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Joseph Bruno Convicted of Felonies for Taking Bribes

(CN) - Former New York Senate majority leader Joseph Bruno was convicted Monday of two felony counts of mail fraud, for taking hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes from a businessman. Bruno, 80, faces up to 20 years in federal prison on each count at his March 31 sentencing.

The jury found him not guilty of five counts of mail fraud and wire fraud and could not reach a verdict on another count.

U.S. District Judge Gary Sharpe presided over the trial, after which the jury deliberated for more than a week. Bruno was convicted of using the mail to deprive citizens of his honest services, and concealing the payoffs.

Bruno, who presided over the state Senate for 14 years, was convicted of counts involving $200,000 that consultancies run by Jared Abbruzzese paid him, and Abbruzzese's forgiving him a $40,000 debt and paying him $40,000 for a horse that prosecutors said wasn't worth it. Bruno was accused of taking the money as kickbacks for steering state grants to one of Abruzzese's companies, Evident Technologies.

Bruno's high-powered legal team will appeal.

The trial was just one example, though a high-profile one, of a seemingly unending string of public corruption prosecutions coming out of New York.

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