December 7, 2023

Brokers from the Federal Bureau of Investigation on Thursday searched the Brooklyn dwelling of Mayor Eric Adams’s chief fund-raiser, Brianna Suggs, a marketing campaign advisor who’s deeply entwined with efforts to advance the mayor’s agenda, in accordance with two folks with information of the matter.

The early morning raid was a part of a broad public corruption investigation by the F.B.I. and federal prosecutors in Manhattan into whether or not Mr. Adams’s 2021 mayoral marketing campaign conspired with a Brooklyn building firm and the Turkish authorities to funnel overseas cash into the marketing campaign’s coffers, apparently by means of a straw donor scheme, in accordance with parts of the search warrant obtained by The New York Occasions.

The warrant sought proof of the theft of federal funds and conspiracy to steal federal funds, wire fraud and wire fraud conspiracy, in addition to marketing campaign contributions by overseas nationals and conspiracy to make such contributions. Investigators had been significantly focused on whether or not the marketing campaign kicked again advantages to the development firm’s officers and workers and to Turkish officers.

Whereas it was unclear from the data whether or not the investigation is focusing on the mayor, the raid apparently prompted him to abruptly cancel a number of conferences scheduled for Thursday morning in Washington, D.C., the place he deliberate to talk with White Home officers and members of Congress concerning the migrant disaster.

As a substitute, he hurriedly returned to New York “to take care of a matter,” a spokesman for the mayor stated.

Mr. Adams has boasted of his ties to Turkey, most lately throughout a flag-raising he hosted for the nation in Decrease Manhattan final week. The mayor stated that there have been in all probability no different mayors in New York Metropolis historical past who had visited Turkey as steadily as he has.

I feel I’m on my sixth or seventh go to,” he stated. At the very least a kind of visits occurred whereas he was Brooklyn borough president, when the federal government of Turkey reportedly underwrote the tour.

Ms. Suggs, who couldn’t be reached for remark, is an important cog in Mr. Adams’s fund-raising machine, which has already raised greater than $2.5 million for his 2025 re-election marketing campaign.

A 3rd individual with information of the raid stated brokers from one of many public corruption squads within the F.B.I.’s New York workplace questioned Ms. Suggs throughout the search of her dwelling.

An F.B.I. spokesman confirmed that “we’re at that location finishing up regulation enforcement motion,” referring to Ms. Suggs’s dwelling within the Crown Heights part of Brooklyn.

The brokers additionally served Ms. Suggs with a subpoena directing her to testify earlier than a federal grand jury listening to proof in Manhattan.

Nicholas Biase, a spokesman for the federal prosecutor’s workplace in Manhattan, declined to remark.

The development firm was recognized within the warrant as KSK Development Group in Brooklyn. People who listed their employer as KSK donated practically $14,000 to Mr. Adams’s 2021 marketing campaign, in accordance with marketing campaign finance data. An individual who answered the phone on the firm declined to remark.

Charles Kretchmer Lutvak, a spokesman for Mr. Adams, denied any information of the raid.

“I’m not conscious of that,” Mr. Lutvak stated.

He added that Ms. Suggs was not an worker of Metropolis Corridor and referred calls to the mayor’s marketing campaign workforce.

“The marketing campaign has all the time held itself to the very best requirements,” stated Vito Pitta, a lawyer for Mr. Adams’s 2021 and 2025 campaigns. “The marketing campaign will after all adjust to any inquiries, as applicable.”

Mr. Pitta added: “Mayor Adams has not been contacted as a part of this inquiry.”

The search warrant sought monetary data for Ms. Suggs and any entity managed or related together with her; paperwork associated to contributions to the mayor’s 2021 marketing campaign; data of journey to Turkey by any worker, officer or affiliate of the marketing campaign; and paperwork associated to interactions between the marketing campaign and the federal government of Turkey, “together with individuals performing on the behest of the Turkish authorities.

The warrant additionally sought digital gadgets, together with cellphones, laptops or tablets utilized by Ms. Suggs.

Ms. Suggs, 25, is the most recent in a sequence of people tied to Mr. Adams who’ve attracted curiosity from regulation enforcement, together with a number of with fund-raising connections.

In September, Eric Ulrich, Mr. Adams’s former buildings commissioner and senior adviser, was indicted by the Manhattan district lawyer, Alvin Bragg, on 16 felony expenses, together with counts of conspiracy and bribe-taking. Mr. Ulrich, in addition to three others indicted on the time, helped arrange a 2021 fund-raiser for Mr. Adams.

