Jimmy Meng, a former assemblyman from Queens and the father of Congressional candidate Grace Meng, was arrested on fraud charges yesterday. And then after he made his $1 million bail, the Post reports, he "called an FBI informant at the center of his bribery case in what appeared to be a possible attempt to obstruct justice, officials said today." When Jimmy Meng does something, he really does it!
According to the FBI, Meng was charged with federal 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." The authorities say that Meng never "actually contacted anyone in the District Attorney’s Office on the individual’s behalf but instead planned to keep the 'bribe money' for himself." From a FBI press release:
[B]etween December 2011 and July 2012, the CW [cooperating witness], acting at the direction of FBI special agents, recorded numerous telephone calls and meetings with Meng which captured Meng discussing the charged bribe scheme... For example, the complaint alleges that in January 2012, the CW met with Meng at Meng’s lumber yard in Queens. During the recorded conversation, Meng told the CW that if the CW received a sentence of more than two years in jail, Meng would return the CW’s money, except for a $2,000 errand fee: “I’ll be responsible. 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 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. Meng told the CW that several ADAs were assigned to the CW’s case and that each of the ADAs had to agree on the resolution of the CW’s case for the bribe scheme to succeed. Meng explained that he had already initiated contact with the ADAs and told the CW that in order to ensure the secrecy of the purported bribe scheme, “You can never say in the future that Jimmy Meng helped me find people.”
At a hearing today, prosecutors revealed that Meng had contacted the "CW." Magistrate Judge Cheryl Pollak said, "Mr. Meng, it is violation of the bond to threaten or influence the testimony of anyone involved in your case," the judge said from the bench. If you do it again, you're going to go into jail. Because if I find out that the witness feels intimidated, you're going into custody."
The Daily News adds, "After his arrest, federal officials gave Meng an opportunity to cooperate in an ongoing corruption investigation that includes City Comptroller John Liu's fund-raising in the Asian community. But he refused to join the government team, sources said."