Accused Former Assemblyman Calls Government Witness Immediately After Release

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The man who allegedly accepted an $80,000 fruit basket on Tuesday comprised partly of fruit but mostly of cash for a bribe, Jimmy Meng, was released from the Brooklyn Federal Court on Tuesday on $1 million bail but it didn't take long for him to screw up again. The Daily News reports that according to an Assistant U.S. attorney, Meng dialed the government witness who set up the former Queens state assemblyman for the exchange that's landed Meng in hot water. The witness is a supposed (former, probably) friend of Meng who cooperated with the FBI.

The Times reported on Tuesday that Meng told the friend to deliver the money that he would use to pay off several assistant district attorneys to obtain a more lenient sentence for the friend who faces charges for state tax crimes. “It is a violation of this bond to threaten or attempt to influence the testimony of anybody who might be a witness against you in the case,” said Magistrate Cheryl Pollak. “If you do it again, you’re going to jail."