Former Queens Assemblyman Jimmy Meng, father of Assemblywoman Grace Meng, has been arrested for allegedly soliciting $80,000 in cash from a court defendant and promising to use the money to bribe Manhattan prosecutors between December 2011 and July 2012, U.S. Attorney Loretta Lynch’s office announced this afternoon.
Federal investigators found the ex-legislator did not contact anyone in the district attorney’s office and planned to keep the bribe money for himself. This morning, Meng was arrested after a cooperating witness (CW) brought the $80,000 in a fruit basket to a lumber yard owned by Meng.
If convicted of wire fraud, Meng would spend a maximum of up to 20 years in prison.
The investigation arose from a state tax fraud case involving a cooperating witness who was indicted in 2011. Meng allegedly offered to help the individual by paying off four district attorneys with $20,000 each – an offer prompting the witness to work with federal prosecutors to probe Meng instead.
In January 2012, the witness met Meng at his Flushing lumber yard and recorded their conversation in which the ex-pol promised to take the heat off, unless he got a sentence more than two years. In that case, Meng would keep a $2,000 fee.
“I’ll be responsible,” Meng allegedly told the witness. “If [sic] didn’t get it done for you, right? Over three years, right? Over two years, right? Then just charge you $2,000 – $2,000 for running errands and the rest – I take responsibility – will be returned to you completely.”
Meng then ordered the witness to collect $80,000 and put it in a fruit basket, which he would arrange for an associate to pick up.
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