WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. (CN) – An attorney from Westchester County pleaded guilty Monday to bribery, extortion, conspiracy and tax evasion, in a federal probe of political corruption. Anthony Mangone was indicted in January, along with Sandy Annabi, the former Democratic Majority Leader of the Yonkers City Council, and Zehy Jereis, the former head of the Yonkers Republican Party.
Mangone pleaded guilty to conspiring to bribe Annabi, aiding Annabi’s receipt of corrupt payments, extortion under color of official right, and travel act bribery, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said in a statement. He pleaded guilty to tax evasion in a separate, one-count information. He faces up to 45 years in prison.
In his plea allocution, Mangone admitted that he and Jereis conspired to bribe Annabi with “tens of thousands of dollars” to influence her official acts on the Yonkers City Council.
As a councilwoman, Annabi refused to support the $630 million Longfellow Project, in which a developer planned to renovate two vacant, dilapidated schools in her district into market-rate housing. Mangone told “Developer No. 1” that he could get Annabi to change her vote, but it would cost “tens of thousands of dollars,” prosecutors said in announcing Mangone’s plea.
“Shortly after receiving the money, Annabi made several substantial cash and credit card purchases – including airline ticket upgrades, a Rolex watch, and a diamond cross necklace,” the U.S. Attorney’s Office said. “Then, at a City Council meeting in September 2006, Annabi reversed her long-held opposition to the Longfellow Project and voted in favor of awarding the project to Developer No. 1.”
Annabi and Jereis have pleaded not guilty.