Thursday, November 24, 2011
Feds drop all charges against developer at heart of pending corruption case against state Sen. Carl Kruger
Lawyer: It's 'the first step toward complete exoneration of Sen. Kruger.
The feds have quietly dropped all charges against a Brooklyn developer at the heart of the pending corruption case against state Sen. Carl Kruger.
The decision is a partial victory for the longtime Brooklyn politician because it eliminates one of the key corruption allegations leveled against him. Kruger’s attorney, Benjamin Brafman, called it “the first step toward complete exoneration of Sen. Kruger.”
Last spring, the developer, Aaron Malinsky, was one of eight defendants swept up in a broad-ranging indictment alleging multiple schemes by Kruger and Brooklyn Assemblyman William Boyland to sell their office.
Malinsky was accused by Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara of bribing Kruger to win his support for projects he was trying to build in Brooklyn.
On Tuesday, prosecutors signed an agreement to defer prosecution of Malinsky, stating the interest of all parties “will best be served” by the decision.
While Malinsky's arrest was accompanied by a press release, the agreement to drop all his charges was filed without comment. A spokeswoman for Bharara declined to elaborate on why the charges were dropped.
The three-page agreement simply stated that the decision was reached “after a thorough investigation.” But Malinsky's attorney, Scott Mollen, said his client provided prosecutors with ample evidence that the so-called bribes were actually payments for “bona fide and valuable real estate consulting services.”
Malinsky felt “relieved, vindicated and grateful that the prosecutors met their ethical obligation to not proceed with this case,” Mollen said.
The decision follows the recent acquittal of Boyland, who was charged in a separate scheme to shake down a local hospital through bogus “consultant” payments. But the case against Kruger is still grinding toward trial early next year, and one of the defendants, David Rosen, named in the original indictment was convicted in September of multiple bribery counts.