For Sheldon Silver, the third time wasn’t a charm as the former New York assembly speaker lost his latest bid to have the corruption case against him thrown out.
U.S. District Judge Valerie Caproni in Manhattan on Friday rejected Silver’s request that she dismiss charges that he reaped almost $4 million in kickbacks and illegal fees through fraud and extortion. Silver, who has pleaded not guilty, faces as long as 20 years in prison if convicted.
“The allegations in the superseding indictment do not make Silver look like a boy scout,” Caproni said, adding that the Manhattan Democrat has already made two prior requests to toss the case.
Previously, Silver argued that Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara’s “media blitz” denouncing politicians in the state capital hurt his chances of getting a fair trial.
Although she denied that dismissal request, Caproni did rebuke Bharara, saying the case “should be tried in the courtroom and not in the press.”
Bharara’s office has also charged Dean Skelos, once the state’s top Republican lawmaker, in a separate corruption case. He denies the charges.
In April, Silver tried to get the original indictment against him tossed, but that bid became moot when Bharara got a revised indictment later that month.
The new indictment added charges that Silver used his relationship with an investor to move his ill-gotten gains into high-yield investment funds and concealed his ties to the investment to avoid reporting requirements.
While rejecting Silver’s bid to toss wire- and mail-fraud charges, Caproni ordered the U.S. to provide Silver a more detailed summary of the evidence against him.
“We’re in the process of studying the judge’s opinion and, as before, we look forward to a trial of this case in which Mr. Silver will clear his name,” Joel Cohen, a lawyer for Silver, said in an e-mail.
The case is U.S. v. Silver, 15-cr-00093, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).