Lieutenant Governor Arrested for Bribery –NY Lieutenant Governor, Brian Benjamin, has just been arrested on bribery charges for allegedly carrying out a “scheme” to get campaign contributions in exchange for a $50,000 state grant.
Benjamin was taken into custody early Tuesday morning and is currently being held at Rikers Island. If convicted, he faces time in prison.
Benjamin has already plead not guilty to the charges against him and has been released on bail. With his trial is set to begin in May.
Benjamin has been charged with one count of conspiracy to commit bribery, which carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison.
One count of honest services wire fraud and falsifying business records, each of which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years.
And two counts of bribery, each carrying a maximum sentence of 15 years.
All together, Benjamin could face maximum penalties of between five and 20 years in prison.
According to the indictment, Benjamin carried out the scheme while he was a state senator and a candidate for state comptroller from 2019 to 2021. Where he allegedly solicited campaign donations from and to be raised by a real estate developer.
Lieutenant Governor Arrested for Bribery
His alleged goal was to eventually gain state funds that would then be used for the developer’s non-profit organization.
The scheme apparently began to unravel in 2020 when the state comptroller’s office rejected the grant application.
The NY Times reports that, “prosecutors said Mr. Benjamin then tried unsuccessfully to get another state agency to approve the grant.”
Prosecutors are also seeking to have Benjamin forfeit any “ill-gotten gains” from the scheme.
Per the indictment, Benjamin falsely stated he never “directly exercised” his authority as an official “concerning a matter of a donor [he] directly solicited.”
The U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Damian Williams, is expected to address this case, along with officials from the FBI and the New York City Department of Investigation, during a Tuesday afternoon press conference.
The indictment also alleges that others worked closely with Benjamin to “cover up” the plot. Leading to an orchestrated “series of lies and deception.”
It’s worth noting that Gov. Kathy Hochul’s office did not immediately respond to Fox News and its request for comment.
This is a breaking story and will be updated as more information becomes available. Lieutenant Governor Benjamin’s arrest comes amid a wide-ranging investigation into Albany’s finances, which has already resulted in the arrest of several state lawmakers on corruption charges.
Stay tuned for more updates from Big League Politics when available.