FBI Searches Crown Heights Home of Brianna Suggs, Fundraiser Chairman Eric Adams – NBC New York
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- The FBI has searched a Brooklyn home belonging to a fundraiser for New York City Mayor Eric Adams, according to sources familiar with the matter, in what appears to be a campaign finance investigation.
- Neighbor and city records indicated the house belonged to Adams’ fundraising boss, Brianna Suggs. Adams said Thursday evening that investigators had not contacted him about the case and would stick to the investigation
- Sources familiar with the matter told NBC New York that the search was related in part to questions about the campaign’s fundraising. “I am outraged and outraged if anyone would try to use the campaign to manipulate our democracy and defraud our campaign,” Adams said Friday.
New York City Mayor Eric Adams responded again Friday to a federal law enforcement search of the home of a top fundraiser in what appears to be a campaign finance investigation.
The search was conducted shortly before noon at a home on Lincoln Place near Brooklyn Avenue in Crown Heights. An FBI spokesperson confirmed that agents were participating in law enforcement activity at Brownstone, but did not share any further details about it.
Neighbor and city records indicated the house belonged to Adams’ fundraising boss, Brianna Suggs. The FBI has not commented on who owns the home or anything related to the search warrant. Agents — some in suits, others in tactical gear — hauled boxes of evidence from the house to a pickup truck outside.
It was not immediately clear whether Suggs was the target of the investigation, although sources familiar with the matter told NBC New York that the search was partly related to questions about campaign fundraising. Calls and texts to the number listed on Suggs’ website were not returned.
“I am outraged and outraged if anyone would try to use the campaign to manipulate our democracy and defraud our campaign,” Adams said in a statement on Friday. “I want to be clear, I have no knowledge, directly or otherwise, of any improper fundraising.” Activity – and certainly not from any foreign money. “We will of course work with officials to respond to inquiries, as appropriate, as we have always done.”
The research was conducted as Adams abruptly ended his trip to Washington, D.C., on Thursday morning, when he was scheduled to meet with the Biden administration about the ongoing migrant crisis. He and mayors from other major American cities are scheduled to meet with senior White House officials and members of the US House of Representatives and Senate.
The mayor said Thursday night that no investigator has contacted him about the case.
“Listen, everyone knows me, I play by the rules. We’re going to stick to the investigation and we always will. That’s what we do,” Adams told supporters at an event Thursday night.
In an exclusive interview with NBC New York on Wednesday, Adams said he and the mayors of Chicago, Denver-Houston and Los Angeles will meet with federal lawmakers to help them develop a plan to manage the wave of migrants who they say are arriving with little or nothing. Coordination, support, or resources from the administration of President Joe Biden.
But shortly after arriving in the nation’s capital on Thursday, Adams got back on a plane and returned to New York City to “address a matter,” a spokesperson for the mayor’s office told NBC New York. In a later statement, Deputy Mayor Fabian Levy confirmed that the mayor had saved his plans in D.C. and the White House in order to “return to New York as quickly as possible” after learning what was going on.
“The mayor heard about an issue with the campaign, and he takes these issues seriously,” Levy said, adding that Adams intends to return to D.C. and reschedule the meetings “as soon as possible.”
“When you have something that happened like this, an investigation into a member of the campaign, I think it was important for me to come back,” Adams told NBC New York on Thursday night.
An attorney for Adams’ 2021 campaign said the campaign has begun “an extensive review of all documents and actions by campaign staffers associated with the contributors involved.”
The FBI is on the scene investigating Brooklyn’s Crown Heights neighborhood in what appears to be a case tied to campaign finance concerns.
Suggs did not immediately respond to a request for comment from NBC New York. She was an advisor to Adams’ campaign who raised money for his campaign efforts and also lobbied his administration on behalf of corporate clients.
Suggs has worked closely with Adams since at least 2017, when he was Brooklyn borough president. She later joined his mayoral campaign, helping raise more than $18.4 million for his primary and general elections, according to her LinkedIn profile.
She continued fundraising for his re-election bid, which had already raised more than $2 million less than halfway through his term. Records show Suggs simultaneously started her own lobbying firm in 2022. Her clients listed real estate interests with businesses before the city, including a Chinatown mall that was seeking to renew its lease.
Her dual fundraising and lobbying efforts have come under scrutiny by good government groups, though she has denied any wrongdoing, the New York Daily News reported.
“As an attorney who has practiced criminal defense for a significant portion of my career, I have always respected the sanctity of this part of our justice system that presumes everyone is innocent,” Frank Caron, Adams’ campaign chairman, told NBC New York in a statement. “Here, it is even more profound for me because I know Brianna personally, have watched her grow into an incredibly effective professional, and I have complete confidence that she conducted herself (as well as the entire campaign) at the highest level both morally and ethically.” Legally. “
Campaign files showed numerous donations to Adams from Suggs family members living in the house searched. Suggs was said to share the home with her father and grandmother, and neighbors said she grew up on the block.
While law enforcement officials did not detail what the FBI search was involved in, overall the type of activity seen at the home suggests a court-authorized search warrant was executed.
NBC New York has also learned that investigators visited the Williamsburg building on Thursday looking for information and spoke to the construction company. At least 11 Adams donors worked for the company, campaign finance records show. A woman who answered the phone confirmed that law enforcement had visited, but did not comment beyond that.
There has been no indication yet that Adams himself was directly connected to any investigation. In a statement, Adams’ attorney, Vito Petta, said the mayor “will of course abide by any inquiries, as appropriate,” adding that the campaign has “always held itself to the highest standards.”
No arrests have been made in connection with the search or the federal investigation, which appears to be in its early stages. It was not clear whether the investigation had anything to do with the investigation being conducted by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg.
Nicholas Biasi, a spokesman for the federal prosecutor’s office in Manhattan, declined to comment.
The raid comes less than four months after six people were charged in an unofficial donor conspiracy scheme to funnel tens of thousands of dollars to the Adams campaign. These charges were filed in state court, and did not directly implicate the mayor.
An informal donor scheme is essentially a way to get around campaign contribution limits by falsely using the names of friends and relatives as donors.
That case resulted in two guilty pleas from construction company owners who admitted to participating in a conspiracy that led to false donations to Adams’ 2021 campaign. Adams’ team has denied knowledge of the alleged donor scheme and has been said to not be a target of the investigation. It was not clear whether Thursday’s search was related to the other investigation.
Eric Ulrich, the city’s former buildings commissioner under Adams, was also charged in September with using his position to provide favors, including access to the mayor, in exchange for money and other bribes. Ulrich and the six other defendants have pleaded not guilty.
The Associated Press’ Jake Offenhartz and Michael Balsamo contributed to this report.
(tags for translation) Brooklyn