According to the prepared remarks for U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara, which I received today, the clues regarding FCR's role are contradictory; one sentence suggests FCR was a mover behind the alleged dirty deal, while another suggests that "Developer No. 2" might have been extorted:
In June, the developer enlisted Jereis, who had been providing Annabi with tens of thousands of dollars in secret payments, to get Councilwoman Annabi’s vote.Did FCR blow the whistle?
...And for his part, Jereis demanded, and received, a so-called consulting contract worth $60,000 a year from the Ridge Hill developer immediately after Councilwoman Annabi switched her vote.
According to unnamed sources talking to the Daily News (as noted by DDDB), it looks like FCR was playing along:
At no time during these meetings and agreements with Jereis did Ratner go to the FBI, according to two sources familiar with the investigation.The remarks about Ridge Hill, verbatim
The Indictment also lays out the facts surrounding Councilwoman Annabi’s sudden about-face on the “Ridge Hill Development Project.”
That was a project proposed by another developer to transform an 81-acre tract of land into retail shopping, restaurants, office space, and other uses. As with the Longfellow project, the Councilwoman was an outspoken critic of the Ridge Hill Project as well.
She voted against the project; she filed a civil lawsuit to block it; and she repeatedly rejected efforts by the Ridge Hill developer to persuade her.
That all changed over just a few days in June 2006. In June, the developer enlisted Jereis, who had been providing Annabi with tens of thousands of dollars in secret payments, to get Councilwoman Annabi’s vote. And that is what he did. Within days of Jereis’s involvement, Councilwoman Annabi did an about-face on the Ridge Hill project. What’s more, that reversal was announced in a press release – drafted by Jereis and representatives of the developer.
And for his part, Jereis demanded, and received, a so-called consulting contract worth $60,000 a year from the Ridge Hill developer immediately after Councilwoman Annabi switched her vote.
Beyond these allegations, the Indictment also charges that – on three separate occasions for three different properties – Councilwoman Annabi engaged in mortgage fraud. She made a series of false statements in order to obtain favorable mortgages and home equity loans. Among other things, we allege that she:
1. misled banks about her liabilities;
2. lied about the source of her down payments;
3. and submitted fake pay stubs, doctored W-2s, and bogus bank statements.
Finally, the Indictment charges Councilwoman Annabi with filing false tax returns for tax years 2005 and 2006.