There has been an awful lot of "whistling past the graveyard" as Republican State Senators Tom Libous and Dean Skelos really got worked over by Federal Prosecutor Preet Bharara
The conviction of Tom Libous shows that even those not mainly targeted in a Bharara investigation are also in danger of investigation, indictment and conviction for "...lies to law enforcement..."
THE LIBOUS CASESAccording to one of NewYork City's more popular tabloids, " [t]he No. 2 man in the state senate was convicted Wednesday of lying to the FBI about using his political muscle to score a high-paying job for his ne’er-do-well son.... State Sen. Tom Libous faces up to 5 years in prison when he is sentenced on October 30.... (See "State Senator Tom Libous found guilty of lying to the FBI" by Lorena Mongelli & Josh Saul, 7/22/15, NY Post [http://nypost.com/2015/07/22/state-senator-tom-libous-found-guilty-of-lying-to-the-fbi/]). The target of the investigation in the Libous case was a relative; and the conviction of State Senator Libous shows that anybody close to a target can easily slip into the cross-hairs by "...lies to law enforcement..." That can be by anybody related to or working for the target of the probe.
State Senator Libous' son Matthew prviously had been disbarred and is set to begin a six-month sentence for failing to report $70,000 income for his taxes.
THE SKELOS CASESMeanwhile, almost simultaneously, there has been a bit of a dust-up in another of Preet Bharara's cases against another senior GOP State Senator. According to Jillian Jorgensen's report for the Obaserver, "... [f]ormer Senate Leader Dean Skelos arranged to get his son Adam Skelos a job at a medical malpractice insurance company with business before the state—where the son threatened a supervisor and said he didn’t have to show up to work because of his father’s position—according to new charges brought by a grand jury.... Mr. Skelos—a Long Island Republican who remains a state senator but stepped down from his leadership post—and his son both face two new charges, one of extortion and one of soliciting bribes, in a new superseding indictment handed up in federal court this afternoon. The charges provide further detail about a scheme to obtain income and health insurance for Adam Skelos from an unnamed medical malpractice insurance company that was alluded to in a late-May grand jury indictment that expanded upon the charges first brought by U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara.... The new charges are in addition to bribery and extortion charges connected to two other alleged corruption schemes, dealing with a real estate developer and an environmental technology company...." (See "New Charges for Dean Skelos and Son Allege No-Show Malpractice Jobs" by Jillian Jorgensen, 7/21/15, NY Observer/ News [http://observer.com/2015/07/new-charges-for-dean-skelos-and-son-allege-no-show-malpractice-jobs/]).
The newly outlined malpractice insurance scheme is one of three contained in the grand jury’s latest indictment. Dean Skelos is also accused of directing a real estate development company and environmental technology company to steer business to his son in exchange for favorable treatment in Albany. Mr. Skelos and his son allegedly threatened to block a multi-million contract with Nassau County for the environmental firm unless payments to Adam Skelos, who allegedly said himself he knew little about the firm’s work, were increased.
The mere mention of "... a real estate development company" probably made the whole Golden team shudder, since Golden's own associations with real estate developers had been quite notorious.
THE THREAT TO GOLDEN AND THOSE AROUND HIMIt isn't necessarily the details of the Libous or Skelos cases that bothers the Golden folks. What is very threatening to State Senator Martin Golden and everybody around him is the zeal of the Federal prosecutor, which was openly expressed in this reported remark: "Public corruption is a scourge. Every New Yorker wants us to work as hard as possible to end it. But lies to law enforcement make the job of fighting corruption doubly difficult.... A jury unanimously found that Tom Libous, the second highest ranking New York Senator, told lie after lie to hide the truth from federal agents investigating corruption in Albany. Libous’s lies have been exposed, his crime has been proven, and Albany will be the better for it...."
Of course, that was Manhattan US Attorney Preet Bharara --- the very same person that is reported to be looking very closely into the financing of certain events held at Golden's family owned business, The Bay Ridge Manor, all as matters associated with a Federal probe of Golden's political fund raising.
Needless to say, such an investigation is full of hidden traps for anybody who might try to, or even fail to avoid "...lies to law enforcement..." Imagine how, many of the routine suspects near and around Golden will perform when questioned about political fundraising and events at The Bay Ridge Manor under circumstances that are more intense than anything they've experienced before.
Wait, it could be worse than that. According to the Daily News, State Senator Libous had claimed that his "... answers to FBI agents that he did not know how his son had gotten the job and that he’d never promised it business were were simply vague answers to vague questions.... " ( See "State Sen. Thomas Libous guilty of lying to FBI agents" by Laura Sanicola & Stephen Rex Brown. 7/22/15, NY Daily News [http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/state-sen-thomas-libous-guilty-lying-fbi-agents-article-1.2300960]). How do you think some of Golden's staff will be able to handle something like that?