A local contractor who admitted that he manufactured crimes allegedly committed by former Rochester Housing Authority Chairman George Moses has been charged with perjury and obstruction of justice.
During the trial last year of Moses, contractor Francis Cardinell, of Penfield, stunned the courtroom when, during cross-examination, he admitted that he had lied about taking kickbacks from Moses. Those allegations were among the bevy of charges brought against Moses, who ultimately was convicted of 28 criminal counts.
He had claimed that large checks he'd written for cash were then used to pay Moses, but he had lied, Cardinell said during the cross-examination.
"In fact, you did not pay kickbacks to George Moses, did you, sir?" defense lawyer Spencer Durland asked during the November courtroom session.
"No," Cardinell answered.
"That is what I thought. You recognize, of course, that the government has charged George Moses with receiving kickbacks, right?"
"You're aware of that, aren't you, sir?"
"But that did not happen?"
"No," Cardinell said.
After the admission, federal prosecutors had three criminal charges against Moses dismissed. Those charges rested on Cardinell's claims that he had provided about $25,000 to Moses in kickbacks.
Cardinell later admitted in a private meeting with federal prosecutors that he had lied at the trial and earlier before a grand jury because "he was spiteful of Moses for the troubles he was having as a contractor," court papers say. Cardinell had worked with Moses on some nonprofit projects and Cardinell was financially struggling, records show.
Defense attorneys attempted to use Cardinell's lies to color the entire prosecution of Moses, but the jury still found him guilty of 28 of the remaining 29 counts. Several jurors attended Moses' sentencing last week, when U.S. District Judge Elizabeth Wolford sentenced him to 6½ years.
Moses was found guilty of fraud, money laundering and lies on federal taxes. Among his crimes was a frequent use of the money for a neighborhood group he headed for personal purposes, such as a Knicks' game and a Florida timeshare.
Federal prosecutors declined to comment on the charges against Cardinell, 76. The Democrat and Chronicle has attempted to reach the attorney for Cardinell.
This article originally appeared on Rochester Democrat and Chronicle: Francis Cardinell who lied about George Moses' crimes charged