NYC Correction Officers’ Union Head Arrested In Corruption Probe
Correction officers’ union chief Norman Seabrook was busted by the feds Wednesday on corruption prices for allegedly promoting himself for a “Ferragamo bag full of cash,” authorities stated.
Seabrook, president of the Correction Officers’ Benevolent Affiliation, was arrested by the FBI at his Bronx house and accused of receiving $60,000 in kickbacks stuffed contained in the $820 bag, in response to federal officials.
“For a Ferragamo bag full of money, Norman Seabrook allegedly sold himself,” Manhattan US Attorney Preet Bharara mentioned at a press conference saying the bust in connection with a sweeping corruption probe of City Corridor and the NYPD.
Also arrested was former Platinum Companions hedge-fund honcho Murray Huberfeld. They’re charged with sincere providers wire fraud.
“It’s a very simple-and-easy quid pro quo. The quid being the $60,000. In return for that kickback there was a quo: Norman Seabrook utilizing his power as head of the union” to direct cash to the fund beforehand run by Huberfeld, Bharara mentioned.
Seabrook was anticipated to earn between $100,000 to $one hundred fifty,000 in kickbacks, according to the federal complaint.
Bharara said it was the first time Platinum Partners had acquired union pension cash.
“Just as high-internet-value traders had been getting out of the fund, Seabrook was getting in with union retirement cash,” he mentioned.
Seabrook made selections “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 found a bag that matched the outline from the Ferragamo receipt, he stated. They also discovered 10 pairs of Ferragamo sneakers.
A corrections officer who dropped by to check out the scene had harsh words for the busted union boss.
“He’s filled with s—. All of us anticipated this kind of factor from him. He can’t be trusted,” the officer instructed The Publish, declining to be identified however showing his credentials.
Mayor de Blasio stated Seabrook can be suspended.
“If confirmed true, it’s disgusting and it’s very, very unhappy. 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 Companions, according to the complaint..
Around December 2013, Huberfeld confirmed to a third party that Platinum was willing to make “substantial payments” to Seabrook in alternate for COBA’s investment into the corporate, according to the complaint.
The third social gathering – referred to as a cooperating witness however unnamed in the complaint — is Jona Rechnitz, a donor to de Blasio who is at the center of a sweeping corruption probe, sources told The Publish.
Rechnitz, who launched Seabrook to Huberfled, has pleaded guilty to conspiracy, in keeping with the complaint.
Huberfeld informed Rechnitz that if COBA invested with Platinum, the corporate would get, as a part of its compensation, 20 % of the revenue on the union’s funding – and that Platinum would agree to pay the union boss 10 p.c of its 20 p.c share, the feds say.
When the intermediary offered the supply to Seabrook, the union chief asked: “How much is Norman Seabrook going to get paid ”
After consulting with Huberfeld, Rechnitz advised Seabrook that the amount could possibly be between $a hundred,000 and $a hundred and fifty,000 a yr, the complaint says.
Before assembly Seabrook on Dec. Eleven, 2014, Rechnitz went to Salvatore Ferragamo – Seabrook’s favourite luxury-items retailer – and bought him the expensive bag, which he full of $60,000.
The kickback was disguised and invoiced as being for tickets to “8 Knicks Games @ 7500 per game” for two seats, in accordance with the complaint, which noted that the team’s document was a dismal four-20 that yr.
Seabrook was apparently unimpressed, nevertheless, complaining angrily that the money was not as much as he had been promised, the feds say.
Former NYPD Chief of Department Philip Banks and a number of other different excessive-ranking cops attended the journey, sources have mentioned. Banks resigned from the pressure in 2014.
The FBI is investigating whether or not the two businessmen supplied free holidays and different freebies to Seabrook and Banks.
De Blasio stated he has not spoken to Seabrook in “several months.”
“We have so much we’ve been making an attempt to change on Rikers Island. Sometimes he was prepared to work with us, generally he wasn’t,” he mentioned. “But the reform on Rikers Island will proceed aggressively, I want 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 town authorities.
“Although investigations continue, I imagine that the vast majority of the problems have been identified and clearly within the context of the police department they’re being acted on very aggressively,” he said. “What he did involved his own union, his personal pension fund, which is separate from town government obviously.”
Gov. Andrew Cuomo said he salvatore ferragamo trousers was troubled by the “drip, drip, drip of alleged scandals.”
“Now all of this comes collectively. People are alienated. People are sad with government. People are dissatisfied with politicians,” Cuomo said.