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USA

‘Buffalo Billion’ informant avoids jail time

An executive who took part in a scheme to rig bids for the troubled Buffalo Billion development project and later cooperated with prosecutors has avoided prison.

Kevin Schuler, who pleaded guilty to wire fraud and a related conspiracy charge and later testified against former SUNY Polytech President Alain Kaloyeros, was sentenced on Friday to 400 hours of community service — with one-third of time spent speaking to students about business ethics.

“I’m sad I’m part of the reason that people continue to view the state government as drowning in corruption,” Schuler told the court during his sentencing hearing in Manhattan federal court as he choked back tears.

Both Schuler and Kaloyeros were co-defendants with Joseph Percoco, a former top aide to Gov. Andrew Cuomo, in a sprawling government corruption trial that shed light on Albany’s pay-to-play culture.

Percoco, who was convicted of taking nearly $300,000 in bribes from two companies working with the state, was sentenced to six years in prison. Kaloyeros, who Cuomo tapped to head up the Buffalo Billion initiative, was sentenced to three and a half years in prison.

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