East Meets West and the Odd New York Times Exposé

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New York Times and its Utterly Mundane Portrayal of Rechnitz and Reichberg

LostMessiah, April 11, 2016

On April 11, 2016  The New York Times published a strangely tame exposé on Jona Rechnitz and Jeremy Reichberg, entitled: De Blasio Donors Shared Closeness to Police Leaders. In the article Jona Rechnitz is described as generous, kind, philanthropic; all descriptions that have been lacking in personal accounts we received. The article describes their connections with high ranking members of the NYPD in terms making the connections seem almost mundane. The article, discussed the donations to de Blasio’s campaign and that of his slush fund in terms that one might seem to think are selflessly generous and kind. The article almost paints the two men as the perfect selfless philanthropists, with the single exception, being the word “brash.”

Our vision of these two men is a web of lies and deceit. We view their world as corrupt and lacking in integrity to the core. We view their relationship with high ranking officials of the New York City Police Department as frightening in terms of the ease with which they travelled in political circles; and the brazenness in flaunting their money and the relationships it could buy. 

 

The first thing that we found odd in the New York Times piece was the opening paragraph wherein Jona Rechnitz is described by his Los Angeles family connections:

“Jona S. Rechnitz, the scion of a wealthy Los Angeles family, came to New York City about a decade ago to make his mark in real estate and philanthropy. A brash young man eager to fund philanthropic causes, he cultivated connections with the Police Department — posing with top officials, and once arranging for police bagpipes at a party — and became a fixture at fund-raising events for Mayor Bill de Blasio.”

Our sources tell us that the Jona’s father, Robert, and his brother, the father of Shlomo Rechnitz had a falling out and the families do not regularly speak to one another. While Shlomo Rechnitz (LA) and his brother Steve (LA) own several businesses together, private sources tell us that those businesses likely do not include Jona Rechnitz or his father, Robert.  It raises questions, however, given Jona Rechnitz’s engagement of a California law firm, which makes little sense if the disconnection with California is to be believed.  Moreover, both east and west Rechnitz  have cross-over interests, not the least of which is making money and to some extent redefining the definition of crooked.

The next unusual comment was describing Rechnitz as one who “cultivated connections with the Police Department – posing with top officials…” In our view, that comes not from generosity and kindness, but rather from the knowledge that having friends in high places protects people from enemies in high places. In our view, and in that of our private sources, Jona Rechnitz is an opportunist and certainly having friends in the top echelons of law enforcement provides significant opportunity. He was, in fact, known to flaunt those connections.

The second paragraph of the New York Times article describes Jeremy Reichberg or Jeremiah Reichberg:

Jeremiah Reichberg came from the more cloistered world of Borough Park, Brooklyn, an Orthodox Jewish enclave where he was a familiar presence, even if his private life and business dealings were not well known. He ran a consulting firm, and hosted Mr. de Blasio to great fanfare at his home in 2014 for a fund-raising event.”

The event is mentioned at the bottom of the article a second time: 

“Eartier, on May 21, 2014, Mr. Reichberg hosted the mayor at his million-dollar brick home on 56th Street in Borough Park. Before Mr. de Blasio arrived, crowds had already gathered outside to welcome him. It was not clear if Mr. Rechnitz had attended.”

It is not only clear that Jeremy Reichberg enjoyed his lavish lifestyle but also that he used it to suit his needs, which included using his connections to protect his nephew, a member of a street gang, known to have been responsible for at least two beatings.

Ditmasparkcorner.com reports:

The Borough Park business man at the center of a massive NYPD bribery investigation — which has taken down several top cops who patrolled our area — allegedly used his police connections to quash assault charges against his nephew and his entourage of Yiddish-speaking teen gangsters, reports the New York Daily News.

As we’ve reported, Jeremy Reichenberg is accused of showering members of law enforcement with “gifts” in exchange for favors. In the fallout, Deputy Inspector James Grant, former executive officer of the 68th Precinct, has been stripped of his badge and gun and placed on modified duty, and Brooklyn South Deputy Chief Eric Rodriguez — once commanding officer at the 70th Precinct — was transferred out of his command. Detective Michael Milici of the 66th Precinct was also questioned in the FBI probe.

Reichenberg’s nephew Shlomo and his gang, who call themselves the Grouplech, Yiddish for “Forks,” were never charged for two brutal 2012 attacks, according to the article.

The New York Times comments about Reichberg’s private life and business dealings, which they too notice are not only private but next to impossible to trace, a point supported by other news outlets:

“Less is known about Mr. Reichberg, whose company has no public website; fewer public records directly connected to his business, J.R. Consulting, could be found.”

As the New York Times describes the relationship between the two parties, so too does it question how the two men met one another, a point made in two separate places in the article. 

“Mr. Rechnitz and Mr. Reichberg became close, appearing together at public and private events, and serving on Mr. de Blasio’s inauguration committee — an honor bestowed on the famous, like the writer Junot Díaz and the actor Steve Buscemi, and on lavish givers. In recent weeks, they have become the fulcrum of a sprawling federal corruption investigation into the mayor’s fund-raising activities and the actions of police commanders.”

There is no mention of how the two men met one another or how they became close, simple that they did and attended events together with other lavish donors.

“It was not clear when Mr. Rechnitz met Mr. Reichberg or what brought them together from different corners of New York City’s political and religious world: Mr. Reichberg from Borough Park’s Orthodox Jewish community; Mr. Rechnitz from a less formally religious community on the Upper West Side.

“Oh, yeah, that’s not Jona,” Rabbi Einhorn said upon learning of Mr. Reichberg and his roots in Brooklyn.

Yet they were often seen together at police events around the city and may have bonded over their common fascination with the police and interest in cultivating connections among the top officials.”

 

Most interesting, perhaps is that the article, enhancing the curriculum vitae of Rechnitz,mentions his work:

“at a real estate firm, Africa Israel, owned by Lev Leviev, a free spending Israeli-Russian diamond merchant who invested heavily in New York real estate during the last boom.”

We believe that Rechnitz’s position at Africa Israel is the key to everything that has happened since. If we had to speculate, we would posit that the diamonds both from Lev Leviev’s other endeavors and from those of Rechnitz and Reichberg, were used as leverage. The diamonds needed to be transported periodically, along with cash and other goods (perhaps including Peralta’s alcohol and in return they were used as untraceable payment, a quid pro quo for Rechnitz’s high ranking friends.

 

14 thoughts on “East Meets West and the Odd New York Times Exposé

  1. Doesn’t make any sense. If they needed security for transporting diamonds and cash then hire a freaking security company out of the phone book like every other normal human being! It would be a lot cheaper than the hundred of thousands of dollars paid to a single cop, plus all the other payments that we don’t yet know about to everybody else. There is something very, very wrong with this entire picture from beginning to end. Something we are all missing that’s about to blow sky high.

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  2. Strangely no mention of the empty Wall Street building, the Chinese spy Pa, the fact that most of the properties listed on his site are not owned by him, the fact that he doled out $500,000 ($500,000!) to one police officer alone, the fact that the FBI has been wiretapping his phone for years…

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  3. Maybe Jona Rechnitz was moved by seeing what Cunin et. al. were doing in California, what with all the rubbing shoulders with Hollywood and politicians and the infamous Chabad Telethon. Maybe he was so moved, he moved to New York to try it out for himself. Rabbi Chaim Cunin, CEO of Chabad of California, went to school with Rechnitz.

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