In the world of politics and big business, corruption is unfortunately common. There are frequent investigations involving fraudulent donations, quid pro quo schemes, and other underhanded activities.
And when politicians have high-powered executives as friends, there’s even more potential for wrongdoing.
That’s why federal investigators have opened a probe into former campaign advisers for a New York official: They Want To Know If Phony Donations Were Involved.
This investigation includes New York Lt. Gov. Brian Benjamin and Manhattan real estate developer Gerald Migdol.
The two have been business associates for years, but Migdol is already in hot water for possible crimes — he recently plead not guilty to charges of wire fraud and aggravated identity theft.
This carries a maximum 20 years in prison for the wire fraud charge alone, and Lt. Gov. Benjamin could be linked to the crimes.
That’s where the subpoenas come in, as reported by the New York Daily News. Given Migdol and Benjamin’s long-standing friendship, the feds are looking into the potential for donation funneling.
Via Fox News:
Federal investigators have issued subpoenas to former campaign advisers of New York Lt. Gov. Brian Benjamin and the state Senate, trying to determine whether he had a hand in funneling fraudulent donations to his failed comptroller bid, according to reports.
This round of subpoenas comes 4 months after Migdol was charged.
Specifically, the real estate mogul is accused of funneling contributions to Benjamin’s 2021 campaign for NYC comptroller. Allegedly, this was to qualify for the matching funds program, which hands out $8 for every $1 raised privately.
Now, prosecutors from the Southern District of New York are making their move.
They’ve thrown down grand jury subpoenas for members of Benjamin’s campaign, and they’re demanding all communication and fundraising records linked to Migdol.
It’s important to note that Benjamin himself has not been named in the indictment, nor has he commented on the issue. So far, we’ve only received a statement from his spokesman:
Neither Lt. Gov. Benjamin nor his campaign are being accused of any wrongdoing, and they are prepared to fully cooperate with authorities.
However, even if he’s not directly involved, his friendship and alleged business relationship with Migdol will undoubtedly have an effect on his reputation.
Campaigns are expensive to run and the candidates who can raise the most money are often in the driver’s seat. Everyone in the political game knows this, so it’s always a major fundraising race.
Even though Benjamin failed in his comptroller bid, he still needed the money to run — and now the question is whether or not his friend Migdol and campaign advisers were responsible for digging up more cash.