NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A former top aide to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is expected to make an appearance in Manhattan federal court Thursday.
Joseph Percoco and seven others were indicted last week on bribery, extortion and fraud conspiracy charges.READ MORE: Jokic, Rivers Team Up To Help Nuggets Top Nets
According to the federal complaint, Percoco took $322,000 in bribes from 2012 through 2016 to Syracuse-based COR Development and Competitive Power Ventures, an energy company looking to build a power plant in the Hudson Valley. Todd Howe, a consultant for the two companies and former Cuomo associate, set up bank accounts and a shell company to funnel bribes, including payments to Percoco’s wife, Lisa, the complaint said.
The complaint says Howe pleaded guilty to several federal charges, including conspiracy to commit fraud, extortion, bribery and wire and tax fraud. He is now cooperating with federal authorities.READ MORE: New York Weather: CBS2’s 1/27 Thursday Morning Forecast
Also charged in the complaint are two executives at COR Development — Steven Aiello and Joseph Girardi — and three executives at LPCiminelli: Michael Laipple, Kevin Schuler and chief executive officer Louis Ciminelli, as well as Alain Kaloyeros, former president of SUNY Polytechnic Institute.
The charges stem from a federal investigation into the Buffalo Billion project, as well as Nano, an initiative effectively led by Kaloyeros that aimed to bring high-tech jobs to the upstate. The federal probe revealed a web of individuals and businesses tied to Cuomo that stand to make millions from the projects.
Percoco was long known as one of Cuomo’s most loyal advisers, a political enforcer who worked for his father, Gov. Mario Cuomo. He was Andrew Cuomo’s $156,000-a-year executive secretary when he resigned in 2014 to lead Cuomo’s re-election campaign. At the funeral of his father last year, Cuomo called Percoco “my father’s third son who sometimes I think he loved the most.”
There are no allegations of wrongdoing against the governor.MORE NEWS: Four Reach 20 Points In Heat's Win Over Knicks