Prosecutors Rest Case In Sheldon Silver Corruption Trial

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Prosecutors rested Wednesday in the corruption trial of former New York Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver.

The last witnesses for the federal government on Wednesday detailed how Silver made hundreds of thousands of dollars in investments. Prosecutors say much of the money was illicit proceeds from bribery schemes.

The trial is off Thursday and Friday, and the defense is expected to put on a short case on Monday. Jury deliberations could start later that day.

Silver, 71, has pleaded not guilty. The defense has said the once-powerful Democrat was singled out by overzealous prosecutors who were trying to criminalize business as usual in Albany.

Earlier in the trial, star prosecution witness Dr. Robert Taub claimed that Silver gave him state grants for cancer research in exchange for the doctor steering patients to Silver’s law firm.

Federal prosecutors allege the longtime former state Assembly speaker’s illegal kickback scheme netted him a third of the firm’s profits, which totaled about $3 million.

Taub testified on Nov. 5 that he referred more than 25 clients to Silver, hoping the powerful lawmaker would fund his research center.

“I hoped to develop a relationship with him that would help fund mesothelioma research and would help my patients,” he testified.

Taub also testified that Silver helped his children get jobs.

Silver’s lawyers argued that he was making a legitimate income outside his assembly salary, and that prosecutors are trying to make that a crime when it is not.

Silver stepped down from his speaker post after his arrest but retained his Assembly seat. The charges he faces carry a potential penalty of 130 years in prison upon conviction.

(TM and © Copyright 2015 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2015 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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