By Steve Neavling
New York Lt. Gov. Brian A. Benjamin was arrested Tuesday by the FBI on charges of bribery, fraud and falsification of records while he was a state senator.
Benjamin, 45, resigned soon after the Justice Department announced the charges.
Benjamin is accused of receiving thousands of dollars in campaign contributions in exchange for directing a $50,000 state grant to a non-profit controlled by a real estate developer.
According to the indictment, the developer also raised money for Benjamin’s failed 2021 campaign for New York City’s comptroller.
“Exploiting one’s official authority by allocating state funds as part of a bribe to procure donations to a political campaign, and engaging in activity to cover up the bribe, is illegal,” FBI New York Assistant Director-in-Charge Michael J. Driscoll said in a statement. “As we allege today, Benjamin’s conduct in this scheme directly circumvents those procedures put in place to keep our systems fair.”
The developer was not identified in the indictment.