Thursday, 20 September, 2018

Government star witness in Cuomo ex-aide trial arrested

Star witness in ex-Cuomo aide Joseph Percoco's bribery case arrested after admitting to fraud try in testimony Star witness in Percoco trial arrested
Ellis Copeland | 10 February, 2018, 06:29

The star witness in the corruption trial of former Cuomo aide Joe Percoco has been arrested, according to multiple reports.

As part of his cooperation agreement with prosecutors, Howe in 2016 agreed not to violate any laws "whatsoever".

On Friday, U.S. District Judge J. Paul Oetken of the Southern District of NY granted a motion by the prosecution to revoke Howe's $100,000 bail. "You called your credit card company and lied about staying at the Waldorf the very night you were seeing the government?"

The lawyer asked Howe if he realized he was in violation of his plea agreement.

Then the lawyer asked whether he thought prosecutors would rip up the agreement or merely give him a stern lecture as they did when he diverted tens of thousands of dollars that he was supposed to put in escrow to pay debts of his choosing and other expenses.

"I do, looking at this, yes", said Howe, who had been shown a copy of the agreement. Many mob-related trials, for example, have featured the testimony of former organized-crime figures; in a case against John Gotti, a key witness, Salvatore Gravano, admitted his participation in 19 murders.

Star witness in ex-Cuomo aide Joseph Percoco's bribery case arrested after admitting to fraud try in testimony

But to have a government witness arrested midway through cross-examination is exceedingly uncommon, and poses an obvious problem for prosecutors when the trial resumes Monday.

Howe also admitted checking "No" on a disability-insurance form that asked if he had any felony convictions, even though he pleaded guilty to bank fraud in 2010.

Percoco is accused of pocketing some $300,000 in bribes.

.

Percoco has pleaded not guilty. "He will tell you all about it", Boone said in his opening statement.

With four defense attorneys eager to discredit Howe, The Wall Street Journal reported that Daniel Gitner, representing Competitive Power Ventures executive Peter Galbraith Kelly, drew blood in a series of questions that reportedly led to Howe's rearrest Thursday evening.

"And the government is hearing about that for the first time right now?"

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