Manhattan U.S. Attorney Announces Agreement By Former New York City Council Member To Forfeiture Of Pension Benefits And Motion Seeking Forfeiture Of Former New York State Assemblyman’S Pension Contributions
Former New York City Council Member Miguel Martinez, Convicted of Corruption Offenses, Agrees to Forfeit Pension Benefits to Satisfy Outstanding Balance of $106,000 Forfeiture Order
Filing Seeks Order Forfeiting Pension Contributions Made by Former New York State Assemblyman Eric Stevenson, Convicted of Corruption Offenses
Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced today the agreement of MIGUEL MARTINEZ, a former New York City Council member convicted of corruption offenses, to forfeit pension benefits to satisfy the forfeiture order against him, and the filing of an application for an order forfeiting pension contributions made by ERIC STEVENSON, a former New York State assemblyman convicted of corruption offenses.
Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said: “Today’s actions represent a substantial step towards preventing corrupt elected officials from benefiting from pensions paid for by the people they betrayed in office. As I announced last year, this Office is committed to using every available legal means to prevent taxpayers’ money from being used to pay for the comfortable retirement of officials who betray those taxpayers while in office.”
As alleged in the applications seeking forfeiture, the agreement to forfeit MARTINEZ’s pension benefits, and other court documents:
Former New York City Council member MIGUEL MARTINEZ was convicted of corruption offenses on July 16, 2009. On December 15, 2009, MARTINEZ was sentenced to five years in prison and ordered to forfeit $106,000. MARTINEZ is currently a vested member of the New York City Employee Retirement System and will be eligible to receive benefits when he reaches the age of 57. On December 17, 2013, the Office filed an application for an order forfeiting MARTINEZ’s right to pension benefits until his forfeiture judgment is fully paid. In an agreement submitted to Judge Paul A. Crotty today, MARTINEZ agreed to forfeit his right to pension benefits until his forfeiture judgment is fully paid. In satisfying this forfeiture judgment, MARTINEZ will receive credit for payments he makes towards restitution. This agreement is subject to approval by the Court.
Former New York State Assemblyman ERIC STEVENSON was convicted of corruption offenses in January 2014 after a six-day trial. On May 21, 2014, STEVENSON was sentenced and ordered to forfeit $22,000. This forfeiture judgment remains unpaid. STEVENSON is not a vested member in the New York State & Local Employee Retirement System but is entitled to a refund of the contributions he made into the system. Today, the Office filed an application to Chief Judge Loretta A. Preska seeking to forfeit these pension contributions.
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Additionally, on December 17, 2013, the Office sought the forfeiture of pension benefits by Larry Seabrook, a former New York City Council member who was convicted of corruption offenses, and filed discovery requests seeking to locate benefits paid to convicted former New York City Council member Hiram Monserrate and convicted former Yonkers City Council member Sandy Annabi to satisfy the outstanding forfeiture judgments against them. These matters remain pending.
The prosecutions of these officials were handled by the Office’s Public Corruption Unit and its White Plains Division. The forfeiture of the defendants’ pensions is being handled by the Office’s Money Laundering and Asset Forfeiture Unit. Assistant United States Attorney Paul Monteleoni is in charge of the forfeitures.