HEMPSTEAD, NY – Three contractors were arrested by federal agents on April 7 along with Stacey Stackhouse, 51, of Dobbs Ferry, the former executive director of the Hempstead Village Housing Authority, in a $400,000 kickback scheme.
According to court documents, the scam involved repairs at the authority’s developments and the contractors were identified as James Alimonos, 51, of Bethpage, NY; Demetrios Kaouris, 47, of Plainview, NY; and Michael Lambros, 48, of Jamaica, Queens.
Assistant United States Attorney Michael P. Canty, who is in charge of the prosecution, described Alimonos “the mastermind.” He is being held in jail because he could not come up with collateral for bail. Stackhouse, Kaouris and Lambros each paid $150,000 bail and were released.
Stackhouse was earning $130,000 a year at the housing authority. She was fired in April 2013, after the start of a federal criminal investigation.
“The alleged pay-for-play scheme involved contracts for work on a roof, boilers and security systems, federal officials said. The kickback scheme involved three contracts for which Stackhouse knowingly accepted vastly inflated and improper bids to make repairs on housing authority property, according to the complaint filed by Jennifer Lake, a criminal investigator with the inspector general’s office of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. FBI agents also worked on the investigation,” Newsday reported.
Kickbacks totaling $432,000 went to the co-conspirators. The complaint does not detail kickbacks Stackhouse personally received except in one case where she allegedly received $4,500 for making a $9,000 payment in housing authority funds “under the guise of ‘consulting fees,’ ” and the complaint indicates that Alimonos had made several hundred thousand dollars.
According to officials and as reported by Newsday, the three projects allegedly involved kickbacks were: the September 2011 repair of the roof at the 32-family unit Clinton Court development on Yale Street; the July 2012 repair of piping and a boiler at the 30-family unit Gladys Gardens development on Gladys Avenue; and the August 2011 repair of the intercom system at the 75-senior citizen development Totten Towers on Totten Street.