Margaret Garnett, Commissioner of the New York City Department of Investigation (“DOI”), issued the following statement concerning ERIC LUNA, a former New York City Department of Youth and Community Development (“DYCD”) employee, who was sentenced today to six months in prison and three years’ supervised release in connection with the theft of more than one hundred City-purchased mobile phones, which LUNA then diverted and sold online and through other methods for a total of $124,098 in profit. As part of his sentencing, LUNA will forfeit $124,098, and pay an additional $124,098 in restitution to the City. U.S. District Judge P. Kevin Castel imposed the sentence in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York in Manhattan. The office of Geoffrey S. Berman, United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, prosecuted the case.
DOI Commissioner Margaret Garnett said, “This City worker betrayed the public trust by using his position to steal dozens of cell phones procured by the City for agency personnel and re-sell them for his own financial gain. Luna made tens of thousands of dollars through this scheme, but it cost him his job and bought him jail time. DOI thanks the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District for their partnership and prosecution of this matter.”
LUNA, 36, of the Bronx, N.Y., was arrested in March 2018 and charged with theft of government funds and wire fraud. He was employed as a Community Coordinator with DYCD since August 2015 and received an annual salary of approximately $61,334 upon his resignation in April 2018.
According to the criminal complaint and DOI’s investigation, beginning in August 2015, more than one hundred mobile telecommunications devices procured by DYCD for use by the agency were improperly diverted by LUNA, who then offered the devices for sale through third-party vendors and over the internet. The proceeds from those sales went into LUNA’s personal checking and online accounts.
A second City worker, IGOR GOLDSHTEYN, 44, of Staten Island, N.Y., an employee of the City Fire Department (“FDNY”) was also arrested in March 2018 and charged in a separate but similar scheme, diverting mobile phones purchased by FDNY and selling those devices online for profit. GOLDSHTEYN pleaded guilty to theft of federal funds on December 7, 2018, and was sentenced to five years’ probation, ordered to pay a fine of $4,000, forfeit $18,000 and ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $18,000.
GOLDSHTEYN was employed with the FDNY since August 2015 and, at the time of his arrest in March 2018, served as a Certified IT Administrator receiving an annual salary of approximately $87,371. He was on leave from the FDNY from August 2018 until he formally left the agency in April 2019.
DOI Commissioner Garnett thanked Geoffrey S. Berman, United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, and his staff, for their partnership in this investigation, in particular, Assistant United States Attorney Dominic Gentile of the General Crimes Unit, who prosecuted the LUNA and GOLDSHTEYN cases. Commissioner Garnett also thanked New York City Department of Information Technology & Telecommunications Commissioner Samir Saini, DYCD Commissioner Bill Chong, and FDNY Commissioner Daniel A. Nigro, and their staffs, for their cooperation in this investigation.