The head of the New York City’s corrections union is facing federal corruption charges for allegedly steering $20 million of the union’s money into a hedge fund in exchange for kickbacks.
Norman Seabrook, the powerful president of the 11,000 member New York City Correction Officer’s Benevolent Association, was taken into custody by the FBI after being accused of accepting $60,000 in cash delivered to him in a $800 Ferragamo bag as payment in the kickback scheme.
According to the complaint, Seabrook expected to receive hundreds of thousands of dollars more in bribes from an investment firm.
Mr. Seabrook was suspended as a correction officer and released on a $250,000 bond after his arrest.
During Thursday’s edition of NewsOne Now, Dean Meminger, a TV news reporter/anchor for NY1 News, spoke with Roland Martin about the charges filed against Seabrook.
Meminger said the FBI “swooped in at his Bronx home and arrested” Seabrook on corruption charges, wire fraud, and conspiracy to commit wire fraud.
According to the NY1 criminal justice reporter, authorities claim Seabrook, “without the approval of other members from the union board, took $20 million from their pension fund and other funds and invested it in Platinum Partners,” a troubled hedge fund.
In return for diverting the large sum of cash, Seabrook was paid off.
Meminger added, “U.S. Attorney in New York in Manhattan Preet Bharara is not playing, he goes after everyone, so there are investigations currently going on against the NYPD — several high-ranking chiefs have been modified, guns taken away, their badges, some of them are retiring.”
“Supposedly through these businessmen they took some sort of kickbacks, as well as for various trips they were taking, and maybe they did favors for the businessmen.”
Meminger explained prior to Bharara assuming the position of U.S. Attorney in Manhattan, there were investigations into the fundraising habits of Mayor Bill de Blasio and his involvement with the questionable businessmen in the kickback scheme.
Meminger said Bharara is also “going after” New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, signifying, “The Feds are definitely digging deep” in search of corruption.
Watch Roland Martin and Dean Meminger discuss the federal corruption charges against Norman Seabrook and the widening dragnet of corruption investigations in the video clip above.
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