Second Circuit Overturns Sheldon Silver's Corruption Convictions

Marsha Scott
July 14, 2017

In its conclusion, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in Manhattan cited a unanimous U.S. Supreme Court decision previous year that allowed Virginia Gov.

In Silver's almost month-long trial in 2015, the jury had been instructed by Manhattan District Court Judge Valarie Caproni that an official misconduct was "any action taken or to be taken under color of official authority".

"We are grateful the court saw it our way and reversed the conviction on all counts", Silver's lawyers said Thursday.

Like Silver, McDonnell never denied taking money from donors - in the governor's case, more than $175,000 in loans and gifts, including a Rolex, a Bergdoff Goodman shopping spree for his wife, and five-figure wedding gifts for his daughters.

The appeals court, while acknowledging the "distaste" of Silver's actions, said the jury was improperly instructed on what constituted official acts of the one-time most powerful Democrat in state politics. He was sentenced to 12 years in prison in May 2016.

"There's no question that the government presented evidence relating to Mr". Prosecutors decided not to try that case last September.

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Kelly Kramer, a white-collar criminal defense attorney at the Mayer Brown law firm, said that Silver's conviction had always been considered "one of the most vulnerable" after the Supreme Court's decision on McDonnell. The trial court and federal prosecutors were not at fault in giving the instructions they did, which were "consistent with our precedent at the time", Cabranes wrote. Bob McDonnell, whose conviction was overturned based on a narrower definition of "honest services" fraud.

In a statement, Acting U.S. Attorney Joon Kim, also Bharara's second-in-command before Trump fired him, sounded a confident note: Silver will be retried.

Skelos, a Republican, and his son Adam are awaiting the appeals court's decision on whether to overturn their own corruption convictions. In another, Silver stood accused of receiving secret legal fees from another law firm after he referred two real-estate developers to it as clients.

That could pave the way for a possible retrial of Silver, 73, who has been free on bail during the appeal. "Silver's activities were, they don't meet the definition of a crime", he said.

The government even admitted during its appeal argument that the jury instructions were "partially wrong", in light of McDonnell, "but argued that the evidence was more than sufficient to sustain his conviction".

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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