Reichberg, Melnicke, Astorino, Westchester & Rockland

Brooklyn’s Reichberg Chaplain for Westchester County Police – Satmar’s Michael Melnicke Chaplain for Rockland County

We can’t possibly wonder why those who commit crimes within the Hasidic Community are not Prosecuted for their crimes? We are thinking, though, perhaps Rabbi Melnicke has been handing out some of his goods and getting everyone high….

LostMessiah, April 11, 2016

First Astorino gets campaign donations and Reichberg is appointed chaplain without anyone checking his appropriate credentials, in 2013. While he was been suspended last week, presumably having something to do with the embattled Mayor de Blasio and his campaign financing, no one can even say how he Reichberg became Chaplain. [No one checked credentials](Money, money and more money)… 

Perhaps it is irrelevant because the position is unpaid. Perhaps checking credentials is unnecessary. After all,  who would lie about being a rabbi?

Micah Kaplan claims to have been brutally beaten by Reichberg’s nephew and has said that Reichberg used his power and influence to protect his nephew. He then used his influence to quash any investigation into the incident, according to Kaplan and as reported by the New York Daily News. That occurred in the 66th Precinct (a precinct apparently, if the news is correct, bought and paid for by the Hasidic community.)

Rabbi Michael Melnicke, another contributor of Astorino’s campaign is a chaplain in Rockland County (of course having nothing to do with his campaign donations or the troubles of East Ramapo). [Note to reader: it is not clear if this is the same Rabbi Michael Melnicke who was featured in an article by FailedMessiah in June of 2015 – see below]

Meanwhile, not only did contributions come to Astorino from Reichberg, but also from Rechnitz and a number of other related companies, including JSR Capital, Stephnat and LTR, the latter of which share office space (apparently) with Taly diamonds; and calls to Tally diamonds were answered by Stephant. More interesting is that Taly diamonds is a company owned by Lev Leviev’s daughter Chagit Leviev Sofiev. Lev Leviev is the face of Africa Israel, which was a place of employment of Rechnitz. As LM has stated before, we have believe wholeheartedly that the relationship between Rechnitz and Africa Israel cannot be understated, nor can its importance in the context of current events. 

The Journal News (Lohud) reports:

Why did Westchester appoint a Brooklyn man as chaplain?

“Another $5,000 contribution has emerged linking County Executive Rob Astorino’s re-election campaign to a chaplain for Westchester County police who is embroiled in a federal corruption probe of the NYPD.

But after the chaplain, Jeremy Reichberg, was suspended last week, county officials have refused to discuss how the Brooklyn man got the post and what made him qualified for it.

The federal investigation is looking into gifts Reichberg and a Manhattan businessman pal, Jona Rechnitz, may have lavished on New York Police Department bigwigs.

Reichberg, 42, a well-known figure in Boro Park, was named a chaplain three years ago, the same month that Astorino’s campaign received $25,000 in campaign contributions from Rechnitz’s company and two other businesses with which it shared an office suite.

County officials dismiss suggestions that Reichberg’s appointment was political. William O’Reilly, a political spokesman for Astorino, denied the chaplaincy was linked to the donations.

“There’s no connection at all. Mr. Rechnitz donates to a lot of campaigns; the County Executive race was one of many,” O’Reilly said in an email. “Rabbi Reichberg, who didn’t donate, was appointed as a volunteer chaplain by the County Police, and  received no compensation for the work he did.”

The county police would have expected a Jewish chaplain to be a rabbi – but they are at a loss even to confirm that he was one.

“The (personal information) form (Reichberg submitted) notes he is a graduate of a rabbinical college,” county police spokesman Kieran O’Leary wrote in an email last week. “I cannot read his hand-writing and have reached out to try to determine the name of the school.”

County officials would not show The Journal News/ any part of the personnel form or answer questions about how Reichberg came to be a  police chaplain and what made him qualified.

