Joe Percoco, a corrupt, once-powerful top aide and longtime pal of ex-Governor Andrew Cuomo, was released from a transitional house after serving a prison sentence on a 2018 fraud conviction.
Percoco, 54, had served time in an upstate jail before being transferred to an unspecified transitional home in December 2021.
The US Bureau of Prisons inmate tracker said Percoco was released from custody on April 21.
In 2018, Percoco — whom Cuomo once publicly compared to a brother — was found guilty of conspiracy to commit “honest service” fraud after pocketing more than $300,000 from executives at two companies linked to the state Make transactions.
His six-year sentence ended last week.
His release was first reported by WKBC 7 in Buffalo.
Percoco claims that the payments he took in 2014 were not bribes because at the time he was on leave from his government job working for Cuomo’s reelection campaign.
The US Supreme Court heard an appeal against Percoco’s fraud conviction last fall, and some of the judges seemed to agree with his reasoning.
Percoco was a Cuomo loyalist who was considered his top political adviser and enforcer in government.
He had also worked as a personal advisor to Andrew’s father, former three-year Governor Mario Cuomo, who died in 2015.
During Andrew Cuomo’s eulogy at his father’s funeral in 2015, he compared Percoco to a brother, calling him “my father’s third son, who I sometimes think loved most.”
Cuomo’s sister Madeline Cuomo and former Democratic Party leader John Marino had helped raise funds for Percoco to appeal his conviction.
Percoco’s legal troubles predated Andrew Cuomo’s own downfall.
Cuomo resigned as governor in August 2021 under threat of impeachment after a slew of women accused the handy governor of sexual misconduct, as detailed in a scathing investigative report by Attorney General Letitia James. He denied wrongdoing but resigned anyway.