In July, Mr. Bragg indicted six people, together with a retired police inspector who as soon as labored and socialized with Mr. Adams, for conspiring to funnel unlawful donations to the mayor’s 2021 marketing campaign.

The Division of Investigation can be investigating the function of one of many mayor’s prime aides in a violent altercation final month at a migrant heart in Manhattan.

Mr. Adams has tried to distance himself from these inquiries up to now, arguing that he has restricted perception into the occasions that precipitated them. However the investigation of such an in depth and longtime adviser is perhaps more durable to maintain at arm’s size.

Up to now two years, Mr. Adams’s re-election marketing campaign has paid Ms. Suggs practically $100,000 for fund-raising and marketing campaign consulting providers by way of her firm, Suggs Options, in accordance with metropolis data.

His first mayoral marketing campaign paid her greater than $50,000.

Ms. Suggs has additionally registered as a lobbyist. State data point out that the East Broadway Mall, a Chinatown actual property concern, employed Ms. Suggs, by way of an middleman, to foyer the mayor’s workplace and the New York Metropolis Council on its behalf in 2022.

Ms. Suggs labored as an aide to Mr. Adams when he was Brooklyn borough president, and is especially shut with Ingrid Lewis-Martin, who was his deputy on the time and is at the moment his prime adviser.

Ms. Suggs is deeply embedded in outdoors efforts to advance the mayor’s agenda. A key ally’s political motion committee, Striving for a Higher New York, that promised to assist state candidates aligned with Mr. Adams on coverage issues, has paid Ms. Suggs roughly $100,000.

Ms. Suggs additionally lists the Brooklyn Democratic Celebration, with which Mr. Adams is shut, as a shopper on her LinkedIn web page.

Rodneyse Bichotte Hermelyn, the assemblywoman who leads the get together, stated Ms. Suggs was a volunteer fund-raiser for it who primarily dealt with logistics. She stated she was shocked to be taught of the F.B.I. raid.

What I do know of Brianna Suggs, she’s a brilliant, younger woman. I feel she’s a really trustworthy individual, organized. She’s very mild-mannered, a really skilled individual,” Ms. Bichotte Hermelyn stated. “She is aware of the foundations.”

Mr. Adams’s resolution to cancel high-level conferences with senior White Home officers about a difficulty he has warned will hole out New York’s finances and destroy the town steered an uncommon stage of urgency.

The White Home appeared to have been taken without warning. The mayor’s workplace referred to as Thursday morning to tell them of the cancellation, a White Home aide stated.

“I can’t converse to his schedule and why he needed to, he couldn’t attend,” stated Karine Jean-Pierre, the White Home press secretary.

The mayor was scheduled to satisfy with representatives from Congress together with the mayor of Chicago, Brandon Johnson, and the mayor of Denver, Mike Johnston.

Mr. Adams posted a video on X, previously referred to as Twitter, at 7:41 a.m. Thursday of himself sitting aboard an airplane. He stated he was heading to Washington to satisfy with White Home officers and members of the congressional delegation concerning the migrant disaster, which he described as a “actual challenge.”

Mr. Adams promised to maintain the general public up to date all through the day, however after he canceled the conferences, officers at Metropolis Corridor wouldn’t clarify why.

“The mayor is returning to New York Metropolis to handle a matter,” Mr. Lutvak, the mayor’s spokesman, stated in an e mail when requested why Mr. Adams was all of the sudden returning to the town. “These conferences might be rescheduled as quickly as attainable.”

Requested whether or not the matter was a private challenge or associated to Metropolis Corridor, officers refused to elaborate.

“He’s returning to take care of a matter,” Mr. Lutvak stated.

By 8 a.m. Thursday, round 10 brokers might be seen standing on Ms. Suggs’s block, in accordance with a video of the scene taken by a neighbor and seen by The New York Occasions. One agent wore a light-weight inexperienced tactical vest with the letters “F.B.I.” stamped on the again. One other official might be seen leaving the condo with a cardboard field.

Ms. Suggs was standing on the stoop together with her father because the brokers searched her dwelling, in accordance with the neighbor, Christopher Burwell.

“No matter it’s, she will need to have been tricked into it, as a result of she’s an incredible lady,” Mr. Burwell stated. “I’ve identified her all my life.”

Reporting was contributed by Emma G. Fitzsimmons, Michael D. Shear, Wesley Parnell, Michael Rothfeld, Rebecca Chao and Melissa Kravitz Hoeffner.

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