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March 29, 2012

In Yonkers corruption case, Annabi and Jereis found guilty on all counts, after more than four days of deliberation

Atlantic Yards Report

After five weeks of testimony and more than four days of deliberation, a federal jury today found former Yonkers Council Member Sandy Annabi and her political mentor, Zehy Jereis, guilty of several corruption counts, including extortion and conspiracy to give and receive corrupt payments, regarding Annabi's vote flips to support two development projects, including Forest City Ratner's Ridge Hill.

Neither was charged with bribery (which was in the initial indictment) but rather "corrupt payments," related to the $174,000 (including a $60,000 loan promptly repaid) Jereis gave to Annabi over seven years, offering down payments for real estate and paying her bills.
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As noted in the press release, the Department of Justice said that the investigation is ongoing. Indeed, the trial raised questions about the behavior of other elected officials, notably state Sen. Tom Libous, said by witness Anthony Mangone to have gotten his son a job at Mangone's law firm and directed payments to that firm via a murky company.

Forest City Ratner was not charged and has said it's not a target for investigation. Still, if Annabi and Jereis don't succeed in their appeals, or efforts to get the verdict dismissed, it would be interesting to see if either have anything more to share about the developer's behavior.

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Posted by eric at March 29, 2012 4:51 PM