Construction Execs Among Nine Charged With Fraud in Connection to State Projects

The US Attorney's office says the defendants are charged for their roles in two bribery and fraud schemes, in connection with the award of hundreds of millions of dollars in state contracts.

📅 Fri September 23, 2016 - Northeast Edition


The local defendants - Louis Ciminelli, chairman and CEO of LPCiminelli, and LPCiminelli top executives Michael Laipple and Kevin Schuler - are facing charges directly related to the construction of the Riverbend site funded by the Buffalo Billion.
The local defendants - Louis Ciminelli, chairman and CEO of LPCiminelli, and LPCiminelli top executives Michael Laipple and Kevin Schuler - are facing charges directly related to the construction of the Riverbend site funded by the Buffalo Billion.

Local Buffalo, New York news station WKBW is reporting that nine people, including three top executives at Buffalo-based LPCiminelli, a former executive deputy secretary to Governor Cuomo, and the president of SUNY Polytechnic Institute, are facing charges in a widespread statewide corruption probe.

The US Attorney's office says the defendants are charged for their roles in two bribery and fraud schemes, in connection with the award of hundreds of millions of dollars in New York State contracts and other official state actions.

The local defendants - Louis Ciminelli, chairman and CEO of LPCiminelli, and LPCiminelli top executives Michael Laipple and Kevin Schuler - are facing charges directly related to the construction of the Riverbend site funded by the Buffalo Billion.

All three were arrested by the FBI and U.S. Marshals at their homes shortly before 7 a.m.

Terry Connors, attorney for Kevin Schuler, explained his client was arrested despite constant contact with authorities. Connors said Schuler has "never been charged with anything and has a strong position in this community... these are pillars of this community."

Ciminelli, Laipple and Schuler pleaded not guilty in U.S. District Court in Downtown Buffalo Thursday to charges of wire fraud, conspiracy and charges related to bribes and gratuities.

Ciminelli was aware of the investigation since June of 2015, according to his attorney.

Source: WKBW