A solid waste removal company and one of its top managers were both charged on Tuesday in connection with an alleged scheme where public money was spent on strip clubs in New York City.
Westchester District Attorney Miriam “Mimi” E. Rocah announced the six-count complaint against City Carting of Westchester and manager Christopher Oxer, 35, in a press release.
“The Westchester District Attorney’s Office has zero tolerance for public corruption and misuse of public tax dollars by government employees or contractors,” Rocah said. “The actions of Christopher Oxer and City Carting of Westchester represent a brazen attempt to rip off county residents by including expenditures for items that clearly are not covered under their contract.”
The company receives some $20 million annually from its relationship with the county. According to the DA’s office, the allegedly false filings were “meant to conceal payments” made to the strip clubs in excess of $135,000 — “including one instance in which $40,000 was spent in a single visit to one such establishment.”
City Carting has been under contract with Westchester County since 2004. Under the terms of the contract, the company operates waste transfer stations, operates and maintains a materials recovery facility for recyclables while also hauling recyclables to that facility from certain locations in the county, and provides landfill capacity and other services that are related to solid waste removal.
An additional agreement with the county, however, provides that City Carting is overseen by independent monitor Kroll Associates in order to make sure the company is generally compliant with laws, rules and regulations and specifically not under the influence of organized crime — which previously had substantial leverage over waste management companies in the northeastern United States, Rocah’s office noted.
According to a six-count criminal complaint obtained by Law&Crime, Oxer and the company submitted a series of false financial report forms with Kroll Associates that attempted to disguise and pass off numerous Manhattan strip club visits as valid business expenditures.
Starting in May 2018 and ending in August 2019, the complaint alleges that Oxer and the company used an American Express credit card at two separate strip clubs on six occasions: (1) Prime 333 at Sapphire; and (2) Larry Flynt‘s Hustler Club. The complaint further alleges that the defendants “did offer or present a general ledger purportedly depicting financial data” to the monitor the period from June 2018 through November 2019 for each of those six strip club visits.
Both defendants are charged with six counts each of Offering a False Instrument for Filing in the First Degree for using the company’s credit card at the strip clubs and then listing the payments on the ledger submitted with the monitor for things like tires, maintenance, and tolls.
“[D]efendants falsely categorized as company expenses within the general ledger as ‘Maintenance – Plant Equipment’ and ‘Equipment Transporation660′, knowing or believing that the general ledger would be filed with, registered or recorded in or otherwise become a part of the records of the Solid Waste Commission,” the complaint alleges.
Other allegedly false ledger entries included “Tolls698,” “Tires480,” and “Damage / OOP Repairs419.”
According to the court documents, Larry Flynt’s Hustler Club was the defendants’ destination of choice.
[image via Chris Hondros/Getty Images]
Have a tip we should know? [email protected]