‘Buffalo Billion’ cohort gets prison in corruption case

A Manhattan federal judge sentenced Syracuse developer Joseph Gerardi to 2 ¹/₂ years behind bars for his role in a bid-rigging scheme that corrupted Gov. Cuomo’s “Buffalo Billion” program to revitalize upstate New York.

Judge Valerie Caproni also ordered the former Cor Development executive to pay $500,000 for his role in the scheme, which landed his firm more than $100 million in state construction work.

“There are few crimes as serious as public corruption,” Judge Caproni said. “This is a sad day.”

Gerardi, 59, is the second of four men tied to the scheme to be sentenced, including Buffalo construction mogul Louis Ciminelli, who was ordered to serve 28 months on Monday for bid-rigging tied to construction work in Buffalo.

On Friday, Caproni will sentence Gerardi’s business partner Steven Aiello. And on Tuesday, she will mete out justice to Alain Kaloyeros, the SUNY Polytechnic Institute head who Cuomo picked to oversee the bidding process, which he rigged to benefit Cuomo donors together with lobbyist Todd Howe.

The four men’s conviction at trial earlier this year marked just the latest conviction in a series of corruption scandals that has rocked Albany, including a bribery conviction for Cuomo’s former aid Joe Percoco.

Asked in court to speak, Gerardi said thanks, but no thanks.

“I appreciate the honor to be heard but I have nothing to add.”

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