A current of corruption and conspiracy came crashing down after former Queens hospital executive Robert Aquino pleaded guilty to bribing former State Senator Carl Kruger.
According to the FBI, Aquino — the former CEO of the now defunct Parkway Hospital — confessed on Tuesday, January 3 to one count of conspiracy to commit bribery.
According to the indictment, the complaint and statements made during the plea proceeding in Manhattan federal court, Aquino made Parkway pay $60,000 to Adex Management Inc. — a company Kruger had interests in — when the hospital was slated to close in 2008.
Adex then paid half of that money to Olympian Strategic Development Corp. — a consulting company controlled by Michael Turano, who had a close relationship with Kruger — as alleged in the complaint.
Aquino admitted in court that he understood Kruger would undertake official action in his capacity as a member of the New York State Senate to help keep Parkway open in exchange for making payments to Adex.
“Robert Aquino was all too willing to make sure a bribe was paid to preserve his job as CEO of a hospital,” said Preet Bharara, the United States attorney for the Southern District of New York. “Like others in this case, he chose to fight his battle with money under the table rather than to play by the rules.”
Aquino, 54, of Glen Head, Long Island, faces a maximum potential penalty of five years in prison and a fine of $250,000. He will be sentenced on May 3.
Aquino was initially charged on March 10, 2011, along with seven others, including Kruger, Turano, Richard Lipsky, a lobbyist, Solomon Kalish, the owner of Adex, David Rosen, the former CEO of MediSys Health Network, real estate developer Aaron Malinsky and Assemblymember William Boyland, Jr.
Kruger pleaded guilty to two counts of conspiracy to commit honest services fraud and two counts of conspiracy to commit bribery on December 20, 2011, while Turano pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit bribery. Kruger and Turano are scheduled to be sentenced on April 26.