Like Son, Like Father: Raymond Harding Charged

Former political power broker accused of receiving illegal fees

As his son tries to rebuild his life after serving prison time for a pair of felonies, former political power broker Raymond Harding is charged with receiving more than $800,000 in illegal fees linked to state pension fund investments.

New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo announced the charges Wednesday. He's investigating allegations of pay-to-play corruption under former state Comptroller Alan Hevesi.

Cuomo said the Liberal Party's former chairman Raymond Harding got the fees as a reward for helping Hevesi's son Andrew obtain a seat in the state Assembly. Cuomo said there is no evidence that the younger Hevesi knew of the arrangement.

Harding's own son, Russell Harding, was released from prison in 2007 after serving time for embezzling $400,000 from the city under the Rudy Giuliani administration and possessing child pornography.

Harding's lawyer said his client did nothing wrong.

Cuomo also confirmed that Barrett Wissman, a Dallas businessman and hedge fund manager, pleaded guilty March 31 to securities-fraud charges. Prosecutors said Wissman helped two top Hevesi aides sell access to the $150 billion pension fund to investment firms.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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