New York Assemblyman Charged With Fraud

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assem.jpgFederal authorities in Manhattan are unsealing a criminal complaint charging New York Assemblyman Anthony Seminerio with fraud, WCBSTV reports. He is accused of receiving hundreds of thousands of dollars in corrupt payments from various entities with state business.

A representative for the Queens assemblyman did not immediately return a call to the Associated Press for comment left at his district office on Wednesday.

According to WABC, the Queens assemblyman is accused of receiving more than $500,000 in “consulting” fees that authorities say accounted to nothing more than veiled political payoffs.

Anthony Seminerio was charged in scheme allegedly designed to defraud the public, using his three decades in the state assembly to afford clients access that “you can’t buy for a million dollars.”

Seminerio is alleged to have used his consulting firm, Marc Consultants, to solicit and receive more than $500,000 in consulting fees from people with business before the state.

In reality, prosecutors say Seminerio did little or no consulting work, and hid his clients behind a state law that enabled him to avoid disclosing their names.

The consulting firm was run out of Seminerio’s home in the Ozone Park section of Queens.

Officials say Seminerio was recorded by federal investigators saying that he became a consultant because he was tired of doing “favors” for people, and wanted to instead get paid for it.

Seminerio, a Queens Democrat, was elected to the Assembly in 1978. Before that, he was a city corrections officer. He also owns a restaurant in Queens.

(Source: WABC / CBS2 HD)