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Justice News

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

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Former Energy Company Executive Sentenced 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”), was sentenced to 14 months in prison for 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.  Co-defendants Percoco and Steven Aiello were convicted of charges relating to bribery on March 13, 2018, after an eight-week jury trial.  The jury was deadlocked on the charges against KELLY.  Joseph Gerardi, who was acquitted of all charges at the trial with Percoco, was convicted of all charges in a related trial earlier this year.  KELLY pled guilty on May 11, 2018, to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud before U.S. District Judge Valerie E. Caproni, who imposed today’s sentence.

U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman said:  “Braith Kelly admitted to giving the spouse of one of the most powerful men in Albany, Joseph Percoco, a low-show job at his company in order to ingratiate himself and his company with Percoco.  Many consider this type of behavior to be ‘the way things are done’ in government.  But our Office does not, and neither does the court.” 

In imposing today’s sentence, Judge Caproni stated:  “I hope the sentence will be heard in government affairs offices everywhere…you have to play by the rules.”

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

KELLY hired Percoco’s wife to a low-show job at CPV, and ran monthly payments to Percoco and his wife through a consultant who worked for CPV 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 CPV, and he falsely told his superiors at CPV – on two separate occasions – that Percoco had obtained an ethics opinion from the Governor’s Office approving of Percoco’s wife’s employment with CPV, when in fact no such opinion existed.  

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In addition to the prison term, KELLY, 55, of Canterbury, Connecticut, was sentenced to three years of supervised release.  He was also ordered to pay $247,000 in restitution to CPV.

On September 20, 2018, Judge Caproni sentenced Percoco to six years in prison.  Aiello is scheduled to be sentenced on November 29, 2018.  Gerardi is scheduled to be sentenced on December 6, 2018.

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. 

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.

Press Release Number: 
Updated October 16, 2018