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Federal Jury Finds Ex-New York Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver Guilty

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A Manhattan federal jury has found former New York State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver guilty on all seven criminal counts in the veteran lawmaker’s corruption trial.

The 71-year-old Silver was found guilty of honest-services fraud, extortion and money laundering stemming from a long-running corruption scheme that traded taxpayer cash and political favors for nearly $4M in cash. Silver faces a maximum sentence of 130 years and his conviction automatically prohibits him from holding any state position, the New York Post reports.

Prosecutors presented an array of evidence during the three and a half week trial that included testimony from co-conspirators who were granted immunity, including Columbia University cancer doctor Robert Taub. Silver provided $500k in taxpayer-funded research grants to Taub, who in turn steered dozens of asbestos victims to the Weitz & Luxenberg law firm for legal representation. Silver was "of counsel" at the firm at the time and pocketed more than $3M for the referrals.

“Today, Sheldon Silver got justice, and at long last, so did the people of New York,” Manhattan US Attorney Preet Bharara said in a statement. [NYP]