Brooklyn State Senator John Sampson, already facing corruption charges, is facing a new set of allegations from federal prosecutors this afternoon involving lying and a local liquor store.
The U.S. Attorney’s office today announced that Mr. Sampson, who once led the Senate Democrats, is accused of “making false statements to FBI agents about directing members of his Senate staff to take actions to benefit a Brooklyn liquor store in which Sampson secretly held an ownership interest.”
According to prosecutors, Mr. Sampson was recorded hiding his stake in an unnamed liquor store in its license application.
“During a series of telephone calls that were captured on the Sampson Wiretap, the defendant … told the Partners that [his] ownership interest should not be disclosed in the Application” today’s indictment reads.
Mr. Sampson was also recorded instructing an anonymous government staffer to help the store deal with outstanding tax obligations. The senator even appeared to be aware of the potential illegalities involved, telling the staffer to “do it on your own cell phone and do it on your own time.”
He is further accused of lying about these incidents and others when speaking to federal agents.
Mr. Sampson is scheduled to be arraigned on the new charge tomorrow in federal court. His lawyer could not immediately be reached for comment on the latest charges.
Mr. Sampson was kicked out of the Democratic conference after the first set of corruption charges. He currently caucuses with no group in the complicated politics that govern the State Senate.
Update (2:28 p.m.): Mr. Sampson’s attorney issued the following statement in response to the new indictment, insisting the lawmaker “has not betrayed the public’s trust while acting as an elected public official.”
Additional reporting by Jill Colvin.
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