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Buffalo Billion trial pushed back a week

ALBANY – A federal judge on Monday delayed by a week the start of the Buffalo Billion corruption trial.

U.S. District Court Judge Valerie Caproni in Manhattan agreed to a request by federal prosecutors to start the trial on June 18. But the judge ordered the jury selection process to begin, as previously scheduled, on June 11 in her lower Manhattan courtroom.

Prosecutors said that going through 24,000 pages of documents only recently turned over by LPCiminelli, the Buffalo general contracting giant, took time away from their trial preparation work. The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Manhattan originally sought a two-week delay, and then trimmed that to one week in a request late last week.

The trial will center around alleged bid-rigging involving a couple of large state-funded projects in upstate, including the Buffalo Billion program, which led to a $750 million contract awarded to LPCiminelli at the solar manufacturing plant at RiverBend. Louis Ciminelli is one of four defendants in the case, along with two Syracuse developers and Alain Kaloyeros, the former head of SUNY Polytechnic Institute who Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo tapped to lead the high-tech economic development efforts.

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