Legislator Enters Not-Guilty Plea, Will Stand Trial
Nassau County Legislator Roger Corbin entered a plea of “not guilty” before Magistrate Judge William D. Wall of the U.S. District Court in Central Islip on June 9. In doing so, Corbin, who was indicted June 2 by a federal grand jury after turning down a plea deal late last month, will stand a trial by jury. His unsecured personal recognizance bond remains in effect.
According to the indictment, Corbin, 62, is charged with three counts of fraud for allegedly filing false federal income taxes for years 2005, 2006 and 2007 and one count of lying to federal agents. The Westbury legislator was arrested May 6 following a federal complaint that he evaded taxes on some $226,000 received over the aforementioned years from a New Cassel housing project developer and lied to special agents from Federal Bureau of Investigation and Internal Revenue Service when questioned about the monies.
Earlier this month, Corbin passed a polygraph examination administered by Joel M. Reicherter, a specialist in the field who currently works as an adjunct professor at several institutions including the Academy for Scientific Investigative Training and the American International Institute of Polygraph.
“I have taken a polygraph examination and passed. I had no criminal intent to file false tax returns or to lie to federal agents. I was not trying to hide anything. I put the money into my bank accounts. That is totally transparent,” said Corbin in a statement issued through his attorney, Thomas F. Liotti.
“Without intent to commit a crime, there can be no crime,” stated Liotti adding, “Once again this shows an innocent mistake on my client’s part. It is yet another reason why this case should be resolved civilly, without a criminal prosecution.”
In response to Corbin’s not-guilty plea, Liotti stated, “I have known Legislator Roger Corbin for over 40 years. He is well loved by our entire community as a devoted public servant. We have written to Attorney General Eric Holder requesting that our client be given fair and equal treatment under the law, a civil disposition, the ability to file amended tax returns, just like anyone else.”
Corbin, who has served the 2nd District since the county legislature’s inception in 1995, said he doesn’t plan to resign from his seat and, in fact, plans to seek re-election this November. He plans to run with or without the Democratic Party’s support, even if it means taking part in a primary. On June 8, party members chose not to endorse Corbin. As of press time, two Westbury residents, Gregory Lewis and Pablo Sinclair, have expressed interest in challenging the legislator in a Democratic primary Sept. 8.