Former New York City Department of Education CEO of School Support Services and Three Executives of SOMMA Food Group Convicted of Extortion Conspiracy and Bribery
Earlier today, at the federal courthouse in Brooklyn, Simon Gordon, a former correction officer employed by the New York City Department of Correction (“DOC”), pleaded guilty to conspiring to accept bribes in exchange for smuggling contraband into a jail on Rikers Island. The plea proceeding took place before United States District Judge Carol Bagley Amon. When sentenced, Gordon faces up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.
Richard P. Donoghue, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, and Margaret Garnett, Commissioner, New York City Department of Investigation (DOI), announced the guilty plea.
From approximately January 2018 through July 2018, Gordon agreed to accept bribes in exchange for smuggling contraband, including marijuana, into one of the jails on Rikers Island. On July 29, 2018, DOI investigators monitoring a telephone call between Gordon’s co-conspirators overheard a discussion about a cash payment made to Gordon in exchange for smuggling contraband into the jail. Specifically, co-conspirator 2 told co-conspirator 1 that Gordon was given two “bands,” coded language referring to $2,000, and that co-conspirator 2 had “six balls,” code for six packages of narcotics, for Gordon.
On July 30, 2018, when Gordon arrived for work, he was searched and found to have a package containing marijuana concealed in the crotch of his pants. The package was coated with clear nail polish, to mask the smell of marijuana.
“Gordon betrayed the trust placed in him as a correction officer when he accepted bribes to smuggle contraband into Rikers Island, jeopardizing the safety and security of the correctional facility,” stated United States Attorney Donoghue. “This Office is committed to working with its law enforcement partners to identify and hold accountable those like Gordon who corrupt our correctional institutions.” Mr. Donohue extended his grateful appreciation to DOI for its outstanding investigation.
“City correction officers who accept bribes to transport contraband into correctional facilities undermine the safety and security of the jails, as well as of their fellow officers,” stated DOI Commissioner Garnett. “In this case, a correction officer who pocketed cash in return for bringing in marijuana to Rikers Island is now convicted and no longer a city employee – sending a strong message that New York City has no tolerance for this illegal conduct. I want to thank the Office of the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York for its partnership in this investigation and the successful prosecution of the matter.”
The government’s case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney F. Turner Buford.
Bronx, New York
E.D.N.Y. Docket No. 19-CR-352 (CBA)
United States Attorney’s Office