Former City councilman Larry Seabrook will spend five years in prison for misdirecting hundreds of thousands of dollars for community projects to his girlfriend and family members.
Seabrook, 61, was sentenced Tuesday. His surrender date is March 8.
“I will continue to fight in the service of people. I truly love the northeast Bronx,” the Bronx Democrat said during his sentencing.
He described himself as a “proud man” to Judge Deborah Batts, who acknowledged his many years in public service as she addressed him from the bench.
Batts said his many achievements had been irrevocably tarnished by his own “sense of entitlement and greed.”
Seabrook had “held himself above the law and betrayed the public trust by using his public office to enrich himself and others,” Batts said.
Seabrook was convicted of 9 of 12 counts in a trial last summer in Manhattan federal court. The conviction came a year after another jury deadlocked on fraud charges.
Before he was arrested, Seabrook also had served as a state assemblyman and a senator. He has continued to deny wrongdoing.
The government says Seabrook diverted money from 2002 through 2009.
It says he directed more than $2 million of funds to nonprofit organizations he controlled but were not doing legitimate work.
U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said Seabrook “sacrificed the public trust on the altar of greed.”
He applauded the 5-year sentence, saying it vindicated the taxpayers that Seabrook had cheated.
“We remain committed to making those who are corrupted by power pay the price, and the public can expect more arrests of politicians who have not learned this lesson,” Bharara said.