CONTACT: Barbara Burns
PHONE: (716) 843-5817
FAX #: (716) 551-3051
ROCHESTER, N.Y.-U.S. Attorney Trini E. Ross announced today that Francis Cardinell, 76, of Penfield, NY, was charged by criminal complaint with obstruction of justice and lying under oath. The charges carry a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a fine of $250,000.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Charles M. Kruly, who is handling the case, stated that George Moses, former chairman of the board of the Rochester Housing Authority, was recently sentenced to serve 78 months in prison for defrauding three organizations, including the Rochester Housing Charities. According to the complaint, in April 2019, Cardinell, owner of Akwasasne Construction, a general contracting firm in Rochester, was interviewed on two separate occasions by the FBI as a witness in connection with the investigation into the fraud allegations against Moses. When asked about a $63,000 contract for boiler work to be performed by his company at the Rochester Housing Charities, Cardinell advised that he paid a cumulative amount of more than $20,000 in cash to Moses as kickbacks related to this contract. During another interview a few weeks later, Cardinell stated that he gave Moses $7,500 in cash out of a payment of $21,800 that he received from the Rochester Housing Charities. In subsequent interviews with the Internal Revenue Service and Housing and Urban Development Office of Inspector General, Cardinell stated that he paid Moses three separate kickbacks totaling $25,000.
However, during the federal trial of George Moses, while under oath on the witness stand, Cardinell testified on cross-examination that he had lied about the kickback scheme and that he never made payments to Gorge Moses in exchange for contracts for his company. Cardinell later told federal investigators that he had fabricated these allegations against Moses because he was spiteful of Moses for the troubles he was having as a contractor.
The complaint is the result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, under the direction of Acting Special Agent-in-Charge Michael Stansbury, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, Office of Inspector General, under the direction of Acting Special Agent-in-Charge, Jerome Winkle, and Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation Division, under the direction of Thomas Fattorusso, Special Agent-in-Charge.
The fact that a defendant has been charged with a crime is merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.
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