Former Queens Assemblyman Jimmy Meng, whose daughter, Grace, was elected to Congress last week, pleaded guilty to wire fraud charges in Brooklyn Federal Court Wednesday, the U.S. Attorney said.
Meng, who was arrested over the summer as his daughter's congressional campaign was heating up, appeared in court before District Judge Allyne Ross.
Over the course of seven months, Meng solicited bribes from a suspect accused of tax crimes in New York City, saying he would pass them along to assistant district attorneys assigned to his case.
In reality, the U.S. Attorney said, Meng planned to keep the money for himself.
The scheme came tumbling down around Meng when he accepted a fruit basket lined with $80,000 in cash at a lumber yard he owns in Queens.
“Jimmy Meng sought to take advantage of his status as a power broker in the Flushing, Queens, community with only one design in mind — lining his own pockets," said U.S. Attorney Loretta Lynch. "Meng dangled the promise of justice for sale, but his claims of special access to prosecutors were nothing more than lies, designed to satisfy his greed."
According to the New York Daily News, Meng's family accompained him to the courthouse Wednesday, though Congresswoman-elect Grace was not among them.
Meng faces a sentence of up to 20 years in prison for wire fraud, and a fine of up to $250,000. His sentencing is scheduled for March 12, 2013.