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Russian Businessman Admits to Bribing N.Y. Lawmaker

A Russian businessman in New York City has admitted to bribing a New York State lawmaker in exchange for help opening adult day care centers, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York Preet Bharara has announced.

Igor Belyansky pleaded guilty Monday to conspiring to bribe New York State Assemblyman Eric Stevenson and former Assemblyman Nelson Castro, who was cooperating with the authorities on the case, Bharara said in a press release.

"I agreed with my partners to give Eric Stevenson ... money to help us with our business," Belyansky, 46, told Manhattan Federal Court Judge William Pauley, the New York Daily News reported.

Stevenson is accused of receiving over $20,000 in bribes from Belyansky and his Russian business partners Rostislav Belyansky, Igor Tsimerman and David Binman between 2012 and 2013.

In exchange, Stevenson is accused not only of helping them secure an occupancy permit and expedite the installation of a gas line, but also of drafting legislation temporarily blocking other adult day care centers from opening in the area according to Bharara's office.

Belyansky originally faced up to 25 years in prison, but under his plea deal that could be reduced to as little as 30 months, according to the Daily News. The newspaper also reported that Belyansky's Russian business partners are also expected to make plea deals.

Stevenson faces up to 55 years in prison on fraud, bribery and extortion charges.

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