Edited by: TJVNews.com
Seems like the problems surrounding the disgraced New York ex-Lt. Governor Brian Benjamin may have just gotten a lot bigger.
According to a recent report in the NY Post, Gerald Migdol, (the Harlem real estate developer charged alongside Benjamin in the fraudulent campaign contributions fiasco) flipped on the ex-Lt. Governor when he confessed on April 11th in Manhattan federal court that he did indeed arrange illegal campaign contributions for Benjamin’s 2019 campaign for city comptroller. The report indicated that he apparently did so in an effort to free up public matching funds from the city for Benjamin’s failed campaign.
The Post reported that Benjamin has pleaded not guilty to five total counts while vowing to clear his name to possibly run for public office in the future.
Newly unsealed court records revealed that Migdol pleaded guilty to a number of charges in a secret federal court hearing, according to the Post report.
According to a transcript of the hearing that was unsealed this week, Migdol told Magistrate Judge Ona Wang, “I entered into a quid pro quo agreement with Brian Benjamin, who was then a state senator,” as was reported by the Post.
He added: “Specifically, he offered to obtain a $50,000 state grant for my charitable organization in exchange for campaign contributions that I agreed to give him and procure for him. In furtherance of the agreement, calls were made, and texts and emails were sent to and from Manhattan.
He continued: “I agreed with others to misrepresent and conceal the sources of certain contributions to Brian Benjamin’s political campaign. The fraudulent contributions were intended to enable Brian Benjamin’s campaign to procure public matching funds under false pretenses.”
The Post reported that Benjamin was arrested the day after the hearing and charged in Manhattan federal court for the campaign donation scheme.
Prior to his arrest, the leakage of rumors about Benjamin’s involvement in the campaign contributions fraud charge created a public relations nightmare for Governor Kathy Hochul. The Post reported that she had selected Benjamin as her second in command and had stood by him in his final weeks in office when consistent questions arose concerning his professional ethics.
As she gears up for re-election for the state’s highest office, running alongside Hochul will be Hudson Valley congressman, Lt. Antonio Delgado. Hochul replaced disgraced ex-Gov. Andrew Cuomo last year.
The New York Times reported that until the unsealing of the guilty plea, Migdol was cooperating with the federal investigation, however it was confirmed on Tuesday. The Post reported that Migdol was arrested weeks ago.
An attorney for Migdol did not immediately respond to a request for comment, as was reported by the Post.
Hochul will be facing such Republican contenders for the gubernatorial race as Long Island Congressman Lee Zeldin and Andrew Giuliani, the sone of former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani.
Their “tough on crime” positions will be a formidable challenge for Hochul who staunchly backs the new and highly controversial bail reform laws.