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Indictment Changes in High Profile Cor Development Lawsuit Throw Lawyers for a Loop

MoneyA federal grand jury has changed their indictment against two Cor Development executives. This change only adds to the high-profile corruption case against the Syracuse business executives, General Counsel Joseph Gerardi and Cor president Steven Aiello.

Last year, Gerardi and Aiello were accused of a bribery and bid-rigging scheme against the New York State government. The men are accused of falsely denying that they made payments to Joseph Percoco, who is the former deputy secretary to Governor Andrew Cuomo. Additionally, each man is accused of helping to tailor a state request for proposals for a construction contract so that the contract would go to their company, Cor Development, which they also both denied.

Big-rigging is a federal offense in the form of fraud. It typically happens when a large commercial project is promised to one business, even though several other parties have presented a bid. Usually, small business owners are able to bid on state contracts through the nation’s free market system, but bid rigging is a form of collusion that chooses one business over the other.

The allegations against Gerardi and Aiello were brought on by former lobbyist Todd Howe, who has also pleaded guilty in the case. But Gerardi and Aiello’s lawyers say Howe’s case is built completely on lies and should be thrown out. As reported on Syracuse.com, Steven Coffey explained in a statement why Howe’s opinions should not have any pull on the case. He said:

“It is perversely laughable to compare Todd Howe’s character and dishonesty to Steven Aiello’s and Joseph Gerardi’s longstanding reputations of integrity and honesty. In my more than 40 years of practice, I have never been more impressed with or convinced of the innocence of clients than I am with Steven Aiello and Joseph Gerardi.”

But now, the indictment against the men is changing. Instead of lumping together their charges into one count, they each face two counts of bribery and three counts involving wire fraud.

This ever-changing case just goes to show that it is of utmost importance to invest in a quality lawyer when it comes to personal accusations. Considering that there are more than 1 million lawyers in the United States, it is imperative to carefully select one who has only your interests in mind.

The trials against Gerardi and Aiello will start on January 8 in the U.S. District Court in Manhattan.

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