December 11, 2018 / 10:22 PM / in a month

Ex-N.Y. state university official gets prison for bid rigging

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The former president of the State University of New York’s Polytechnic Institute was sentenced to three and a half years in prison on Tuesday for helping to rig the bidding process for a billion-dollar, state-funded development project.

FILE PHOTO - Alain Kaloyeros (L), president of the State University of New York's Polytechnic Institute, walks out of the Manhattan federal courthouse in New York, U.S., September 22, 2016. REUTERS/Bria Webb/File Photo

Alain Kaloyeros was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Valerie Caproni in Manhattan, who also ordered him to pay a $100,000 fine, according to a spokesman for federal prosecutors in Manhattan.

Kaloyeros had been found guilty of fraud and conspiracy by a jury in June following a three-week trial.

Attorneys for Kaloyeros, Reid Weingarten and Mike Miller, said in a statement that their client was innocent and would appeal his conviction.

“He attempted at every stage to make sure that the people of the state of New York got the right contractor for the right job at the right price,” they said.

Federal prosecutors had accused Kaloyeros of helping to fix bids for “Buffalo Billion,” an economic development project to invest $1 billion to revitalize the area around Buffalo, the state’s second largest city.

They said Kaloyeros worked to steer lucrative contracts to Buffalo-based developer LPCiminelli and Syracuse, New York-based COR Development Co. According to the prosecutors, the two companies were hand-picked in advance and public requests for bids were tailored to them.

Executives of the companies have also been convicted and sentenced to prison in connection with the scheme.

Kaloyeros’ case was among a series of high-profile corruption cases brought by former U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara, who also prosecuted former New York Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and New York Senate majority leader Dean Skelos.

Caproni sentenced Silver to seven years in prison and Skelos to four years and three months earlier this year.

Reporting By Brendan Pierson in New York

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