NEW YORK — An influential New York state senator, an assemblyman and a well-known lobbyist were among eight people charged Thursday in what federal prosecutors called "a broad-based bribery racket" that lined the senator's pockets with more than $1 million.
A criminal complaint charges Sen. Carl Kruger and Assemblyman William Boyland Jr., both Brooklyn Democrats, and Manhattan-based lobbyist Richard Lipsky with two counts of conspiracy and one count of money laundering — the latest in a string of corruption cases to rock Albany.
Lipsky was accused of directing about $252,000 in lobbying fees into a bank account used by Kruger between 2007 and 2010 in exchange for the senator giving legislative support to Lipsky & Associates' clients. Among them were beer distributors concerned about pricing and local markets fighting to stop "superstores" from opening in the city.
During a search of Lipsky's home on Monday, agents recovered $106,000 in cash, including $4,000 in "crisp, large denomination bills in his suit pocket," U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said at a news conference in Manhattan.
"At its core, the complaint describes a broad-based bribery racket reflecting an unholy alliance of politicians, lobbyists and businessmen," Bharara said.
After Kruger, Boyland and Lipsky all surrendered to the FBI on Thursday, a judge released them without having to post bonds of up to $1 million — a condition sought by prosecutors.
Defense attorney Ben Brafman said Kruger had known for several months about the investigation and was eager to fight the charges. Attorneys for Boyland and Lipsky also denied any wrongdoing by their clients.
"Today's arrests again spotlight the failings of New York state government and highlight the urgent need for the Legislature to pass comprehensive ethics reform — now," said Gov. Andrew Cuomo, whose top policy goal is a tougher ethics law.
- Many Mormon missionaries who return home...
- Better than a raise: The smallest thing you...
- Storm along East Coast dumps snow, snarls...
- 50 things you might not know about 15 of your...
- Amish school shooter's kin: Horror, then healing
- WestJet airline video goes viral as Santa...
- Health care debate about presidential trust,...
- Nelson Mandela's faith made him a worldwide...
- Judge orders Colo. cake-maker to serve... 119
- Many Mormon missionaries who return... 119
- Utahns react to death of Nelson Mandela 27
- Space and religion: How believers view... 23
- Obama administration will allow green... 17
- Expelling Santa from school? Holiday... 17
- Health care debate about presidential... 16
- 'Sound of Music' alive for 18.5 million... 13