LostMessiah, April 8, 2016
The associations between Jona Rechnitz, Jeremy Reichberg, Chief of the NYPD Philip Banks allegedly include a tightly woven gifts-for-favors relationship. There have been reports over the last two days regarding an ongoing investigation. Those of us who wondered the origins and who speculated, had an inkling that it began with an investigation into Rechnitz’s relationship with a liquor transporter who allegedly smuggled liquor over state lines to avoid taxes. His name is Hamilton Peralta and he has been investigated for years. Coming full circle, the same top NYPD brass who allegedly received favors from Rechnitz and Reichberg also frequently Peralta’s club/restaurant/bar and also allegedly protected him from any investigations into either his finances or the sources of his liquor business. Rechnitz’s position is likely going to be that his only connection to Peralta was as an investor. We find that difficult to swallow. Rather, we kind of think that any drunken fool should know better. However, as the investigations unfold, only time will tell. The following is what we know so far and the connections we have been able to make.
The New York Daily News reported on April 7, 2016 that:
FBI investigation into NYPD corruption focuses on off-the-books banquet for Midwood cops
“FBI investigators conducting a corruption probe of the upper ranks of the NYPD are examining an off-the-books dinner thrown for Midwood cops, a source said Thursday.
The 2014 banquet organized by Community Board 12 in honor of police in Brooklyn’s 66th Precinct featured heaping helpings of baked ziti, chicken parmesan, barbecue ribs, veggies and salad that could serve 370 people”
According to the New York Daily News:
“a lawyer and former member of the board, Aaron Tyk, who says the FBI questioned him about the party, said the expense was never approved by the board and that it was kept secret by District Manager Barry Spitzer.
Tyk alleges in letters to the city Department of Investigation and the Controller’s office that he was wrongly booted from the board after complaining about the secret feast. A lawsuit stemming from the dispute was dismissed.”
In contrast, however, District Manager Barry Spitzer had something else to say:
“Spitzer, the board’s district manager, insisted the party was properly paid for and held on June 11, 2014, to honor the precinct’s cops on medal day, as well as other public servants.
“I signed off on the expenses the same way I do on all of the board’s expenses. Our board’s normal procedure does not include a requirement of documentation of approval by the board on any expense,” Spitzer told the Daily News.
The FBI inquiry revolves around businessmen who allegedly sought to curry favor with high-ranking police brass, including Philip Banks, a former Chief of Department.”
LM asks, did Spitzer know about the party or not?
Further, according to the article:
The News has learned the FBI also questioned cops about a third businessman, Hamlet Peralta. The Feds wanted to know if police invested money with Peralta for a deal with wholesale food service supplier Restaurant Depot that never came to pass, a source said.
Peralta had hoped to sell liquor through the wholesaler, the source said. Peralta is an associate of Rechnitz’s and borrowed money from him for the ill-fated deal, the source said.
Records from 2013 and 2014 show he owed money to Rechnitz’s firm, JSR Capital. A source told The News that Seabrook used the firm to invest union money.
The FBI also asked cops if they did any favors for Peralta — who owned the now-shuttered Harlem hot spot Hudson River Cafe, a source said. Peralta, who also owned a now-closed liquor store, had access to powerful people through his eatery.
Efforts to reach Peralta were unsuccessful. A source described him as having gone “underground,” after the deal fell apart.
To read the article in the entirety click, here.
RECHNITZ TO HAMILTON PERALTA
The connection to Hamilton Peralta and the current investigations in New York comes from several places. First, Hamilton Peralta apparently was protected when illegal alcohol shipments were brought to him from New Hampshire where there are no taxes on liquor. This import/export alcohol business has been going on for years and this is not the first time Peralta has been named as having involvement, if not masterminding the transports. Second, Hamilton Peralta’s restaurant/café/bar was frequented by top brass, many of whom are under investigation in the gifts-for-favors debacle. Third, Rechnitz and Peralta were apparently business colleagues in the alcohol transport business. It is speculated that Rechnitz was an investor through his JBR Capital firm. Only time will tell but we believe that it will all come full circle.
In an article in agetimes.net, entitled, “Former NYPD Chief of Department Philip Banks (c.) trafficked abroad with businessmen Jeremy Reichberg (l.) and Jona Rechnitz (r.) — dual subjects being investigated by a FBI for currying preference with cops.” the relationship between Rechnitz and Peralta becomes clearer.
The Feds wanted to know if military invested income with Peralta for a understanding with indiscriminate food use retailer Restaurant Depot that never came to pass, a source said.
Peralta had hoped to sell wine by a wholesaler, a source said. Peralta is an associate of Rechnitz’s and borrowed income from him for a luckless deal, a source said.
Records from 2013 and 2014 uncover he due income to Rechnitz’s firm, JSR Capital. A source told The News that Seabrook used a organisation to deposit kinship money.
The FBI also asked cops if they did any favors for Peralta — who owned a now-shuttered Harlem prohibited mark Hudson River Cafe, a source said. Peralta, who also owned a now-closed wine store, had entrance to absolute people by his eatery.
