Friday, July 27, 2012

Councilman Convicted of Charity and Government Fraud

by Gary Snyder

City Councilman Larry B. Seabrook, a mainstay of Bronx politics for nearly three decades, was convicted of orchestrating a broad corruption scheme to funnel hundreds of thousands of dollars in city money to his relatives, friends and a girlfriend through a network of nonprofit organizations that he controlled.  He was charged with engaging in a series of schemes that defrauded the city of more than $1 million in taxpayer money. 

Mr. Seabrook installed Gloria Jones-Grant, his girlfriend, as executive director of the nonprofit organizations even though he knew she was “incompetent,” and that through those positions and consulting, she received more than $300,000 in city money. He was charged with embezzling over $1 million of city money. A government trial exhibit shows the nonprofit groups made payments of more than $600,000 to Mr. Seabrook’s relatives and friends, including two of his sisters, a brother, two nephews, a granddaughter as well as Ms. Jones-Grant. Mr. Seabrook arranged for the nonprofit groups to rent office space through another company he controlled, which then billed the city at a higher price. The inflated rent scheme defrauded the city of about $100,000. (link) Seabrook was a former assemblyman and state senator and has served on the City Council since 2002.

Nonprofit Imperative gathers its information principally from public documents...some of which are directly quoted. Virtually all cited are in some phase of criminal proceedings; some have not been charged, however. Cites in various media: Featured in print, broadcast, and online media outlets, including: Vermont Public Radio, Miami Herald, National Public Radio, Huffington Post, The Sun News, Atlanta Journal Constitution, Wall Street Journal (Profile, News and Photos), FOX2, ABC Spotlight on the News, WWJ Radio, Ethics World, Aspen Philanthropy Newsletter, Harvard Business Review, Current Affairs, The Chronicle of Philanthropy, St. Petersburg Times, B, USA Today Topics,, Responsive Philanthropy Magazine, New York Times...and many more Nonprofits: On the Brink (2006) Silence: The Impending Threat to the Charitable Sector (2011)
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