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Star Witness Against Ex-Cuomo Aide From Northern Westchester Sent To Jail

Todd Howe, left, and Joseph Percoco on a 2010 fishing trip. Howe is the government's star witness in Percoco's corruption trial.
Todd Howe, left, and Joseph Percoco on a 2010 fishing trip. Howe is the government's star witness in Percoco's corruption trial. Photo Credit: U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of New York

The government’s star witness in the corruption trial of Westchester resident and former Gov. Andrew Cuomo top aide Joseph Percoco has been arrested after violating the terms of his plea deal with his testimony during cross-examination

Howe, an infamous lobbyist with a felony on his record, has been testifying against South Salem resident Percoco , who allegedly accepted more than $300,000 in bribes to benefit Competitive Power Ventures, an energy company that sought to build a power plant in the Hudson Valley, and COR Development, a real estate developer that received several sizable state projects.

During cross-examination, Howe admitting to attempting to defraud a Manhattan hotel of $600, violating his plea, leading to the revocation of his bail on Thursday night. Howe admitted in court that in 2016, while in Manhattan to meet with prosecutors, he attempted to get his bank to remove the charge from his bill.

Howe was scheduled to appear in court on Friday afternoon. According to multiple reports, Howe agreed to detention, though it is not clear if he will continue to testify on Monday. No additional charges have been filed against Howe.

Percoco's defense team repeatedly attacked Howe’s credibility during cross-examination, showcasing how the lobbyist embezzled money, lost a near million dollar home for failing to make mortgage payments and has led schemes to defraud friends, co-workers, employees and family members during the past two decades.

Prosecutors claim that “on at least three occasions, between 2011 and 2016, while employed as the Executive Deputy Secretary to the Governor, and on at least two occasions during his employment by the Cuomo Campaign, Percoco threatened at least four New York State employees who were considering leaving their current jobs or state service entirely, by claiming that Percoco would use his extensive influence in New York State to prevent them from finding future employment,” according to court documents.

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