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January 16, 2016
NYC Correction Officers’ Union Head Arrested In Corruption Probe
Correction officers’ union chief Norman Seabrook was busted by the feds Wednesday on corruption expenses for allegedly selling himself for a “Ferragamo bag full of money,” authorities mentioned.
Seabrook, president of the Correction Officers’ Benevolent ferragamo london heathrow Affiliation, was arrested by the FBI at his Bronx home and accused of receiving $60,000 in kickbacks stuffed contained in the $820 bag, in accordance with federal officials.
“For a Ferragamo bag full of cash, Norman Seabrook allegedly offered himself,” Manhattan US Legal professional Preet Bharara stated at a press conference asserting the bust in connection with a sweeping corruption probe of Metropolis Corridor and the NYPD.
Also arrested was former Platinum Partners hedge-fund honcho Murray Huberfeld. They’re charged with trustworthy providers wire fraud.
“It’s a very simple-and-simple quid pro quo. The quid being the $60,000. In return for that kickback there was a quo: Norman Seabrook using his energy as head of the union” to direct money to the fund beforehand run by Huberfeld, Bharara said.
Seabrook was anticipated to earn between $100,000 to $150,000 in kickbacks, in line with the federal complaint.
Bharara said it was the primary time Platinum Partners had obtained union pension cash.
“Just as high-net-price traders had been getting out of the fund, Seabrook was getting in with union retirement cash,” he mentioned.
Seabrook made decisions “based not on what was good for his union members, however primarily based on what was good for Norman Seabrook,” he added.
In a search of Seabrook’s house, FBI agents discovered a bag that matched the outline from the Ferragamo receipt, he stated. In addition they found 10 pairs of Ferragamo shoes.
A corrections officer who dropped by to check out the scene had harsh words for the busted union boss.
“He’s filled with s—. We all anticipated this type of thing from him. He can’t be trusted,” the officer instructed The Put up, declining to be recognized however showing his credentials.
Mayor de Blasio stated Seabrook could be suspended.
“If proven true, it’s disgusting and it’s very, very sad. It means he stole money from his personal staff,” Hizzoner mentioned.
Between November 2013 and 2015, Seabrook acquired kickbacks for steering greater than $20 million in wire transfers from the union’s pension fund to Platinum Partners, based on the complaint..
Round December 2013, Huberfeld confirmed to a 3rd get together that Platinum was prepared to make “substantial payments” to Seabrook in alternate for COBA’s funding into the corporate, in response to the complaint.
The third social gathering – known as a cooperating witness but unnamed within the complaint — is Jona Rechnitz, a donor to de Blasio who is at the center of a sweeping corruption probe, sources informed The Publish.
Rechnitz, who introduced Seabrook to Huberfled, has pleaded responsible to conspiracy, in response to the complaint.
Huberfeld told Rechnitz that if COBA invested with Platinum, the corporate would get, as a part of its compensation, 20 % of the profit on the union’s investment – and that Platinum would conform to pay the union boss 10 percent of its 20 % share, the feds say.
When the middleman offered the offer to Seabrook, the union chief requested: “How a lot is Norman Seabrook going to receives a commission ”
After consulting with Huberfeld, Rechnitz told Seabrook that the amount could be between $a hundred,000 and $a hundred and fifty,000 a year, the complaint says.
Before meeting Seabrook on Dec. Eleven, 2014, Rechnitz went to Salvatore Ferragamo ferragamo london heathrow – Seabrook’s favorite luxurious-goods store – and bought him the expensive bag, which he crammed with $60,000.
The kickback was disguised and invoiced as being for tickets to “8 Knicks Video games @ 7500 per game” for two seats, based on the complaint, which famous that the team’s document was a dismal 4-20 that yr.
Seabrook was apparently unimpressed, however, complaining angrily that the money was not as a lot as he had been promised, the feds say.
Former NYPD Chief of Department Philip Banks and a number of other other high-rating cops attended the trip, sources have said. Banks resigned from the force in 2014.
The FBI is investigating whether the two businessmen provided free vacations and different freebies to Seabrook and Banks.
De Blasio mentioned he has not spoken to Seabrook in “several months.”
“We have so much we’ve been attempting to alter on Rikers Island. Generally he was willing to work with us, typically he wasn’t,” he stated. “But the reform on Rikers Island will proceed aggressively, I need to make that very clear. We’re adamant about changing the culture of Rikers Island.”
The mayor sought to separate the case in opposition to Seabrook from the scandal enveloping the city authorities.
“Although investigations continue, I consider that the overwhelming majority of the problems have been recognized and clearly in the context of the police department they’re being acted on very aggressively,” he said. “What he did concerned his own union, his personal pension fund, which is separate from town government obviously.”
Gov. Andrew Cuomo said he was troubled by the “drip, drip, drip of alleged scandals.”
“Now all of this comes collectively. People are alienated. Individuals are sad with government. People are dissatisfied with politicians,” Cuomo mentioned.