Mayor Eric Adams has denied any knowledge of the construction firm now under federal investigation in relation to his campaign finances.
During a television interview, Mayor Adams was directly asked if he had any association or prior involvement with the Williamsburg-based KSK Construction Group.
‘Not to my knowledge,’ he replied characterizing it as one of numerous bodies that had donated to his finances.
‘I am not familiar with this organization at all … It’s one of the many different groups and organizations that contributes to the campaign,’ Adams added.
KSK Construction is being investigated for alleged involvement in a kickback scheme with the Turkish government to funnel money into Adams’ successful 2021 mayoral campaign, leading the FBI to raid the home of Adams’ chief fundraiser on Thursday.
New York Mayor Eric Adams has denied knowing working with anybody from the Williamsburg, Brooklyn-based KSK Construction Group. Owner Erden Arkan, 74, (far left) firm has faced a number of lawsuits over the years
Agents searched the home of Brianna Suggs (left), a campaign consultant and one of his primary fundraisers
In a television interview, Eric Adams said he believed there was no wrongdoing in his 2021 campaign, declaring: ‘Sometimes there is smoke without fire’
Co-owner of the building firm, Erden Arkan has not been charged with any wrongdoing.
Adams went on to reveal that he had been in contact with his primary fundraiser, 25-year-old Briana Suggs, whose home in Crown Heights, Brooklyn was searched by the FBI late last week as part of an investigation into possible corruption.
‘I have communicated with her since this incident took place’, Adams said, noting that his legal team was was also in touch with her.
The FBI seized phones, laptops and documents as part of their investigation into Adams’ 2021 campaign.
In a strange twist, it emerged on Friday that a welfare check had been requested for Suggs’ home on Wednesday night – just hours before the FBI dawn raid.
Currently no charges have been filed against KSK, Adams, Arkan, Suggs, or anyone else involved in the case.
KSK Construction is being investigated for alleged involvement in a kickback scheme with the Turkish government to funnel money into Adams’ successful 2021 mayoral campaign
Turkish-born Erden Arkan, 74, the co-owner of KSK Construction Group, pictured enjoying a lavish vacation with his educator wife Itir
A June 2022 post of Erden sitting regally atop a marble throne in the archaeological site of Aphrodisia in Turkey, which his wife captioned: ‘#Theking #andhisserf’
The investigation appears to center on potential straw donors who made donations in their names to conceal the true source, with campaign finance records revealing that 11 KSK employees made almost identical donations of about $1,250 to Adams’ campaign on the same day in 2021. The donations totaled almost $14,000.
A straw donor is a donation made illegally with another party’s money under an alias to hide the source of the funds.
Records show Arkan was also an ardent personal supporter of Adams, donating $1,500 to the former cop’s 2021 campaign and holding a fundraiser in May 2021 that brought in almost $70,000 to his run for mayor.
Despite the ongoing investigation, Mayor Adams has vehemently denied any wrongdoing and expressed confidence in Suggs who managed to raise $18 million for his campaign in 2021.
He emphasized that his campaign would fully cooperate with the investigation.
‘Where there’s smoke, there’s not always fire,’ Adams said. ‘She [Suggs] has done an amazing job.’
Agents in FBI vests were among those who removed boxes from fundraising chief Brianna Suggs’ home
Agents are shown outside Suggs’ house in Crown Heights after Thursday’s raid
When news of the raid broke, Mayor Adams was about to embark on a series of meetings with other big city mayors in Washington D.C.
He hurriedly returned to New York abandoning the meetings.
‘I was notified by our team that something was taking place with the campaign staffer, and I wanted to be here to make sure we fully complied. I have one of the best compliance teams that any campaign has ever put together,’ Adams said.
Suggs is the latest Adams associate – and one of several people involved in his fundraising activity – to face legal trouble in recent months.
In July, six people were charged in a straw donor conspiracy scheme to divert tens of thousands of dollars to Adams’ campaign.
The former city buildings commissioner under Adams, Eric Ulrich, was also charged in September for using his position to dole out favors, including access to the mayor, in exchange for cash and other bribes. Ulrich and his six co-defendants have pleaded not guilty.
Adams has distanced himself from both cases, which were brought in state court and did not directly implicate his campaign or administration.