Defunct Hospital CEO Guilty Of Bribery
The former chief executive officer of the defunct Parkway Hospital in Forest Hills pled guilty in federal court on Tuesday, Jan. 3, to bribing ex-State Sen. Carl Kruger in a failed effort to keep the medical center operating, law enforcement sources said.
U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York Preet Bharara identified the defendant as Robert Aquino, 54, of Glen Head, L.I., who entered a guilty plea to one count of conspiracy to commit bribery before U.S. District Judge Jed S. Rakoff. He faces up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine, or twice the gross gain or loss from the offense, when he is sentenced.
“Robert Aquino was all too willing to make sure a bribe was paid to preserve his job as CEO of a hospital,” Bharara said in a statement. “Like others in this case, he chose to fight his battle with money under the table rather than to play by the rules. And like others in this case, he now faces the prospect of jail. This office remains committed to breaking the chains of corruption that weigh down New York politics.”
According to the indictment, the complaint, and statements made at the plea proceeding in Manhattan federal court, when Parkway Hospital was slated to be closed by New York State in the summer of 2008, Aquino caused Parkway Hospital to make $60,000 in payments to Adex Management Inc. (“Adex”), a company in which Kruger had an interest.
As alleged in the Complaint, Adex paid half of the $60,000 it received from Parkway Hospital to Olympian Strategic Development Corp., a consulting company controlled by Michael Turano, who had a close relationship with Kruger.
As Aquino stated at Tuesday’s plea proceeding, he understood that in exchange for making the payments
–SEE PARKWAY ON PG. 30- to Adex, Kruger would undertake official action in his capacity as a member of the State Senate to help keep Parkway Hospital open.
Aquino was initially charged on Mar. 10, 2011, along with seven others: 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 New York State Assemblyman William Boyland, Jr.
Kruger, 62, of Brooklyn pled guilty to two counts of conspiracy to commit honest services fraud and two counts of conspiracy to commit bribery on Dec. 20, 2011; he also resigned from office.
Turano, 50, of Brooklyn, New York, pled guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit bribery on Dec. 20, 2011. Kruger and Turano are scheduled to be sentenced by Judge Rakoff on Apr. 26.
Rosen, 64, of upstate Harrison was convicted at a trial before Judge Rakoff on Sept. 12, 2011 for his involvement in schemes to bribe Kruger, former Assemblyman Anthony Seminerio and Boyland. Rosen is scheduled to be sentenced by Judge Rakoff tomorrow, Friday, Jan. 6.
Boyland, 41, of Brooklyn was acquitted by a jury on Nov. 10, 2011.
The government entered into a deferred prosecution agreement with Malinsky, 63, of New York, New York, on Nov. 22, 2011.
Charges are still pending against Lipsky, 64, of Manhattan and Kalish, 61, of Rockville Centre, L.I. and they are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
Bharara praised the investigative work of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
The case is being handled by the Office’s Public Corruption Unit. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Glen McGorty, William Harrington, Michael Bosworth and Kan Nawaday are in charge of the prosecution.