By Paula Katinas
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes is going after unscrupulous people seeking to cheat Hurricane Sandy victims out of money.
Hynes announced that he would empanel a special grand jury to investigate claims that certain businesses used Hurricane Sandy as an opportunity to illegally raise prices and to generate various scams.
The probe is necessary, Hynes said.
“The sad truth about a tragedy is that while it brings out the very best in people, it can also bring out the worst,” Hynes said. “To raise the price of a hotel, as people seek emergency shelter is just unconscionable,” he added.
The grand jury will investigate claims that businesses, such as hotels and gas stations, committed grand larceny when they dramatically raised prices in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, Hynes said.
The panel will also investigate claims of scams, like fake charities collecting – and keeping – contributions, or bogus construction companies accepting payments for work they never plan on doing.
Hynes has assigned Executive Assistant District Attorney Kevin Richardson and Senior Investigative Assistant District Attorney Damani Sims, both of the Rackets Division, to the investigation. Michael Vecchione is Chief of the Rackets Division.
The district attorney said that anyone with information concerning storm-related price spikes should call his Action Center at 718-250-2340.