New York Lt. Gov. Brian Benjamin arrested on federal bribery conspiracy charges

Yahoo News

New York Lt. Gov. Brian Benjamin was arrested on Tuesday, with federal prosecutors accusing him in an indictment of “engaging in a bribery scheme using public funds for his own corrupt purposes.”

Benjamin surrendered himself to police early in the morning and is set to appear at the US District Court in Manhattan on Tuesday afternoon, the Times reported.

His arrest was the result of an investigation by the FBI and the US attorney for the Southern District’s office, with federal prosecutors accusing Benjamin of attempting to funnel state funds to a Harlem real estate investor in exchange for illegal campaign donations, according to the indictment reported on by the Times.

The indictment, which was unsealed later on Tuesday morning, also charges Benjamin with wire fraud.

The Southern District of New York will hold a press conference at noon on the Benjamin charges.

Appointed by New York Gov. Kathy Hochul in September 2021, Benjamin’s legal issues have loomed over the administration from the start.

Benjamin is effectively locked into his slot on the ballot alongside Hochul in June’s Democratic primary. His name can only be removed if he were to move out of state, run for another office, or die.

The governor’s office did not immediately return Insider’s request for comment.

At a recent joint press conference with Hochul on the stalled state budget, Benjamin struggled to answer a question about whether he’d informed the governor about getting a subpoena connected to the same investigation.

According to the Times, Gerald Migdol, the real estate investor, likely began cooperating with investigators some time after he was arrested in May 2021 on wire fraud and other charges connected to the case.

The campaign donations in question were for Benjamin’s failed New York City comptroller bid.

Hochul’s public schedule on Tuesday included a pair of local TV interviews in the morning and an appearance on Long Island in Hempstead at 2 p.m.

Read the original article on Business Insider

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