Business

Consultant Pleads Guilty In NY Timekeeping Scandal

(credit: AP)

(credit: AP)

NEW YORK (AP) – A business consultant has pleaded guilty to paying bribes as part of a scheme to land lucrative government contracts related to New York City’s effort to computerize its worker timekeeping system.

Victor Natanzon, 49, pleaded guilty Tuesday to a four-count criminal complaint that also accused him of money laundering. The plea happened before a federal judge in Manhattan. It was not announced at the time and didn’t become publicly known until Thursday.

Natanzon is one of several people charged criminally in a scandal involving New York’s so-called City Time project, an effort to modernize the way the city keeps track of employee working hours.

On Thursday, a grand jury filed an indictment updating charges against four other consultants accused of secretly steering $80 million in government work to companies they controlled. New charges were also filed against a fifth defendant accused of using a shell company to launder proceeds of the fraud.

As part of his deal, Natanzon has agreed to pay restitution and cooperate with investigators. Authorities have said their inquiry into the contract-skimming scheme is ongoing.

Joel Bondy, the executive director of the city officer overseeing the payroll project, was suspended the day after the arrests in December.

Natanzon admitted to delivering a $20,000 bribe to an official who wasn’t named in court papers.

Two lawyers listed for Natanzon in court records, Tony Mirvis and Igor Niman, didn’t immediately respond to phone calls and e-mails Thursday.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)