2016-12-21 / Front Page

Woodside Landlord Busted On Bribe Charges

By Liz Goff
A Woodside landlord is facing up to eight years behind bars, after she was caught trying to bribe an inspector from the city Department of Buildings (DOB) to overlook a series of violations, authorities said.

Susan Escoban Cardena, 65, was arrested on December 12 at the two-family home she owns at 62-17 39th Avenue, and charged with bribery and reckless endangerment at her arraignment at Queens Criminal Court.

Prosecutors said Cardena offered a DOB inspector $200 to overlook the violations that included several illegal conversions.

A criminal complaint filed by prosecutors says DOB ordered Cardena out of the house in March, after an inspector discovered five tenants living in three illegally converted rooms.

A second DOB inspector discovered, during a follow-up visit in April, that Cardena was still living in the home along with the illegal tenants, prosecutors said. When Cardena told the inspector she had nowhere else to live, he offered to call the Red Cross to help her find shelter. Cardena panicked when the inspector asked for her identification, asked him to “help her out,” and handed him $200 in cash, prosecutors said. The inspector told Cardena that her actions were improper, placed the cash on a table and walked out of the house.

The inspector reported the attempted bribe to his supervisors and later returned to the home, where he was able to record Cardena again offering him $200 to overlook the violations, prosecutors said.

Officials at the Department of Investigation and the DOB vacated the home on December 12, and relocated the five illegal tenants.

 Cardena could face eight years in jail, if convicted.







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