Former New York State Majority Leader Dean Skelos and his son, Adam Skelos, have been sentenced for corruption charges.
In Manhattan federal court, Dean Skelos was sentenced to 51 months in prison, while the younger Skelos got four years behind bars after being convicted twice of conspiracy to commit extortion under color of official right, conspiracy to commit honest services wire fraud, three counts of extortion under color of official right, and three counts of soliciting and receiving bribes.
In addition to the prison time, Dean Skelos was ordered to pay a $500,000 fine and sentenced to a year of supervised release. Adam Skelos was also sentenced to three years of supervised release.
U.S. Attorney Robert Khuzami noted that the judge found that Dean Skelos had lied during his testimony at trial, citing several examples of his dishonesty, which led to a longer sentence.
“For the second time, Dean Skelos repeatedly abused his official position to obtain more than $300,000 in bribes and extortion payments made to his son," Khuzmani said.
According to Khuzami, beginning in 2011, while Dean Skelos was serving as the Majority Leader and co-Majority Leader of the New York State Senate, he “used his power to pressure companies with business before New York State to make payments to his son, who substantially depended on these companies for his income.”
In total, Dean Skelos obtained more than $300,000 in payments through “persistent and repeated pressure applied to senior executives of three different companies that needed legislation passed in the New York State Senate and other official actions from Dean Skelos.”
The schemes included the Glenwood Management Corp. in Manhattan, which paid more than $20,000 upfront and $4,000 monthly to the younger Skelos. In exchange, they sought real estate tax abatements and real estate legislation favorable to them. At the same time, two other companies were paying thousands for “consulting contracts” in exchange for favors.
Both Skelos' faced decades in prison prior to their official sentencing.
“Yet again, a New York jury heard a sordid tale of bribery, extortion, and the abuse of power by a powerful public official of this State,” Khuzami said in a statement. “And yet again, a jury responded with a unanimous verdict of guilt, in this case of Dean Skelos and his son Adam – sending the resounding message that political corruption will not be tolerated.
“Former State Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos was entrusted with enormous power and responsibility, power a unanimous jury of his peers has now concluded for a second time that Skelos repeatedly abused in pursuit of illegal payments to his son, Adam Skelos.
"The sentences imposed today are but a small down-payment to correct the damage they did to our citizens’ faith in state government. At the same time, these same citizens can have faith that those who abuse the public trust for their personal benefit will be caught and sentenced to substantial prison terms.”
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