The position is unpaid and involves delivering invocations and benedictions at police ceremonies and being available as needed for officers seeking support. There is no requirement of certification, unlike chaplaincies for health care and correctional facilities.

Westchester County officials have chalked up the appointment of Brooklyn rabbis to limited interest in the mostly ceremonial position among local rabbis. They also cite Reichberg being a “police buff”, someone who gets their kicks hobnobbing with police brass.

That close association with police has drawn the attention of federal investigators.

New York police Commissioner William Bratton announced last Thursday that two high-ranking police officials had been placed on modified duty – stripped of their guns and badges – and two others transferred as a result of the ongoing probe.

One of the those modified was Deputy Inspector James Grant, who reportedly is suspected of receiving gifts from Reichberg, a close friend since his days running the 72nd Precinct in Brooklyn.

Reichberg was also close with Detective Michael Milici, a community affairs detective in Borough Park’s 66th Precinct, who was placed on modified duty after pleading the fifth before a federal grand jury convened in the case.

On Friday, the former owner of a Harlem restaurant, Hamlet Peralta, was arrested on federal charges linking him to a $12 million Ponzi scheme in which investors were promised high returns from a wholesale liquor operation. None of the investors were named in the criminal complaint but it was believed that Rechnitz and Reichberg were among them.

The FBI was investigating that fraud when they learned through wiretaps of the extensive ties between Reichberg, Rechnitz and NYPD honchos.

Reichberg is not the only county police chaplain from Brooklyn.

Rabbi Michael Melnicke, a nursing home magnate and Ambassador-at-Large for Grenada, got the post in October 2012, a few days after contributing $2,000 to Astorino’s campaign. He is also among several chaplains for the Rockland County Sheriff’s Department.

The other Weschester police chaplains, Sister Connie Koch and the Rev. Carl Maiello, a retired Mount Vernon police detective, have no record of making political contributions in New York.

Even though Westchester already had a Jewish chaplain, Reichberg was added on June 10, 2013.

Donations from the same address [shared by Taly Diamonds and Shephnat]

Three days later, Rechnitz’ company, JSR Capital, donated $10,000 to Astorino’s re-election campaign. On June 24, 2013, Friends of Rob Astorino got another $5,000 from JSR Capital, $5,000 from LTR Trading and $5,000 from jewelry retailer Stephnat LLC. The address for all three companies was the same suite at 580 Fifth Avenue in Manhattan’s Diamond District.

That was also the address from which a company linked to Rechnitz, JSTD Madison, contributed $102,300 to New York state Senate Democrats shortly before the 2014 election, when De Blasio was making a push for the Democrats to regain control of the state Senate.

Rechnitz and his wife each gave the maximum contributions allowed to Bill De Blasio’s mayoral campaign, $4,950, that year and he reportedly helped raise over $40,000 for De Blasio.

Despite O’Reilly’s contention that Rechnitz has contributed to many campaigns, he has donated to four others in New York and JSR Capital has made only two other political contributions besides the ones to Astorino. Neither LTR nor Stephnat has made any other contributions to New York politicians, according to online records of the state Board of Elections.

Last week, a spokesman for Astorino said he knew of no connection between JSR Capital’s contributions to the county executive and Reichberg’s start as a chaplain that same month.

Rechnitz used to work for the U.S. arm of Africa Israel Investments, a company owned by Israeli billionaire and diamond mogul Lev Leviev. His company manages 23 Wall Street, a building across the street from the New York Stock Exchange that Leviev previously owned.

Leviev’s daughter, CEO of Africa Israel USA Chagit Leviev Sofiev, was a part owner of Taly Diamonds who was embroiled in a legal battle over its liquidation.

Taly Diamonds is based in the same suite as the other companies, and calls to those other companies were answered by a Taly employee.

The owner of Stephnat could not be reached for comment. A woman who said she worked for LTR refused to answer questions last week about the political contribution.”

Please see the article from Lohud by clicking here.

