Former Assemblymember Jimmy Meng, Father Of Grace Meng, Arrested On Bribary Charge
Former Queens Assemblymember Jimmy Meng, the father of Assemblymember and congressional candidate Grace Meng, was arrested by the FBI on July 24 on charges that he allegedly promised to help a man bribe Manhattan prosecutors.
Instead, the potential bribe money went into his pocket, all $80,000 of it, allegedly.
In the grandious plot, Meng allegedly told the victim, who was facing state tax offenses in Manhattan, that he wanted the bribe money to pay off prosecutors delivered to him in a fruit basket. Meng allegedly told the person (an informant) that he could get the sentence reduced to one year if he paid off the trio of assistant district attorneys.
“Meng...promised he could reduce a defendant’s sentence, but only if they paid the right price and promised to keep Meng’s intentions a secret,” said FBI Assistant Director in Charge Janice Fedarcyk in a statement.
“As it turns out, Meng was only looking to pad his own pockets in the form of a bountiful fruit basket worth $80,000 in bribe money.”
Meng never contacted the Manhattan DA’s office and intended to keep the money for himself, according to the FBI.
Meng met the informant last December, and said that he would have to pay each of the attorney’s $20,000 to get a one-year jail term, according to the criminal complaint. For $120,000 he allegedly promised that he could guarantee no jail time.
After the meeting, the person started to cooperate with investigators and agreed to record numerous phone conversations and meetings with Meng about the alleged bribe relating to the 2011 tax case.
During a meeting between the two in January at Meng’s lumberyard in Queens, Meng told the person to put $80,000 in a basket of fruit and then send someone to collect it.
On Tuesday the informant met Meng hear his lumberyard with thousands of dollars in the fruit basket.
Meng allegedly accepted the cash and was placed under arrest by the FBI.
Assemblymember Grace Meng responded with the following statement, "I am schocked and deeply saddened by these allegations. Prior to this afternoon's reports, I had no knowledge of my father's actions or the investigation. I am independent of my father-always have been, always will be. Until more facts emerge and we have a better understanding of the situation, the only thing further I'll say is that I urge my father to fully cooperate with all authorites."
The former assemblymember faces 20 years in jail on wire fraud charges if convicted.