The story keeps emphasizing how destitute the tenants are, but they somehow had iPads on hand and were able to put together amounts of money that truly destitute people cannot.
The real takeaway is that this was a benefits for goodies scam and variations of it go on all the time in New York and all over the country.
Sunny Gupta, 55, was busted Friday for allegedly shaking down destitute public housing tenants for cash and iPads, according to court documents.
Officials said the New York City Housing Authority employee, who was fired earlier this year, lowered rents, in his role as a housing assistant, at the Lower East Side’s Vladeck Houses for at least two tenants whose income streams dwindled in 2012.
Gupta — who was paid $53,427 a year, according to SeeThroughNY.net — allegedly received $200 from the cash-strapped tenant on July 31, 2012.
He also received an iPad from the son of a second Vladeck Houses tenant after reducing the resident’s rent from $725 to $215, officials claim.
Gupta apparently settled for the iPad. He initially demanded the tenant give him a MacBook Pro that could have cost his victim upward of $1,500, court documents show.
The Vladeck Houses are named an elected Socialist official and manager of the left-wing Forward newspaper. His son Stephen went on to found what has been described as “the last Socialist law firm in America.”