Monday, October 26, 2020

Former New York assembly speaker Sheldon Silver gets six years prison in corruption case

-

Former New York Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver was sentenced Monday to 6 1/2 years in prison in the corruption case that drove him from power as a judge said she hoped to “send a message to Albany.”

U.S. District Judge Valerie E. Caproni sentenced Silver, 76, for the third time, acknowledging that a man who was once one of the three most powerful state officials came closer than ever before to properly expressing remorse.

But she said it remained unclear as to whether “he really gets it,” and she shaved only six months off the seven-year prison sentence she announced in 2018, ignoring claims by Silver’s defense lawyer that he could die if he contracts COVID-19 in prison. She also fined him $1 million.

“This was corruption pure and simple,” Caproni said.

- Advertisement -

She said she hoped the sentence was “long enough to send a message to Albany,” though she added that the 17 to 22 years in prison called for by federal sentencing guidelines was “draconian.” Caproni said Silver must report to prison Aug. 26.

She described how Silver had changed his statements to her at each sentencing, going from an insistence that he did no harm at his first to a “self-pitying” approach at the second and finally to acknowledging his wrongful conduct this year.

Before Caproni announced the sentence, Silver stood and repeated parts of a handwritten letter he had written to the judge, though not the part in which he told her to spare him a sentence that might cause him to die in prison.

He said he had done a lot of good things over the decades as his power grew in state government, where he spent 21 years as Assembly speaker.

- Advertisement -

“I destroyed that legacy that I built over 35 years,” he said, blaming his downfall on “improper, selfish and ethically indefensible” behavior that grew from a sense of entitlement.

“I’m very sorry,” he said.

Last week, Caproni denied Silver’s request to be sentenced remotely because of the coronavirus. Masked spectators were kept apart in a large courtroom which they entered only after undergoing a temperature check and answering COVID-related questions at the courthouse entrance.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Daniel Richenthal urged Caproni to impose the same seven-year sentence she levied for bribery and extortion crimes before a federal appeals court ordered a new sentencing after tossing out three counts.

Silver was ousted as speaker in 2015 and convicted later that year, but appeals have so far kept him out of jail. His original conviction was overturned on appeal but Silver was convicted again in 2018.

In court papers, Silver’s lawyers had asked for leniency, saying Silver was an obese man in his 70s with a history of cancer, chronic kidney disease and other health problems that make him among those most at risk of dying from COVID-19.

Caproni, though, said the death rate of the population outside prison was approaching the death rate inside and it seemed that prisons were improving at adjusting to the threat of the illness.




“I do not want Mr. Silver to die in prison either,” she said.

In the part of the case that survived the appeal process, Silver was convicted in a scheme that involved favors and business traded between two real estate developers and a law firm. Silver supported legislation that benefited the developers. The developers then referred certain tax business to a law firm that paid Silver fees.

MUST READ

Julius Baer to deny two former CEOs their bonuses over money laundering scandal

Julius Baer will withhold millions of francs in bonuses from its former chief executives Boris Collardi and Bernhard Hodler, as a result of a...

Goldman Sachs executives to cover part payments of $3 billion fines in 1MDB scandal

Nine current or former Goldman Sachs executives, including CEO David Solomon, will have to pay back hundreds of millions of dollars in compensation over...

Goldman Sachs agrees $3 billion settlement with US DoJ over 1MDB corruption scandal

Goldman Sachs has agreed to pay nearly $3bn (£2.3bn) in the US to end a probe of its role in Malaysia's 1MDB corruption scandal. The...

Hong Kong fines Goldman Sachs $350 million over 1MDB scandal

Goldman Sachs ignored multiple red flags over the multibillion-dollar fundraisings it arranged for state fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad, Hong Kong’s financial regulator said on...

Texas attorney general Ken Paxton fires top aide who accused him of bribery

Lacey Mase, one of the top aides who accused Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton of crimes including bribery and abuse of office, has been fired, she told The...

Subscribe For More

Get our daily notification on the latest financial crimes news around the World

Advertisement
Advertisement

Latest News

This Week

Fundraiser Elliott Broidy pleads guilty in foreign agent case linked to 1MDB

Major Republican Party and Trump fundraiser Elliott Broidy pleaded guilty Tuesday to acting as an unregistered foreign agent, admitting to accepting millions...

Former Harris County deputy constable pleads guilty to transporting drug money and heroin

A former Harris County deputy constable and her husband pleaded guilty Wednesday to charges of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute heroin, according...

Goldman to pay over $2 billion in DOJ’s 1MDB Probe

Goldman Sachs Group Inc. has reached a long-awaited pact with the U.S. Department of Justice to pay more than $2 billion for the bank’s...

Trial of bitcoin launderer Alexander Vinnik begins in Paris

The trial of a Russian man alleged to have used ransomware in a 135 million euros ($157 million) bitcoin fraud will begin Monday. Alexander Vinnik, who...
Advertisement

Adblock Detected!

Our website is made possible by displaying online advertisements to our visitors. Please consider supporting us by whitelisting our website.

Enable Notifications    Ok No thanks