New York State assemblyman found guilty in bribery case

New York State Assemblyman Eric Stevenson (L) and his attorney leave the Manhattan Federal Court in New York April 4, 2013. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
New York State Assemblyman Eric Stevenson (L) and his attorney leave the Manhattan Federal Court in New York April 4, 2013. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

A New York state assemblyman was found guilty on Monday on charges he accepted $22,000 in bribes in exchange for official acts, including securing legislation favoring a network of adult day-care centers operated by four businessmen.

A federal jury in Manhattan found New York State Assemblyman Eric Stevenson guilty of all four counts including conspiracy to engage in honest services fraud and bribery.

The case was the latest to involve allegations of wrongdoing by members of New York’s legislature in Albany, where at least 30 politicians have faced legal or ethics problems since 2000.

“Graft and greed are intolerable in Albany, and we will go to trial as often as we have to until government in New York is cleaned up,” Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said in a statement.

A lawyer for Stevenson, a Democrat, did not immediately respond to a request for comment. U.S. District Judge Loretta Preska scheduled sentencing for May 20.

Prosecutors said the bribery scheme stemmed from the efforts of four businessmen – Igor Belyansky, Rostislav Belyansky, Igor Tsimerman and David Binman – to operate and build adult day-care centers in New York City’s Bronx borough.

According to the indictment, the men paid Stevenson to sponsor and get legislation enacted that would have effectively given the men a monopoly by declaring a three-year moratorium on constructing adult day-care centers in New York City, but exempting them from the restriction.

Stevenson helped in other ways, prosecutors said, facilitating the installation of a gas line to one of the centers and holding events to recruit senior citizens to attend a second one.

As part of the investigation, prosecutors secured the cooperation of another state legislator, Assemblyman Nelson Castro, a Bronx Democrat, who wore a wire as part of a deal to avoid perjury charges related to statements he made when he was a candidate in 2008.

Castro resigned from office in April 2013 when the Stevenson case became public.

He pleaded guilty in August to federal charges making false statements to law enforcement committing perjury and also admitted in state court to committing perjury. The four businessmen all pleaded guilty prior to trial.

Several cases against members of New York’s legislative bodies are still pending.

State Senator Malcolm Smith, a Democrat from Queens, was charged in April 2013 with attempting to buy a place on the Republican ticket in the New York City mayoral race.

New York State Senator John Sampson, meanwhile, is fighting charges of embezzlement, obstruction of justice and making false statements to federal investigators after prosecutors accused him of stealing proceeds from sales of foreclosed properties to fund a failed run for district attorney.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Sprint and T-Mobile offer further price discounts

Sprint unveiled a plan on Thursday that gives subscribers access to unlimited data for $60 a month, the industry's cheapest unlimited data offering.

National

Hundreds pay it forward at Florida Starbucks in…

The spontaneous chain of kindness continued for about 11 hours, totaling 457 transactions by the time it ended.

National

Weather system east of Caribbean could turn into…

An area of low pressure located east of the Caribbean Sea has a 50 percent chance of becoming a tropical depression or storm in the next 48 hours, U.S. forecasters…

National

U.S. hospital to discharge doctor treated with experimental…

An American doctor who contracted Ebola treating victims of the deadly virus in Liberia has recovered and will be discharged on Thursday by the Atlanta hospital that treated him with…

Movies

Review: 'When the Game Stands Tall' is both…

The high school football saga "When the Game Stands Tall" fumbles around for a focus while Jim Caviezel offers the most low-key coach in history.

Movies

Girlfriend in a coma: Chloe Grace Moretz

Chloe Grace Moretz is the best cheerleader "If I Stay" could ask for. As the star of the film adaptation of the successful YA novel…

The Word

The Word: Summer lovin' for Zac Efron and…

Ah, the summer romance. So intense, so fleeting. With Labor Day fast approaching, it should come as little surprise that the incredibly surprising romance between…

The Word

The Word: The Zac Efron-Michelle Rodriguez summer fling…

  Ah, the summer romance. So intense, so fleeting. With Labor Day fast approaching, it should come as little surprise that the incredibly surprising romance…

NFL

Fantasy football draft guide: How to draft your…

Many are wondering if we’re entering a new age in fantasy football drafting — one where running backs take a backseat.

NFL

Jets vs. Giants: 3 Giants storylines to watch

The Giants have plenty to work on as they reach the dress rehearsal preseason game Friday night against the rival Jets.

NFL

Jets vs. Giants: 3 Jets storylines to watch

Metro looks at three Jets storylines to watch as they play the Giants Friday.

NFL

Giants expected to work Corey Washington into first-team…

The day of reckoning for the Giants' fringe players will fall upon them Friday night against the Jets.

Sex

Big weddings may lead to long-term happiness

Dreaming of a big wedding? A new study indicates that the longer your guest list, the happier you’ll be in the long run. l A…

Sex

Online dating for every generation

Frank Jackson and his mother Maggie are like lots of modern families: They have dinner together regularly, keep each other updated on their lives —…

Wellbeing

Going green could be the key to getting…

If we could just pursue the things that would actually make us happy, we could help the environment too, according to a New York researcher.…

Tech

Siren: A new dating app that puts women…

Online dating can be brutal, especially for single women. Noting that many women hate wading through inappropriate messages and photos, two tech entrepreneurs decided to…