NEW YORK (AP) — A former New York City councilman will spend five years in prison for misdirecting hundreds of thousands of dollars for community projects to his girlfriend and family instead, a judge said Tuesday.
Larry Seabrook, 61, a Bronx Democrat, received a sentence that was less than the seven to nine years in prison that the government had requested but far more than the non-prison sentence that his lawyers said he deserved.
U.S. District Judge Deborah A. Batts said Seabrook “held himself above the law” and acted illegally as a result of his sense of “entitlement, arrogance, nepotism and greed.” She also ordered him to pay $619,715 in restitution, including roughly $418,000 that he must forfeit. He was told to surrender by March 8.
Prior to the announcement of sentence, Seabrook told Batts he remained a “proud man” though he had accepted the jury’s verdict. Though no longer a councilman, he said he would continue to fight for others.
The judge took Seabrook’s achievements into consideration in deciding the sentence, but only minimally, saying “his qualities and accomplishments as a public official are vastly diminished” by his crimes.
Last summer, he was convicted of nine of 12 counts in a federal trial. The government presented evidence that Seabrook misdirected more than $2 million from 2002 through 2009 by channeling it to nonprofit organizations that he controlled but were not doing legitimate work.
Prosecutors said Seabrook paid more than $400,000 in salary and consulting fees over the seven-year span to his girlfriend, siblings and other relatives. They said the girlfriend took a salary even though she was unqualified to run a nonprofit.
The government also alleged at trial that Seabrook used a political club to launder public funds for personal use and evidence offered by prosecutors included a receipt that Seabrook submitted for reimbursement that had been doctored to boost the cost of a $7 bagel sandwich and a Snapple to $177.
After the sentence was announced, U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara issued a statement calling Seabrook “a flagrant and a serial abuser of City Council discretionary funds in a far too familiar New York tale of corruption.”
The conviction came a year after another jury deadlocked on fraud charges. At both trials, Seabrook, also a former state assemblyman and senator, vigorously denied any wrongdoing.
The case emerged from a wider probe into possible abuse of discretionary funds that the City Council sets aside for its members to use on community projects of their choice.
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This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (11/26-12/2)
28 photos Launch gallery
1. Little Legend and Puddy 😍😍😍😍
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2. "You on point Phife?" "all the time,Tip". 💥 #bannedfromnormal
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3. Vegan! The Impossible burger at Crossroads
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4. Lawrence #BeforeandAfterEpisodes 1-4: 184lbs 13% body fatEpisode 8: 196lbs 8% body fat S/O @coachdaveboxing with the works outs and @kildareriordan with the nutrition
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5. Jus haaaanngin out
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6. Meanwhile back at home in Atlanta GA someone mad they not on the 🛳. 😳
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7. No limits... Photo cred: Chris Bridges @ludacris
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8. new new
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9. Apparently my 260lbs is too much for the actual vines in the Hawaiian jungles to hold me without breaking and me falling hundreds of feet. So for safety purposes, I'm forced to swing thru #Jumanjj on wires strong enough to hold 12 adult buffaloes and 1 adult Rock. #OnSet #Jumanji #IronicallyIEatBuffaloDailyForLunch #MoreManThanNatureKnowsWhatToDoWith
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10. hey ma! 🎎#wcw 💙
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11. Surprise visit to our factories!!! #GoodAmerican #USA
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13. Peachy Keen 🔥✨⚡️
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14. If this don't look thankful I don't know what does. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours. #UltraBlessed #24kMagic #SweetPotatoFly
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15. Late nights @nbcmarlon with the writers... we in here!!!
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16. There goes my baaaaaaaaabbbbyyyyy #QueenKingMagic!!! We're up to something! Ira BIG!!! Stay out our buisness -
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17. You want to win every game you play but when you come home to these faces... who cares. #ILoveYouGirls best part of my day, everyday!
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18. Steady,steady..... full size jenga.. "I got this one "???? Or do I ?
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19. #BrotherlyLove #tbt
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21. #basel #TeamLOVE @kingcombs
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22. Just introduced a special screening of @directher 's groundbreaking (must see) documentary @13thfilm with my brother @themichaelealy | @unitedblackout #blackoutblackfriday
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23. Me & Vanessa Williams giving #DuckLips #Pose on the set of #DaytimeDivas @vh1 - Coming Soon to a tv near you. Lol. - My make up done by @makeupsurgeon
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24. Yesterday was my mama's 53rd birthday!!!!! Got to celebrate with her all day. If this is what I have to look forward to I can't wait. Looking like a soft bucket a cocoa butter. Yaaaaaaaaaas! 😍😍😍 love you mommy!
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25. "Shout out to @PureAtlanta for getting the family right"....I'm loving this jogger. 😍😍
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26. This pic warms my heart ❤️ #myLogiebeans and aunt aunt umba @itowandabraxton 😘
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27. You will always be my baby😜. #HappyBirthdayReginae #mybaby18
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28. GC "Gods Child" Red on Red SweatSuit available now at www.MonicaApparel.com ... Take Your Crown wherever you go!! I'm pictured in a Medium... Go to the site now for other options ... cc: @trukernell
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