Former Assemblyman Arrested in Fruit Basket Bribery Case
By Samuel Rubenfeld
Jimmy Meng, a former New York State assemblyman from Queens, was arrested Tuesday after he allegedly solicited a payment of $80,000 from a state-court defendant, claiming he would use the money to bribe prosecutors to get a reduced sentence.
Meng, who is the father of sitting Assemblywoman Grace Meng, was approached in 2011 by an individual identified by authorities only as a “cooperating witness” seeking help with a criminal tax case in state court in Manhattan.
Meng allegedly told the individual he would bribe each of the several prosecutors assigned to the case with $20,000 and the defendant would only receive a year in prison.
“Meng sought to be a power broker in the halls of justice. But the influence he sought to peddle was corrupt, and his power was illusory,” said Loretta Lynch, the U.S. Attorney for New York’s Eastern District, in a statement.
According to the complaint filed in the case, there was no evidence Meng actually contacted anyone in the Manhattan District Attorney’s office, but intended to keep the money for himself. He was charged with federal wire fraud.
Meng was arrested at a lumberyard he owns in Queens as he met with the cooperating witness and accepted a fruit basket filled with cash.
An attorney for Meng couldn’t be reached for comment by the Wall Street Journal, which reported on the arrest. More coverage of Meng’s arrest is available here, here and here. The complaint is available here.
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