By Charisma L. Miller, Esq.
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
After intense deliberations, a Brooklyn jury found sitting Brooklyn Assemblyman William Boyland, Jr. guilty of 21 felony counts, including bribery, fraud, extortion and theft.
Initially, Boyland was accused of fraudulently submitting New York State Assembly Member Travel Vouchers, in which he falsely claimed to be in Albany on legislative business when he in fact was not in Albany.
New York State records show that based on Boyland’s fraudulent vouchers, New York State paid Boyland tens of thousands of dollars in mileage expense and per diem payments.
The fraud charges were further extended after allegations that Boyland engaged in a scheme to defraud New York State by steering public funds to a Brooklyn-based non-profit organization (“Non-Profit A”) and then directing that a portion of those public funds be used to pay for community events promoting Boyland and on goods such as T-shirts imprinted with the slogan “Team Boyland,” which were distributed at those events.
The Brownsville Democrat is also accused of soliciting bribes in exchange for helping a carnival promoter get permits and leases.
It was expected that Boyland would take a plea deal, but in a surprising turn, Boyland opted instead for a jury trial.
When sentenced, Boyland faces heavy prison terms and is also subject to up to at least $250,000 in fines on each of the counts of conviction, as well as criminal forfeiture and mandatory restitution.
“The breadth and pervasiveness of the corruption exposed by this prosecution is staggering. Wherever there was an opportunity for William Boyland to corruptly line his own pockets, he took it,” Loretta Lynch, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District, said of the Boyland verdict. “By soliciting bribes, by stealing funds intended to help the elderly, and by defrauding New York State and the Assembly, Boyland cravenly pursued his own interest at the expense of his constituents.”
Upon his convictions, Boyland was automatically expelled from the Assembly.