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ALBANY – Former Speaker of the Assembly Sheldon Silver, once one of New York's most powerful politicians, was sentenced to seven years in federal jail on Friday for receiving $ 4 million in illegal payments during his term in office.

US District Judge Valerie Caproni handed over the verdict in Manhattan federal court, according to the US Attorney for New York Southern District.

Silver, D-Manhattan, was convicted in May of seven crimes associated with a pair of systems that earned him lucrative legal referral fees from a cancer researcher at Columbia University and two real estate firms run by the United States State actions by Silver benefited.

The 74-year-old The former legislator held the powerful title of Speaker of the Assembly for two decades before resigning after being arrested in 2015 and serving as one of Albany's infamous "three men in a room", the budgetary contracts and important ones Negotiate laws.

In a Statement US Attorney Geoffrey Berman of Manhattan said Silver used his influential position to "refill his bank account and fill his pockets."

"We hope that today's sentence sends out a clear message: Negotiating official favors for your personal gain is illegal" At the time of the punishment, "Berman said.

The prosecutors sought a prison sentence of at least ten years.

19659008] In a letter to Caproni last week, Silver asked for mercy by saying that he was "deeply apologetic" for his behavior, but did not acknowledge what he had done was criminal.

Silver, reserving his right has a brief prison sentence followed by charitable work, with his legal department asking Caproni to allow him to hire a "help desk" to help New Yorkers navigate the state bureaucracy.

"I'm worried about my age and my health, "Silver wrote to Caproni." I pray that I will not die in prison. "

The plans that Silver was sentenced went as follows: The Columbia researcher and the two politically-linked real estate companies directed people seeking legal help to Silver, who then sent them to a pair of law firms that owed him agency fees.

Silver then took action in Albany that benefited the researchers and the real estate companies, including government grants worth $ 500,000 to send to researchers who specialize in mesothelioma, a form of cancer.

It was the second time Silver became

He was initially sentenced to 12 years in prison after being sentenced in 2015 for the same seven crimes. But his conviction and sentence were lifted when the US Supreme Court narrowed the corruption law he was accused of.

However, prosecutors were allowed to repeat silver under the narrowed definition and jury returned a guilty verdict in retrial in May

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