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NYC Consultants Deny Kickback Charges

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Mayor Michael Bloomberg is seen in the Blue Room at City Hall - New York, NY - Dec 7, 2010 - Photo: Spencer T Tucker / Mayor's Office

Mayor Michael Bloomberg is seen in the Blue Room at City Hall (credit: Spencer T Tucker/Mayor’s Office)

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NEW YORK (AP) – Consultants for New York City’s computerized timekeeping system deny charges they participated in a multi-million-dollar scheme.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg called the arrests “very disturbing news.” The CityTime system has been plagued with huge cost overruns.

Federal prosecutors said consultant Mark Mazer steered about $76 million in city funds to two consulting firms. According to The New York Times, authorities say it’s not clear whether that money was for legitimate services.

It’s alleged those firms kicked back more than $24.5 million to Mazer. He’s accused of laundering the money through shell companies run by relatives.

Attorney Gerald Shargel says Mazer, his wife and his mother “steadfastly deny” wrongdoing.

Attorneys also asserted their co-defendants’ innocence.

(Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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