New York politicians should have learned by now that they will get caught if they try to cheat the system. However, a slew of recent corruption charges seem to prove differently.
After State Sen. Carl Kruger pled guilty to charges of corruption back in December, many of his co-conspirators have been dragged out of the woodwork and into the courtroom. The latest--and what appears to be final--person to be involved in the scheme accepted a guilty plea Wednesday, closing the case on the conspiracy.
Solomon Kalish, a healthcare consultant, admitted to bribing Kruger with nearly $200,000 between 2007 and 2011. By accepting the plea deal, Kalish will face up to 71 months in prison.
The former senator, who will be sentenced in April, could spend nine-to-eleven years in prison on charges of bribery and influence peddling.
Another former state senator continues to face criminal charges for the embezzlement and corruption scheme that he ran while in office. Former New York State Senate Majority Leader Pedro Espada Jr. is now facing two charges of corruption for allegedly making false statements to federal agencies.
Espada reported falsified a document to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that claimed his actual salary of $246,750 had been reduced to $185,063 between February 2009 and January 2010.
The former senator and his son Pedro Espada were arrested in December 2010 after police discovered they had been using more than $500,000 from the Soundview Health Care Network, operated by the pair, for personal expenses ranging from Broadway shows to a new car.
They have also been charged with tax evasion.
Espada will face arraignment on Jan. 25 for the new charges, but he and his son have already pled not guilty to previous charges. They both face trial in March.