NY Lt. Gov. Benjamin indicted on bribery, campaign finance charges in alleged contribution scheme

Benjamin is expected to appear in Manhattan federal court later Tuesday

Updated: April 12, 2022 - 12:32pm

New York Democratic Lt. Gov. Brian Benjamin was indicted Tuesday on bribery and campaign finance charges in connection with an alleged scheme to obtain campaign contributions in exchange for securing a state grant.

Benjamin surrendered early in the day to authorities and is expected to appear in Manhattan federal court later in the day, according to NBCNewYork.com.

He also has been charged with wire fraud and two counts of falsification of records, for an alleged conspiracy that took place while he was a state senator, according to an indictment unsealed Tuesday and reviewed by CNN.

Damian Williams, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, is expected to hold a news conference this afternoon on the indictment  The office declined to comment further.

According to the indictment, that Benjamin, from about 2019 to 2021, when he was a state senator, allegedly participated in a scheme to get campaign contributions from an unnamed Harlem-based real estate developer in exchange for a $50,000 state grant for a non-profit organization controlled by the developer.

The nonprofit donated school supplies and other resources to public school programs and students in Harlem, the indictment states.

    "In doing so, Benjamin abused his authority as a New York State senator, engaging in a bribery scheme using public funds for his own corrupt purposes," the indictment states, also according to CNN.

    The charges and arrest were largely expected, amid reports that  Manhattan federal prosecutors and the FBI were investigating whether Benjamin knowingly engaged in a campaign finance fraud scheme.