Prosecutors boost claims against ex-NY Assembly speaker

AP News
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Posted: Apr 23, 2015 7:52 PM

NEW YORK (AP) — Prosecutors added charges Thursday against former New York state Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, saying he did "certain official" favors for an investor who had access to high-yield investment opportunities so he could earn higher rates from his criminal proceeds.

The allegations against the Democrat were contained in a rewrite of the indictment that boosted the number of counts against him to seven.

Silver has been free on bail since his January arrest on charges that he exploited his power in Albany to collect $4 million in kickbacks. The charges led him to resign his powerful post as speaker, but he has retained his Assembly seat. He pleaded not guilty, saying he'll be vindicated.

The rewritten indictment alleges that Silver in 2006 exploited his relationship with a person identified in court papers only as "Investor-1" to gain access to private, high-yield, low-risk investment opportunities not normally available to the public.

According to the indictment, Silver transferred $642,000 into investment vehicles that more than doubled in value over the next decade to over $1.4 million.

It said Silver distributed his crime proceeds across numerous high-yield investment vehicles and then rewarded the investment adviser by taking "certain official actions" the adviser had requested.

The indictment said Silver did not otherwise pay a fee to the adviser for access to the high-yield private instruments and did not disclose to the adviser the source of the funds.

Silver attorneys Joel Cohen and Steven Molo said the new charge was an attempt by the government to address flaws in the indictment that the defense pointed out. The lawyers say they'll respond in court.