I contacted the news rooms at several local papers, including the Times, the Daily News, the Post, and a paper or two in Queens. Nothing but crickets in response. This is no boring story: Tommy K is now in prison for bribing California GOP Congressman Duke Cunningham. This was HUGE news on the West Coast - but not a single column inch of coverage here in NYC. Why?
Via Talking Points Memo, Reuters has a story up on Kontogiannis's $92 million dollar mortgage fraud. Maybe this contributed to Queens foreclosure rates dwarfing those of every other borough.
Real estate developer Thomas Kontogiannis, 60, and eight other defendants are accused of orchestrating fraudulent loans that were subsequently sold to the financial firms.
Federal prosecutors and the FBI said the scheme was centered around property developments that Kontogiannis bought and subdivided from 2001 to 2003 in the New York City boroughs of Brooklyn and Queens.
To finance the projects, the defendants are accused of staging sales of the properties financed by mortgage loans. Bogus appraisals supported the price of the properties, even where buildings had not yet been constructed or had fictional addresses, said the U.S. Attorney's Office in Brooklyn, which is prosecuting the case.
The Daily News failed to cover any aspect of this story, except for this mention in an article about tax delinquents:
Federal prosecutors who indicted Long Island financier Thomas Kontogiannis for laundering bribes to California Rep. Randy (Duke) Cunningham tied him to at least 22 companies including Westshore 480 Development, which, the city says, owes $751,708 in taxes on a waterfront property in Brooklyn.
A lawyer for Kontogiannis denied his client owned Westshore 480 or owed money for its property taxes. "He has no ownership and no liability," lawyer Robert Wolf said. "It would not be accurate to report that he does."
Apparently this guy was also involved in some shady business with spy agencies. All the more reason local papers should take an interest in an investigative story - but so far, no takers. What gives?