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The $279 lunch, the private jet and the fishing trip that lured the governor's aide

In a criminal complaint unveiled Thursday morning, nine people stand accused in a sweeping corruption case that accuses the major Buffalo Billion economic development contract being tainted by allegations of bid-rigging and bribes.

The federal government's complaint details some of the perks that Peter Galbraith Kelly Jr., an executive with Competitive Power Venture Holdings, extended to Cuomo senior aide Joseph Percoco, in an effort to win influence with the governor – and the trouble he took to conceal them:

  • Kelly took Percoco and Todd R. Howe, then a lobbyist, to a $279 lunch at a steak restaurant in Manhattan on Dec. 23, 2010, "just a few days before the governor took office for the first time, and charged the meal to the energy company, under a billing code for the power plant."
  • At Percoco's request, Kelly arranged for his company to donate a private jet to take Cuomo and his staff to campaign events in late October 2010.
  • Kelly took Percoco and others on a weekend fishing trip in August 2010 to Montauk, paid for by Kelly's company. "In connection with the trip, Kelly submitted a reimbursement request for approximately $2,748 in 'business development' expenses connected to the power plant, which did not reflect that Percoco was on the trip."
  • In early February 2011, Kelly invited Percoco to join him fishing again. He told Percoco in an email, "just know whenever YOU need me I'm in."

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