Lobbyist Sentenced In Manhattan Federal Court For Bribing New York State Senator Carl Kruger
Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that RICHARD LIPSKY, a lobbyist, was sentenced today in Manhattan federal court to three months in prison for participating in a scheme to bribe New York State Senator Carl Kruger. LIPSKY pled guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit bribery and one count of bribery in January 2012. After his guilty plea, LIPSKY entered into a cooperation agreement with the government. He was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Jed S. Rakoff.
According to the Indictment, the Complaint, and statements made at LIPSKY’s plea proceeding and sentencing:
LIPSKY was a professional lobbyist and the principal of Richard Lipsky Associates, Inc., since approximately 1981. LIPSKY’s clients included unions and associations, food retail businesses, supermarkets, and beverage distributors. Between 2007 and 2011, LIPSKY paid over $250,000 to Olympian Strategic Development Corp. (“Olympian”) and Bassett Brokerage (“Bassett”), two consulting companies controlled by Michael Turano, a Manhattan-based gynecologist with whom Senator Kruger had a close relationship. In exchange for the payments that LIPSKY made to Olympian and Bassett, Kruger took official actions to benefit Lipsky and Lipsky’s lobbying clients.
For example, in the fall of 2007, Senator Kruger asked LIPSKY to retain Olympian, Michael Turano, and Gerard Turano, to work with him on a project in Brooklyn. Over the course of one year, Olympian and the Turanos did little in the way of documented work. In 2008, Senator Kruger referred a number of clients to LIPSKY and asked that LIPSKY pay a referral fee to Olympian, Bassett, and/or Michael Turano from the money he received from the referred clients. LIPSKY admitted that he agreed to make these payments knowing that, in return, Kruger would take official action to benefit LIPSKY, his family, and his business. The Government’s plea agreement with LIPSKY provides that the value of the actual bribes and/or a reasonable estimate of the benefits received in exchange for the bribes, is between $120,000 and $200,000.
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Judge Rakoff sentenced LIPSKY to three months in prison upon the Government’s motion for a downward departure from the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines based on LIPSKY’s on-going cooperation with the Government. In addition to the prison term, Judge Rakoff sentenced LIPSKY, 65, of New York, New York, to two years of supervised release. LIPSKY was also ordered to pay a $200 special assessment.
LIPSKY was initially charged in March 2011, along with seven others, including Kruger, Turano, Solomon Kalish, the owner of Adex, David Rosen, the former CEO of MediSys Health Network, Robert Aquino, the former CEO of Parkway Hospital, real estate developer Aaron Malinsky, and New York State Assemblyman William Boyland, Jr. Kalish, 61, of Rockville Centre, New York, was sentenced in May 2012 to two years in prison. Kruger, 62, and Turano, 50, who both reside in Brooklyn, New York, pled guilty in December 2011 and were sentenced in April 2012 to seven years and two years in prison, respectively. Rosen, 64, of Harrison, New York, was convicted at a bench trial in September 2011 for his involvement in schemes to bribe Kruger, Boyland, Jr., and former New York State Assemblyman Anthony Seminerio, and he was sentenced in May 2012 to three years in prison. Seminerio pled guilty to one count of honest services mail fraud and was sentenced in February 2010 to six years in prison. He passed away while his case was on direct appeal, and the cause of action against him was abated. Aquino, 54, of Glen Head, New York, was sentenced in May 2012 to four months in prison. Boyland, 41, of Brooklyn, New York, was acquitted by a jury in November 2011. The Government entered into a deferred prosecution agreement with Malinsky, 63, of New York, New York, in November 2011.
Mr. Bharara praised the investigative work of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
This prosecution is being handled by the Office's Public Corruption Unit. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Glen McGorty, Michael Bosworth, and Kan Nawaday are in charge of the prosecution.