From the NY Post:
An Albany politician from Brooklyn is the focus of a pay-to-play probe into whether he and a staff member offered his political muscle to locals in exchange for campaign donations, prosecutors revealed yesterday.
A lawyer for one of the pol's alleged middlemen -- who was in Brooklyn federal court yesterday charged with lying to the FBI in connection with the probe -- identified the target of the two-year probe as state Sen. Carl Kruger, who represents portions of southern Brooklyn.
Michael Levitis, the alleged middleman, is a Brooklyn nightclub owner. His lawyer, Geoffrey Lichtman, yesterday pointed the finger at Kruger, a Democrat who is chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, as the "public official" accused of accepting kickbacks, saying Levitis is facing federal charges only because "he refused to testify against Senator Kruger."
Levitis "is a very small part of a very significant criminal investigation," Lichtman told The Post. "There is an allegation of quid pro quo between the senator and his constituents."
Levitis, a lawyer who owns the Russian nightspot Rasputin in Gravesend, was caught on audiotape on April 14, 2009, telling a federal informant that the informant needed to pay off a public official's staff member to get assistance on an upcoming business inspection.
"To start off, you'll have to throw in a few thousand . . . and then he solves your problem . . . depends on whether the problem is big or small . . . how much work he has put in," Levitis said.
The informant is instructed by Levitis that he'll "have to do a fund-raiser for" the official. The informant agreed and, on the FBI's instruction, recorded another conversation with Levitis on April 22, 2009.
During that meeting, the informant agreed to give Levitis $3,000 -- $2,000 for the official's staffer and the rest for Levitis.
The transaction was made five days later and caught on video.