Agents from the FBI on Thursday searched the Brooklyn home of Mayor Eric Adams’ chief fundraiser, Brianna Suggs, a campaign consultant who is deeply entwined with efforts to advance the mayor’s agenda, according to two people with knowledge of the matter.
The early morning raid was part of a broad public corruption investigation by the FBI and federal prosecutors in Manhattan into whether Adams’ 2021 mayoral campaign conspired with a Brooklyn construction company and the Turkish government to funnel foreign money into the campaign’s coffers, apparently through a straw donor scheme, according to portions of the search warrant obtained by The New York Times.
The warrant sought evidence of the theft of federal funds and conspiracy to steal federal funds, wire fraud and wire fraud conspiracy, as well as campaign contributions by foreign nationals and conspiracy to make such contributions. Investigators were particularly interested in whether the campaign kicked back benefits to the construction company’s officials and employees and to Turkish officials.
While it was unclear from the records whether the investigation is targeting the mayor, the raid apparently prompted him to abruptly cancel several meetings scheduled for Thursday morning in Washington, D.C., where he planned to speak with White House officials and members of Congress about the migrant crisis.
Instead, he hurriedly returned to New York “to deal with a matter,” a spokesperson for the mayor said.
Adams has boasted of his ties to Turkey, most recently during a flag-raising he hosted for the country in lower Manhattan last week. The mayor said that there were probably no other mayors in New York City history who had visited Turkey as frequently as he has.
“I think I’m on my sixth or seventh visit,” he said. At least one of those visits happened while he was Brooklyn borough president, when the government of Turkey reportedly underwrote the excursion.
Suggs, who could not be reached for comment, is an essential cog in Adams’ fundraising machine, which has already raised more than $2.5 million for his 2025 re-election campaign.
A third person with knowledge of the raid said agents from one of the public corruption squads in the FBI’s New York office questioned Suggs during the search of her home.
An FBI spokesperson confirmed that “we are at that location carrying out law enforcement action,” referring to Suggs’ home in the Crown Heights section of Brooklyn.
The agents also served Suggs with a subpoena directing her to testify before a federal grand jury hearing evidence in Manhattan.
Nicholas Biase, a spokesperson for the federal prosecutor’s office in Manhattan, declined to comment.
The construction company was identified in the warrant as KSK Construction Group in Brooklyn. Individuals who listed their employer as KSK donated nearly $14,000 to Adams’ 2021 campaign, according to campaign finance records. A person who answered the telephone at the company declined to comment.
Charles Kretchmer Lutvak, a spokesperson for Adams, denied any knowledge of the raid.
“I’m not aware of that,” Lutvak said.
He added that Suggs was not an employee of City Hall and referred calls to the mayor’s campaign team.
“The campaign has always held itself to the highest standards,” said Vito Pitta, a lawyer for Adams’ 2021 and 2025 campaigns. “The campaign will of course comply with any inquiries, as appropriate.”
Pitta added: “Mayor Adams has not been contacted as part of this inquiry.”
The search warrant sought financial records for Suggs and any entity controlled or associated with her; documents related to contributions to the mayor’s 2021 campaign; records of travel to Turkey by any employee, officer or associate of the campaign; and documents related to interactions between the campaign and the government of Turkey, “including persons acting at the behest of the Turkish government.”
The warrant also sought electronic devices, including cellphones, laptops or tablets used by Suggs.
Suggs, 25, is the latest in a series of individuals tied to Adams who have attracted interest from law enforcement, including several with fundraising connections.
In September, Eric Ulrich, Adams’ former buildings commissioner and senior adviser, was indicted by the Manhattan district attorney, Alvin Bragg, on 16 felony charges, including counts of conspiracy and bribe-taking. Ulrich, as well as three others indicted at the time, helped organize a 2021 fundraiser for Adams.
In July, Bragg indicted six individuals, including a retired police inspector who once worked and socialized with Adams, for conspiring to funnel illegal donations to the mayor’s 2021 campaign.
The Department of Investigation is also reviewing the role of one of the mayor’s top aides in a violent altercation last month at a migrant centre in Manhattan.
Adams has tried to distance himself from these inquiries in the past, arguing that he has limited insight into the events that precipitated them. But the investigation of such a close and long-time adviser might be harder to keep at arm’s length.
In the past two years, Adams’ re-election campaign has paid Suggs nearly $100,000 for fundraising and campaign consulting services via her company, Suggs Solutions, according to city records.
His first mayoral campaign paid her more than $50,000.
Suggs has also registered as a lobbyist. State records indicate that the East Broadway Mall, a Chinatown real estate concern, hired Suggs, via an intermediary, to lobby the mayor’s office and the New York City Council on its behalf in 2022.
Suggs worked as an aide to Adams when he was Brooklyn borough president and is particularly close with Ingrid Lewis-Martin, who was his deputy at the time and is currently his top adviser.
Suggs is deeply embedded in outside efforts to advance the mayor’s agenda. A key ally’s political action committee, Striving for a Better New York, that promised to support state candidates aligned with Adams on policy matters, has paid Suggs roughly $100,000.
Suggs also lists the Brooklyn Democratic Party, with which Adams is close, as a client on her LinkedIn page.
Rodneyse Bichotte Hermelyn, the Assembly member who leads the party, said Suggs was a volunteer fundraiser for it who mainly handled logistics. She said she was surprised to learn of the FBI raid.
“What I know of Brianna Suggs, she’s a bright, young lady. I think she’s a very honest person, organized. She’s very mild-mannered, a very professional person,” Bichotte Hermelyn said. “She knows the rules.”
Adams’ decision to cancel high-level meetings with senior White House officials about an issue he has warned will hollow out New York’s budget and destroy the city suggested an unusual level of urgency.
The White House appeared to have been taken by surprise. The mayor’s office called Thursday morning to inform them of the cancellation, a White House aide said.
“I can’t speak to his schedule and why he had to, he could not attend,” said Karine Jean-Pierre, the White House press secretary.
The mayor was scheduled to meet with representatives from Congress along with the mayor of Chicago, Brandon Johnson, and the mayor of Denver, Mike Johnston.
Adams posted a video on X, formerly known as Twitter, at 7:41 a.m. Thursday of himself sitting aboard an airplane. He said he was heading to Washington to meet with White House officials and members of the congressional delegation about the migrant crisis, which he described as a “real issue.”
Adams promised to keep the public updated throughout the day, but after he cancelled the meetings, officials at City Hall would not explain why.
“The mayor is returning to New York City to address a matter,” Lutvak, the mayor’s spokesperson, said in an e-mail when asked why Adams was suddenly returning to the city. “These meetings will be rescheduled as soon as possible.”
Asked whether the matter was a personal issue or related to City Hall, officials refused to elaborate.
“He is returning to deal with a matter,” Lutvak said.
By 8 a.m. Thursday, around 10 agents could be seen standing on Suggs’ block, according to a video of the scene taken by a neighbour and viewed by The New York Times. One agent wore a light green tactical vest with the letters “FBI” stamped on the back. Another official could be seen leaving the apartment with a cardboard box.
Suggs was standing on the stoop with her father as the agents searched her home, according to the neighbour, Christopher Burwell.
“Whatever it is, she must have been tricked into it, because she’s a great woman,” Burwell said. “I’ve known her all my life.”