BY NAN NEWS EDITOR
News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Tues. Dec. 8, 2022: Bribery charges against former Lt. Gov of New York State, Caribbean American Brian Benjamin, have been tossed by a federal judge.
In a 38-page opinion Monday, Judge J. Paul Oetken dismissed three of five charges against Benjamin related to bribery and wire fraud.
He wrote that prosecutors didn’t show an explicit agreement between then-state Sen. Benjamin and Harlem developer Jerry Migdol over a $50,000 state grant around which much of the case hinged.
“(The) Court concludes that the Indictment fails to allege an explicit quid pro quo, which is an essential element of the bribery and honest services wire fraud charges brought against Benjamin,” the order states.
However, Oetken while found prosecutors failed to outline enough evidence to sustain bribery and wire fraud charges against Benjamin, he wrote that two counts related to making false entries in a record to impede an investigation will remain.
Federal prosecutors had accused Benjamin of securing the state fund for Migdol’s non-profit campaign in exchange for a number of small-dollar contributions for the politician’s campaigns.
The accusations led to Benjamin’s arrest in April on federal charges. He resigned as lieutenant governor the same day.
Benjamin was born in Harlem Hospital in Harlem, New York City, the son of Caribbean immigrants who worked union jobs. His mother is a Guyanese immigrant who came to New York with just a suitcase and a dream and worked hard to get a decent union job, and his dad is a Jamaican immigrant.
He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in public policy from Brown University and a Master of Business Administration from Harvard Business School.