Jimmy Meng was arrested by the feds in July after a scheme in which he promised to help bribe Manhattan prosecutors for an associate and then tried to hustle the man out of $80,000, prosecutors said.
The victim, who was facing state tax fraud charges, was told to deliver the money to Meng in a fruit basket so he could pass it on, but the FBI said that the former politician was looking to keep the money himself.
“Meng ... promised he could reduce a defendant’s sentence, but only if they paid the right price and promised to keep Meng’s intentions a secret," a statement by FBI Assistant Director in Charge Janice Fedarcyk said at the time.
"As it turns out, Meng was only looking to pad his own pockets in the form of a bountiful fruit basket worth $80,000 in bribe money."
Meng is scheduled to be sentenced on March 12 and faces up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.
“Jimmy Meng sought to take advantage of his status as a power broker in the Flushing, Queens, community with only one design in mind -- lining his own pockets," U.S. Attorney Loretta Lynch said in a statement.
"Meng dangled the promise of justice for sale, but his claims of special access to prosecutors were nothing more than lies, designed to satisfy his greed,” she added. “The law enforcement community will not allow anyone to undermine our criminal justice system, and we will remain vigilant in pursuing those who threaten the system’s integrity.”
Earlier this month, Grace Meng, who had no involvement in her father's case, became New York's first Asian-American congresswoman.
"I am deeply saddened by the events surrounding my father the last several months," Meng said in a statement. "Today, he has taken full responsibility for his actions, and I support his decision. This has been a difficult time for our family, and we continue to pray for guidance in the coming months. My family hopes to continue to move past this chapter in their lives."