Norman Seabrook is once again facing trial for allegedly accepting kickbacks in return for directing the New York's Correction Officers’ Benevolent Association to invest with hedge fund Platinum Partners.
At the first trial, held in November 2017, the jury took six days to deliberate before sending the judge a note, which read: “After continued spirited discussion and contemplation of the evidence, we find ourselves no closer to reaching a unanimous verdict and see no prospect of making further progress,” according to a transcript of court proceedings from November 16.
As a result, the judge called for a mistrial. A spokesperson for the U.S. Southern District of New York said by phone Friday that Judge Alvin Hellerstein, who is proceeding over the case, has set a new trial date for July 23.
The U.S. government had charged Seabrook, the former president of Correction Officers’ Benevolent Association, with honest services fraud in 2016, according to a complaint filed with the court. A spokesperson for COBA, the largest municipal jail union in the U.S., declined to comment on the retrial.
Seabrook managed COBA for 21 years. Between 2013 and 2014, he met with Platinum regarding potential investments in the hedge fund, making clear that he “would need to be paid a bribe” for capital allocated from the union, according to complaint.
COBA became one of Platinum’s largest institutional investors after Seabrook directed the union to invest $20 million in the hedge fund in 2014, according to the complaint. The U.S. government alleged that Platinum initially paid Seabrook $60,000 in cash and that other payments followed.
[II Deep Dive: Jared Kushner’s Platinum Partners Connection]
Seabrook’s lawyer, Paul Lewis Shechtman of Bracewell declined to comment on the new trial.
Platinum's founder, Mark Nordlicht, has faced separate charges in both criminal and civil court. The December 2016 indictment in Nordlicht's criminal case is sealed; however, the civil case alleges that Nordlicht and Platinum violated securities laws by defrauding investors. Nordlicht did not respond to a LinkedIn message seeking comment. His lawyer, Alex Spiro of Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan did not return a phone call seeking comment.