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April 26, 2012

Significant (but below-guideline) prison term for corrupt NY state pol

This New York Times article, headlined "Kruger Sentenced to Seven Years in Corruption Case," reports on a notable white-collar federal sentencing today.  Here are a few details:

Carl Kruger, the once-powerful state senator from Brooklyn who resigned his office in disgrace and pleaded guilty to corruption charges in December, was sentenced to seven years in prison on Thursday by a federal judge in Manhattan.  Mr. Kruger, 62, was the first defendant to be sentenced in a widespread bribery conspiracy case that originally ensnared eight people, and was seen as offering yet more evidence of the apparent unending wave of corruption in Albany.

Prosecutors had asked the judge, Jed S. Rakoff of Federal District Court, to impose 9 to 11 and a quarter years, as recommended under the advisory federal sentencing guidelines. The judge issued the lesser sentence to Mr. Kruger, citing his "many good deeds."  But he made it clear that such credit was outweighed by the fact that Mr. Kruger had entered into "extensive, long-lasting, substantial bribery schemes that frankly were like daggers in the heart of honest government."...

Mr. Kruger, who was elected to the State Senate in 1994 and rose to become the chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, had been accused by the authorities of accepting over $1 million in bribes from two hospital executives, a prominent lobbyist and a health care consultant.  In return, he agreed to take official action to benefit them or their clients, prosecutors said.  As part of his plea deal, Mr. Kruger agreed to forfeit $450,000....

Mr. Kruger was convicted of two counts of conspiracy to commit honest services fraud, and two counts of conspiracy to commit bribery.  He faced up to 50 years in prison, Judge Rakoff had told him in December.

Dr. Turano, 50, who also pleaded guilty, to one count of conspiracy to commit bribery, was sentenced to two years in prison by Judge Rakoff, who again chose a more lenient sentence than the federal guidelines had called for.

Preet Bharara, the United States attorney in Manhattan, said the sentencing of Mr. Kruger and Mr. Turano “takes us one step closer to closing this sorry chapter in the continuing story of public corruption in New York State and City government.”...

Mr. Kruger’s lawyer, Benjamin Brafman, had asked the judge to impose only “a short period of incarceration,” and in a letter, described Mr. Kruger as “a true friend” for whom “the shame is forever, and a brilliant career has been destroyed beyond redemption.”

April 26, 2012 at 07:57 PM | Permalink

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