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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of New York

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, May 11, 2018

Former Energy Company Executive Pleads Guilty In Connection With The Bribery Scheme Of Former Executive Deputy Secretary To The Governor Of New York

Geoffrey S. Berman, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that PETER GALBRAITH KELLY JR., a former executive at Competitive Power Ventures (“CPV”), pled guilty to defrauding CPV by misrepresenting that the former Executive Deputy Secretary to the Governor, Joseph Percoco, had obtained state ethics approval for his wife to work at CPV.  After an eight-week jury trial, co-defendants Joseph Percoco and Steven Aiello were convicted of charges relating to bribery.  The jury was deadlocked on the charges against Kelly.  Joseph Gerardi was acquitted of all charges.  KELLY pled guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud before United States District Judge Valerie E. Caproni.

U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman said:  “Braith Kelly was involved in a criminal scheme to bribe of one of the most powerful men in New York in exchange for favorable treatment for his energy company.  Today he pled guilty for his part in the scheme and now faces time in prison.  Corruption in Albany casts a shadow over the many honest public servants who do good work in the administration of government, and deprives the citizens of New York of the honest representation they deserve.”

According to the evidence introduced at trial, other proceedings in this case, and documents previously filed in Manhattan federal court:                                                                           

KELLY ran monthly payments to Percoco and his wife through a consultant who worked for the Energy Company in order to disguise the source of the payments.  KELLY also made sure that Percoco’s wife’s photograph and full name were not included in promotional materials for the Energy Company, and he falsely told his superiors at the Energy Company – on two separate occasions – that Percoco had obtained an ethics opinion from the Governor’s Office approving of Percoco’s wife’s employment with the Energy Company, when in fact no such opinion existed.  For his part, Percoco concealed the criminal scheme by failing to include the Energy Company as the source of payments on his State-mandated financial disclosure forms. 

                                                                                                                                                                                 *                      *                      *

KELLY, 54, of Canterbury, Connecticut, pled guilty to an Information that charges him with one count of Conspiracy to Commit Wire Fraud.  It carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a fine of the greatest of $250,000, twice the gross pecuniary gain derived from the offense, or twice the gross pecuniary loss to persons other than the defendant resulting from the offense.  KELLY is scheduled to be sentenced on September 28, 2018, by Judge Caproni.

Percoco was convicted on March 13, 2018, after an eight-week trial, of soliciting and accepting bribes in return for taking official state action to benefit CPV and Syracuse-based real estate developer COR Development (“COR”).  Percoco is scheduled to be sentenced by Judge Caproni on June 11, 2018.

The maximum potential sentence in this case is prescribed by Congress and is provided here for informational purposes only, as any sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the judge. 

U.S. Attorney Berman praised the work of the Buffalo Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and New York Office of the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation, which jointly conducted this investigation with special agents from the U.S. Attorney’s Office.  Mr. Berman also thanked the New York State Attorney General’s Office.

This case is being prosecuted by the Office’s Public Corruption Unit.  Assistant U.S. Attorneys Janis Echenberg, Robert Boone, David Zhou, and Matthew Podolsky are in charge of the prosecution.

Topic(s): 
Public Corruption
Press Release Number: 
18-158
Updated May 11, 2018