Wednesday, December 28, 2016
Landlord Moishe Indig and other leaders of Williamsburg's Hasidic community are being questioned by federal investigators in their widening probe into Mayor Bill de Blasio's campaign fundraising.
Indig, who co-hosted a 2013 fundraiser for de Blasio with another political operative, Yitzchok "Isaac" Sofer, was reportedly questioned by the FBI, who also seized one of Indig's cell phones, sources told the New York Post.
The FBI was also looking to speak with Rabbi David Niederman. They previously interviewed Sofer, who was arrested last week for allegedly lying about his income to obtain $30,000 worth of food stamps — a move some speculated was intended to pressure him to cooperate with the campaign finance investigations.
Indig — who landed on de Blasio's "Worst Landlords" list when the mayor was the city's public advocate — is not a registered lobbyist, but sources said he lobbies on behalf of the community anyway. "Developers go to Indig with issues with their properties, hoping to get permits expedited or rezonings approved by the city," a source told the Post.
In 2013, Indig and Sofer convinced a faction of the Hasidic community — the Satmar's Aroni faction — to support de Blasio over Christine Quinn.
State and federal investigators are probing de Blasio's fundraising practices, and the city's Campaign Finance Board recently fined the campaign $47,778 for improperly spending public matching funds on plane tickets for his son, a makeup artist for his family and a second party to celebrate the mayor's election in 2013.
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