Capital Region Legal News

Monday, January 16, 2017

Courting of Public Officials Leads to Fines for Real Estate Company

What criminal law problems can arise when real estate and business professionals and real estate developers seek help from political officeholders?

For real estate developers and businesspeople trying to maintain friendly relations with politicians, caution is a must. The New York State Ethics Commission in Albany has announced a settlement with two companies for their role in criminal cases involving Dean Skelos, the former New York State Senate Majority Leader, and Sheldon Silver, the former State Assembly Speaker.

Real estate company Glenwood Management Corp. and Administrators for the Professions Inc. were named in the recent criminal trials. Neither company was charged, but their wrongdoing still came to light. Glenwood has agreed to pay a $200,000 fine and Administrators for the Professions Inc. will pay $70,000.

Avoid Too Much Generosity And Too Little Disclosure

As part of the settlement, Glenwood admitted to both making illegal gifts and to not filing reports on meetings with public officials, in violation of New York State lobbying laws. Violations included:

•  Failure to disclosure. Glenwood failed to submit mandatory reporting of activities and meetings with former Senate Majority Leader Skelos.

Arranging no-show jobs. The real estate company arranged a job for Skelos' son Adam at a company that was seeking state contracts, though he did no work. They also arranged for him to receive commissions that he did not earn from a real estate title company.

Illegal payments. Glenwood paid fees that ended up in the pockets of a public official. It hired a tax law firm recommended by former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, knowing that he was receiving a referral fee.

Tread Carefully When Pursuing of Political Support

In seeking government business or regulatory approvals, it is all too easy to run afoul of the rules or wander into gray areas involving potentially unlawful conduct. If you are concerned, an expert criminal lawyer can advise you on how to protect yourself. If you have been already accused of criminal acts, fairly or not, your attorney can advise you on the best way to minimize the penalties.

Whether you in need of counsel experienced in criminal law or simply are considering buying or selling real estate or a home, Ianniello Anderson, P.C. provides informed advice. Serving clients in the Albany, Clifton Park, Glens Falls, Saratoga Springs, Troy, and the entire Northeastern NY areas at (518) 350.7755.

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