THE HAMLET PERALTA CONNECTION TO NYPD POLICE.
According to the New York Daily News, in an article published on April 7, 2016:
Businessman connected to FBI corruption probe of NYPD enjoyed police protection:
“The disgruntled cop said Raul Stevenson, the former commanding officer of the 30th Precinct that included the restaurant, was frequently frustrated by orders to go easy on the W. 133rd St. eatery.
“His hands were tied. It was coming from above him,” a police source said, adding that police were told to not aggressively enforce noise complaints and public drinking at the café.
The cop said the rank and file also suspected someone was tipping off Peralta about upcoming surprise inspections of the restaurant by the NYPD, FDNY, and State Liquor Authority. On one Friday night visit, the restaurant was suspiciously empty and everything appeared to be in perfect order, the cop said.
Captains and chiefs attended dinners there, too, the source said.
Roy Richter, the president of the Captains Endowment Association, said the union never held an event at the restaurant.
A former employee at the restaurant also saw the benefits of Peralta’s buddies in blue.
“Anytime there was an issue with anything it would be the least of Hamlet’s worries because he had his police friends to back him up,” the worker said.
But another source familiar with the cafe said it was a legitimate establishment and that breaking up fights and helping with traffic are standard police work.
Peralta attempted to donate $4,950 to Bill de Blasio’s campaign for mayor in 2013, but the donations were declined because he did not pass a vetting by campaign staff, an official said.”
GOING ALL THE WAY BACK TO 2011, SMUGGLING BOOZE… Hamlet Peralta, Colon-Bacenet
In 2011 the lowellsun.com reported:
Police: Route 3 driver carried 1,776 bottles of illegal cognac
“According to court documents, at 5:55 p.m. on Feb. 17, a trooper stopped a van with New York license plates on Route 3 in Chelmsford after noticing a license-plate light was not working. In speaking to Colon-Bacenet, who was driving, the trooper noticed a black-and-blue fabric draped over the contents in the back of the van as if to hide the cargo.
Colon-Bacenet allegedly told the trooper he was doing a favor for the van’s owner, Hamlet Peralta of Bronx, N.Y
He told the trooper Peralta asked him to drive to Hudson, N.H., to pick up alcohol for a church party in Pembroke.
Colon-Bacenet said he bought $1,500 worth of cognac at the New Hampshire State Liquor store in Manchester, but a receipt in Colon-Bacenet’s black bag showed he paid $8,276 for 360 750-milliliter bottles of of Hennessy.
A 75-milliliter bottle of Hennessy Cognac sells for about $50.
A pat frisk of Colon-Bacenet revealed he had three cell phones. A review of the text messages he received showed Colon-Bacenet had been in contact with “Cody,” who texted that the suspect should pick up the alcohol where he worked (the New Hampshire State Liquor Store) after his manager left for the day.
There was also a receipt in the black bag for 320 bottles of Hennessy that were purchased two hours after the first pickup, according to court documents.
But the two receipts only totaled 720 bottles of Cognac, while 1,776 bottle were in 148 cases in the back of the van, court documents state.
In the black bag, troopers also found razor blades and $2,000 in cash. The blades are used to cut off the labels that show where the cases came from, according to court documents.”
THE LUIS A.. COLON-BACENET CONNECTION
On December 19, 2012, the City Paper ran an article entitled:
Smugglers’ have tried to make a buck off the booze-tax differential since at least the early 1990s.
“The decades-long scheme, court documents reveal, involved huge quantities of liquor being smuggled on a regular, ongoing basis, and if the raids served as a warning shot, well, perhaps it was taken to heart, putting a big dent in sales.
Apparently, though, New Yorker Luis A. Colon-Bacenet wasn’t paying attention to the booze-smuggling news coming out of Cecil County this fall. On Dec. 14, he was charged in Maryland U.S. District Court with wire fraud after he allegedly used a phone in New York to set up a 300-case purchase of Maryland-taxed whiskey from Northside Liquors in Elkton. In consummating the planned purchase, Colon-Bacenet allegedly handed over $115,000 in cash on Dec. 13 to pay for the hooch at Northside-a place that, according to court documents, has been feeding New York smugglers’ large appetites for trying to make a buck off the booze-tax differential since at least the early 1990s.
After loading the cases onto his truck and starting to drive toward New York on nearby I-95, “the truck and the defendant were stopped by duly authorized agents and officers,” the criminal complaint against Colon-Bacenet reads. He was charged with wire fraud because he allegedly “did transmit and cause to be transmitted signals and sounds by wire in interstate commerce to Maryland” as part of a “scheme to defraud the State and City of New York of taxes due on liquor to be sold” there.
Colon-Bacenet’s charges, the complaint continues, resulted from information about the planned sale being shared with law enforcers by one of “a number of confidential informants, who personally participated in the sale of liquor to the smugglers over the past few years.” The cooperators “have provided information over the past several months” to investigators in the ongoing probe, which is being conducted by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security“