ONTD Political

NYC councilman sentenced to 5 years prison for embezzling $1M from taxpayers

9:10 pm - 01/25/2013
A few months ago, former Bronx City Councilman Larry Seabrook, whom Tom Robbins once called a "serial fraudster," was taken to court on an assortment of embezzlement charges. Throughout his tenure, he had siphoned nearly one million dollars worth in taxpayer dollars into the pockets of him and his family; the money was spent on vacationing, fat salaries and to pay bills of luxury. In order to do so, Seabrook forged government expense receipts - one of which included a $7 bagel changed to a $177 bagel.

For this reason, Seabrook was sentenced yesterday in court to five years in state prison. On top of that, he'll be forced to pay hundreds of thousands in fines and forfeitures.
Also, this isn't the first time Seabrook has mean to court: two years ago, he was convicted of similar charges but authorities were unable to collect enough evidence to sentence him. Therefore, the result was a mistrial.

This time around, he wasn't so lucky.

But, according to DOI Comissioner Rose Gill Hearn, it was about damn time:

"Larry Seabrook diverted hundreds of thousands of dollars from the public till into the pockets of his favored cronies. Today, he is a convicted felon, stripped of his City Council position, who must serve prison time. His sentence punctuates a powerful message that abusing government power to steal has serious consequences.."

Seabrook will have to submit himself to the authorities by early March. That gives him plenty of time to eat a few cheap bagels.

source: the Village Voice
really an excuse to use the bagel tag
layweed 26th-Jan-2013 02:53 am (UTC)
It really boggles the mind how people are able to get away with this. A $177 bagel? Rly? No red flags went up on those?
harumi 26th-Jan-2013 03:42 am (UTC)
Even a $7 bagel raises my eyebrows. I mean really? What kind of things were in that bagel for it to be worth $7?!
fynoda 26th-Jan-2013 04:25 am (UTC)
Really high quality lox maybe?
thecityofdis 26th-Jan-2013 04:09 pm (UTC)
Even a moderate-quality bagel and lox is $10 here, and I'm in a city that's marginally cheaper than my hometown (NYC). Lox itself is about $11-13/lb.

A breakfast sandwich on a bagel here is about $7 though.
ducttapeninja 26th-Jan-2013 04:52 am (UTC)
My first thought: Holy shit, a $177 bagel?

My second thought: Holy shit, WE HAVE A BAGEL TAG?!
furrygreen 26th-Jan-2013 05:37 am (UTC)
So... basically, this man will probably get out of jail (due to lawyers and time served and all the other little ways being rich helps you in shortening prison sentences) before this woman who "stole" 4k in food stamps to feed her children (though she paid it back) and was sentenced to three years.
alexvdl 27th-Jan-2013 12:59 am (UTC)
Generally, stealing is punished regardless of whether or not the party you're stealing from incurs monetary loss. A teen who sticks a carton of cigarettes in his coat and gets caught at the door is still going to be charged with shoplifting, even though the store never loses control of the merchandise.

I'm not saying it's not fucked up that the woman got a longer prison sentence than this douchebag, I'm just saying that our legal system really doesn't give a fuck if you pay something back or not.
furrygreen 27th-Jan-2013 05:41 am (UTC)
Generally, stealing is punished regardless of whether or not the party you're stealing from incurs monetary loss.

I'm sorry but no shit Sherlock. I don't need a mini-lesson on how theft "doesn't pay." Haha. Whether or not she paid it back wasn't the point nor that she was sentenced to jail time. Those two weren't my points.

The fact that she got a long prison sentence than someone who intentionally sought to rip off the gov't was the point.
alexvdl 27th-Jan-2013 05:47 am (UTC)
Except she intentionally sought to rip off the government. She knew the rules, and lied on her paperwork to get around them.

Also, she got a lesser prison sentence than he did. The time that the two of them will actually spend incarcerated... who knows.

Edited at 2013-01-27 05:49 am (UTC)
furrygreen 27th-Jan-2013 06:07 am (UTC)
So did the other and the damage he did far, far exceeded what she did. He knew the rules too. He lied in the paperwork too. He used his knowledge to steal far a million and only got two extra years -- time he probably won't have to serve if his lawyers have any say (which, come on, five years for a million? He's got good lawyers.)

As for her, she had extenuating circumstances. Circumstances are allowed to influence decisions in terms of sentences and what not. You can kill someone in self-defense. You won't get immediately sent to the gas chamber. Needing to feed your children is something most people can sympathize with. This was food stamp money. It was to feed her children.

And, please, don't tell me the gov't doesn't care and all crimes are the same or whatever because it apparently does. Else the one who intentionally ripped off the gov't for his own greed would've gotten way more time.
alexvdl 27th-Jan-2013 06:19 am (UTC)
Needing to feed your children is something that most people can sympathize with. I have plenty of sympathy for that woman.

My point was that her paying it back isn't actually relevant. They both defrauded their government, got caught, and are now paying for it.

Circumstances can and do influence sentencing, and unfortunately a large part of that is race and affluence. Criminal record also heavily influences sentencing as well, though. Then there are mandatory minimum sentences, which fuck everyone.
furrygreen 27th-Jan-2013 03:47 pm (UTC)
My point was that her paying it back isn't actually relevant. They both defrauded their government, got caught, and are now paying for it.

It was an aside and not my point at all so we'll just be talking in circles over this. It was a "she did WAY less AND ..." but that ... wasn't my point. I realize the gov't doesn't give a shit. I'm all too aware of this fact.
alexvdl 27th-Jan-2013 10:13 pm (UTC)
She did WAY less AND got sentenced to less, even with a prior criminal record. There are plenty of examples of race and class showing great disparity in our justice system. The particular example you're using isn't one of them.
furrygreen 28th-Jan-2013 02:31 pm (UTC)
Huh. You emphasize the "WAY less" part and are curiously silent on the "sentenced to less" part. Shouldn't it be: "she did WAY less and got sentenced to WAY less time"?

I think we're going to have to agree to disagree on this. :)
alexvdl 28th-Jan-2013 04:59 pm (UTC)
Alright. Sounds good to me. Thanks for the conversation. :)
thunderbird8 26th-Jan-2013 08:12 am (UTC)
Five years is all he got for that? If he even serves anywhere near all of it.
kittymink 26th-Jan-2013 08:32 am (UTC)
id pay 7 or 177 for a real NY bagel unlike the shit 99% of americans eat
kittymink 26th-Jan-2013 08:33 am (UTC)
well no I wouldnt but yeah
thecityofdis 26th-Jan-2013 04:10 pm (UTC)
I hadn't had a NY bagel in probably about 7 or 8 years? And I went to visit my family over the holidays last month and my dad got bagels and I was like WHAT IS THIS SORCERY IN MY MOUTH.
kittymink 26th-Jan-2013 06:54 pm (UTC)
haha! Truth
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