The Village Voice has published the article, “Andrew Cuomo’s $2 Million Man; How the Attorney General wannabe turned an accused slumlord into a sugar daddy”, which provides information about the relationship between Cuomo and Andrew Farkas, and details the background of the HUD case against Farkas’ business interests.
The developer, Andrew Farkas, would later settle the case – with Cuomo’s permission – without giving up his company’s HUD contracts and then go on to employ Cuomo after he left the HUD post and pay him $1.2 million over a two-year period, the newspaper reported.
Farkas’ company, Insignia Financial Services, was charged with “paying $7.6 million in kickbacks to the owners of 17 federally subsidized projects that Insignia managed”. In settling the suit, they paid $7.4 million in settlement costs.
Cuomo worked for the marina development company Island Capital Group, another Farkas company, from 2004 until three months ago. This group covers areas in the Carribean and Dubai. The $1.2 million was paid to Cuomo from 2004 to 2005.
… as well as over $800,000 in identifiable campaign contributions from varied Farkas companies, family members, and business associates. It does not include an undisclosed amount Island paid Cuomo up to June 2006, when Cuomo finally left the company, which specializes in Dubai and Caribbean luxury marinas. Cuomo’s earnings tripled when he went to work at Island, where he’s made more money than at any other time in his life.
The author of The Voice’s article, Wayne Barrett, said in an interview yesterday that Mr. Cuomo had suggested delaying its publication until after the primary. Mr. Cuomo said in an interview that he had suggested delaying publication so there was more time for Mr. Barrett and Mr. Farkas to exchange information.
Mr. Barrett described a telephone call last week from an anxious-sounding Mr. Cuomo; soon afterward, Mr. Farkas agreed to a longstanding interview request. A little while later, a lawyer for Mr. Farkas, Elkan Abramowitz, sent The Voice what Mr. Barrett called “a libel letter trying to suppress the story on behalf of Farkas.”
“We tried to alert The Village Voice that there were issues that we felt needed to be further explored, and that the allegations that we heard they were prepared to make were false,” Mr. Abramowitz said. “The letter was one of caution.”
Mr. Cuomo, at a news conference yesterday, did not directly answer questions regarding The Village Voice article saying, “first that he had not read the article and then saying that it described that relationship incorrectly”.