Former New York State Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos got his son a no-show job with a medical malpractice insurer who was lobbying the Legislature, according to a federal indictment.
Father and son “engaged in a corrupt scheme” to cash in on Skelos’s position at the helm of the Senate, according to the indictment handed down Thursday by a federal grand jury in Manhattan. Skelos and son Adam pocketed hundreds of thousands of dollars from campaign donors and firms with business before the state, according to the indictment.
With the indictment, the two will soon appear in Manhattan federal court to enter a plea, and a judge may set a date for a trial. Their indictment follows by three months that of ex- Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, who is accused of running unrelated kickback schemes netting almost $4 million. Skelos and Silver were among the most powerful politicians in New York.
Dean and Adam Skelos, arrested earlier this month, are accused of demanding payoffs from companies with business in Albany, the state capital, as a way to enrich Adam. According to the indictment, Dean Skelos pressured a medical-malpractice insurer that had business before the state to give Adam a no- show job and $100,000 in cash and health benefits.
The company wasn’t identified.
Adam Skelos also pocketed title-insurance commissions from real-estate developers with business before his father, prosecutors said. The elder Skelos helped win a $20,000 payment from a large real-estate investment firm for his son and $10,000 in monthly payments to Adam from a company in Arizona that makes water filters to treat polluted stormwater run-off and water contaminated by fracking.
The two men referred “implicitly and explicitly” to Dean Skelos’s ability to use official actions to reward or punish targets of their five-year scheme, according to the indictment.
The two men, both of Rockville Centre, New York, face as long as 20 years in prison if convicted of extortion, fraud and other charges. They deny wrongdoing.
G. Robert Gage Jr., a lawyer for Dean Skelos, and Christopher Conniff, an attorney for his son, didn’t immediately return phone messages seeking comment on the indictment.
The case is U.S. v. Skelos, 15-cr-00317, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).