NYC Correction Officers’ Union Head Arrested In Corruption Probe
Correction officers’ union chief Norman Seabrook was busted by the feds Wednesday on corruption charges for allegedly promoting himself for a “Ferragamo bag full of money,” authorities said.
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 inside the $820 bag, in response to federal officials.
“For a Ferragamo bag full of money, Norman Seabrook allegedly offered himself,” Manhattan US Attorney Preet Bharara stated at a press convention announcing the bust in connection with a sweeping corruption probe of Metropolis Hall and the NYPD.
Additionally arrested was former Platinum Partners hedge-fund honcho Murray Huberfeld. They’re charged with trustworthy companies wire fraud.
“It’s a quite simple-and-straightforward quid pro quo. The quid being the $60,000. In return for that kickback there was a quo: Norman Seabrook utilizing his energy as head of the union” to direct money to the fund previously run by Huberfeld, Bharara mentioned.
Seabrook was anticipated to earn between $a hundred,000 to $a hundred and fifty,000 in kickbacks, in line with the federal complaint.
Bharara stated it was the primary time Platinum Companions had obtained union pension money.
“Just as excessive-net-worth traders were getting out of the fund, Seabrook was getting in with union retirement money,” 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 residence, FBI brokers found a bag that matched the description from the Ferragamo receipt, he mentioned. Additionally they discovered 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—. All of us anticipated this sort of factor from him. He can’t be trusted,” the officer told The Post, declining to be recognized but showing his credentials.
Mayor de Blasio said Seabrook can be suspended.
“If proven true, it’s disgusting and it’s very, very unhappy. It means he stole cash from his personal employees,” Hizzoner said.
Between November 2013 and 2015, Seabrook received kickbacks for steering more than $20 million in wire transfers from the union’s pension fund to Platinum Companions, in accordance with the complaint..
Round December 2013, Huberfeld confirmed to a third social gathering that Platinum was keen to make “substantial payments” to Seabrook in change for COBA’s investment into the corporate, based on the complaint.
The third get together – known as a cooperating witness however unnamed within the complaint — is Jona Rechnitz, a donor to de Blasio who’s at the center of a sweeping corruption probe, sources advised The Submit.
Rechnitz, who introduced Seabrook to Huberfled, has pleaded guilty to conspiracy, in line with the complaint.
Huberfeld told 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 percent of its 20 p.c share, the feds say.
When the intermediary offered the provide to Seabrook, the union chief requested: “How much is Norman Seabrook going to receives a commission ”
After consulting with Huberfeld, Rechnitz advised Seabrook that the quantity could possibly be between $a hundred,000 and $one hundred fifty,000 a year, the complaint says.
Before meeting Seabrook on Dec. Eleven, 2014, Rechnitz went to Salvatore Ferragamo – Seabrook’s favourite luxurious-goods retailer – and purchased him the pricey bag, which he full of $60,000.
The kickback was disguised and invoiced as being for tickets to “8 Knicks Video games @ 7500 per game” for two seats, in line with the complaint, which noted that the team’s report was a dismal four-20 that year.
Seabrook was apparently unimpressed, however, complaining angrily that the money was not as a lot as he sunglasses ferragamo sf 776 s 002 matt black had been promised, the feds say.
Former NYPD Chief of Department Philip Banks and several other excessive-ranking cops attended the trip, sources have mentioned. Banks resigned from the pressure in 2014.
The FBI is investigating whether or not the two businessmen provided free holidays and other freebies to Seabrook and Banks.
De Blasio said he has not spoken to Seabrook in “several months.”
“We have so much we’ve been making an attempt to alter on Rikers Island. Typically he was prepared to work with us, generally he wasn’t,” he said. “But the reform on Rikers Island will continue aggressively, I need to make that very clear. We’re adamant about changing the tradition of Rikers Island.”
The mayor sought to separate the case in opposition to Seabrook from the scandal enveloping town government.
“Although investigations continue, I believe that the overwhelming majority of the problems have been recognized and obviously within 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 authorities obviously.”
Gov. Andrew Cuomo stated he was troubled by the “drip, drip, drip of alleged scandals.”
“Now all of this comes together. Persons are alienated. Persons are sad with government. Persons are dissatisfied with politicians,” Cuomo said.