FBI Raids Properties of NYC Mayor’s Aide

Eva Fu
By Eva Fu
March 1, 2024New York
Federal agents searched the properties of Winnie Greco, a top advisor to New York City Mayor Eric Adams. Ms. Greco has appeared in multiple media reports over her China ties. Here’s a closer look at her China connections.

NEW YORK—Federal agents searched two properties owned by a top adviser to New York City Mayor Eric Adams early in the morning of Feb. 29.

An FBI spokesperson confirmed that agents carried out morning raids at two Bronx addresses, which records show are owned by Winnie Greco, a former fundraiser for Mr. Adams who now serves as his director of Asian affairs.

Neighbors of Ms. Greco’s said federal agents began searching the two homes, which are on the same block, at around 6 a.m. and remained in the area for several hours.

NTD Photo
One of two homes owned by Winnie Greco, an aide to New York City Mayor Eric Adams, in the Bronx borough of New York on Feb. 29, 2024. (Mary Altaffer/AP Photo)

A City Hall spokesperson said Ms. Greco is on administrative leave from her roughly $100,000 role starting Feb. 29.

What triggered the raids isn’t immediately clear, but Mr. Adams has been under a federal probe looking into the political fundraising of his 2021 mayoral campaign since November, including allegations of foreign influence.

As part of that investigation, the FBI, on Nov. 2 last year, raided the homes of Mr. Adams’ major fundraiser, Brianna Suggs, and Rana Abbasova, the director of protocol in the Mayor’s Office for International Affairs. Four days later, agents seized phones and an iPad from the mayor as he was leaving a public event in Manhattan.

Mr. Adams has repeatedly stressed he’s not accused of any wrongdoing.

“Our administration will always follow the law, and we always expect all our employees to adhere to the strictest ethical guidelines,” a spokesperson for the mayor 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.”

NTD Photo
New York City Mayor Eric Adams attends a news conference in New York on Oct. 11, 2022. (Mary Altaffer/AP Photo)

Asian Affairs Director

Ms. Greco, whose Chinese name is Zheng Qirong, has a connection with Mr. Adams dating back to his years as the Brooklyn borough president a decade ago. She served as an unpaid Asian community ambassador and facilitated at least two of Mr. Adams’ trips to China. She became a prolific fundraiser for Mr. Adams, and soon after Mr. Adams took office as the city mayor, she joined the city hall payroll as the Asian affairs director.

The city’s Department of Investigation opened an inquiry into Ms. Greco in November after local media outlet The City reported that Ms. Greco had improperly used her position for benefits, including a renovation of her Bronx home.

According to The City, Ms. Greco allegedly solicited a $10,000 donation for a nonprofit she founded in exchange for an entry to an event Mr. Adams hosted at Gracie Mansion that focuses on the Chinese community.

The same executive who made the allegation, and provided documents supporting their accounts, also said that Ms. Greco had approached at least five others in a similar way.

A former Adams campaign volunteer told the same outlet that Ms. Greco asked him to perform renovation work during his work hours, after he obtained a city government job with Ms. Greco’s help.

The department didn’t immediately respond to questions from The Epoch Times.

Ms. Greco has been an advocate of Beijing’s interests. The New York-based American Asia Economy and Culture Development Association Corp she founded in 2000, which has a stated goal to “build a bridge for friendly exchanges between the United States and China” and “promote U.S.-China friendship,” described Ms. Greco as a “patriotic overseas Chinese.”

A 2012 archived page of the organization’s website shows that Ms. Greco had worked as a policy aide for several local legislators and helped organize multiple trips for elected officials to go to China since 1998.

Her work has received support from top Chinese authorities from China’s rubber-stamp parliament, National People’s Congress, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the Consulate General of the People’s Republic of China in New York, according to the same website.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

From The Epoch Times

ntd newsletter icon
Sign up for NTD Daily
What you need to know, summarized in one email.
Stay informed with accurate news you can trust.
By registering for the newsletter, you agree to the Privacy Policy.