Political advisor Hank Morris pleads guilty to securities fraud
Democratic political kingmaker Hank Morris pleaded guilty yesterday to a single felony securities fraud charge in a pay-to-play scheme for the state’s massive $124.8 billion pension fund.
A former top aid to ex-state comptroller Alan Hevesi, Morris, 57, also agreed to return the $19 million he pocketed from companies seeking a slice of the state’s pension fund business and was banned forever from working in the securities business.
“I intentionally engaged in fraud, deception and corruption,” Morris told Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Lewis Bart Stone, according to published reports.
He confessed to accepting kickbacks, failing to disclose conflicts of interest and to soliciting campaign contributions for Hevesi.
Morris, who will be sentenced Feb. 1, faces up to four years in prison — 21 years less than the max he could face had he been convicted at trial.
Hevesi and six others officials also have pleaded guilty as part of the state Attorney General’s investigation into the pension fund.