Eric Adams’ mayoral campaign pays $30,000 to con woman consultant

She places the con in consulting.

During the early days of his New York City mayoral campaign, Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams paid $30,000 to a agency referred to as KA Strategy. The similar submitting additionally listed a woman named “Kristina Koval.”

The cash was for campaign and fundraising consulting, in accordance to the NYC Campaign Finance Board records, and was paid in three installments of $10,000 between November 2018 and January 2019.

KA’s founder Kristina Kovalyuk was busted simply two months after the final cost by NYPD cops for allegedly promoting a pretend purse and snatching $350 out of a reluctant purchaser’s hand. And in 2008, she was collared in Fairfax, Va., and charged with grand and petty larceny after an alleged shoplifting spree at high-end retailers.

Kovalyuk, 38, was initially slapped with felony expenses of grand larceny and trademark counterfeiting within the March 24, 2019 NYC incident, the NYPD mentioned. Those have been later watered down to misdemeanor expenses of petty larceny and prison possession of stolen property, in accordance to the prison criticism. The expenses have been later dropped, a spokesman for Kovalyuk mentioned.

The alleged sufferer, 32-year-old Safaa Hamed, remembered the encounter with the beautiful blonde vividly.

The New Jersey resident mentioned she first met Kovalyuk on the commerce app OfferUp, the place Kovalyuk claimed to be promoting a used Chanel purse for about $900. After making a deal, Hamed and husband Asiff Wahid drove into Manhattan to finalize the acquisition.

But instantly after paying, “I had a bad feeling. As soon as I saw the bag, I said this doesn’t look right,” Wahid recalled.

Hamed and her husband lured Kovalyuk again to the automobile by pretending to be excited by shopping for Valentino footwear she was additionally hawking. Hamed and Wahid flashed $350 in money to get her shut — and then demanded a refund for the unique bag.

“She said f—k you and was cursing me and snatched the money from my hand,” Hamed mentioned.

Kristina Alexandra Kovalyuk
KA’s founder Kristina Kovalyuk was charged with grand larceny and trademark counterfeiting in 2019.
Sylvain Gaboury/Patrick McMullan through Getty Images

She hopped out of the automobile and chased after Kovalyuk, whereas Wahid adopted of their Kia Sorento. Five minutes later, cops apprehended Kovalyuk on the nook of forty ninth Street and Lexington Avenue and ordered her to return the money, the couple mentioned.

In the Virginia case, Kovalyuk was arrested after allegedly happening a four-store shoplifting spree on the Tysons Galleria mall in McLean, Va. Kovalyuk was accused of snatching a bracelet from Saks Fifth Avenue, clothes from Neiman Marcus, and a few smaller knick knacks from Anthropologie and Williams-Sonoma earlier than being busted by a Neiman safety guard, in accordance to police and courtroom data obtained by The Post.

Kovalyuk’s legal professionals efficiently pled for leniency and the case was expunged after she completed 750 hours of group service and submitted to a psychological well being analysis. She additionally accomplished a 12-step shoplifters nameless course, data say. A written psychiatric analysis on the time mentioned she had skilled private traumas that “culminated with the arrest on shoplifting/larceny charges.”

Despite her low-level scrapes with the legislation, Kovalyuk hobnobs with A-listers, and has a high-octane enterprise resume — however one discovered by The Post to be chock filled with exaggerations and obvious fictions. It makes her five-figure consulting work for Adams — a street-smart ex-cop — all of the extra mysterious.

Her LinkedIn profile and firm web site boasts a Columbia Business School schooling, however the the varsity has no file of her attending. Moody’s, the place she claimed to have helped “restructure the company post-2008 credit crisis,” mentioned she was employed for seven months in a “sales role.” Morgan Stanley, the place Kovalyuk claimed to have been a “vice president” and “senior relationship manager,” instructed The Post she misrepresented her place at their firm — however declined to specify. Kovalyuk claimed to be previous “co-head of corporate strategy at Zurich Financial Services,” one thing the corporate mentioned was “not consistent with our records.”

Kristina Kovalyuk claimed to be promoting a used Chanel purse for about $900 on the app OfferUp.

Social media posts and celebrity-photo businesses present Kovalyuk and sister Jane palling round with the likes of Sara Jessica Parker and Madeline Albright on the Plaza Hotel, and in April 2019 — weeks after Kovalyuk’s arrest — posing with Marc Anthony at a ritzy occasion on the Pierre. Aldo Sohm, Sommelier at Le Bernardin, sat for a chummy pic with Kristina Kovalyuk in 2015 that later discovered its method into the New York Times.

“She likes to be around high-profile business people. She seems to be able to talk very good business. She can talk to bankers with no problem,” Sohm instructed The Post, including that he minimize ties together with her as a result of he felt she was utilizing him for entry to his highly effective community of pals.

“There is a gold digger component there. That is the vibe I got,” he mentioned.

An individual with information of the state of affairs mentioned Adams met Kovalyuk at an event in a Brooklyn bank in April 2017 in a constructing owned by GOP megadonor John Catsimatidis. The Adams campaign instructed The Post, “Ms. Kovalyuk was hired as a fundraiser for a three-month trial period very early on in the campaign, during which the campaign raised more than $600,000. Her contract was not renewed after she asked for an increase in pay.”

Campaign spokesman Evan Thies declined to reply questions on her prison historical past.

Kovalyuk mentioned, “My firm was simply retained to help the campaign with strategic advisory and fundraising, as outlined in my contract. Your article is a typical NY Post hit job.”

Kovalyuk declined to reply questions on her arrests, the disposition of the circumstances or the alleged falsehoods in her resume.

“Ms. Kovalyuk completed a short term consulting agreement for Eric Adams and wishes him luck in the upcoming mayoral election. She considers him a friend,” Kovalyuk spokesman Ronn Torossian instructed The Post.

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