Yonkers man accused of lying to grand jury in casino-rigging case involving his sister-in-law

A Yonkers man is accused of lying last year to a Westchester County grand jury, which indicted his sister-in-law and two others in a game-rigging scheme at Empire City casino in Yonkers.

Michael Mitchell, (left) a 39-year-old Yonkers resident, was arraigned in White Plains City Court today on a felony charge of first-degree perjury for his grand jury testimony in June 2009 regarding rigged promotional contests at the racetrack and casino.

According to the District Attorney’s office, Mitchell testified that he recruited his brother, Brian Mitchell, to take part in a rigged contest as a phony prize winner in 2008.

Brian Mitchell has been dead since July 2001.

Mitchell is married to the sister of Donna Cronin, who with Alicia Murray and Terence Osborne were indicted in the scheme by that same grand jury. They later pleaded guilty to grand larceny and fraud charges.

All three were sentenced to five years’ probation, with Murray serving 12 weekends in jail. Murray, who was just sentenced on Tuesday, was the last defendant in the case.

Lucian Chalfen, a spokesman for the District Attorney’s office, said the office did not intentionally delay charging Mitchell until the case was closed. He said Mitchell is facing federal charges in unrelated cases, and those cases took precedent.

Mitchell pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court to social security fraud in connection to his deceased brother. He previously plead guilty in U.S. District Court to perjury, conspiracy and embezzlement involving corruption and kickbacks when he was a union shop steward.

Chalfen said Mitchell’s alleged perjury would not affect the convictions of the three defendants in the case, as there were more than 40 other witnesses who testified before the grand jury in the case.

Mitchell’s bail was set at $5,000.  He faces up to seven years in state prison if convicted of first-degree perjury.