NY's ex-Speaker Sheldon Silver convicted a second time for corruption

13 May, 2018, 00:47 | Author: Mable Gonzales
  • Silver, in Retrial, Found Guilty on All Counts of Corruption

Sheldon Silver, the former powerful Democratic speaker of the NY state Assembly, was found guilty of federal corruption charges Friday, less than a year after his first conviction on the same charges was thrown out.

Former New York Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver arrives to federal court in Lower Manhattan on May 3, 2016 in New York City.

An appeals court tossed out that conviction, citing a recent Supreme Court ruling that changed the legal boundaries for public corruption.

During his two-week trial in Manhattan, prosecutors showed that Silver, 74, had obtained almost $4 million in illicit payments in return for taking a series of official actions that benefited a cancer researcher at Columbia University and two real estate developers in NY.

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Silver was accused of taking $4 million in bribes disguised as legal fees. Skelos was convicted on federal corruption charges in 2015, although his conviction was overturned in 2017. But this latest conviction must also be met with action in Albany.

The defense said the fees were legal.

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. The lawyers made their closing arguments in Sheldon Silver's second trial, and jurors deliberated less than an hour over his mail fraud, wire fraud and extortion charges. Guilty.Defense attorney Michael Feldberg disagreed.

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