Jury Convicts Ciminelli, Kaloyeros in Buffalo Billion Bid-rigging Scheme

July 13, 2018
Louis P. Ciminelli, left, and Alain Kalayeros, were convicted Thursday in federal court on corruption charges related to the Buffalo Billion project. (Holly Pickett/The New York Times and Buffalo News file photo)
Louis P. Ciminelli, left, and Alain Kalayeros, were convicted Thursday in federal court on corruption charges related to the Buffalo Billion project.

A federal jury Thursday convicted Buffalo developer Louis P. Ciminelli and former SUNY Polytechnic Institute leader Alain Kaloyeros of fraud and conspiracy charges, saying they rigged the bidding process on Buffalo’s giant RiverBend industrial project so that Ciminelli’s company got the business.

The jury also convicted two Syracuse-area developers, Steven Aiello and Joseph Gerardi, in a similar bid-rigging scheme.

The defendants sat motionless as the verdict was announced. Ciminelli’s lawyer Paul Shechtman seemed visibly shaken.

“I have never been more deeply disappointed in my professional life,” said Shechtman, widely regarded as one of New York’s top trial lawyers. “I didn’t think there was any evidence against Lou Ciminelli. The fact that 12 people saw it differently renders me speechless.”

For Ciminelli, the verdict marked the latest blow to a once-mighty Buffalo company that has been a force in the construction community since the middle of the 20th century.
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