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Doctor Outlines Cancer Referral Scheme In Sheldon Silver Trial

Former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver is on trial for a bribery and kick-back scheme that allegedly earned him millions of dollars.
Former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver is on trial for a bribery and kick-back scheme that allegedly earned him millions of dollars. Photo Credit: File photo

ALBANY, N.Y. -- The corruption trial of Sheldron Silver, the former Assembly Speaker, began Tuesday, Nov. 3 with a day of testimony by Dr. Robert Taub, the doctor whom the U.S. Attorney General alleges was at the center of a bribery and kick-back scheme, according to the capitolnewyork.com.

According to U.S. Attorney General Preet Bharar's office, Taub will be able to prove that Silver pushed the doctor to refer mesothelioma patients to Weitz & Luxenberg, the firm where Silver was of counsel, and collected settlements, while sending state health care funds to Taub's research center, captiolnewyork.com said.

The doctor testified he knew Silver, one of the most powerful political figures in the state, worked with Weitz & Luxenberg, one of the top firms in the country for mesothelioma cases, after seeing his name on firm's letterhead, but added he didn't think highly of the firm because they didn't donate part of their cancer settlements to medical research, said capitolnewyork.com.

According to Taub, it was Daniel Chill, who served as counsel to the state Assembly in the 1970s and 1980s, who introduced the men and who worked out the arrangement between the two, added the capitalnewyork.com.

The result was a decade of referrals for Silver, that prosecutors say amounted to more than $3 million and $500,000 in state grants to Taub, said the capitalnewyork.com.

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