Rep. Hochul, U.S. Attorney Hochul Targets of Extortion

November 15, 2012 Updated Nov 15, 2012 at 7:57 PM EDT

By John Borsa

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November 15, 2012 Updated Nov 15, 2012 at 7:57 PM EDT

BUFFALO, NY (WKBW) - James Lagona is a lawyer, a reverend - and according to his Website - a psychic, medium, healer and a trained and experienced exorcist.

He is also in trouble with federal authorities after allegedly attempting to illegally influence U.S. Attorney William Hochul by way of his wife, Rep. Kathy Hochul.

Lagona is currently awaiting sentencing for a February, 2011 conviction on federal charges for bilking people out of money as part of a ponzi scheme.

Eyewitness News has learned that Lagona is accused of contacting a staff member of Rep. Hochul and making an offer, perhaps involving cash, for the congresswoman to influence her husband to drop Lagona's criminal case

Lagona's wife Maria disputed the charges against her husband.

"He would never do that. He would never... he didn't offer that," she said.

Maria Lagona believes her husband to be innocent in the ponzi case, for which he was convicted.

That's what he went to talk to them about ... the chairman of Kathy Hochul's campaign," she added, insisting the conversation was not meant to influence Congresswoman Hochul or her husband.

Both Mr. and Congresswoman Hochul declined to comment.

"This is an ongoing legal matter. We do not have a comment at this time," said the congresswoman's spokesman Michael Ford.

Lagona was free on bail since his conviction, awaiting sentencing, but that bail was revoked during an appearance in federal court on Thursday.