Leading NY State Senator, John Sampson, Arrested On Various Charges, Including Embezzlement
A New York State Senator John Sampson, 47year-old Democrat from Brooklyn, pleaded not guilty on Monday after he was arrested and charged with embezzlement and other allegations that he tried to sabotage a federal fraud investigation of his law practice by seeking inside information from an employee of the Brooklyn U.S. attorney’s office, reports the Huffington Post.
According to the charges, Sen. Sampson informed the employee – who has since been fired – that he wanted to identify cooperators in his case so he could arrange to “take them out.”
Prosecutors also allege that Sampson, who was the former Democratic leader in the Senate, took $440,000 from escrow accounts under his supervision as a court-appointed referee for foreclosures. The indictment charges that some of the funds were then funneled into his losing campaign to become Brooklyn district attorney in 2005.
The allegations “show the extreme arrogance and hubris involved in this case,” U.S. Attorney Loretta Lynch said at a news conference.
On Monday, Sampson posted a $250,000 bond and was released. He has already been offered a plea deal that would land him behind bars for a maximum of about four years, writes HuffPo. Sampson’s lawyer, Zachary Carter, refused to respond in court.
There is yeat another allegation that Sampson filed false Senate disclosure forms to conceal a $188,500 loan from a real estate developer.
Sampson’s arrest comes in the midst of other criminal cases accusing New York lawmakers of abusing their authority for personal gain or to cheat on campaign finance rules, including those officials who had been recorded by Queens Democrat Sen. Shirley Huntley, who is herself trying to lessen the punishment for charges against her. Ironically, in 2012, Sampson stripped Huntley of leadership positions when her indictment was announced. He did the same with then-Sen. Carl Kruger when Kruger was arrested in 2011 in a separate bribery probe, writes HuffPo.
And Gov. Andrew Cuomo used the Senator’s arrest to call again for his anti-corruption proposals, which include public financing of campaigns, and the Democratic leadership removed him from his ranking positions and committee assignments.