This morning the venture capitalist Jordan Levy, known by his friends colloquially as “the Mayor of Buffalo” for his influence and hometown pride, testified in the corruption trial of former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver.
For years, Levy had been accepting hundreds of thousands of dollars from Silver’s alleged wrongdoings and invested that capital in high yield private placements. That money was then invested with Levy-affiliated vehicles that are well known in the region’s business community: JoRo Management and Counsel Financial.
Levy is one of Buffalo’s most connected and influential businessmen, with a career of accomplishments that would make the most successful of businessmen envious. He is a serial entrepreneur who has launched and exited wildly successful companies. He is a partner at the reputable Japanese-backed private equity fund Softbank Capital, and founded Seed Capital Partners.
Now, political observers are wondering why Levy is sitting on the board of Seneca Holdings, LLC, the private equity arm of the Seneca Nation of Indians.
Levy recruited David Kimelberg, a lawyer working for SoftBank Capital at the fund’s Boston office, to serve as Seneca Holdings’ founding Chief Executive. For years, Levy shared office space with Kimelberg on the top floor of the former HSBC Center.
In light of Levy’s intimate relationship with some of the nation’s most powerful politicians, observers are beginning to ask what, exactly, are the Senecas getting out of the relationship.