By Rick Karlin, Capitol bureau on September 17, 2015 5:34 PM
Former Assemblyman William Boyland Jr. drew a 14 year sentence Thursday for his earlier conviction of 21 felony counts of corruption.
The former Brooklyn Democratic assemblyman had been acquitted in 2011 but he was re-arrested and convicted after federal agents had recordings of his habitual bribe-seeking.
Here are the details from the U.S. Attorney’s office:
Earlier today in federal court in Brooklyn, former New York State Assemblyman William F. Boyland, Jr. was sentenced to 14 years of incarceration in connection with his conviction at trial of 21 felony counts, including federal programs bribery, conspiracy to violate the Travel Act, extortion, honest services wire fraud, federal programs theft, and conspiracy to commit mail fraud. Boyland committed these offenses by corruptly exploiting his official position representing the 55th Assembly District in Brooklyn, comprising Ocean Hill, Brownsville, Bedford-Stuyvesant, Crown Heights, and Bushwick. As part of the sentence, the Court also ordered Boyland to forfeit $169,410.14 and pay restitution in the amount of $71,339.66 to the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance and $84,270.48 to the New York State Office of the Aging. Today’s proceeding was held before United States District Judge Sandra L. Townes.
The sentence was announced by Kelly T. Currie, Acting United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York and Diego Rodriguez, Assistant Director-in-Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), New York Field Office.
“As he demonstrated time and again, Boyland, a lawmaker himself, lacked any respect for either the law or his constituents who elected him,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Currie. “Officials who would seek to sell the power and influence of their office to the highest bidder are on notice that they will be held to account for their crimes.” Mr. Currie praised the outstanding work of the FBI and expressed his grateful appreciation to the New York State Comptroller’s Office, the New York State Office of the Aging, the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigations, the New York State Assembly Department of Finance, and the New York City Department of Investigation for their assistance.
“Boyland was elected to represent his district, not cash in on them. By repeatedly taking unscrupulous opportunity after opportunity–from bribes to fraudulent vouchers to misappropriation of state funds intended to help seniors–Boyland only showed he was only trying to help himself. Today’s sentencing should serve as a warning to those in public office who seek to profit from their positions rather than legislate from them–they are not above the law. The FBI remains committed to investigating and bringing to justice public officials who seek to misuse their power.”
The evidence admitted at trial established that, beginning in January 2007 and continuing through December 2011, Boyland engaged in four corrupt schemes.
Carnival Extortion Scheme. In August 2010, Boyland met with a carnival promoter and an undercover FBI agent on multiple occasions to discuss the promoter’s desire to hold carnivals in Boyland’s district, for which government approvals were required. Boyland requested payments in exchange for his assistance, and the promoter agreed. In furtherance of the scheme, Boyland described various ways in which the bribes could be concealed, directed his Assembly staff to assist the promoter obtain government approvals, arranged for a non-profit organization to sponsor the promoter’s carnivals, and directed his staff to give the promoter letters of support on Boyland’s Assembly letterhead. In exchange, the undercover FBI agent paid Boyland three separate bribes – $7,000 in cash, a $3,000 check with the payee line left blank, and $3,800 worth of money orders that were deposited into Boyland’s campaign bank account.
Real Estate Scheme. Boyland also accepted the $7,000 cash bribe described above in exchange for undertaking official action to benefit two FBI undercover agents in a purported real estate venture in Boyland’s district. In this scheme, the undercover agents would purchase the former St. Mary’s Hospital in Boyland’s district for $8 million, obtain state grant money to renovate the hospital, and resell it for $15 million to a non-profit organization that Boyland claimed to control. Boyland assured the agents he would use his influence as an Assemblyman to secure state grant money for the project and handle any zoning issues that arose. After accepting the $7,000 cash bribe, Boyland later demanded an additional $250,000 bribe payment from the agents as a condition of using his official position to carry out the scheme.
False Voucher Scheme. From January 2007 to December 2011, Boyland submitted over 200 fraudulent vouchers in which he falsely claimed to be in Albany on legislative business when he in fact was not in Albany, including days when he was in New York City meeting with the undercover FBI agents and demanding $250,000 in bribes, days when he was in North Carolina and Virginia visiting with family and friends, and for days when he was in Istanbul, Turkey. In reliance on the false vouchers, New York State paid Boyland over $70,000 in fraudulent mileage expense reimbursements and per diem payments.
Theft of State Funds for the Elderly. Between July 2007 and September 2010, Boyland conspired to defraud New York State and the New York State Office of the Aging. Boyland, a member of the Assembly’s Committee on the Aging, steered $200,000 of New York State member item funds to a Brooklyn-based non-profit organization whose purported mission was to provide a “social setting that enable[s] elderly individuals to maintain their independence and remain at home in the community.” Boyland certified that these state funds would not be used for partisan or political purpose, but then directed that the majority of the funds be used to benefit himself and his political campaigns by paying for community events that promoted Boyland.
The government’s case is being prosecuted by the Office’s Public Integrity Section. Assistant United States Attorneys Lan X. Nguyen and Marisa Megur Seifan are in charge of the prosecution. Assistant United States Attorney Tanya Hill is responsible for handling the forfeiture of assets.
The Defendant: WILLIAM F. BOYLAND, JR., Age: 45, Brooklyn, New York
E.D.N.Y. Docket No. 11-CR-850 (SLT)
· Assemblyman Is Convicted in Second Corruption Trial – March 6, 2014