NY lawmaker, son sentenced to prison for extorting insurer and others

The former majority leader of the New York State Senate and his son are headed to federal prison for pressuring a medical malpractice insurer and other companies into enriching them through direct payments and sham jobs

Insurance News

By Ryan Smith

A New York lawmaker and his son are headed to federal prison after orchestrating a kickback scheme that targeted an insurer and other businesses.

Dean G. Skelos, the former Republican majority leader of the New York State Senate, was sentenced to five years in federal prison Thursday on federal corruption charges. His son, Adam Skelos, was sentenced to six-and-a-half years in prison.

Dean Skelos is the second former New York state lawmaker in 10 days to be sent to prison for abuse of office, according to a New York Times report. Last week, former Democratic speaker of the State Assembly Sheldon Silver was sentenced to 12 years in a separate corruption case.

Prosecutors said the elder Skelos, a legislator with three decades of service, used his position as majority leader to pressure companies – including a medical malpractice insurer, a real estate developer and an environmental technology company – into enriching Adam Skelos through a direct payment of $20,000, consulting work, and a job at which the younger Skelos was essentially a no-show, the Times reported.

Father and son sought “to monetize Dean Skelos’s public position for Adam Skelos’s private gain,” the U.S. Attorney’s Office said. The two attempted to extort more than $760,000 from the businesses in the form of payments, bribes and gratuities, and ultimately obtained more than $334,000 “to line their family’s pockets,” prosecutors said.

Some of that money was a $4,000-per-month salary for the job Adam Skelos took with real estate firm Glenwood Management, according to the New York Daily News. During the trial, witnesses told the jury that the younger Skelos rarely showed up for work – and that when he did, his behavior was objectionable. When confronted by a supervisor, Adam Skelos threatened to “smash” his head and said that men like him “couldn’t shine” Skelos’s shoes, the Times reported.

In addition to their prison sentences, the court imposed a $500,000 fine on Dean Skelos and a $334,120 forfeiture to be paid jointly by both father and son, the Times reported.

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