New York Daily News
NYCHA cash filched for wigs, travel
An ex-Brooklyn NYCHA tenant association president used her position to filch thousands of dollars to pay for personal expenses, including dating sites, wigs and hundreds in parking tickets, according to court papers.
Deborah Carter, 65, former head of the Gravesend Houses tenant association, spent more than $1,700 in federal funds on herself between 2016 and 2018, Brooklyn prosecutors alleged in previously unreported filings.
Carter used her Gravesend Houses debit card for a $400 trip to Texas, more than $250 for wigs and about $330 on dating websites, prosecutors said. She also used the card to pay off $738 in parking tickets she had accumulated on her own vehicle, investigators claimed.
She was arrested in January 2020 and hit with grand and petty larceny charges after a probe led by the city Department of Investigation.
Carter admitted to the illicit expenditures in two different statements made in July 2019, according to a complaint filed by DOI investigator Ashley Pennington.
Prosecutors with the Brooklyn district attorney’s office told the Daily News they agreed to drop the charges against Carter if she paid the money back within a year — or if she could prove the expenditures were NYCHA-related.
The criminal charges were dropped, but she never reimbursed the cash or proved the purchases were legit.
Carter did agree to resign from her position as president of the tenants association at the Coney Island complex and not to seek any office within the association for two years, prosecutors said.
But in a February video posted to YouTube, she was seen endorsing a City Council candidate and touting herself as “the community leader in Coney Island’s Gravesend Houses for over 46 years.”
As of March 8, Carter still owed the full $1,700.
Carter has been an outspoken critic of the Housing Authority over the years.
“We feel like we’ve been forgotten,” she told The News in 2014, as the Gravesend Houses community center remained closed two years after Hurricane Sandy flooded it.
Carter did not immediately respond to a request for comment.