The US Supreme Court on Monday gave a big boost to two developers and a former state university official convicted of fraud in 2018 for rigging bids for one of former New York Governor Andrew Cuomo's signature projects, the latest reversal for the Justice Department in a major corruption inquiry.
The justices threw out lower court decisions upholding the convictions of Steven Aiello, Joseph Gerardi and Alain Kaloyeros, who were charged in 2016 as part of a corruption crackdown by federal prosecutors in Manhattan centered on the state capital of Albany. The justices acted in light of their May 11 ruling overturning related convictions of former Cuomo aide Joseph Percoco and construction executive Louis Ciminelli.
Aiello, Gerardi, and Kaloyeros were charged in 2016 in a sweeping probe by federal prosecutors in Manhattan into alleged corruption in Cuomo's "Buffalo Billion" revitalization initiative for the city of Buffalo in upstate New York.
The court, which has a 6-3 conservative majority, has limited prosecutors in a series of political corruption cases in recent years.