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Cuomo and Hochul set aside donations for possible forfeiture

Posted at 7:51 AM, Sep 28, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-28 12:21:35-04

The campaign contributions that were part of the Buffalo Billion corruption case will be put into a separate bank account.

State Democratic Committee Executive Director Basil Smikle says donations to Governor Andrew Cuomo’s election campaign are now being held in case a court rules the funds to be returned.

“Given the serious nature of the allegations made last week, the campaign contributions given by the defendants will be set aside in a separate account to be made available for any forfeiture recoveries pursued by law enforcement upon case disposition, rather than returning the funds to the defendants,” said Smikle. “The US Attorney’s office has been made aware of this action.”

Nine people are charged in the bid rigging scandal involving projects in Buffalo and Syracuse. They include three top executives at LPCiminelli. Court documents say CEO Louis Ciminelli and his immediate family members gave $100,000 to Cuomo’s campaign.

UPDATE: Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul is also setting aside funds from those charged in the federal complaint last week. As we reported, campaign filing reports show Hochul received $5k from Louis Ciminelli in 2014 when she was running on Cuomo's ticket.

A spokesman from her campaign said: "In light of the allegations, any donations the Lieutenant Governor’s campaign received from people or companies related to the US Attorney’s indictments will be segregated until the case has been completed, should funds be needed for forfeiture recoveries."