Former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, 74, was found guilty Friday of receiving more than $4 million in kickbacks — a sound affirmation of a 2015 conviction that had been overturned on appeal. The jury found him guilty on all seven counts –including two counts of honest services mail fraud and money laundering.
He will be sentenced on July 13 and faces as much as 130 years in prison. Silver was emotionless as the verdict was read. Silver was once one of the three most powerful men in New York, ruling the state in a triumvirate with the Governor and the Senate Majority Leader.
When convicted in 2015 he was sentenced to 12 years in prison. Silver found a federal appeals court to rule that errors in the judge’s jury instructions warranted a new trial.
Silver was convicted of two schemes that earned him a whopping $4 million in kickbacks over a decade, plus $1 million in profits on the illegal gains. Silver used local businessman Jordan Levy to invest his kickbacks into two local investment vehicles, JoRo Management and Counsel Financial.
The case against Silver centered on two schemes. The first involved favors for a Columbia University cancer doctor who sent him lucrative referrals of Mesothelioma patients looking to sue asbestos companies.
The second involved two real estate companies that sent business to a lawyer who then shared his fees with Silver, essentially having Silver on a secret retainer with property manager Glenwood Management, while he was negotiating rent laws.