Court upholds Yonkers corruption convictions

Annabi, Jereis were found guilty in bribery case over Forest City Ratner development
November 08, 2012 12:00PM

A federal court judge yesterday upheld the convictions of former Yonkers Councilmember Sandy Annabi and former Chairman of the Yonkers Republican Committee Zehy Jereis in a corruption case over the Ridge Hill mall and housing complex in Yonkers, the New York Times reported.

Annabi was convicted of taking $195,000 in bribes from Jereis to reverse her opposition to Forest City Ratner’s 91-acre development, as previously reported. Jereis testified that he gave Annabi gifts out of love, not as an attempt to influence her views.

“The jury was entitled to conclude that the thing that changed Sandy Annabi’s mind about the Ridge Hill project was her benefactor Zehy Jereis’ financial interest in getting the project approved,” wrote Judge Colleen McMahon of the Federal District Court in Manhattan in her decision.

In late March, both Annabi and Jereis were found guilty on all counts, which included receiving corrupt payments, two counts of conspiracy and extortion. They await sentencing later this month.

Forest City Ratner was not charged in the case. [NYT]Zachary Kussin