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Bronx Parent Housing Network (BPHN), Victor Rivera, who coordinated a network of shelter homes in New York, will serve more than two years in prison for taking bribes and benefiting from public funds allocated to provide services to the homeless.
Rivera, 62, was sentenced Monday during a hearing in federal court for the Southern District in Manhattan to two years and three months in prison for conspiring to commit fraud in the provision of services.
According to the prosecution, from at least 2013 through about 2020, Rivera engaged in a scheme to enrich himself and his family by soliciting and accepting kickbacks from contractors performing work related to or for the organization he ran, which operated soup kitchens, homeless shelters and affordable housing facilities in the city.
Through this scheme, Rivera obtained about $1.2 million.
New York State awards billions of dollars to different NGOs that provide essential services to people and communities in need in a city that has a chronic homelessness problem.
In February 2021, then-New York Mayor Bill de Blasio called for the opening of an investigation against Rivera over allegations of sexual abuse, following a report published by The New York Times.
The newspaper reported that Rivera allegedly took advantage of his power and influence to sexually abuse at least 10 women, as well as to enrich himself and his family.
Five of the women claimed they were living in one of the shelters overseen by Rivera’s NGO when he approached them for sex.
Upon completion of his prison sentence, Rivera must serve two years of supervised release and $1.24 million will be forfeited, and he must repay the NGO just over $900,000.