Former Queens County Assemblyman Jimmy Meng has been sentenced to one month in prison and ordered to pay a $30,000 fine by Brooklyn Federal Judge Allyne R. Ross.
“[Meng] took an honorable office and tried to besmirch it,” said Todd D. Kaminsky, an assistant United States attorney in Brooklyn. Kaminsky urged the Ross send Meng to prison for the 12 to 18 months.
In November 2012, Meng plead guilty to wire fraud for soliciting $80,000 in cash from a state court defendant and falsely claiming that he would use the money to bribe prosecutors in the New York County District Attorney’s Office in Manhattan to obtain a reduced sentence for the defendant.
The government’s investigation uncovered no evidence that Meng actually contacted anyone in the District Attorney’s Office on the state court defendant’s behalf, but instead planned to keep the bribe money for himself.
Meng was arrested in July 2012 based on a complaint that detailed his fraudulent bribe scheme. As set forth in the complaint, in 2011, a grand jury in Manhattan returned an indictment charging the state court defendant with tax crimes. Thereafter, the state court defendant approached Meng and sought his advice and assistance in the case.
Meng told the state court defendant that several assistant district attorneys in the District Attorney’s Office had been assigned to his case, and if the state court defendant used Meng to pay them $20,000 each, the state court defendant would be sentenced to one year in prison, a sentence substantially below the plea offer.
The state court defendant had recorded numerous telephone calls and meetings with Meng that captured Meng engaging in the charged bribe scheme. For example, in a recorded conversation at a lumber yard owned by Meng in January 2012, Meng instructed the CW to collect $80,000 in cash and conceal it in a basket of fruit, which Meng would arrange to have picked up. “Give it to me and I will give it to [the ADA],” Meng said.
“Jimmy Meng held himself out as a power broker, able to buy and sell justice. In reality, he was a swindler who tried to obtain $80,000 for a nonexistent bribery scheme,” said Eastern District U.S. Attorney Loretta Lynch.
In addition to the one-month sentence and fine, Meng was sentenced to four months of house arrest, during which he must wear an electronic-tracking device, and 750 hours of community service.