Former New York City Council Member Daniel Halloran Found Guilty in Federal Court on Bribery and Fraud Charges Connected to 2013 Mayor’s Race
Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that former New York City Council Member DANIEL HALLORAN was found guilty in federal court of arranging the bribery of New York City Republican leaders to allow New York State Senator Malcolm Smith, a Democrat, to run as a Republican candidate for New York City Mayor in 2013. In addition, HALLORAN was found guilty of accepting a $15,000 cash bribe in exchange for designating up to $80,000 in New York City funds to a non-profit entity that would allow the money to be embezzled through a no-show job. HALLORAN was convicted in White Plains federal court after a two-month jury trial before U.S. District Judge Kenneth M. Karas.
U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara stated: “With today’s verdict of guilty reached by an impartial and independent jury, the clean-up of corruption in New York continues in courtrooms. As the jury unanimously found, Daniel Halloran played a key role in two distinct political corruption schemes: first, for $20,000, Halloran was willing and able to serve as a go- between to deliver bribes to political party officials, and second he also took nearly $25,000 in cash and illegal campaign contributions to steer $80,000 in City Council money to other bribe payers. Dan Halloran was the lone defendant in the trial that just ended in his conviction, but he is unfortunately not alone in a crowded field of New York officials who are willing to sell out their offices for self-enrichment. This Office will continue the vigorous prosecution of political corruption to secure for the people of New York—regardless of party affiliation—what they deserve: the honest labors of their elected representatives. And we will continue to partner with the FBI, whose outstanding investigative work in this case was instrumental to achieving a just result.”
According to the Complaint and the Indictment filed in federal court and the evidence presented at trial:
HALLORAN was elected to the New York City Council in 2009, representing a district in Queens, New York. While a member of the city council, HALLORAN participated in two overlapping criminal schemes that involved the payment of bribes to obtain official action. First, HALLORAN arranged for $110,000 in cash bribes to be paid to leaders of the Republican Party so that they would allow Smith to run for mayor on the Republican Party’s ballot line. Second, HALLORAN accepted an up-front kickback of $15,000 for designating up to $80,000 of New York City Council discretionary funding to a company he believed was controlled by those who paid him the bribes.
The Bribery of Republican Party Leaders
From in or about November 2012 until his arrest in April 2013, HALLORAN agreed with Smith, an undercover FBI agent posing as a wealthy real estate developer (the “UC”), and a cooperating witness (“CW”) to bribe New York City Republican Party leaders in exchange for their authorization of Smith to appear as a Republican candidate for New York City Mayor in 2013, even though Smith is a registered Democrat.
In furtherance of the scheme, HALLORAN arranged for the UC and the CW to meet Vincent Tabone, the Vice Chairman of the Queens County Republican Party, Joseph Savino, the Chairman of the Bronx County Republican Party, and other party leaders so they could be paid bribes in exchange for supporting Smith’s bid to compete for the Republican nomination. HALLORAN also negotiated the size of bribes that the party leaders required in order to authorize Smith to run on the Republican ballot line. During a meeting with the UC, Tabone accepted a $25,000 cash bribe and agreed to accept another $25,000 after his committee authorized Smith to compete in the Republican primary. Savino similarly accepted a $15,000 cash bribe and agreed to accept another $15,000 after he voted to authorize Smith to compete for the Republican ballot line. In return for his efforts, HALLORAN accepted $15,500 as a down payment on a “broker’s” fee of at least $75,000 and expected to be appointed First Deputy Mayor if Smith was elected mayor.
Bribery for City Council Discretionary Funding
From in or about August 2012 until his arrest in April 2013, HALLORAN accepted a bribe of $15,000 cash from the UC and the CW in exchange for agreeing to steer up to $80,000 in New York City Council discretionary funding to a consulting company he believed was controlled by the UC and the CW (the “Company”). In furtherance of this scheme, HALLORAN wrote two letters on New York City Council letterhead about this funding, one to civic organizations and the other to the Company. Despite suggesting in these letters that work would be done by the Company to support the allotment of taxpayer money, HALLORAN agreed with the UC and the CW that the Company would provide no services.
HALLORAN, 42, of Queens, New York, was found guilty of one count of conspiracy, which carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison; two counts of wire fraud, each of which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison; and two counts of Travel Act bribery, each of which carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison. Each of the counts of conviction also carries a maximum fine of $250,000, or twice the gross gain or loss from the offense. The maximum potential sentence is prescribed by Congress and is provided here for informational purposes only, as any sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the judge.
HALLORAN is scheduled to be sentenced by Judge Karas on December 12, 2014, at 2:00 p.m.
Mr. Bharara praised the outstanding investigative work of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
This case is being handled by the Office’s White Plains Division and Public Corruption Unit. Assistant United States Attorneys Douglas B. Bloom and Justin Anderson are in charge of the prosecution.