Penfield man pleads guilty to perjury in George Moses investigation

A Penfield man has pleaded guilty to perjury for statements made as a witness in the fraud investigation against George Moses, former Rochester Housing Authority boardchairman.

Francis Cardinell, 77, of Penfield, pleaded guilty before Chief U.S. District Judge Elizabeth A. Wolford to perjury by materially inconsistent statements. The maximum penalty is five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Cardinell is to be sentenced Dec. 18 before Wolford.

Moses was convicted and sentenced to serve 78 months in prison for defrauding three organizations, including the Rochester Housing Charities. Cardinell — owner of a Rochester general contracting firm Akwasasne Construction — was interviewed as a witness in April 2019. When asked about a $63,000 contract for boiler work to be performed by his company at Rochester Housing Charities, Cardinell said that he paid more than $20,000 in cash to Moses as kickbacks, according to Assistant U.S. Attorney Charles M. Kruly. But during Moses’ federal trial, Cardinell testified that he had lied about the kickback scheme and that he never made payments to Moses in exchange for contracts for his company.

The FBI, along with the Department of Housing and Urban Development, Inspector General’s Office and the IRS, investigated.