Norman Seabrook, the troubled ex-head of the NYC correction officers’ union, pleaded not guilty Friday to an alleged bribery scheme even as the government announced it has collected wiretaps in the corruption case in three languages: English, Spanish and even Yiddish.
“Absolutely not guilty, sir,” Seabrook told Manhattan federal Judge Andrew Carter. Seabrook’s alleged co-conspirator, hedge fund manager Murray Huberfeld, also pleaded not guilty Friday.
Seabrook, former president of the Correction Officers’ Benevolent Association, was arrested in June, along with Huberfeld, for allegedly directing union money to Huberfeld’s hedge fund, Platinum Partners, in exchange for a cut of the profits.
The men were indicted on two counts and face a maximum of 40 years in prison.
“We will be vindicated. God is good God,” a swaggering Seabrook told a throng of reporters and other spectators outside the Manhattan federal courthouse.
Minutes earlier, prosecutor Russell Capone told Carter that the government has collected wiretaps from four cellphones in English, Yiddish and Spanish — as well as thousands of emails from Seabrook, Huberfeld and other co-conspirators.
The government tapped the phones of Orthodox Jewish businessman Jeremy Reichberg and Spanish-speaking former restaurant owner Hamlet Peralta, both of whom were associates of Seabrook’s, sources said. The government also tapped the phone of Reichberg’s former pal, real estate investor Jona Rechnitz, who began cooperating with the government in multiple corruption probes this past spring, sources said.
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