Former West Haven Housing Authority Director Sentenced to Prison for Receiving $1.5 Million in Bribes
Deirdre M. Daly, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that MICHAEL SIWEK, 56, of North Haven, was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Michael P. Shea in Hartford to 48 months of imprisonment, followed by three years of supervised release, for receiving approximately $1.5 million in bribes while serving as the executive director of the West Haven Housing Authority, and for failing to pay taxes on the illegal income.
According to court documents and statements made in court, SIWEK was the executive director of the West Haven Housing Authority (“WHHA”), an agency that received federal funding. As parties of his duties, SIWEK had substantial discretion over awarding WHHA business and contracts. From approximately February 2007 through February 2012, SIWEK received approximately $1.5 million in payments from individuals in exchange for the awarding of business and contracts with the WHHA and entities that the WHHA controlled. SIWEK received these bribes through wire transfers and check payments to himself individually, and to Four Star Development Company LLC, a limited liability corporation that he controlled. SIWEK also received payments that were characterized as “loans,” but which were not subject to any terms or conditions typically associated with commercial loans.
In addition, SIWEK did not report these payments to the IRS, and filed false tax returns that underreported his income and tax liability.
Judge Shea ordered SIWEK to pay restitution in the amount of $1,503,096.91, and back taxes, penalties and interest totaling more than $363,000.
On September 4, 2014, SIWEK pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit bribery in connection with a program receiving federal funds, one count of bribery and one count of tax evasion.
This matter was investigated by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development – Office of Inspector General, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation Division. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Sarah Karwan.
Citizens are encouraged to report corruption to the Connecticut Public Corruption Task Force by calling 203-238-0505