NEW YORK — A former Yonkers councilwoman and the one-time leader of the city’s Republican Party were found guilty Thursday (29 March 2012) of corruption.
A federal court jury in Manhattan convicted Sandy Annabi, 41, and Zehy Jereis, 40, of all charges, including collaborating on bribes to win Annabi’s City Council vote for two development projects – Milio Management’s bid for a land swap involving a parcel in her district, and Forest City Ratner’s plan for an 81-acre Ridge Hill retail and housing project.
Zehy Jereis was formerly a chairman of the Republican Party of Yonkers. He is a distant relative of Ms. Annabi’s.
Jereis claimed in court that he showered Annabi with money and other gifts because he was in love with her. He offered as evidence the emails he sent her. The federal court jury rejected this claim. Prosecutors suggested that the emails were fake.
He allegedly paid her mortgage, cable bills, electricity bills, student loan payments, auto lease bills and other charges between 2002 and 2008.
Annabi, was found guilty of all 10 charges and Jereis, was found guilty of
all five. Both of them were convicted of two conspiracy charges, one corruption charge and an extortion charge. In addition, Annabi was convicted of one additional corruption charge, three counts of making a false statement to a bank and two counts of filing false tax returns. Jereis was charged with one additional charge of making corrupt payments.
No sentencing date was set.