Ex-aide to Gov. Cuomo, others charged with bribery, fraud

NEW YORK (AP) — A federal prosecutor has accused nine people, including a former top aide to Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo, of bribery and fraud in Cuomo's signature economic development projects.

Joseph Percoco, the former executive deputy secretary to the governor, and Alain Kaloyeros, president of SUNY Polytechnic Institute, are among those who face charges.

Percoco's attorney said Thursday that the case against his client is "an overreach" that seeks to criminalize legal activities. He will plead not guilty to the charges.

Authorities say Percoco solicited bribes from companies that stood to make hundreds of millions of dollars in the projects.

 A Cuomo spokesman declined to comment.

Another former Cuomo insider, lobbyist Steve Howe, has already pleaded guilty to charges connected to the case and is cooperating with prosecutors.

U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara held a news conference on Thursday to discuss the case.

Cuomo's office said in April that Bharara was examining possible undisclosed conflicts of interest and improper bidding related to the Cuomo's efforts to attract high-tech jobs upstate.

The federal probe revealed a web of individuals and businesses tied to Cuomo that stand to make millions from the projects.

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