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Alain Kaloyeros found guilty on all counts in 'Buffalo Billion' case

NEW YORK (NEWS10/AP) - A jury found Alain Kaloyeros guilty on all counts in the 'Buffalo Billion' case.

Three other defendants were also found guilty on all counts. After two full days of deliberating, the jurors sided with the government and found all four defendants rigged the open bidding process to win state contracts worth millions of dollars.

“We are absolutely heartsick with the verdict,” Kaloyeros’s lawyer Michael Miller said. “It’s, it’s hard to believe. There’s no victim here.”

It was a largely unexpected let down for the defense attorneys in the Buffalo Billion corruption trial. Syracuse developers Steven Aiello and Joseph Gerardi, Buffalo developer Louis Ciminelli, and Kaloyeros, the founder of SUNY Polytechnic, were found guilty of wire fraud and wire fraud conspiracy.

During the trial, the government argued the men rigged the open bidding process to eliminate fair competition from lucrative state contracts. The project at the center of the case was the $750 million innovation hub at Buffalo’s Riverbend. That contract was granted to Ciminelli’s company, LP Ciminelli.

“I’ve done this a long time, and I don’t think I’ve ever had a client that I thought was more innocent than Lou Ciminelli,” his lawyer, Paul Shechtman said.

During the final day of deliberation, jurors reviewed evidence pertaining to another charge, this one only against Gerardi. He was convicted on Thursday of making a false statement by lying to federal officials about tailoring an RFP in Syracuse.

The attorney for Aiello, Steven Coffey, who argued throughout the case his client had little to do with the RFP process, was surprised by the verdict.

“I’m shocked to see this verdict just go right down the line and guilty on, on everybody,” he said.

The convictions come around four months after former top aide to Gov. Andrew Cuomo, Joseph Percoco, was convicted in a related case.

The attorneys for both Ciminelli and Kaloyeros maintained that their clients are innocent. They said they plan to appeal.


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