Star witness in Percoco trial arrested

Star witness in Percoco trial arrested

Star witness in Percoco trial arrested

Todd Howe's stunning - and potentially disastrous - testimony came on the second day of his blistering cross-examination at the corruption trial of Gov. Cuomo's former top aide, who Howe claims to have helped obtain $300,000 in bribes.

Disgraced former lobbyist Todd Howe, the key prosecution witness against three business executives and a former governor's aide, was arrested Thursday night after admitting on the witness stand that he tried to bilk his credit card company, The Wall Street Journal and others reported today. He conceded that the credit card incident violated his cooperation agreement with federal prosecutors, which requires him to avoid breaking the law again. "As you sit here now, do you realize you're in violation of your cooperation agreement?"

Howe signed a cooperation agreement in 2016 pledging to refrain from committing any further crimes, Newsday noted.

"A month or so after you signed this agreement, you called your credit card company and you lied to your credit card company about staying at the Waldorf, the very night that you had come to NY to see the government?" asked defense lawyer Daniel Gitner, who represents co-defendant Peter Galbraith Kelly.

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"I don't recall, but I'm sure if that's what you said I did, I'm sure I did", Howe replied at the time.

"As you sit here now, do you think they're going to rip it up?"

A spokesman for the prosecutors said no new charges had been filed against Howe, and otherwise declined to comment.

But on Thursday, Howe, under a grueling cross-examination, testified that in spring 2016, on one of his numerous trips to NY to meet with prosecutors in preparation for the cooperation agreement, he stayed at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel.

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The trial is scheduled to resume Monday.

During a break, Judge Valerie Caproni urged Gitner to move on, saying, "The jury is well aware that Mr. Howe is not a good guy".

He acknowledged, for example, that in applying for a disability insurance policy in 2014, he checked a box stating that he had never been convicted of a felony, even though that was not true.

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