Councilwoman Maria del Carmen ArroyoPhoto by Amy Ponce

Housing money paid for politicians’ trips, says complaint

Taxpayer funds intended for two low-income housing projects in Mott Haven paid for trips to Puerto Rico for Councilwoman Maria del Carmen Arroyo and her mother Assemblywoman Carmen Arroyo, according to a federal criminal complaint charging the assemblywoman’s grandson with embezzlement.

Richard Izquierdo Arroyo and Margarita Villegas stole $200,000 from the non-profit SBCC Management Corp., which manages the Judge Gilbert Ramirez Building at 455 E. 138th Street and the Carmen Parsons Building at 441 E. 155th Street, the complaint, unsealed on June 10, charges.

Izquierdo Arroyo is the president of SBCC and Villegas is its director. They used the company’s American Express card to pay for $15,000 in clothing at stores ranging from Macy’s and Promgirl to Coach and Polo Ralph Lauren, according to prosecutors, and charged $66,000 for restaurant meals. Trips to Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic accounted for another $80,000.

Included in those travel expenses was the airfare for the assemblywoman and the councilwoman, who is Izquierdo Arroyo’s aunt, the complaint charges. It says Izquierdo Arroyo also paid nearly $4,000 to install a new floor in the assemblywoman’s office and drew on SBCC checking accounts to make more than $13,000 in campaign contributions to the assemblywoman.

SBCC is affiliated with South Bronx Community Corp., a nonprofit that shares an address with the Parsons Building. Maria del Carmen Arroyo headed the organization before her election to the city council, and it employed Izquierdo Arroyo and Iris Arroyo, the councilwoman’s sister. Last year, the Daily News reported that the councilwoman and her mother the assemblywoman had sponsored a total of $242,000 in city and state funds for the South Bronx Community Corp.

Neither elected official has been charged with breaking the law. Izquierdo Arroyo and Villegas pleaded not guilty and are free on $200,000 bail.

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4 thoughts on “Feds charge Arroyo kin with embezzlement”
  1. Unfortunately anyone that has lived in the Bronx for any length of time is not suprised by this story. The REAL problems of the Bronx, and why it continues to languish and fall further behind the rest of the city lay squarely on these elected officials.

    The democractic machine has rebuilt the borough, not for the betterment of the Bronx, the city, of the present or future residents of the Bronx, but solely for the purpose of remaining in control. What does that mean?

    It means that the democratic machine has tactically ensured that the borough remains full of a never ending “victimized” population, specifically poor people of color. They have filled the borough with these people, not because it benefits these residents, or is in the best interest of the borough, but because they are easily manipulated by these politicians and as a result maintain the democratic machine in power.

    This “victimized” population are kept ignorant to the reality of their environment, circumstances, and rampant corruption by the democrats in power by slight of hand: You are poor and disadvantangd because “the white man is trying to keep you down”, or the “evil Landlord is trying to evict you and raise rents” or the politicians simply shout “racism” or back some group that shouts “racism” and 1/2 the borough is quickly on their side, with polticians taking full advantage.

    So instead of residents educating themselves, taking an active role in their lives, and improving their circumstances AND the borough, these Bronx Democrats have them simply chasing their own tails playing the blame game….and while they are busy blaming the world for their problems (especially those “evil whites” that are supposedly out to get them), the democrats are getting rich taking bribes, stealing from everyone, and making sweetheart deals for their political “contributors.”

    The democratic machine is so firmly entrenched at this point, the borough has little hope to make the changes necessary to move forward in any real way. The democratic machine has exceeded its own expectations in fact by maintaining the borough’s residents as poor, ignorant, and as “victimized” as possible…this is the ONLY way the Democratic machine draws power.

    Unfortunately, until this cancerous tumor can be excised from the Bronx, the borough has NO chance of moving forward. Here is a recent example: What does the new Bronx Borough President have planned for the Bronx/his solutions? Let’s see…throw more money at public schools (yeah that’s the answer..cuz clearly we don’t throw enough money at the black hole that is the public school system), expanding rent control/stabilization (because really the Bronx doesn’t have enough of that already..what community needs a diversified social/economic base anyway right?…its better to just have everyone poor), and let’s not forget, he wants to make sure those “evil” gays/lesbians do not have equal rights..because after all, they are the real problem in the Bronx. I wonder how vocal he would be if the laws did not provide equal rights to Hispanics..hmmm…

    Nevertheless, it is yet another black eye for an otherwise abused borough, and so long as the democratic machine plays race politics (which thus far has worked tremendously at keeping them in power in the Bronx), they will remain in power, become more brazen, and sink the Bronx further. There is a good reason why Freddie Ferrer never ascended to Mayor…the rest of the city wants nothing to do with the Bronx Democratic machine or their divisive, backwards, immature, and corrupt policies. And Ruben Ramos, the Bronx Borough President, is being rewarded for following this same corrupt path…look for more of the same “victimization” policies that will sink the Bronx further.

  2. This is so sad, you have people out there in serious need of healthcare, better living conditions; people who live in drug infested neighborhoods. Children grow up believing that being on welfare is the norm; that the only way they will have good things in life is by selling drugs. Our public school system is a joke and parental guidance is at an all time low because of the fact that in order to survive now and days you need the income of both the father and mother (if the child is lucky enough to have even that). People like Carmen Arroyo is equal to people like Bernie Maydolf; selfish, greedy and dispicable. She should go to jail and spend the rest of her selfish life there.

  3. ya dont know what ya talking bout, look at all she has done for the people, the movement she started, theres something that aint being said, i speak cuz i know, btw i just found out she family, like the governor of p.r. sila calderon, my family dont get down like that,

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