By AMANDA ANDRIES
Former New York State Assemblyman and millionaire Jimmy Meng, who became the first Asian-American elected to the legislature in state history, was sentenced Tuesday to one month in jail for his involvement in a $80,000,bribery plot.
Meng, 70, appeared with his attorney, Todd Greenberg, before United States District Judge Allyne R. Ross at the U.S. Courthouse in Brooklyn. Greenberg spoke for over 45 minutes about Meng’s irreproachable character before he became involved in the bribery scheme.
Then a tearful Meng made a statement on his own behalf, begging the judge for leniency.
“I’m truly sorry because of my stupid actions,” he said. “I am a very good person who made a mistake in my life.”
Assistant U.S. Attorney Todd Kaminsky demanded that Meng receive the guideline sentence of 12 to 18 months (much reduced because of his plea), for fraudulently claiming that he would pay off DA’s to gain a reduced sentence for businessman Eric Hu who was convicted of tax fraud
“He tried every trick that he could to get Mr. Hu to hire an attorney and he had the bribe hidden in a fruit basket,” Kaminsky said, referring to the $80, 000 that Meng had Hu hide in a fruit basket. Meng then sent someone to collect the basket, but was caught in an FBI sting.
Although Judge Ross said that a government investigation did not uncover any evidence that Meng actually contacted anyone in the Manhattan’s DA’s office, he did pleade guilty to the crimes. The judge also took Meng’s advanced age, air jordan 3 health problems and civic service into consideration in granting clemency
“He cajoled and lied to the victim and used threats that he would severely harm the victim,” the judge said. “He traded in civic status to enrich himself.”
She then went on to lay out his full punishment which included one month in jail, 750 hours of community service, mental health evaluations, a $30, 000 fine, four months of home confinement while wearing an electronic monitoring bracelet and two years probation.
Meng’s daughter, Congresswoman Grace Meng, sat in the courtroom to support her father and wiped away tears as he spoke in his defense. Grace Meng took over her father’s office after the scandal broke. In the November election she became the first Asian-American woman elected to Congres
“We’re here in support of my father today,” she said outside the courtroom. “He has taken full responsibility for his actions and accepts all consequences and our family looks to getting past this chapter.”
Meng, who represented the 22nd Assembly District in Flushing was arrested on July 25, 2012, on federal bribery charges.
“He did it for the personal gain and greed,” Kaminsky said in the courtroom. “It makes people think that justice could be bought or sold.”
Photo: The defendant and his daughter, Grace. Photo by Amanda Andries