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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of New York

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, March 22, 2018

Two New York City Employees Charged In Manhattan Federal Court With Theft Of Government Funds And Wire Fraud

Geoffrey S. Berman, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, and Mark G. Peters, the Commissioner of the New York City Department of Investigation (“DOI”), announced the arrest of ERIC LUNA, an employee of the New York City Department of Youth and Community Development (“DYCD”), and IGOR GOLDSHTEYN, an employee of the New York City Fire Department (“FDNY”), for the theft of government funds and wire fraud.  GOLDSHTEYN was arrested at his residence in Staten Island, New York, and LUNA was arrested outside the Manhattan headquarters of the DYCD.  Both men were presented today before Magistrate Judge Kevin Nathaniel Fox in Manhattan federal court.   

Manhattan U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman said:  “As alleged, Eric Luna and Igor Goldshteyn, New York City employees, betrayed the trust placed in them and abused their powers to make purchases for their respective City agencies.  They allegedly sold over the internet hundreds of mobile phones intended for official use, and pocketed the proceeds of those illegal sales.  Now, thanks to DOI investigators, Luna and Goldshteyn are charged with serious crimes.”

Commissioner Mark G. Peters said:  “Abusing their authority to make purchases for their agencies, these defendants acted in separate schemes to greedily line their own pockets, by stealing hundreds of mobile devices meant for City use and selling them on online marketplaces for hundreds of thousands of dollars in profit, according to the charges. DOI thanks the United States Attorney for the Southern District and Verizon Wireless for their assistance and partnership in this investigation.”

According to the allegations in the Complaints[1]:

In April 2017, DOI investigators discovered that from at least in or about August 2015, hundreds of mobile telecommunications devices purchased by the FDNY and DYCD for use by agency personnel were being improperly diverted by LUNA and GOLDSHTEYN.  Both the FDNY and DYCD receive federal funds – the FDNY through grants from the Department of Homeland Security, and DYCD through grants from the Department of Housing and Urban Development.  LUNA and GOLDSHTEYN offered the devices for sale through third-party vendors over the internet.  The proceeds from the sales of these mobile devices went into LUNA’s and GOLDSHTEYN’s personal checking and online accounts.  

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In separate complaints, GOLDSHTEYN, 42, of Staten Island, New York, and LUNA, 35, of Bronx, New York, are each charged with the theft of federal funds, and wire fraud.  The maximum statutory penalty for the theft of federal funds is 10 years in prison, and the maximum statutory penalty for wire fraud is 20 years in prison.  The statutory maximum penalties are prescribed by Congress and are provided here for informational purposes only, as any sentencing of the defendants would be determined by the judge.

This case is being handled by the Office’s General Crimes Unit.  Assistant United States Attorney Dominic Gentile is in charge of the prosecution.

 

[1] As the introductory phrase signifies, the entirety of the texts of the Complaints and the description of the Complaints set forth herein constitute only allegations, and every fact described should be treated as an allegation.

Topic(s): 
Financial Fraud
Public Corruption
Press Release Number: 
18-087
Updated March 22, 2018