New York State Lt. Governor Brian Benjamin was arrested and indicted on charges of bribery and fraud today in relation to a campaign finance scheme. He is accused of exchanging state funds to a real estate investor for campaign contributions as a New York State senator while running unsuccessfully for New York City comptroller last year. Said real estate investor was arrested in November on charges of wire fraud, identity theft and other fund-raising related crimes. Prosecutors state that Benjamin used public funds for his own corrupt purposes, as well as falsifying campaign donation forms and giving false information as part of his background check to become lieutenant governor, after an investigation including the F.B.I., New York City’s Department of Investigation and the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York.
Erie County Libertarian Party Chairman Duane Whitmer responded, “While I would like to say something funny and witty here, or say that I am appalled or shocked that this happened, I think that the more brutal question is to ask if anyone is surprised? Another week, another financial fraud scandal from the political class. As we’ve stated for years, the government is a mafia organization run by criminals. Sometimes those criminals get caught, sometimes they don’t. How many times do we have to see this before people start to question if these are the people that should be in charge of delegating where our money is spent?”
The Erie County Libertarian Party is a recognized affiliate of the Libertarian Party of New York, fighting for smaller government, decentralization, and the individual. Learn more at eriecountylp.org.