What We Know About the FBI Raid on Top Adams Aide

Photo: Caroline Rubinstein-Willis/Mayoral Photography Office

On Thursday morning, FBI agents descended on Pelham Bay to raid two houses owned by Winnie Greco, a top member of Mayor Eric Adams’s administration and a former fundraiser for his campaign. Greco, who serves as Adams’s director of Asian affairs, is the third City Hall aide whose property has been targeted by federal authorities, though it’s not yet evident that her situation is linked to the other two. Adams himself has not been implicated in any of the investigations. Here’s what we know so far.

Federal agents executed a search warrant on two homes on Gillespie Avenue in the Bronx around 6 a.m. on Thursday, blocking an intersection and remaining in the neighborhood for several hours. A law-enforcement source described the action to the Daily News as a “court-authorized law enforcement activity.” It was later confirmed that the properties in question are owned by Greco. In her administration role, Greco takes home a $100,000 yearly salary per city payroll records.

The City later reported that the FBI also conducted a third raid on the New World Mall in Flushing. According to the outlet, the mall was the site of several fundraising events Greco hosted during her time as a campaign fundraiser for Adams.

Video from Fox 5 shows agents removing boxes and files from the homes into their vehicles. PIX11 reported that devices were also removed from the properties.

According to city officials, Greco is officially on sick leave after experiencing a medical episode during the raid, prompting agents to call an ambulance to transport her to a nearby hospital. It’s not clear what happened, though a source told the Daily News that Greco complained of back pain. Once she’s well, she will be barred from her governmental duties and is expected to go on unpaid leave while the investigation continues.

Although it is not yet apparent what the agents were looking for, this isn’t the first time Greco has come under scrutiny. Last August, The City reported on the existence of potential straw donors to Adams’s 2021 mayoral campaign. One group of donations appeared to stem from employees at the New World Mall, with some donors recounting being reimbursed for a sum of money or even having their signature forged on a payment they never made.

The mall was the site of several major fundraising events for Adams. Greco is said to have played a significant role in arranging the events, which raised tens of thousands of dollars for the campaign. The city’s Department of Investigation officially opened an inquiry into Greco after The City’s reporting, but any connection between the searches and that investigation has not been confirmed.

Greco is now the third aide in the Adams administration to come under federal scrutiny. Brianna Suggs, another campaign fundraiser, had her Brooklyn home raided by the FBI in November. That same month, authorities searched the New Jersey home of Rana Abbasova, the director of protocol for the Mayor’s Office for International Affairs. Abbasova was placed on leave, and Suggs was reportedly reassigned and is no longer fundraising for the campaign.

The searches conducted on Suggs’s and Abbasova’s properties both appear connected to a federal investigation into the campaign’s ties to the Turkish government. That inquiry is said to be headed by the U.S. attorney’s office in Manhattan. The investigation involving Greco is being led by the U.S. Attorney’s office in Brooklyn, the New York Times reports, citing law-enforcement sources.

Although the raid concerned a close member of his administration, the mayor has not been named or implicated in the matter.

“Our administration will always follow the law, and we always expect all our employees to adhere to the strictest ethical guidelines,” Adams spokesperson Fabien Levy said in a statement. “As we have repeatedly said, we don’t comment on matters that are under review but will fully cooperate with any review underway. The mayor has not been accused of any wrongdoing.”

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