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Jury in Norman Seabrook bribery trial says it is deadlocked

Norman Seabrook, seen on Nov. 8, 2017.

Norman Seabrook, seen on Nov. 8, 2017. Photo Credit: Charles Eckert

Jurors in the bribery trial of former New York City jail-union head Norman Seabrook said Tuesday they were deadlocked on charges that he took a $60,000 payoff to invest $20 million of union pension money with a hedge fund.

The jury, in its fourth day of deliberations, asked Manhattan U.S. District Judge Andrew Carter for “guidance” in a note sent out around noon. The judge, after consulting with lawyers, called jurors out and told them to keep trying to agree.

The panel resumed work until 3:30 p.m. without any further communication. They are due to resume deliberations Wednesday morning.

Prosecutors contend Seabrook was bribed by co-defendant Murray Huberfeld, a founder of Platinum Partners hedge fund. The government’s star witness during the two-week trial was informant Jona Rechnitz, who testified that he delivered the cash in a Ferragamo bag.

But defense lawyers claimed Rechnitz, who was the centerpiece of federal corruption probes of the NYPD and City Hall, is a career liar who made up the story about Seabrook and Huberfeld in a bid for leniency on his own crimes.

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