Used Close Friend To Funnel Bribes
Former State Sen. Carl Kruger was sentenced last Thursday, Apr. 26, to serve seven years in prison for engaging in bribery schemes in which he accepted hundreds of thousands of dollars in kickbacks in exchange for taking official action, it was announced.
As part of the schemes, the corrupt payments intended for Kruger, 62, were directed to bank accounts controlled by Michael Turano, 50, a Manhattan-based gynecologist who had a close relationship to Kruger and was also sentenced last Thursday to two years in prison for his roles in the scheme.
The sentences were announced by U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York Preet Bharara. U.S. District Judge Jed S. Rakoff handed down the sentences to Kruger and Turano.
“Today’s sentencing of Carl Kruger and Michael Turano takes us one step closer to closing this sorry chapter in the continuing story of public corruption in New York State and City government,” Bharara said last Thursday. “And the moral is that when elected officials violate their oaths of office and betray their constituents by putting personal interests and enrichment above their duty as public servants, they will be brought to justice.”
Kruger served as a state senator from Brooklyn’s 27th Senate District between 1994 and 2011; between 2009 and 2011, he was the chairman of the Senate Finance Committee.
Between 2007 and March 2011, according to the charges, lobbyist Richard Lipsky directed $260,000 of his lobbying fees to two entities controlled by Turano, Olympian Strategic Development Corporation and Bassett Brokerage. In exchange for these payments, Kruger undertook official action to benefit Lipsky and his lobbying clients.
During the same period, prosecutors said, healthcare consultant Solomon Kalish directed $197,000 to Olympian that had been paid to his marketing/consulting firm, Adex Management, by third parties, including Robert Aquino, former chief executive officer of the defunct Parkway Hospital in Forest Hills.
It was noted that Aquino caused the hospital to make $60,000 in payments to Adex.
In exchange for these payments, Kruger reportedly undertook action in Albany to benefit Kalish, Adex, Parkway and other third party clients of Adex.
The former state senator and Turano along with Lipsky, Kalish, Aquino, former Jamaica Hospital CEO David Rosen, real estate developer Aaron Malinsky and Assemblyman William Boyland Jr. were each arrested in March 2011 for their roles in the scheme.
Kruger and Turano previously admitted to the scheme and, in addition to jail time, were ordered by Judge Rakoff to each serve two years of supervised release and to forfeit $223,534.
Rosen, 64, of Harrison, N.Y. was convicted on Sept. 12, 2011 and is scheduled to be sentenced on May 7. Aquino, 55, of Glen Head, pled guilty in January to charges and was sentenced on Tuesday, May 1.
Lipsky, 65, and Kalish, 61, also previously pled guilty to charges and are awaiting sentencing. Boyland, 41, was acquitted by a jury on Nov. 10, 2011, and the government entered into a deferred prosecution agreement with Malinsky, 63.
Bharara thanked the FBI for their work in conducting the investigation.
The case was prosecuted by the Assistant U.S. Attorneys Glen Mc- Gorty, Michael Bosworth and Kan Nawaday of the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s Public Corruption Unit.