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NYC Councilman Accused of Corruption

NEW YORK (CN) - City Councilman Larry Seabrook surrendered to authorities on Tuesday, facing a long list of federal charges, including money laundering, extortion and fraud. The 66-page indictment accuses the three-term Bronx Democrat ranges from helping an associate win a deal to install boilers at the new Yankee Stadium to overcharging a Democratic group $170 for a $7 bagel sandwich and diet soda.

The indictment says that between July 2006 and April 2009, Seabrook solicited a series of payments totaling $50,000 from an unspecified associate to help him win the Yankee Stadium contract. The associate is not identified in the indictment.

The checks were primarily issued, "at Seabrook's discretion," to the North East Bronx Community Democratic Club, which Seabrook "operated and controlled," the indictment says.

"In most cases, Seabrook personally endorsed, and in some cases even deposited, the checks he solicited" from the associate.

From July 2006 to December 2008, the indictment says Seabrook steered $41,000 worth of "corrupt payments" to the political club's bank account.

After routing the money, Seabrook took it "for his own use," the indictment states, claiming Seabrook submitted receipts for "purported expenditures he had made in connection" with the club's business, then "directed the signatory to reimburse him for these purported expenditures"

In one specific incident, Seabrook is accused of submitting a receipt for a bagel sandwich and diet soda that he bought near City Hall.

"The original cost of this purchase was approximately $7, but the receipt had been doctored so that the cost of the purchase appeared to be approximately $177," according to the indictment.

The indictment continued: "Seabrook submitted receipts for hundreds of dollars of expenses that he had not, himself, incurred.

"For example, Seabrook submitted receipts for expenses incurred in New York at a time when he was traveling in Florida," the indictment states.

Seabrook also "submitted receipts for expenses apparently incurred by his family, including his wife ... for expenses that he could not possibly have incurred himself," according to the indictment.

Seabrook also was accused of seeking reimbursement for more than $2,700 of expenditures that had, "in fact, already been reimbursed," the indictment says.

Seabrook also submitted $7,000 worth of receipts for expenses that occurred outside New York state, including $1,800 in Florida and more than $4,700 for gas in New Jersey, "where he neither lived nor worked," according to the indictment.

In all, Seabrook converted funds from the political club totaling more than $44,000.

To hide his alleged scheme, authorities say Seabrook directed the payments be made to a third party, including the political club.

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