Lawrence hedge fund founder Murray Huberfeld sentenced in bribery scheme

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Lawrence resident Murray Huberfeld, who founded Platinum Partners hedge fund, was sentenced on Feb. 12 to 30 months in prison for his role in a bribery scheme that also resulted in the incarceration of Norman Seabrook, the former head of the Correction Officers Benevolent Society.

Huberfeld pleaded, 57, guilty last year to wire fraud conspiracy in connection with funds used to bribe Seabrook, former president of the nation’s largest municipal correction officers union. Huberfeld, according to the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, conspired with a go-between, Jona Rechnitz, to have the hedge fund pay $60,000 to Rechnitz’s company by falsely representing that the money was payment for courtside tickets to eight New York Knicks basketball games in 2014. The real purpose of the money was to reimburse Rechnitz for having paid Seabrook for getting the benevolent society to $20 million in Platinum.

The corrections union lost $19 million of its investment. Roughly $15 million of that came from a retirement benefits program that is funded by New York City and invests money for correction officers’ retirement.

Also sentenced to three years of supervised release, Huberfeld was ordered to pay $19 million in restitution. Convicted in August of conspiracy and bribery-related fraud, Seabrook, 58 was sentenced on Feb. 8 to nearly five years in prison. He is appealing and remains free. Rechnitz made a deal and testified against Seabrook. He will be sentenced at a later date. The sentences come after a 2017 mistrial for Huberfeld and Seabrook.