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Thursday, January 22, 2015

SILVER GOES FOR THE GOLD: N. Y. Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver Charged in Corruption Scheme; Taken Into Custody After 'Long-Term' Investigation

The Wall Street Journal reports that New York state Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver was arrested and charged in an alleged corruption and bribery scheme this morning after a “long-term” investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, authorities said.

The Manhattan Democrat, a lawyer who has been Assembly speaker since 1994, turned himself in to FBI agents early Thursday in lower Manhattan.

Preet Bharara, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, was set to hold a news conference at 1 p.m. to announce details of the public-corruption charges against Mr. Silver, Mr. Bharara’s office said.

The five-count criminal complaint, unsealed Thursday morning, charges Mr. Silver with a scheme to defraud, depriving the public of honest services, mail fraud, and extortion and alleges Mr Silver received more than $6 million in outside income from two law firms since late 2002.

The 35-page complaint says the speaker obtained “millions of dollars in outside income as a direct result of his corrupt use of his official position to obtain attorney referral fees for himself, including from clients with substantial business before the state, and not as a result of legitimate outside income Silver earned as a private lawyer.”

Mr. Silver has denied any wrongdoing.

Sounds a little familiar, doesn't it?

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