NY's ex-Speaker Sheldon Silver convicted a second time for corruption

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Former New York Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver arrives at the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York on April 30.

A federal jury found former New York State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver guilty of corruption charges less than a year after an appeals court threw out his conviction on the same charges.

The New York politician was convicted of seven counts, including two counts of honest services fraud, one count of money laundering, and four counts of extortion under color of official right, according to The New York Times.

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Prosecutors say Silver took $4 million in payoffs disguised as legal fees. He was originally convicted on the charges in 2015, but that conviction was later overturned.

After his first trial, the judge, Valerie E. Caproni of U.S. District Court for the Southern District of NY, imposed a 12-year sentence on Silver, but he remained free pending his appeal and second trial.

Defense lawyers countered that his fees were "perfectly legal".

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At the core of the government's case were two schemes, both of which hinge on referral fees paid to Silver by two different law firms-Weitz & Luxenberg, for asbestos-induced mesothelioma cancer cases, and Goldberg & Iryami, for tax certiorari work.

Silver's lawyer, Michael S. Feldberg, had argued in his summation that Silver's actions were legal.

Silver, 74, was found guilty on all seven counts brought by the United States Attorney's Office for the Southern District of NY, including charges that he extorted developers Glenwood Management and the Witkoff Group by asking them to direct their tax business to law firm Goldberg & Iryami.

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