ALBANY, N.Y. - A federal grand jury in Albany returned a superseding indictment of two new charges of honest services fraud against former New York Senate Majority leader Joseph Bruno Thursday.
Bruno, 83, was back in federal court Thursday afternoon, where prosecutors had promised to bring new fraud charges after his earlier convictions were overturned last year. He is charged with carrying out a scheme to defraud the State of New York and its citizens of the right to his honest services through bribery and kickbacks by soliciting and accepting payments from an Albany businessman totaling $440,000. He pleaded not guilty on Thursday, and was released without bail.
If convicted, he will face up to 20 years in prison.
Federal prosecutors convened the panel to hear evidence on these two felonies that were dismissed in November 2011 under a U.S. Supreme Court ruling. That decision followed a ruling in another case that such convictions must show direct bribes or kickbacks.
He was convicted in 2009 of denying taxpayers honest services by concealing a deal with a business associate who paid him as a consultant.
He has denied any wrongdoing. He made no comments after leaving court Thursday.