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Revised fraud case, fewer charges in second trial for ex-NY Senate leader Joseph Bruno

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ALBANY, New York — When the former leader of New York's Senate goes to trial next month for the second time, he'll stand accused of only two charges under a revised fraud case alleging he took actual bribes or kickbacks.

Retired Sen. Joseph Bruno is accused of accepting more than $400,000 from a businessman for helping with state grants.

The 85-year-old Rensselaer County Republican led the Senate's majority for 14 years before stepping down in 2008.

He has denied any wrongdoing, maintaining he was paid for outside consulting work.

Bruno was acquitted in 2009 of five fraud counts and convicted of two others.

The convictions were overturned on appeal after the U.S. Supreme Court required proof of bribes or kickbacks in so-called honest services fraud cases.

Prosecutors refiled those two charges. Trial is scheduled May 5.

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