New York Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver has been indicted on five criminal counts involving millions of dollars in alleged bribes and kickbacks.
The criminal complaint filed Wednesday in federal court accuses Silver, 70, of receiving more than $6 million from two law firms since 2002 through various schemes, reports the New York Daily News. The money allegedly includes more than $3 million in referral fees for directing clients involved in asbestos litigation to one of the law firms.
According to prosecutors, Silver directed state funds to a doctor doing asbestos research in exchange for referrals from this doctor of asbestos cases to the law firm.
Charges Include Wire Fraud, Mail Fraud, Extortion
Silver is charged with five violations of federal law. These charges include:
Silver surrendered to federal law enforcement agents Thursday morning and was arraigned Thursday afternoon in New York.
According to The Wall Street Journal, Silver's lawyers told reporters that "Mr. Silver looks forward to responding to [the charges] -- in court -- and ultimately his full exoneration."