Hank Morris, the top aide to former state comptroller Alan Hevesi, pleaded guilty to securities fraud yesterday. It is the final guilty plea in the massive state pension fraud scandal which saw Hevesi, Morris and six others steer business to investment firms who would give them fees or favors in return. Morris said in court, "I intentionally engaged in fraud, deception, concealment, suppression, false pretense and fictitious and pretended purchase and sale and made material false representations and statements with intent to deceive and defraud."

As part of his plea deal, Morris will also return $19 million in ill-gotten fees to NY State and is also banned from the securities industry. Attorney General Andrew Cuomo said, "Hank Morris used his influence at the New York State comptroller’s office to stockpile millions in fees for himself from state pension fund investments. Through his scheme, Morris personified pay-to-play corruption. With this plea, funds will be rightly restored to the State of New York, and justice will be served."

Morris will be sentenced in February; he faces up to four years in prison.