NEW YORK CITY (JTA) — Former New York State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver was again found guilty of federal corruption charges. The guilty verdict on Friday, May 11, in Federal District Court in Manhattan came nearly a year after a federal appeals court overturned his first conviction on the same corruption charges.
The original verdict was thrown out because the judge’s jury instructions were too broad, after the United States Supreme Court in 2016 narrowed the definition of corruption.
Silver, who for two decades was among the most powerful politicians in New York, was convicted in November 2015 of charges including honest services fraud, money laundering and extortion.
In May 2016, a Manhattan federal court sentenced him to 12 years in prison for corruption. The court also ordered Silver to pay a $1.75 million fine and relinquish $5.4 million that he had earned from his schemes.
Silver, who was prominent in Orthodox Jewish circles in Manhattan’s Lower East Side, was convicted in a scheme involving Dr. Robert Taub, an acquaintance who agreed to refer patients to Silver’s law firm. The deal netted Silver over $3 million in referral fees and injury claims. In return, he gave Taub $500,000 in taxpayer funds for research projects, according to prosecutors.
Another scheme involved charges that Silver received $700,000 in referral fees from a real estate firm seen as illegal kickbacks by prosecutors.
Sentencing is scheduled for July 13; in the first trial, Silver received a 12-year sentence.