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By Mark Hallum

Former Bayside City Councilman Dan Halloran, serving time for corruption charges, lost an appeal to have his sentence reduced on April 28.

Halloran was indicted in 2013 and found guilty in 2014 of wire fraud, violating the Travel Act and conspiracy to commit both offenses. He is serving up to ten years in prison, according to the United States Court of Appeals.

During his time as a member of the New York City Council, Halloran was accused of accepting bribes in exchange for allowing payers access to city funds and arranging bribes to be paid to the Republican Party for a Wilson-Pakula authorization of Democrat Malcolm Smith to run for mayor of New York City as a Republican.

The court upheld the original sentence, which was found to have sufficient evidence to determine Halloran was guilty of both corruption schemes.

According to the U.S. Court of Appeals, Halloran was convicted after the FBI was able to record conversations between him and an agent who went by the name Raj during the course of an undercover investigation. The agent posed as a real estate developer from out of state and found a partner in an individual by the name of Moses Stern with ties to the Orthodox Jewish community. Together they were able to get information from the former Republican council member that would form the basis of the trial.

Raj and Stern were able to bribe Halloran in return for between $40,000 and $80,000 in money from his district’s discretionary funds. Halloran, Raj and Stern came to a conclusion that in order to channel the government funds, normally reserved for non-profits, the city would need to purchase the YMCA on 35th Avenue in Bayside. Raj would be paid by acting as a management company or consultant. Court records said that Halloran also met with Raj outside of a pastry shop in Flushing and delivered $10,000 in cash.

Raj and Stern were also building relationships with former state Sen. Malcolm Smith, who was interested in running for mayor as a Republican, according to the case documentation. Authorization from the appropriate committee would be needed to allow a politician from one party to receive a nomination within a different party, also known as a Wilson-Pakula. Smith enlisted the help of Raj and Stern to influence important players within the Republican Party to vote in favor of his nomination. Bribes were also arranged by Raj with two other Republicans, Joseph Savino and Queens Executive Vice Chair Vincent Tabone, who accepted.

Halloran, Smith, Tabone and Savino were all arrested on April 2, 2013 when Manhattan chair Dan Isaacs reported the scheme to law enforcement.

The court found Halloran’s argument for appeal to be “without merit.”

Reach reporter Mark Hallum by e-mail at mhallum@cnglocal.com or by phone at (718) 260–4564.

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