More than 90 percent of embattled State Senator John Sampson’s donations for the last filing period came from one man: George Fortunato, a reputed Gambino crime family associate.
Fortunato gave the pol $10,500 last month. The next largest contribution was $500 from a lobbyist.
According to the New York Post, Fortunato is considered a “dormant” associate and not under investigation, although he has been identified as an unindicted co-conspirator in an extortion plot connected to Peter Gotti.
Sampson described the mobbed up Mill Basin resident as a “close family friend.” His treasurer confirmed that the pol went to Fortunato to seek the contribution.
The Post reports:
Fortunato, of Mill Basin, has been a Sampson supporter since at least 1999.
Sampson was his defense lawyer after he was busted on hate-crime charges in a 2003 attack on a Chinese woman in a Queens restaurant. Fortunato’s wife, Jackie, and a daughter, Annamarie, were also arrested.
Charges against Annamarie were dropped. George and Jackie pleaded guilty to assault in a deal that spared them prison in exchange for taking racial-sensitivity and anger-management classes.
Sampson was a sitting state senator when he represented Fortunto. That was also the same year Fotunato was identified as a co-conspirator.
Sampson is currently under indictment for allegedly embezzling more than $400,000 from the sale of foreclosed homes to finance a political campaign, as well as separate charges for lying to the FBI about a liquor store he owned.
Sampson’s campaign donations came under the scope late last month as well. His rival accused him of running a campaign with a $28,746 deficit, suggesting that the pol was hiding sources of revenue. Approximately a dozen donations also listed the donors’ addresses as the senator’s office, even though they did not work there.