FailedMessiah on Michael Melnicke (not certain if it is one and the same as the Michael Melnicke from the Lohud post).

Satmar Powerbroker’s Son, Other Prominent Hasid Try To Enter Medical Marijuana Business


Marijuana low resAccording to Saugerties [New York] Town Supervisor Greg Helsmoortel, two of the principals behind NY Growing Partners, LLC are nursing home magnate and Ger chasid Michael Melnicke and Leo Friedman, the son of Satmar powerbroker Moses Friedman, otherwise known as Moshe Gabbai.


Hella Winston reports in the Jewish Week:

It seems that chasidim are trying to get into the medical marijuana business.

According to Saugerties [New York] Town Supervisor Greg Helsmoortel, two of the principals behind NY Growing Partners, LLC are nursing home magnate and Ger chasid Michael Melnicke and Leo Friedman, the son of Satmar powerbroker Moses Friedman, otherwise known as Moshe Gabbai.

The company is one of 43 that submitted an application earlier this month to the New York State Department of Health to become one of five registered organizations to manufacture and dispense approved medical marijuana products in the state. The other two principals in NY Growing Partners are Alexander Solovey and Pat (Pasquale) DeBenedictis.…

Melnicke, Friedman, Solovey and DeBenedictis have been partners in other ventures. A 2014 article in Crain’s notes that The Komanoff Center for Geriatric and Rehabilitative Medicine in Long Beach, L.I., was sold separately to two entities formed by the four men.

Melnicke, ambassador-at-large from Grenada, is a licensed nursing home administrator in New York and Connecticut and, according to government documents, lists his current employment as the receiver of Peninsula Center for Extended Care and Rehabilitation in Far Rockaway. He also has ownership interests in six other nursing homes.

Friedman is the CEO of Advanced Care Staffing, Inc., a healthcare staffing agency and is also a receiver of Peninsula Center for Extended Care and Rehabilitation, which he, Melnicke and another partner bought, through four limited liability companies, out of bankruptcy for $24 million in 2012. It is now known as the Peninsula Nursing and Rehabilitation Center.

In July of 2014, Advanced Care Staffing contributed $3,000 to Gov. Andrew Cuomo. In November of the same year, Friedman added another  $10,000 to the governor’s coffers. Through his companies, Leo Friedman gave more than $30,000 to Kenneth Thompson’s successful campaign for Brooklyn district attorney.

Leo Friedman’s father testified before the grand jury that indicted chasidic sex abuse whistleblower Sam Kellner. The Brooklyn DA’s office dropped the Kellner case after a review by his office determined the witnesses against him lacked credibility to such an extent the case could not be prosecuted.…


The Wave 2006:

PHC’s $64 Million Man

Brooklyn Man Buys Nursing Home, Former Hospital

“Melnicke is a former board member of the Peninsula Hospital Center. In 2006, he was given an award by the hospital’s trustees for his good work for the institution.

He is the owner and administrator of five nursing homes and the operator of a sixth, two of which are inRockaway – The Rockaway Care Center and the Park Nursing Home.

His facilities together contain approximately 1,540 beds.

The agreement says that Melnicke does not have to assume any of the present collective bargaining agreements with the employees still working for the nursing home, but he does have to honor seniority and will have to “bargain in good faith with the applicable unions.”

The agreement also has a restrictive covenant that provides, in the event the proposed purchaser of the hospital real property fails to acquire the assets of the nursing home, or does not acquire them simultaneously, that the purchaser shall get the hospital with the covenant that restricts him from using any portion of the hospital real property as a skilled nursing facility, or otherwise obtaining any right to locate any nursing home beds at the location.

There is a similar restriction on the use of the clinic property.

While it is clear that Melnicke and his partners cannot use the hospital property as a nursing home, it is unclear as to what he has in mind for the property.”

Bed-Stuy Nursing Home: ‘Much Below Average’ in Staff Care


“The Gotham Gazette examined inspection reports, complaints and court records to take a close look at five of the city’s lowest-rated nursing homes. This is the last of five parts.

