revenue Service—Criminal Investigation Division. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Sarah Karwan.