Closing arguments begin in Buffalo Billion corruption trial

Local News

The corruption trial of one of Governor Cuomo’s top economic development officials has wrapped for the day in Manhattan.

Former SUNY Polytechnic President Alain Kaloyeros and three others are facing several federal charges for allegedly rigging the open bidding process for lucrative state projects including the Buffalo Billion. 

Reporter Jenn Schanz was in the courtroom as closing arguments got underway.

The defense rested Monday and closing arguments began.

The prosecution addressed the jurors first, pointing to three key elements of this case they say prove all four defendants are guilty. 

In the bid rigging case against Syracuse developers Joseph Gerardi and Steven Aiello, Buffalo developer Louis Ciminelli, and founder of SUNY Polytechnic Alain Kaloyeros, email evidence has been key for prosecutors.

Kicking off closing arguments Monday, they pointed to emails between the defendants that they say is proof they conspired to fix the open bidding process.

The project at the center of this case, is the $750 million construction of the SolarCity/Panasonic plant at Buffalo’s RiverBend. 

Second, prosecutors pointed to deleted emails from Louis Ciminelli and Kaloyeros, who was then the head of Cuomo’s Buffalo Billion program.

They say their attempt to delete emails once learning the FBI was looking into this case also points to guilt.

And lastly, the prosecution says the testimony of former LP Ciminelli executive Kevin Schuler alone, could convict Kaloyeros and Ciminelli.

Schuler, who testified against his ex boss, alleges Ciminelli and Kaloyeros knowingly fixed the open biding process in LP Ciminelli’s favor. 

The Attorney for Alain Kaloyeros fired back during his closing argument, saying there was no bid rigging, and that winning an RFP simply gave the developers a spot at the negotiating table. 

According to the him, Kaloyeros was selected to help run the Buffalo Billion program because of his success in Albany. 

It was the hope, his attorney claims, that he could help steer Buffalo and Syracuse in the same direction. 

He denies Kaloyeros was involved in fraud. 

Once the prosecution and the defense have finished their closing arguments, this case will be left in the jurors hands. That’s not expected to happen in the middle of the week.

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