Two Charged in Attempt to Bribe New York City Police Sergeant in Exchange for Dismissal of Pending Federal Case
WILLIAM SURIN, a defendant in a pending federal mortgage fraud case, and STEVEN PICARD, also known as "Trigga," an associate of SURIN, were arrested late yesterday afternoon on charges of obstructing justice and attempting to bribe a Sergeant in the New York City Police Department in order to secure the dismissal of the case against SURIN.1 The arrests were announced by ROSLYNN R. MAUSKOPF, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, RAYMOND W. KELLY, Commissioner, New York City Police Department, MARK J. MERSHON, Assistant Director-in-Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, New York Field Office, and A. T. SMITH, Special Agent-in-Charge, United States Secret Service, New York Field Office.
The defendants' initial appearances are scheduled to be held later today before United States Magistrate Judge Steven M. Gold, at the U.S. Courthouse, 225 Cadman Plaza East, Brooklyn, New York.
As alleged in the complaint, on August 18, 2005, a federal grand jury returned an 18-count indictment charging SURIN and two others with a scheme to defraud mortgage lenders and launder the proceeds of the fraud. PICARD is an associate and personal friend of SURIN who, until his arrest yesterday, had been a source of information for the New York City Police Department. According to the complaint, PICARD contacted New York City Police Sergeant David Glassberg in late January 2006 and, over the course of two telephone calls, told Sergeant Glassberg that SURIN had a problem with the federal authorities which he needed taken care of. After Sergeant Glassberg advised the FBI and his supervising officer of the telephone calls he had received from PICARD, Sergeant Glassberg agreed to wear a recording device to capture evidence of any bribe that might be offered.
On January 31, 2006, in a meeting that took place in a BMW automobile that PICARD was driving, PICARD gave Sergeant Glassberg a copy of the superseding indictment against SURIN and a sheet of paper bearing SURIN's name and address. Referring to SURIN, PICARD told Sergeant Glassberg, "He's loaded," and "He don't want to spend a day in jail." PICARD also told Sergeant Glassberg, "You get him off this case, sky's the limit," and added that, in return for securing the dismissal of the charges, SURIN would give Sergeant Glassberg $50,000 up front, another $10,000 per month for life, and a car. Purporting to be interested in the bribe that PICARD was offering on SURIN's behalf, Sergeant Glassberg agreed to meet with SURIN and PICARD later that night.
As the complaint alleges, later in the evening on January 31, 2006, Sergeant Glassberg met with SURIN and PICARD and, during a conversation that was recorded by Sergeant Glassberg and other police officers, SURIN told Sergeant Glassberg that, in exchange for the dismissal of the superseding indictment, SURIN would pay Sergeant Glassberg $50,000 within two weeks, that an additional $5,000 to $10,000 would be set aside for Sergeant Glassberg each month thereafter, and that SURIN would purchase a Range Rover automobile for Sergeant Glassberg. In subsequent meetings and recorded conversations, SURIN and PICARD repeated their promises to make substantial payments to Sergeant Glassberg. Over the course of these meetings, SURIN gave Sergeant Glassberg a watch that SURIN claimed was worth $4,500, an envelope containing $1,000 in cash, and a separate payment of $2,500 in cash. After the last $2,500 payment, which was made yesterday afternoon, SURIN and PICARD were arrested.
"Corrupt attempts to bribe law enforcement officers threaten the integrity of the criminal justice system and will be met with the full resources of this office," stated United States Attorney MAUSKOPF. "The defendants will now be held accountable for their crimes." "Nothing -- not the cash, not a car -- could entice Sergeant Glassberg. He did his duty, and he epitomized the integrity of his fellow officers throughout the department," stated Police Commissioner KELLY. "Thanks to a good, honest cop, who immediately made notification to us of the corrupt proposition and was critical to our joint investigation, we were able to swiftly bring this case to closure. As if the heavy federal charges of mortgage fraud and money laundering weren't enough to make him keep his nose clean, Mr. SURIN now finds himself facing the additional serious charges of bribery and obstruction of justice," stated FBI Assistant Director MERSHON.
"This case illustrates just how aggressively and thoroughly the Secret Service and its law enforcement partners pursue investigations. It is an excellent example of the outstanding level of cooperation between the Secret Service and other federal law enforcement agencies within this city, and as always, the New York City Police Department," stated U.S. Secret Service Special Agent-in-Charge SMITH.
The government's case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Robert M. Radick.
STEVEN PICARD, a/k/a "Trigga"
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