De Blasio-linked hedge fund bribery trial begins


Federal prosecutors called their star witness in a bribery case against a one-time New York City prison union boss. According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the path of corruption ran through now-defunct hedge fund Platinum Partners.

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Government witness Jona Rechnitz pled guilty to bribing police, the administration of New York Mayor Bill de Blasio and corrections officer union leader Norman Seabrook.
To start with, the West Coast developer said he donated $5,000 to the NYPD football team to gain favor with the police . Then Rechnitz worked with a local partner to raise money for de Blasio’s 2013 bid for office.

According to Rechnitz, he and his partner used the “bundling” process to raise more money for de Blasio that they legally could.

Rechnitz said Seabrook, a de Blasio ally, took a $60,000 kickback. Platinum disguised it as a bill for Knicks tickets, the witness said and, in return, Seabrook moved $20 million into Platinum. As a result, fund CEO Murray Huberfield is also on trial.
The mayor’s office denies Rechnitz’s accusation. Prosecutors say they don’t intend to bring charges against the mayor.