(CN) – A federal grand jury added more woe – and four more criminal counts – to New York state Assemblyman Sheldon Silver’s plate in a superseding indictment issued Thursday.
Silver, 70, was charged with single counts of mail and wire fraud and extortion earlier this year. Prosecutors say Silver has been collecting millions in bribes and kickbacks since 2000, and masking the illicit earnings as legitimate income from his private-law practice.
Two law firms paid Silver more than $6 million since late 2002, according to the criminal complaint against him, which goes on to identify the law firm of Weitz & Luxenberg as the source of more than $5.3 million in Silver’s earnings.
Thursday’s 34-page superseding indictment adds a count each of the charges in the original indictment, this time differentiating the charges based on the sources of the kickbacks – real estate and asbestos.
A seventh charge for monetary transactions involving crime proceeds involves Silver’s alleged transfers of the kickback money to various accounts and investment vehicles, according to the superseding indictment.
Silver pleaded not guilty to the original charges and said he was “confident I will be vindicated in the courtroom.”
The assemblyman kept his seat after his Jan. 21 arrest but ended his 21-year run as speaker days later.
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