Libous, Former State Senator, Gets 6 Months House Arrest for Lying to the FBI…His Terminal Illness Factor in House Arrest Decision

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WPCNR FBI WIRE. From the Federal Bureau of Investigation. November 25, 2015:

Preet Bharara, United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced today that New York State Senator THOMAS W. LIBOUS was sentenced to six months of house arrest for making false statements to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”). LIBOUS was convicted on July 22, 2015, following a seven-day trial in White Plains federal court before the Hon. Vincent L. Briccetti, United States District Judge, who also imposed Tuesday’s sentence.

The evidence at trial proved that a federal grand jury in White Plains was investigating allegations that THOMAS LIBOUS had obtained a job for a his son Matthew Libous at a Westchester law firm (“the Law Firm”) in exchange for a promise to refer business to the firm, and had arranged for an Albany lobbying firm that regularly lobbied him to secretly pay the law firm $50,000 per year to defray the cost of Matthew Libous’s salary and lease of a Range Rover. The lobbying firm specialized in transportation issues and THOMAS LIBOUS served as the Chairman of the Senate’s Transportation Committee at the time. The evidence also showed that THOMAS LIBOUS told a partner of the Law Firm that the firm would have to “build a new wing” to accommodate the business he would refer to it if it hired the member of his family.

Special Agents of the FBI interviewed THOMAS LIBOUS on June 24, 2010, as part of the grand jury’s investigation. The evidence at trial showed THOMAS LIBOUS made the following false statements to the agents during the interview:

  • he could not recall how Matthew Libous began to work at the Law Firm;
  • no deals were made to get Matthew Libous the job at the Law Firm;
  • he was not aware that the lobbying firm had paid any part of Matthew Libous’s salary at the Law Firm;
  • he never promised to refer work to the Law Firm;
  • he was not involved in Matthew Libous’s decision to work at the Law Firm;
  • he had no business or personal relationship with the Law Firm; and
  • he did know of any relationship between the lobbying firm and the Law Firm.

In imposing sentence, Judge Briccetti said LIBOUS’s conduct in lying to the FBI was “disgraceful” and took note of LIBOUS’s “total lack of remorse.” He called the monthly payments totaling $50,000 from the lobbying firm to the Law Firm the “elephant in the room” that LIBOUS had not explained. Judge Briccetti said that ordinarily he would have imposed a sentence of six months in prison but he declined to send LIBOUS to prison given his terminal medical condition.

In addition to the sentence of home confinement, LIBOUS, 62, of Binghamton, New York, was also sentenced to two years of supervised release and ordered to pay a fine of $50,000.

Mr. Bharara praised the investigative work of the FBI.

The prosecution is being handled by the Office’s White Plains Division. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Benjamin R. Allee and James McMahon are in charge of the prosecution.

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