Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Lobbyist Lipsky expected to plead guilty today in case that involves Kruger (and touches Forest City Ratner, though developer was not charged)

The New York Times reported, in Lobbyist Is Expected to Plead Guilty in Corruption Case:
Richard J. Lipsky, a prominent New York lobbyist who was charged in the bribery conspiracy case that also ensnared State Senator Carl Kruger, is expected to plead guilty on Wednesday in Federal District Court in Manhattan, a person briefed on the matter said Tuesday.

Mr. Lipsky’s plea would come just two weeks after Mr. Kruger resigned from the Senate and pleaded guilty to corruption charges...
Lipsky was charged with feeding lobbying fees to Kruger in exchange for the Senator helping Lipsky's causes, though it wasn't clear what Lipsky would plead to:
Over several years, a criminal complaint charged, Mr. Lipsky directed about $260,000 in lobbying fees to two shell companies linked to Mr. Kruger.

“Kruger’s official actions included sponsoring and supporting legislation, lobbying other elected officials and directing state monies for the benefit of Lipsky and his clients,” the complaint said. Prosecutors have said that during a search of Mr. Lipsky’s residence and office, F.B.I. agents found $102,000 in cash in a safe in his closet, and some $4,000 in crisp bills in his suit pocket.

Mr. Lipsky’s clients included a Bronx beverage distributor, a supermarket retailer and a real estate developer that has been identified as Forest City Ratner. None of the clients were accused of any wrongdoing.
Helping FCR?

So one question is: will Lipsky's plea indicate any assistance to Forest City?

The Daily News reported:
Prosecutors charge Kruger, as a state senator, did favors for Lipsky clients in exchange for $260,000 in bribes.

In one case, Kruger wrote to a judge urging enforcement of cigarette taxes.

The feds say the letter helped a Lipsky client, a supermarket chain, hurt by the sale of tax-free cigarettes on Indian reservations.
Well, here's one thing Kruger did for Forest City--though this was not, to my knowledge, in the indictment and thus not necessarily connected to Lipsky: he issued an odd press release in September 2009 expressing concern that "the MTA would become an obstructionist body that would ultimately stand in the way of Atlantic Yards."

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