New York Lt. Gov. Brian Benjamin was arrested Tuesday early morning on charges linked to a marketing campaign finance fraud investigation.
According to NBC News, Benjamin surrendered to authorities and is predicted to seem in a federal court docket in New York Town later Tuesday. Benjamin, who graduated from Brown College and Harvard Company School, put in most of his vocation in banking and economical housing development just before successful a State Senate seat symbolizing Harlem in 2017.
His arrest comes soon after federal prosecutors and the FBI investigated no matter if the politician was knowingly engaged in a marketing campaign finance fraud plan. In accordance to The New York Moments, Benjamin is accused of conspiring to immediate state funds to Harlem real estate investor Gerald Migdol in return for orchestrating 1000’s of bucks in unlawful marketing campaign contributions to his unsuccessful 2021 marketing campaign for New York Metropolis Comptroller.
Migdol was arrested late previous yr on federal prices.
The circumstance puts Benjamin’s political job in jeopardy and casts a dim cloud on New York Gov. Kathy Hochul, who was pushed into workplace past year immediately after previous Gov. Andrew Cuomo resigned amid various allegations of sexual misconduct.
According to prosecutors, there is no evidence to suggest Hochul was conscious of Benjamin’s dealings, which occurred when Benjamin was a state senator. However, picking out Benjamin as her Lt. Gov. was between the 1st conclusions Hochul built immediately after starting to be governor.
Benjamin will certainly facial area force to move down from his position, but even if he does, he’ll probably keep on being on the ballot this summer when he faces Democrat Ana Maria Archila and Republican Alison Esposito. The only way Benjamin’s name can be eradicated from the ballot is if he moves out of point out, dies, or seeks yet another place of work.
Investigators have been probing Benjamin for weeks, issuing subpoenas to the Condition Senate in Albany and to customers of his comptroller marketing campaign. In accordance to several reviews, Migdol has been cooperating with investigators and providing data after currently being arrested past yr.
In a Grand Jury indictment dated very last November, prosecutors mentioned Migdol began steering hundreds of bucks in fraudulent contributions to Benjamin in 2019, a single month immediately after he filed to operate for Comptroller. In accordance to prosecutors, the contributions were an hard work for the point out senator to tap into New York City’s generous general public campaign matching cash software and secure him tens of 1000’s of pounds in extra campaign dollars.
A Facebook photo from September 2019 shows Migdol giving Benjamin an outsized look at value $50,000 for the charity Pals of Community College Harlem. It is unclear irrespective of whether the money had been sent to the organization.