Star witness in Percoco trial arrested

Former lobbyist Todd Howe leaves federal court after

Former lobbyist Todd Howe leaves federal court after

The government's star witness in the corruption trial for Joseph Percoco, a former aide to Gov. Andrew Cuomo, was arrested Monday after admitting during cross-examination by a defense attorney on Thursday that he violated the terms of his cooperation agreement with prosecutors.

Todd Howe's presentment Friday capped off an explosive first week for the disgraced former lobbyist in a federal trial implicating some of New York's most powerful political figures, as well as energy and real estate titans.

Under his deal, prosecutors agreed to seek leniency for Howe when he's sentenced for eight felonies - but only if he told them about all his misdeeds and didn't commit more.

But during blistering cross-examination Thursday, Howe admitted that he tried defrauding a hotel about a month after he signed that agreement with prosecutors.

Howe's court appearance today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Stewart Aaron was about two minutes long.

Percoco is accused of pocketing some $300,000 in bribes.

.

Howe had been out on bail based on the 2016 plea to bribery and embezzlement. He also spent an undisclosed amount on the mini bar.

"I do, looking at this, yes", said Howe, who had been shown a copy of the agreement. "You called your credit card company and lied about staying at the Waldorf the very night you were seeing the government?"

Asked whether Howe will continue his testimony next week, Morvillo replied, "That's an interesting question".

"As you sit here now, do you realize you're in violation of your cooperation agreement?"

He said he wasn't sure if the cops charged him but admitted "it looks as though" a trial was scheduled, adding, "I don't know that I went to it".

"As you sit here now, do you think they're going to rip it up?"

The revelation at the end of the court day came after Gitner earlier had exposed the fact that Howe had failed to tell prosecutors that he lied on a disability application by failing to reveal that he had been convicted of a felony in 2010 for cheating a bank.

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