FBI investigation of NYC Mayor Eric Adams fundraiser centers on illegal contributions from foreign nationals – US 247 News


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New York Mayor Eric Adams attends a press conference on gun violence prevention and public safety on July 31, 2023 in New York City.


An FBI raid at the home of New York City Mayor Eric Adam’s chief fundraiser Thursday morning is said to be part of an investigation to determine if Adams’ 2021 mayoral campaign conspired with a Brooklyn-based construction company to funnel foreign money into the campaign coffers, multiple law enforcement officials told CNN.

Law enforcement officials who are familiar with the search warrants told CNN the investigators are seeking evidence that foreign nationals – who are barred from making contributions – may have “bundled” donations by going into New York’s Turkish-American communities and getting US Citizens of Turkish origin to act as “straw contributors.”

The alleged scheme would have allowed money coming from foreign business entities to be masked as donations from American citizens who did not actually donate the money.

CNN has reached out to the State Department and the Turkish Embassy for comment.

Thursday night, Adams addressed the investigation into his campaign by saying he holds himself and his campaign to a high standard.

“I feel extremely comfortable about how I comply with rules and procedures. I’ve stated this over and over again. “I hold myself to a high standard, I hold my campaign to a high standard, and I hold my staffers at city hall to a high standard,” he said.

Teams of FBI agents executed “numerous search warrants” at homes and businesses throughout the New York area Thursday morning, including one at the home of chief fundraiser for Adams’ campaign, Brianna Suggs, multiple law enforcement sources told CNN.

The New York Times first reported on the search for Suggs’ home.

Suggs is a key player in Adams’ fundraising apparatus for his reelection campaign. The Adams 2025 campaign has already raised more than $2.5 million, according to the city’s campaign finance board.

A spokesperson for Suggs declined to comment.

Speaking to reporters on Thursday night, Adams called Suggs “a real professional” who does his job well and will comply with any inquiry that’s made, according to CNN affiliate WCBS.

CNN has reached out to the FBI for comment.

The searches, the sources said, are part of an investigation by the FBI’s Public Corruption squad. The agents took phones, computers, tablets, and files from Suggs, according to the sources.

One of the companies that was searched is KSK construction Group in Brooklyn, the law enforcement officials said. The construction and development company has built apartments and condos all over the city and is part of the KiSKA Construction Corporation, which owns two US locations of a Turkish Hotel Chain.

A CNN review of campaign finance records identified at least 11 employees at KSK construction group donated a total of $13,950 ranging from $1,200 to $1,500, all on the same day to Adams 2021 mayoral campaign. CNN has reached out to the donors for comment.

CNN has also reached out to Erden Arkan, who is listed as the owner of KSK construction group LLC., and also listed as a donor to the Adams campaign. New York City Campaign Finance records show Arkan donated $1,500.

A spokesperson for the mayor’s office referred CNN to the Adams campaign earlier Thursday.

Adams 2021 Campaign Counsel Vitto Pitta told CNN that “the campaign has always held itself to the highest standards. The campaign will of course comply with any inquiries, as appropriate.”

The mayor had not been contacted as part of the investigation, Pitta said.

Adams abruptly canceled the remainder of a trip to Washington, DC, Thursday morning to meet with federal officials about the migrant crisis to return to New York. An Adams spokesperson told CNN later Thursday that “the biggest heard of an issue related to the campaign, and takes these issues seriously, so he wanted to get back to New York as quickly as possible. “He plans to return to DC and reschedule these meetings as soon as he can.”

Adams has openly brought about his ties to the city’s Turkish American community. He recently held a flag raising ceremony in Lower Manhattan noting he had visited the country at least six or seven times.

“I’m probably the only major in the history of this city who has not only visited Turkey once, but I think I’m on my sixth or seventh visit to Turkey,” Adams said last week.

As Brooklyn Borough President, Adams traveled at least twice to Turkey, where he signed a sister city agreement with Istanbul’s Üsküdar district in August 2015. That trip was paid for by the Turkish Consulate; an organization called the World Tourism Foundation covered the expense of the other.

“This visit,” Adams said in a press release at the time, “underscores the deep importance of our own Turkish community and their contributions to our One Brooklyn family.”

His mayoral campaign received a financial boost after the visit to Turkey. Turkish American supporters hosted a fundraiser for Adams in July 2018 at Ali Baba Turkish Restaurant in the Kips Bay section of Manhattan.

This headline and story have been updated with additional developments.

CNN’s Sabrina Shulman and Holmes Lybrand contributed to this report.