Libous' son, Matthew, was charged in a separate indictment with filing false tax returns and obstructing a tax investigation. Father and son appeared separately before a federal judge in White Plains for arraignment.
Libous, a Republican, is in his 13th term in the state Senate representing a Binghamton-area district. He is deputy majority coalition leader, making him the No. 2 Republican in the Senate, and a close ally of Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
Federal investigators charge that Libous lied to FBI agents, who interviewed him in 2010 about allegations that he used his influence to secure his son a job with a Binghamton law firm. He also allegedly denied -- falsely -- that he knew nothing about an arrangement with a lobbying company that paid the law firm $50,000 a year to cover part of his son's salary.
The New York Times said friends report that Libous acknowledges he made a call to help his son get a job but did not promise to do anything in return. A friend also told the newspaper Libous was surprised by the charges.