ALBANY – A Buffalo businessman who pleaded guilty in the Buffalo Billion bid rigging case will be sentenced for his role in the corruption scheme in five months.
U.S. District Court Judge Valerie Caproni in Manhattan set Dec. 7 as the sentencing date for Kevin Schuler, a former top executive at LPCiminelli, which had been a giant in the Buffalo construction industry before the corruption case about two years ago.
Schuler pleaded guilty the month before the Buffalo Billion trial started in Manhattan in June. He admitted committing two felonies – wire fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud – and agreed to cooperate and testify as a prosecution witness.
Caproni ordered Schuler to receive his sentence at 2 p.m. on Dec. 7 in her courtroom in the Thurgood Marshall United States Courthouse in lower Manhattan. The judge also ordered Schuler to meet with probation officials within two weeks for an interview as the probation office prepares a presentencing report.
Schuler testified at the Buffalo Billion trial that he hoped his cooperation with prosecutors would lead to a lighter sentence, though he said no such promises were given in return for his guilty pleas. He faces a maximum prison sentence of 40 years.
Schuler will be sentenced after the four men convicted in the recent trial – including former LPCiminelli head Louis Ciminelli and former SUNY Polytechnic Institute president Alain Kaloyeros – hear their fates from the judge. She has ordered those individuals to be sentenced over four different days in October.
Schuler, 47, is a resident of Pendleton and had been originally charged in the bid rigging case in September 2016.
Jurors recently convicted Ciminelli, Kaloyeros and others of engaging in a conspiracy to steer major government deals to politically connected firms, including LPCiminelli, which won the rights to develop the Buffalo Billion program, including a taxpayer-funded $750 million solar plant at Buffalo's Riverbend.