New York Lt. Gov. Brian Benjamin Arrested on Campaign Finance Charges
New York Lt. Gov. Brian Benjamin was arrested Tuesday early morning on expenses similar to a marketing campaign finance fraud investigation.
According to NBC Information, Benjamin surrendered to authorities and is envisioned to seem in a federal courtroom in New York Metropolis later on Tuesday. Benjamin, who graduated from Brown University and Harvard Enterprise University, spent most of his job in banking and inexpensive housing advancement right before winning a State Senate seat symbolizing Harlem in 2017.
His arrest will come following federal prosecutors and the FBI investigated no matter if the politician was knowingly engaged in a campaign finance fraud scheme. In accordance to The New York Periods, Benjamin is accused of conspiring to direct point out money to Harlem actual estate investor Gerald Migdol in return for orchestrating hundreds of bucks in unlawful campaign contributions to his unsuccessful 2021 campaign for New York Town Comptroller.
Migdol was arrested late previous yr on federal rates.
The situation puts Benjamin’s political vocation in jeopardy and casts a dark cloud on New York Gov. Kathy Hochul, who was pushed into workplace very last 12 months following former Gov. Andrew Cuomo resigned amid various allegations of sexual misconduct.
According to prosecutors, there is no proof to recommend Hochul was aware of Benjamin’s dealings, which happened though Benjamin was a condition senator. Nevertheless, deciding upon Benjamin as her Lt. Gov. was amongst the 1st decisions Hochul built just after getting to be governor.
Benjamin will certainly deal with pressure to phase down from his placement, but even if he does, he’ll probable stay on the ballot this summer months when he faces Democrat Ana Maria Archila and Republican Alison Esposito. The only way Benjamin’s identify can be eliminated from the ballot is if he moves out of point out, dies, or seeks yet another workplace.
Investigators have been probing Benjamin for weeks, issuing subpoenas to the Point out Senate in Albany and to customers of his comptroller campaign. In accordance to numerous reports, Migdol has been cooperating with investigators and delivering info after currently being arrested very last yr.
In a Grand Jury indictment dated very last November, prosecutors stated Migdol started steering thousands of dollars in fraudulent contributions to Benjamin in 2019, a single thirty day period right after he filed to operate for Comptroller. According to prosecutors, the contributions were an exertion for the state senator to faucet into New York City’s generous general public marketing campaign matching cash program and protected him tens of hundreds of bucks in added marketing campaign dollars.
A Facebook photo from September 2019 displays Migdol providing Benjamin an oversized check out worthy of $50,000 for the charity Buddies of General public Faculty Harlem. It is unclear whether or not the cash ended up shipped to the group.