FBI New York
FBI New York Press Office
(212) 384-2100
May 4, 2015

Remarks as Prepared for Delivery by ADIC Diego Rodriguez

The following remarks were prepared for delivery by FBI New York Assistant Director in Charge Diego Rodriguez concerning the arrests of New York State Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos and his son Adam.

The charges announced today resulted from the investigation of an ongoing scheme allegedly orchestrated by Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos and his son Adam.

The FBI’s investigation uncovered criminal activity that began at least as far back as 2010, when the defendants are alleged to have conspired to take advantage of Skelos’ powerful position within state government to influence and extort those with business before the state.

As alleged, after promising to secure legislation in favor of a major real estate developer who was lobbying Skelos at the time, Skelos pressured the developer to arrange for his son, Adam, to be paid a commission for work he didn’t perform. The developer was further influenced allegedly to arrange for monthly payments to Adam Skelos through an environmental technology company seeking government-funded contracts in New York State.

In exchange, Dean Skelos allegedly promised to take official actions that would benefit the developer and the environmental technology company. Such actions are alleged to include, but were not limited to:

  • Promoting real estate legislation favorable to the developer
  • Blocking legislation that would negatively affect the developer
  • Seeking changes to the budget in order to secure state funds for projects benefiting the environmental technology company.

At the same time, Adam Skelos, an unregistered lobbyist, allegedly petitioned his father and other officials to support laws from which he and others would profit.

When all was said and done, Dean Skelos is charged with having caused more than $200,000 to be paid to Adam Skelos in exchange for backdoor bribes.

The quality of our local infrastructure, government services, and social benefit programs is directly affected by public corruption—one of the FBI’s top criminal priorities.

We hold our elected representatives to the highest standards and will continue to root out corruption in all forms and at all levels of government: municipal, state, and federal.

Many thanks, as always, to our partners in this and so many investigations:

  • U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara
  • Chief of the Public Corruption Unit, Arlo Devlin-Brown
  • and Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jason Masimore, Rahul Mukhi, Tatiana Martins, and Thomas McKay

I would also like to thank and congratulate the investigative team that worked together to address corruption in New York.

I extend my sincere congratulations to:

  • John Barry and Robert Ryan, criminal investigators from the Southern District
  • FBI Special Agents Paul Takla, Jennifer Kibler, and Shannon Fish
  • and Supervisory Special Agent James Barnacle for their work on this important investigation.

- Press release: New York State Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos and Son Arrested on Corruption Charges