Friday, March 11, 2011

Details Emerge About Brooklyn Democrats Corruption and Largesse

More details are emerging about the Brooklyn Democrats indicted yesterday in a wide-ranging corruption probe.
And it revealed, prosecutors say, that the seemingly measured senator was using the bribes to bankroll a lavish lifestyle, financing a four-door Bentley Arnage and a $2 million waterfront home originally built for a boss of the Luchese crime family.

Mr. Kruger and seven other defendants — including Assemblyman William F. Boyland Jr., a fellow Brooklyn Democrat, and a prominent lobbyist, Richard Lipsky — were charged by federal prosecutors in Manhattan with what United States Attorney Preet Bharara called “a broad-based bribery racket.”

Mr. Bharara expressed exasperation over the unrelenting corruption in Albany, saying lawmakers did not appear to learn.

“Every single time we arrest a state senator or assemblyman, it should be a jarring wake-up call,” Mr. Bharara said. “Instead, it seems that no matter how many times the alarm goes off, Albany just hits the snooze button.”
Kruger apparently eschewed using a cellphone, and instead used a pay phone to make hushed phone calls (perhaps wary of being caught on tape making statements that could prove to be damaging?).

Kruger was a Senior Democrat, and Senate Democratic leader, John L. Sampson, removed Senator Kruger on Thursday from his position as ranking member of the Finance Committee.

The NY Post notes the close relationship between Kruger and another of the indicted individuals, Michael Turano, intimating that they may have been gay lovers, and that Kruger steered money to the Turanos while living at their lavish Mill Basin home:
Kruger's constant companion, Turano, is accused of using bribe money he deposited in two shell companies for Kruger to pay the lease on a Bentley luxury sedan, credit-card bills and the mortgage on the garish, multimillion-dollar Mill Basin home where the two men for years have shacked up with Turano's mom and brother, authorities and neighbors said.

"Sen. Kruger had a close and intimate relationship with the entire Turano family, which includes one of the defendants, Michael Turano, along with his mother and brother," US Attorney Preet Bharara told reporters yesterday.

Neither of the other two Turanos has been accused of any wrongdoing.

A press release from Bharara's office noted, "[Kruger] spent his free time with the Turanos, shared holidays with them, went shopping for them, and managed the affairs of their residence.
Also ensnared in the mess is the real estate developer, Forest City Ratner.

William Boyland Jr is accused of having a no-show job at Brookdale Hospital in Brooklyn netting him $177,000 as a result.

Lobbyist Richard Lipsky was also indicted, and investigators found over $100,000 in a safe at his home, and $4,000 in crisp bills in a suit. Lipsky is accused of fee-splitting with Kruger.

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