In their closing arguments, prosecutors and the defense attorney for Assemblyman William Boyland Jr. agreed that he solicited more than $250,000 from undercover federal agents, but they disagree on why he did it, the Journal writes: (subscription holders only)
federal prosecutor urged jurors to convict the Brooklyn Democrat of corruption charges backed by a mountain of evidence showing he put himself and his office up for sale to undercover FBI agents posing as shady businessmen.
“We’ve taken you into the underbelly of the defendant’s corrupt, secretive and deceitful schemes,” Assistant Brooklyn U.S. Attorney Lan Nguyen said Monday in her closing argument.
“Each one was designed to line his pockets with illegal money at the expense of his constituents, the elderly and taxpayers,” Nguyen said.
Boyland, 43, betrayed no emotion during the prosecutor’s three-hour summation of secretly recorded tapes and videos, text messages and documents detailing schemes to solicit bribes from the undercover agents who were seeking favors from the political scion.
In one damning video recorded by the FBI agent, Boyland accepted $7,000 in cash that he desperately needed after he was arrested in a separate corruption case by the feds in Manhattan.
His father, former Assemblyman William (Frank) Boyland, Sr., played bag man for his son by accepting another $3,000 payoff in the form of a check made out as campaign contribution.
Another video secretly shot on April Fool’s Day depicts Boyland Jr. taking the agents on a tour of his Brownsville district to show them properties that he would help them obtain through his city and state government contacts. Boyland wanted $250,000 from the agents to set up meetings with corrupt officials on land deals. “I control all this,” Boyland boasts on the tape.
“He wanted to be like a (Mafia) don,” Nguyen said of the boasts.
Defense lawyer Nancy Ennis argued he was stringing along the agents — “playing the players,” she said — during meetings at the Waldorf Astoria, Peter Luger steakhouse in Williamsburg and the Tropicana Hotel in Atlantic City.
Prosecutors took aim at that argument. “I can’t say I fully understand what Miss Ennis was saying, but listen to her explain how using the power of your office as a New York State assemblyman to ‘play the players’ and get money for the defendant is not attempted extortion,” Nguyen said.
Boyland did not have to carry out the extortion or bribery schemes to be found guilty — he merely had to commit acts to further their schemes, which the government said he did. But Ennis told the jury that after a 10-month investigation, FBI agents were left with “promises and no action.” MARZULLI
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