Ex-Dem NY Speaker Sheldon Silver found guilty in second corruption trial

Sheldon Silver found guilty on all counts in second corruption trial

Former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, once one of the most powerful men in NY state politics, has again been found guilty on all seven counts of federal corruption related to two separate schemes in which he enriched himself by steering work toward two law firms for payments, while using his office to provide benefits to those employing those firms. Skelos was also convicted in a corruption trial.

On Friday, Silver was again convicted of all seven counts, which included two counts of honest services fraud and one of extortion under color of official right for each of the cancer and real estate schemes, and a count of money laundering. Still, Assistant U.S. Attorney Tatiana Martins said the jury could rely on a "mountain of evidence in this case" that Silver earned $5 million illegally to reach the same conclusion as a jury in 2015.

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Silver collected almost $4 million in bribes and kickbacks that he disguised as legal fees from law practice in exchange for his influence in Albany, prosecutors said.

Silver's lawyer, Michael S. Feldberg, had argued in his summation that Silver's actions were legal.

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Defense attorneys said in court that Silver's actions were "distasteful" but failed to prove that his actions fell outside the definition of bribery.

Silver first joined the State Assembly in 1976, later becoming speaker in 1994. He eventually became one of the three most powerful politicians in the state, playing a pivotal role in deciding what legislation made it to a vote.

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