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Judge: No early trial date in corruption case

Norman Seabrook, former head of the New York

Norman Seabrook, former head of the New York City Correction Officer's Benevolent Association, leaves Southern District Federal Court in Manhattan on June 8, 2016. Credit: Anthony Lanzilote

A Manhattan federal judge on Friday rejected an early trial date on corruption charges against former New York City corrections union boss Norman Seabrook, and scheduled jury selection to begin on Oct. 18.

Seabrook, 56, of the Bronx, is accused of taking $60,000 in kickbacks from Platinum Partners hedge fund founder Murray Huberfeld, 55, of Manhattan, to invest Correction Officers Benevolent Association pension funds. Platinum is now defunct. Jona Rechnitz, a government cooperator in the case, also is a key figure in a federal probe of City Hall.

Paul Shechtman, Seabrook’s lawyer, asked U.S. District Judge Andrew Carter for a trial as early as March.

“His life has been on hold,” the lawyer said.

But prosecutors said they needed to digest materials seized in a new case brought in Brooklyn federal court against Platinum, and Huberfeld’s lawyer said he needed more time as well.

Carter said Seabrook could move to sever the two cases, but said that step would require two trials and be “inefficient.”

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