Grand jury indicts nine people on Buffalo Billion charges again

Posted at 8:45 AM, Sep 21, 2017

A Grand Jury in New York City has once again indicted the eight people accused of various charges in the Buffalo Billion bid-rigging scheme.

In a memo sent to a federal judge in the Southern District of New York, obtained by 7 Eyewitness News, prosecutors say some changes were made in a superseding indictment.

Specifically, according to the memo dated September 19, 2017:

  • Count 15, the false statements charge against defendants Steven Aiello and Joseph Gerardi, has been divided into four separate charges, organized by defendant and subject matter, as the Government stated it intended to do in its pretrial motions in this case, and as the Court referenced in its July 18, 2017 Order.
  • Certain language has been added or modified to provide further clarification of the Government's theory of its case, including regarding wire fraud charges.

Nine people, including three top executives at Buffalo-based LPCiminelli, a former executive deputy secretary to Governor Cuomo, and the president of SUNY Polytechnic Institute, are facing charges in a widespread statewide corruption probe.

Head of the company, Louis Ciminelli, and his top two executives, Kevin Schuler and Michael Laipple are also named in the indictment.

The US Attorney's office says the defendants are charged for their roles in two bribery and fraud schemes, in connection with the award of hundreds of millions of dollars in New York State contracts and other official state actions.

The local defendants - Louis Ciminelli, chairman and CEO of LPCiminelli, and LPCiminelli top executives Michael Laipple and Kevin Schuler - are facing charges directly related to the construction of the Riverbend site funded by the Buffalo Billion.