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Former power broker with Silver ties arrested in alleged kickback scheme

William Rapfogel speaks during the Met Council's 40th

William Rapfogel speaks during the Met Council's 40th anniversary celebration in Manhattan on April 25, 2013. (Credit: Michael Priest)

A New York power broker with ties to Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver will be formally charged with grand larceny this morning, a state official said.

William Rapfogel, who long led the Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty before resigning in August, has been accused of participating in a kickback scheme that allegedly involved overpayments to a Valley Stream insurance agency and campaign contributions to various politicians and political action committees.

Rapfogel was arrested Tuesday morning and is expected to be arraigned today on charges of pocketing more than $5 million, the official said. Rapfogel is the husband of Judy Rapfogel, the longtime aide to Silver (D-Manhattan).

No one from the insurance agency, Century Coverage Corp., has been charged at this point, the official said.

 The Met Council, which relies in part on state and city dollars to provide food, shelter and care to thousands of New Yorkers, has received $26.3 million in state grants since 2008.

In August, Met Council issued a statement saying it became "aware of ... financial irregularities and apparent misconduct in connection with the organization's insurance policies." State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and state Comptroller Tom DiNapoli subsequently confirmed they were investigating.

At the time, Rapfogel issued a statement saying he regretted his "mistakes" and said he'd "make amends." His attorney Paul Shechtman said later that "whatever [William Rapfogel] did, neither his wife nor Speaker Silver knew anything about it."

Tags: Sheldon Silver , William Rapfogel , Eric Schneiderman , Tom DiNapoli

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