Prosecutors Seek Prison Term for Seabrook of More Than 7 Years
By Benjamin Weiser
Federal prosecutors in Manhattan have asked a judge to sentence former City Councilman Larry B. Seabrook to at least seven and a quarter years in prison for his conviction on political corruption charges in July.
Mr. Seabrook, 61, a Bronx Democrat, was found guilty of orchestrating a broad scheme to funnel hundreds of thousands of dollars in city funds to relatives, friends and a girlfriend through a network of nonprofit groups that he controlled.
“There is no serious question that Councilman Seabrook abused a position of public trust,” the office of Preet Bharara, the United States attorney for the Southern District of New York, said in a sentencing memorandum filed late Tuesday.
Mr. Seabrook was convicted on 9 of 12 counts, including wire and mail fraud, after a trial that lasted just over a month. In an earlier trial, a judge declared a mistrial late last year when the jury said it was unable to reach a verdict.
With his conviction, Mr. Seabrook automatically lost his Council seat, which a community activist, Andy King Jr., was elected to fill this month.
In the sentencing memo, three prosecutors — Randall W. Jackson, Karl Metzner and Steve C. Lee — asked Judge Deborah A. Batts to impose a term within the advisory sentencing guidelines, seven and a quarter years to nine years in prison.
Mr. Seabrook’s lawyers have not yet filed a sentencing recommendation. One of them, Anthony L. Ricco, declined on Wednesday to say what the defense would recommend, but added, “The law requires the court to consider many factors in determining the proper sentence, not just the federal sentencing guidelines.”
The prosecutors’ memo summarized the evidence at trial, asserting that between 2002 and 2009, Mr. Seabrook used his role as a city councilman “to steer hundreds of thousands of dollars” to the nonprofits, despite knowing that they were improperly staffed, failing to fulfill their responsibilities under various contracts and submitting fraudulent documentation to the city.
“This activity inevitably eroded public confidence in government and promoted cynicism regarding important government programs,” the prosecutors wrote.
Mr. Seabrook is scheduled to be sentenced on Jan. 8.