Tag Archives: conspiracy

State Senator Shirley Huntley pleads not guilty to conspiracy and tampering charges


| tcullen@queenscourier.com

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State Senator Shirley Huntley pleaded not guilty to three charges relating to a Long Island nonprofit after turning herself in this morning.

The southeast Queens politician helped cover up nearly $30,000 in public funds steered from Parent Workshop, Inc. to the senator’s aide, Patricia Savage, and to the senator’s niece, Lynn Smith, according to the indictment.

The nonprofit was provided with funds with the promise of providing programs for parents on the workings of the New York City public school system.  Savage and Smith were indicted in December.

Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said that when Huntley learned of the probe into her niece and aide, she penned a false backdated letter stating the nonprofit conducted workshops that never took place.

Huntley is charged with the tampering with physical evidence and falsifying business records in the first degree, and conspiracy in the fifth degree, a misdemeanor.

“Falsifying documents, conspiracy and deliberately tampering with an open investigation are serious crimes. The individuals who schemed to profit at the taxpayers’ expense and cover it up will be held accountable,” said Schneiderman.

If found guilty, Huntley would be removed from office, under the New York State Public Officers Law.

The two-time incumbent faces a fiercely contested primary in less than three weeks against Councilmember James Sanders and Gian Jones.

 

Former hospital exec Robert Aquino pleads guilty to bribery


| mchan@queenscourier.com

A current of corruption and conspiracy came crashing down after former Queens hospital executive Robert Aquino pleaded guilty to bribing former State Senator Carl Kruger.

According to the FBI, Aquino — the former CEO of the now defunct Parkway Hospital — confessed on Tuesday, January 3 to one count of conspiracy to commit bribery.

According to the indictment, the complaint and statements made during the plea proceeding in Manhattan federal court, Aquino made Parkway pay $60,000 to Adex Management Inc. — a company Kruger had interests in — when the hospital was slated to close in 2008.

Adex then paid half of that money to Olympian Strategic Development Corp. — a consulting company controlled by Michael Turano, who had a close relationship with Kruger — as alleged in the complaint.

Aquino admitted in court that he understood Kruger would undertake official action in his capacity as a member of the New York State Senate to help keep Parkway open in exchange for making payments to Adex.

“Robert Aquino was all too willing to make sure a bribe was paid to preserve his job as CEO of a hospital,” said Preet Bharara, the United States attorney for the Southern District of New York. “Like others in this case, he chose to fight his battle with money under the table rather than to play by the rules.”

Aquino, 54, of Glen Head, Long Island, faces a maximum potential penalty of five years in prison and a fine of $250,000. He will be sentenced on May 3.

Aquino was initially charged on March 10, 2011, along with seven others, including Kruger, Turano, Richard Lipsky, a lobbyist, Solomon Kalish, the owner of Adex, David Rosen, the former CEO of MediSys Health Network, real estate developer Aaron Malinsky and Assemblymember William Boyland, Jr.

Kruger pleaded guilty to two counts of conspiracy to commit honest services fraud and two counts of conspiracy to commit bribery on December 20, 2011, while Turano pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit bribery. Kruger and Turano are scheduled to be sentenced on April 26.