Southbridge tenant busted for L.M.D.C. housing fraud

Mark Marcucilli, an official with the state Division of Housing and Community Renewal, was charged in Manhattan Federal Court on Dec. 20 with conspiracy in a series of schemes to defraud both the Lower Manhattan Development Corp., and Southbridge Towers, the Mitchell-Lama co-op in Lower Manhattan where he lives.

Marcucilli, 49, was arrested on Dec. 22 and released on his own recognizance with his travel restricted to the New York City and surrounding counties pending the outcome of a grand jury presentation, according to federal prosecutors.

The state D.H.C.R. last week suspended the defendant’s job as the agency’s assistant director of housing management while the case is pending. Jesse Barab, Marcucilli’s lawyer, did not return two calls for comment.

The 30-page complaint alleges a chain of actions, including mail fraud, with un-named co-conspirators, according to U.S. Attorney Michael Garcia. The charges are the result of investigations by the New York State Inspector General’s Office, the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Postal Service, Garcia said in a statement.

The complaint charges the defendant with illegally obtaining an apartment at Southbridge by falsely stating that his father lived with him there and obtaining L.M.D.C. grant money based on the false claim. At the time, his father actually lived in Yonkers, according to the complaint.

Marcucilli is also charged with helping a co-conspirator to obtain a Southbridge apartment and to illegally sublet it to a third party. The complaint goes on to charge that Marcucilli helped the friend get an L.M.D.C. grant by claiming the friend lived in the apartment that was sublet to someone else.

The complaint also charges that Marcucilli aided another D.H.C.R. employee who lived at Southbridge to illegally sell his apartment by falsely representing to the state agency that he lived with the person who bought it.

As a result of those actions, the defendant is charged with stealing government funds from the L.M.D.C., which gave rent grants to Lower Manhattan residents, including residents at Southbridge, who were affected by the Sept. 11, 2001 World Trade Center attack. The two-year grants were intended to encourage people to move to or remain in Lower Manhattan.

Marcucilli is also charged with conspiring to commit mail fraud and conspiring to steal L.M.D.C. funds. If convicted, he faces a maximum prison sentence of 20 years.

—Albert Amateau

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