When Harold Beer entered Bishop Henry Hucles Nursing Home, he gave his prosthetic leg to an aide while being fitted for a wheelchair. He says they never returned it.

“They also won’t tell me when they’re letting me go,” complained the 73-year-old Beer. “I can’t get a straight answer around here.”

Complaints about Bishop Henry Hucles are not uncommon. The facility, located in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn, ranks as one of the lowest-rated nursing homes in the city, according to state inspections and Medicare records.

Bob DeVito, administrator of the 240-bed nursing home, rejects the findings of state inspectors who assigned the facility several poor scores in categories used to measure its performance.

“Those scores must be either outdated or wrong,” he said. “This nursing home takes great care of its residents.”

300 pie chartThe Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), which evaluates nursing homes, gave Bishop Henry Hucles an overall rating of two stars, which the CMS assigns to nursing homes that provide a “below average” level of care.”

For the full article click, here.

Information trickles out about group that wants to create medical marijuana farm in Saugerties

Daily Freeman News, 2015

“Michael Melnicke … lists his current employment as the receiver of Peninsula Center for Extended Care and Rehabilitation,” state officials wrote. “Mr. Melnicke discloses the following ownership interests [in] Park Nursing Home 1987 to present: Rockaway Care Center, 1992 to present; Regency Extended Care Center, 1993 to present; Caton Park Nursing Home, 1994 to present; Hempstead Park Nursing Home, 1998 to present; Peninsula Center for Extended Care and Rehabilitation, [January] 2013 to present.”

Leo Friedman is chief executive officer of Advanced Care Staffing, Inc., a healthcare staffing agency, and the receiver of Peninsula Center for Extended Care and Rehabilitation, according to the state.

Under a state law signed last July by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, patients with cancer, AIDS, Parkinson’s disease and certain other medical conditions will be able to obtain non-smokeable versions of marijuana that can be ingested or vaporized. Also included in the final regulations are certain spinal cord injuries, epilepsy, inflammatory bowel disease, neuropathies and Huntington’s disease and symptoms including severe or chronic pain, seizures, severe nausea, persistent muscle spasms and wasting syndrome.

The state health department is expected to grant up to five medical marijuana licenses this summer, with each recipient allowed to establish up to four dispensaries.

New York Growing Partners is among roughly 40 companies vying for the licenses.

Among the others is a company called Valley Agriceuticals, which wants to operate in the Orange County town of Wallkill.

Also, Empire State Compassionate Care wants to operate a manufacturing facility in New Windsor, as well as dispensaries in the Buffalo area, Syracuse, Hempstead and Manhattan; and PalliaTech, based on Long Island, wants to run a manufacturing operation near Plattsburgh and has proposed dispensary sites in Newburgh, Brooklyn, Rochester and Utica.

For full article click, here.



4 thoughts on “Reichberg, Melnicke, Astorino, Westchester & Rockland

  1. And by he way, has anyone seen or heard the first Rabbi publicly condemn the shaming of the Jewish people going on in NYC presently?

  2. But he’s a RABBI?!?!? And a CHAPLAIN!?!?!? He must be honest, no? Makes me want to throw up. And the saddest part of all is that it’s these guys who get honored at dinners, who are respected in shul and whose children get the best matches, while hard working actually honest people are looked at as “poor schleppers”.

  3. Do you mean this Melnicke?

    Fiduciaries of an irrevocable trust that owns nursing homes stole as much as $100 million over decades to line heirs’ pockets, two trust beneficiaries claim in court.

    “Over the years Melnicke and the Trustee Defendants have used the Trust as their own personal ATM machine, secretly transferring millions of dollars out of the Trust, selling valuable Trust assets and allowing valuable Trust assets under their control to be lost. This is a blatant violation of the Trust Agreement as well as their fiduciary duties to the plaintiffs.”


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