BPHN founder faces bribery charges

Victor M. Rivera, president and CEO of Bronx Parent Housing Network
Photo courtesy of MCNY

In February, Victor Rivera, the founder of one of the largest nonprofit shelter providers in the city, The Bronx Parent Housing Network, (BPHN) was accused of being  a sexual predator.

Since then his problems have only gotten worse.  On Tuesday, Rivera was charged with fraud and money laundering and allegedly was involved in a bribery and kickbacks scheme.

“Many of the over 8.4 million residents of New York City rely on government-assisted non-profits to provide food, affordable housing, and other essential services for their well-being,” said Manhattan U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss . “As alleged in today’s charges, by accepting bribes and kickbacks, Victor Rivera sought to leverage his position as the CEO of a non-profit into a very much for-profit situation for himself. The vast majority of organizations in New York City’s non-profit networks honorably provide assistance to those in need, but when any individual selfishly exploits one of those organizations for their own personal gain, they will find themselves facing criminal charges for corruption.”

BPHN  annually spent millions of dollars in public funds on real estate, security, cleaning, construction, and food expenses, among other costs related to the housing and social services. According to the investigation, from 2013 until  2020, Rivera engaged in a scheme to enrich himself and his relatives by soliciting and accepting bribes and kickbacks from contractors doing work fro BPHN.

This yielded Rivera at least hundreds of thousands of dollars in illicit gains. Rivera allegedly laundered some of the corrupt payments through intermediary entities he controlled, including through a purported consulting company nominally owned by one of Rivera’s relatives.

Rivera, 61, of Stony Point, was charged with one count of honest services wire fraud conspiracy, one count of honest services wire fraud and one count of money laundering.

More from Around NYC