NEW YORK - Former Yonkers City Councilwoman Sandy Annabi received six years in prison and her co-defendant Zehy Jereis got four years during their federal corruption sentencing hearing today.
In March, a jury found Annabi and her political mentor guilty of conspiracy, extortion and bribery charges. Federal prosecutors had asked for up to 17 years in prison for Annabi and up to 14 years for Jereis.
Annabi will also have to pay back more than $1.2 million, including the bribe money and bank loans she got while serving on the Yonkers City Council. In addition, she has to surrender the title, rights and interest on an apartment Jereis purchased for her.
Before her sentencing, Annabi tore up her written statement and tearfully told District Judge Colleen McMahon that she wished she wasn't so trusting, so naive, and that she says no longer trusts anyone. Annabi said she believes she was doing what was right for everyone; "I'm willing to accept any punishment you're going to impose on me."
Annabi's attorney Edward Sapone asked for the judge to given his client only home confinement and four years probation. Judge McMahon however declined saying, "I can't sentence you to less than the guidelines. I can't treat you any differently than anybody else. I can't ignore the tax fraud."
Sapone says they will fight the conviction, and he will file appeal with 2nd Circuit Court in the morning. Annabi is expected to report to jail by March 4, and likely head to the federal prison in Danbury, Conn.