QUEENS, NY -- Former Assembly member Jimmy Meng, the first Asian-American legislator to serve on the state level, was arrested by federal agents Tuesday, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.
Meng, whose daughter Grace is currently running for Congress in Forest Hills, was charged with soliciting an $80,000 bribe from an associate by claiming he could influence a criminal tax case against him.
Meng was arrested as he was allegedly accepting a fruit basket from the friend — which was lined with thousands in cash.
U.S. Attorney Loretta Lynch, of the Eastern District, said in a statement that the FBI has recordings of several meetings in which Meng allegedly promises to use bribe money to lessen his contact's sentence.
"As alleged in the complaint, Jimmy Meng sought to be a power broker in the halls of justice," Lynch said. "But the influence he sought to peddle was corrupt, and his power was illusory. This arrest confirms that justice is not for sale."
The former assemblyman faces a maximum of 20 years in prison.
Grace Meng released a statement through her campaign on Tuesday afternoon.
"I am shocked and deeply saddened by these allegations. Prior to this afternoon’s reports, I had no knowledge of my father’s actions or the investigation," Meng said in the statement.
"I am independent of my father – always have been, always will be. Until more facts emerge and we have a better understanding of the situation, the only thing further I’ll say is that I urge my father to fully cooperate with all authorities."
Meng took over her father's old seat in 2008.