US is investigating whether Adams received illegal donations from Turkey

Federal prosecutors and the FBI are conducting a broad public corruption investigation into whether Mayor Eric Adams’ 2021 campaign colluded with the Turkish government to receive illegal foreign donations, according to a search warrant obtained by The New York Times.

The investigation came into public view Thursday when federal agents raided the Brooklyn home of the mayor’s chief fundraiser. Ms. Suggs is a campaign consultant who is deeply tied to the mayor’s efforts to advance his agenda.

Investigators sought to learn more about the possible involvement of a Brooklyn construction company and a small university in Washington, DC, with ties to Turkey.

According to the search warrant, investigators also focused on whether the mayor’s campaign returned benefits to officials and employees of the construction company and to Turkish officials.

Agents seized three iPhones and two laptop computers, along with documents and other evidence, including what agents identified as a “manila folder labeled Eric Adams,” seven “contribution card binders” and other items, according to the documents.

There is no indication that the investigation was directed at the mayor, and he has not been accused of wrongdoing. Still, the ordeal prompted him to abruptly cancel several meetings scheduled for Thursday morning in Washington, DC, where he had planned to speak to White House officials and members of Congress about the migrant crisis.

Instead, he hastily returned to New York to “deal with a matter,” the mayor’s spokesman said.

Appearing at the Día de Muertos celebration at the Crazy Mansion on Thursday night, Mr. Adams said he held his campaign to a “high ethical standard.”

He has not been contacted by any law enforcement officials, but has promised to cooperate with any investigation. Mr. Adams said he was “on the ground” to “watch over this investigation” when he returned from Washington.

The warrant suggested some of the foreign campaign contributions were made as part of a straw donor scheme in which donations were made in the names of people who did not actually pay.

Investigators sought evidence to support potential charges, including theft of federal funds and conspiracy to steal federal funds, wire fraud and wire fraud conspiracy, as well as campaign contributions from foreign nationals and conspiracy to make such contributions.

Mr. Adams boasted about his ties to Turkey during a flag-raising ceremony for the country in Lower Manhattan last week. No other mayor in New York City history has visited Turkey as often as he has, the mayor said.

I think I’m on my sixth or seventh visit,” he said. At least one of those visits took place during Turkey’s government, when he was president of the borough of Brooklyn Wrote ExcursionThe Daily News reported.

Ms., who could not be reached for comment. Suggs, Mr. He’s also integral to Adams’ fundraising machine, which has already raised more than $2.5 million for his 2025 re-election campaign.

A person familiar with the raid said agents from one of the public corruption units in the FBI’s New York office questioned Ms. Sucks when they raided her home.

An FBI spokesman confirmed, referring to Ms. Sucks’ home in the Crown Heights section of Brooklyn, that “we are conducting law enforcement operations at that location.”

Agents served Ms. Sucks with a subpoena to testify before a federal grand jury in Manhattan.

Nicholas Byas, a spokesman for the federal prosecutor’s office in Manhattan, declined to comment.

The construction company was identified in the warrant, parts of which were obtained by the Times as KSK Construction Group in Brooklyn. According to campaign finance records, individuals who list their employer as KSK, Mr. They have donated nearly $14,000 to Adams’ 2021 campaign. A person who answered the phone at the company declined to comment.

Mr. Charles Kretschmer Luak, a spokesman for Adams, said Ms. Suggs was not an employee of City Hall and referred the calls to the mayor’s campaign team.

“The campaign has always been of the highest quality,” said Mr. said Vito Pitta, attorney for Adams’ 2021 and 2025 campaigns. “The campaign is certainly relevant to any inquiries.”

Mr. Pitta added: “Mayor Adams has not been contacted as part of this investigation.”

The search warrant requested financial records for Ms. Suggs and any entity controlled by or associated with her; documents related to contributions to the mayor’s 2021 campaign; Records of travel to Turkey by any employee, official or associate of the campaign; Documents related to communications between the campaign and the Turkish government, “including persons acting at the behest of the Turkish government.”

