A federal jury in New York has convicted key players of corruption in Governor Andrew Cuomo's "Buffalo Billion" economic redevelopment program.
The jury in Manhattan federal court returned its verdict Thursday after a month-long trial that put a spotlight on how lucrative contracts were awarded for redevelopment projects in Syracuse and Buffalo that were worth hundreds of millions of dollars.
Prosecutors maintained the bidding process was corrupt and that deals were steered to favored developers.
One of the lead defendants in the case was Alain Kaloyeros, formerly the president of the State University of New York's Polytechnic Institute.
Prosecutors said Kaloyeros helped Buffalo developer Louis Ciminielli's company win a job in Buffalo worth a half billion dollars.
They said two other developers unfairly won a $100 million job in Syracuse.
Governor Cuomo issued a statement on the verdict:
"The jury has spoken and justice has been done. There can be no tolerance for those who seek to defraud the system to advance their own personal interests. Anyone who has committed such an egregious act should be punished to the full extent of the law."
"The FBI Buffalo Office jointly initiated and investigated the Buffalo Billion case that ended with today's guilty verdicts in New York City," said Gary Loeffert, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI's Buffalo Office. "Years of investigative work by FBI Buffalo and Southern District of New York agents and prosecutors has changed the way business is done in western New York and across the state. It is the expectation of the public that officials represent the people when they enter office and not their personal interests."