Two contractors from Brooklyn were arrested on Monday for allegedly trying to bribe a city inspector at a mixed-use residential/commercial construction site in Ridgewood after failing to get proper permits and following safety regulations, the Department of Investigation (DOI) announced Tuesday.
Ismail Mohammad Hassan, 22 , and Mohamad Ali Hassan, 50, were each charged with third-degree bribery on Sept. 30. They were both released on their own recognizance and ordered to return to the Queens Criminal Court on Oct. 28.
If convicted, both men face up to seven years in prison.
“This investigation shows how quickly corruption can be stopped when City employees embrace their mandate to report wrongdoing to DOI,” said DOI Commissioner Margaret Garnett. “Working together, DOI and this Buildings Inspector made this City safer, as work has now been stopped on the site until the buildings violations have been addressed. I commend this DOB Inspector who stood up for integrity and for all New Yorkers. And I thank the Queens District Attorney’s Office for their partnership in prosecuting this matter.”
According to the criminal complaint, the DOI investigation began on Sept. 30 when the department received a tip from a DOB inspector. The tip alleged that the inspector had just been offered $400 in exchange for not issuing various DOB violations at 55-43 Myrtle Ave. in Ridgewood.
As a result of that report, DOI worked with the inspector, and had him under surveillance, when he returned to the site to speak with the defendants about the building violations. Mohamad Ali Hassan allegedly removed $290 in cash from his pocket, handed it to Ismail Mohammad Hassan, who then placed that sum of money in the DOB inspector’s hand.
When the inspector asked where the extra $100 was that had been previously discussed, Mohamad Ali Hassan allegedly said that if the inspector came back later, they would provide the rest of the money.