Investigators noted documents related to Bay Atlantic University, a small Turkish institution that opened in Washington, DC in 2014. The following year, Mr. Adams attended one of the school’s sister universities in Istanbul, where he was awarded various certificates. He said that a scholarship would be created in his name.

The warrant also sought electronic devices used by Ms. Suggs, including cell phones, laptops or tablets.

25-year-old Ms. Suggs, Mr. He is the latest in a line of individuals tied to Adams who have drawn the interest of law enforcement, including several associated with the mayor’s fundraising efforts.

In September, Mr. Adams’ former buildings commissioner and senior adviser, Eric Ulrich, was indicted by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg on 16 felony counts, including conspiracy and bribery. Mr. Ulrich and the three accused at the time, Mr. They helped Adams organize the 2021 fundraiser.

On charges of conspiring to make illegal donations to the mayor’s 2021 campaign, Mr. Mr. Adams is accused of six people, including a retired police inspector. Bragg charged.

The FBI is also investigating the role of one of the mayor’s top aides in last month’s violent confrontation at an immigrant center in Manhattan.

Mr. Adams tried to distance himself from these investigations, arguing that he had little insight into the events that prompted them. But it can be difficult to keep the inquiry of such a close and long-standing adviser at arm’s length.

In the last two years, Mr. Adams’ re-election campaign has paid Ms. Suggs nearly $100,000 for fundraising and campaign consulting services through her company, Suggs Solutions, according to city records.

His first mayoral campaign paid him more than $50,000.

Ms Suggs is also registered as a lobbyist. Chinatown real estate firm East Broadway Mall hired Ms. Sucks through an intermediary to lobby the mayor’s office and the City Council on its behalf in 2022, state records show.

Mr. When Adams was mayor of Brooklyn, he was assisted by Mrs. Suggs worked with, and was particularly close to, Ingrid Lewis-Martin, who was his deputy at the time and is now his top adviser.

Ms. Suggs is deeply embedded in outside efforts to advance the mayor’s agenda. In matters of policy Mr. Striving for a Better New York, a key ally of the political action group that has pledged to support state candidates aligned with Adams, has paid Ms. Sucks about $100,000.

Mr. Ms. Suggs also lists a Brooklyn Democrat with close ties to Adams as a client on her LinkedIn. page.

Rodneyse Bichotte Hermelyn, Assemblywoman who leads the Brooklyn party, Ms. Suggs was a volunteer fundraiser who mainly handled logistics. He said he was surprised to learn of the FBI raid.

I know Briana Suggs and she is a bright young woman. I think she is a very honest, organized person. He is very gentle, a very professional person,” said Ms Pichot Hermelin. “She knows the rules.”

Mr. Trump has called off high-level meetings with senior White House officials on an issue he warned would drain New York’s budget and destroy the city. Adams’ decision suggested an extraordinary degree of urgency.

The White House seems shocked. The mayor’s office called Thursday morning to inform them of the cancellation, a White House aide said.

“I can’t speak to his schedule, why he had to attend, he couldn’t attend,” White House spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierre said.

The mayor was scheduled to meet with congressional representatives along with Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson and Denver Mayor Mike Johnston.

At 7:41 a.m. on Thursday, Mr. Adams Posted a video on X, formerly known as Twitter, was sitting on a plane. He said he would travel to Washington to meet with White House officials and congressional representatives about the migrant crisis, which he described as a “real issue.”

The mayor promised to update the public throughout the day, but after he canceled the meetings, officials at City Hall did not explain why. They said meetings will be rescheduled.

At 8 a.m. Thursday, about 10 agents called Ms. Suggs was seen standing on the block, a video of the scene taken by a neighbor and seen by The New York Times. One agent wore a light green tactical vest with “FBI” emblazoned on the back. Another officer was seen leaving the residence with a cardboard box.

According to a neighbor, Christopher Burwell, Ms. Suggs was standing on the stoop with her father when agents searched her home.

“Whatever it was, she must have been deceived by it, for she was a great woman,” said Mr. Burwell said. “I’ve known her all my life.”

Reporting contributed Emma G Fitzsimmons, Michael D. Sheer, Wesley Parnell, Michael Rothfield, Rebecca Chao And Melissa Kravitz Hoffner.

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