MANHATTAN (CN)- Two administrators with a New York nonprofit that manages low-income housing spent $180,000 using the nonprofit’s platinum card for meals at Tavern-on-the-Green, clothes from Ralph Lauren and flight tickets to Puerto Rico for New York State Assembly members, according to a federal indictment filed Wednesday.
Izquierdo Arroyo and Margarita Villegas, the president and director of SBCC Managment Corpp, are accused of charging more than $180,000 over the course of four years on clothes, meals, airfare, hotels and other personal expenses. The card is paid by a nonprofit that provides management services to two low-income residential buildings in Bronx, New York.
The pair are also charged with misusing approximately $20,000 in SBCC and building funds to make campaign contributions, install flooring in a New York Assembly member’s office, and to fly at least one assembly member to Puerto Rico, according to an indictment announced Wednesday by Lev Dassin, Acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York.
Arroyo has been president of SBCC since 2005 and has also served on the company’s board of directors; Villegas has been the nonprofit’s director since 2001.
Between approximately May 2005 and Feb. 2009, Arroyo and Villegas charged a combined total of more than $330,000 to SBCC’s American Express Business Platinum Card, the indictment says. While many of the expenses were for materials like paint and office supplies, “tens of thousands of dollars charged (to the card) appear to be for personal expenses unrelated to SBCC Corp.’s business.”
These include $15,000 of goods purchased at clothing stores like Nine West, Tommy Hilfiger and Ralph Lauren, and $66,000 for meals at restaurants like Tavern-on-the-Green and Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse over a four year period.
The two Bronx-area buildings served by SBCC are funded by New York Section 8 Housing Assistance Payment subsidies, which are provided by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Both Arroyo and Villegas were indicted on one count of embezzlement, a charge that carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison.
The prosecution is being handled by Assistant United States Attorneys Rua Kelly and Michael Bosworth.