Ex-Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver found guilty on all counts

13 May, 2018, 00:45 | Author: Bert Pena
  • Silver, in Retrial, Found Guilty on All Counts of Corruption

Former New York State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver (D) was found guilty on federal corruption charges Friday for accepting $4 million in kickbacks, according to multiple media reports. The 2015 verdict and the 12-year prison sentence that followed were tossed out last year when the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals concluded that a June 2016 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that narrowed the definition of a corrupt act meant the jury at Silver's first trial was not properly instructed on the law. He remained speaker until 2015, when he was arrested on federal corruption charges. But this latest conviction must also be met with action in Albany.

"Sheldon Silver repeatedly used his enormous public power for his own enormous private gain", prosecutor Tatiana R. Martins told the jury in her closing statement.

Silver collected almost $4 million in bribes and kickbacks that he disguised as legal fees from law practice in exchange for his influence in Albany, prosecutors said.

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At the core of the government's case were two schemes, both of which hinge on referral fees paid to Silver by two different law firms-Weitz & Luxenberg, for asbestos-induced mesothelioma cancer cases, and Goldberg & Iryami, for tax certiorari work.

On Friday, Silver was again convicted of all seven counts, which included two counts of honest services fraud and one of extortion under color of official right for each of the cancer and real estate schemes, and a count of money laundering. Guilty.Defense attorney Michael Feldberg disagreed.

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