Press Releases

Former Executive Director Of Brooklyn Not-For-Profit Pleads Guilty In Manhattan Federal Court To Criminal Contempt

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Mary Galligan, the Acting Assistant Director-In-Charge of the New York Field Division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”), and Rose Gill Hearn, Commissioner of the New York City Department of Investigation (“DOI”), announced that CHRISTIANA M. FISHER, the former Executive Director of Ridgewood Bushwick Senior Citizens Council, Inc. (“RBSCC”), pled guilty today to one count of criminal contempt for permitting materially false documents about her compensation to be produced by RBSCC in response to a federal grand jury subpoena. RBSCC receives federal, state, and local funding. FISHER pled guilty in Manhattan federal court before U.S. Magistrate Judge James C. Francis IV this afternoon.

Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said: “Christiana Fisher knowingly misled investigators and prosecutors and obstructed the grand jury process. We will not allow the criminal justice system to be manipulated by those who are not truthful.”

FBI Acting Assistant Director-In-Charge Mary Galligan said: “By her own admission, Ms. Fisher participated in willfully misleading the U.S. Attorney's Office and the FBI. This is a serious offense because the likely consequence is to impede a federal investigation.”

DOI Commissioner Rose Gill Hearn said: “No nonprofit executive receiving City funding can be intentionally misleading. The City's contract vetting process continues to be vigilant and protect taxpayer funds.”

According to the Information, the plea agreement, statements made in court proceedings, and other public documents:

RBSCC is a not-for-profit corporation located in Brooklyn, New York. In September 2010, while FISHER was serving as its Executive Director, RBSCC received a grand jury subpoena from the Southern District of New York requesting, among other things, documents related to a significant increase in FISHER’s compensation. FISHER participated in the document production process, and was aware that the documents and tax filings provided by RBSCC’s Board of Directors in response to the subpoena were false, and that they would mislead investigators and prosecutors about the board's approval of her salary. She also knew that the production of false documents violated the grand jury subpoena.

*                      *                      *

FISHER, 57, of Queens, New York, faces a maximum sentence of six months in prison. In addition, FISHER has agreed to forfeit the amount of $170,659, which represents the amount paid to her as a pay increase pursuant to the false board documents. FISHER is scheduled to be sentenced on April 17, 2013 at 10:00 a.m. before Magistrate Judge Francis.

Mr. Bharara thanked the FBI and DOI for their assistance in this investigation.

This case is being prosecuted by the Office’s Public Corruption Unit. Assistant United States Attorney Carrie H. Cohen is in charge of the prosecution.




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