Kruger gets seven years for bribery

Club owner tied to Kruger gets probation for lying to feds
The FBI thought it had tied a crooked restauranteur to embattled state Sen. Carl Kruger (above), but Michael Levitis said he acutally lied to the feds.
Associated Press / Louis Lanzano

A federal judge sentenced disgraced state Sen. Carl Kruger to seven years in prison on April 26, claiming that the pol’s scheme to accept close to $1 million in bribes was a “dagger into the heart of good government.”

Kruger accomplice Michael Turano — the former lawmaker’s alleged lover and son of Community Board 18 District Manager Dorothy Turano, Kruger’s longtime companion — received two years in prison for his role in the political corruption scandal.

A choked-up Kruger, who pleaded guilty to accepting payoffs from deeppocketed lobbyists, told Manhattan federal court Judge Jed Rakoff that he’d learned his lesson.

“My actions will forever overshadow whatever legacy I intended to achieve,” he said. “My sentencing hasn’t begun, but my punishment is well underway.”

Yet Kruger, who once led the state senate’s powerful Finance Committee, wasn’t as contrite in an interview with this paper moments before he stepped into court.

“If there’s anything I can say about this it’s don’t stay at the table too long,” Kruger said. “If you stay at the table too long, you lose.”

Dorothy Turano, who prosecutors say benefitted from Kruger’s bribe-taking, didn’t show any remorse over what Kruger and her son had allegedly done as she watched the proceedings from behind a pair of dark sunglasses.

“The streets of Brooklyn are safe now,” Turano said sarcastically to a friend as she left the courtroom. “Really good.”

Both Kruger and Michael Turano were able to leave court free men: their prison sentences are scheduled to begin on June 26.

Federal prosecutors said Kruger used his bribes to finance a lavish lifestyle that included a super luxury English-made Bentley automobile and the garish seaside mansion on Mill Island he shares with the Turano family.

“Year after year Kruger accepted bribes to help the Turano family,” said U.S. Attorney Michael Bosworth. “For what? They weren’t impoverished. They lived in a million-dollar mansion with a movie theater.”

The case against Kruger unfolded a web of deceit and lies last March, when federal prosecutors charged him with offering his political clout to the highest bidder.

Prosecutors claim lobbyists funneled thousands of dollars in payoffs to a dummy corporation that Michael Turano founded so Kruger could help them on a litany of legislative matters, including:

• Delaying the expansion of a bill that included a five-cent deposit on bottled water.

• Altering the Alcoholic Beverage Control Law so grocery stores could sell wine.

• Going to war with American Indian reservations to demand they pay state sales taxes on cigarette and tobacco sales.

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