Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that ROBERT AQUINO, the former chief executive officer of Parkway Hospital in Queens, pled guilty today to bribing former New York State Senator Carl Kruger. AQUINO pled guilty before U.S. District Judge Jed S. Rakoff.
Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara stated: “Robert Aquino was all too willing to make sure a bribe was paid to preserve his job as CEO of a hospital. Like others in this case, he chose to fight his battle with money under the table rather than to play by the rules. And like others in this case, he now faces the prospect of jail. This office remains committed to breaking the chains of corruption that weigh down New York politics.”
According to the indictment, the complaint, and statements made at today’s plea proceeding in Manhattan federal court:
AQUINO served as the chief executive officer of Parkway Hospital in Queens, New York. When Parkway Hospital was slated to be closed by New York State in the summer of 2008, AQUINO caused Parkway Hospital to make $60,000 in payments to Adex Management Inc. (“Adex”), a company in which former New York State Senator Carl Kruger had an interest. As alleged in the Complaint, Adex paid half of the $60,000 it received from Parkway Hospital to Olympian Strategic Development Corp., a consulting company controlled by Michael Turano, who had a close relationship with Kruger. As AQUINO stated at today’s plea proceeding, he understood that in exchange for making the payments to Adex, Senator Kruger would undertake official action in his capacity as a member of the New York State Senate to help keep Parkway Hospital open.
AQUINO, 54, of Glen Head, New York, pled guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit bribery. He faces a maximum potential penalty of five years in prison and a fine of $250,000 or twice the gross gain or loss from the offense.
AQUINO was initially charged on March 10, 2011, along with seven others, including Kruger, Turano, Richard Lipsky, a lobbyist, Solomon Kalish, the owner of Adex, David Rosen, the former CEO of MediSys Health Network, real estate developer Aaron Malinsky, and New York State Assemblyman William Boyland, Jr.
Kruger, 62, of Brooklyn, New York, pled guilty to two counts of conspiracy to commit honest services fraud and two counts of conspiracy to commit bribery on December 20, 2011. Turano, 50, of Brooklyn, New York, pled guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit bribery on December 20, 2011. Kruger and Turano are scheduled to be sentenced by Judge Rakoff on April 26, 2012.
Rosen, 64, of Harrison, New York, was convicted at a trial before Judge Rakoff on September 12, 2011 for his involvement in schemes to bribe Kruger, former New York State Assemblyman Anthony Seminerio, and Boyland. Rosen is scheduled to be sentenced by Judge Rakoff on January 6, 2012.
Boyland, 41, of Brooklyn, New York, was acquitted by a jury on November 10, 2011.
The government entered into a deferred prosecution agreement with Malinsky, 63, of New York, New York, on November 22, 2011.
Charges are still pending against Lipsky, 64, of New York, New York, and Kalish, 61, of Rockville Centre, New York, and they are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
Mr. Bharara praised the investigative work of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
This prosecution is being handled by the Office’s Public Corruption Unit. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Glen McGorty, William Harrington, Michael Bosworth, and Kan Nawaday are in charge of the prosecution.