(WIVB/AP) — A federal appeals judge Wednesday upheld the convictions for the men convicted in the Buffalo Billion bid-rigging scheme.
In 2018, a jury convicted Joseph Percoco and Alain Kaloyeros—two state officials tied to ex-New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo—along with two Syracuse developers, and Buffalo developer Louis Ciminelli on fraud and conspiracy charges. The bid-rigging involved Cuomo’s upstate revitalization plan, the “Buffalo Billion.”
A three-judge panel with the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals wrote that the public corruption case required it to again consider the reach of federal fraud and bribery laws. Percoco—the longtime friend and top aide to Cuomo, a Democrat who recently resigned as governor amid sexual harassment allegations—reportedly accepted bribes and was sentenced to six years in prison.
The appeals court also upheld the conviction of a real estate executive connected to the scheme. Ciminelli, whose company was the general contractor on the Riverbend Project in South Buffalo, was sentenced to more than two years in prison. He remained free pending the appeal. It’s not yet clear if or when Ciminelli will have to report to federal prison.