N.Y. Dem Legislator Pleads Guilty to Wire Fraud

'Barely audible' legislator claims reliance on sleeping pills

Jimmy K. Meng / macaulay.cuny.edu


Former New York state assemblyman Jimmy K. Meng pleaded guilty in a bribery case Wednesday, according to the New York Times:

Jimmy K. Meng, a former state legislator from Queens, admitted in court on Wednesday that he had solicited $80,000 from a friend facing criminal charges and falsely claimed that he could use that money to bribe prosecutors.

Mr. Meng, 68, of Bayside, pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud during a hearing before Judge Allyne R. Ross of Federal District Court in Brooklyn. Sentencing is set for March 12, and Mr. Meng’s lawyer, Todd D. Greenberg, said that he hoped the judge would spare Mr. Meng any jail time because this was the "first time in his 70 years that he had a lapse in judgment." …

In the courtroom, Mr. Meng was barely audible at times and occasionally turned to a Mandarin interpreter seated next to him to help explain the legal terminology. But when asked whether he had read the plea agreement, Mr. Meng, who had said during the hearing that he had a hearing problem and had relied on sleeping pills for 40 years, said in English: "Everything — two times," before later stating, "I plead guilty."

Prosecutors will recommend he serve 12-18 months in jail.

His daughter is Grace Meng. She was elected to the United States Congress last week and will be the first Asian-American representative from New York. Democratic Representative-elect Meng did not attend her father's hearing.

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