BROOKLYN LANDLORD WHO GREASED PALMS FOR A GUN LICENSE WANTS HIS RIGHT TO CARRY, SLIPPERY AS IT MAY BE, ENFORCED
The New York Post reports:
April 20, 2016
“The building owner is complaining that the FBI blocked his bid last year to get a carry permit from the NYPD — after he paid more than $10,000 to a fixer who was busted this week for allegedly bribing cops.
The 72-year-old man, who asked to be identified at “Jay,” told The Post that he’s appealing to the FBI to overturn the denial with the help of Manhattan gun-licensing attorney John Chambers.
He said he needs a firearm because he collects cash rents from a Queens building he owns.
He also explained to The Post how he went about obtaining the license. He said he first had to meet bribery suspect Alex “Shaya” Lichtenstein at Lichtenstein’s Brooklyn home, on East Fifth Street near Ocean Parkway in Midwood.
“I said to him, ‘I heard you can . . . get me a gun license.’ And he said, ‘Yes I can,’ and I asked him how much and he gave me an amount.”
The owner said he agreed to Lichtenstein’s $10,000 service “fee.”
“He was very efficient,” said the owner.
As part of the process, Jay admitted to Lichtenstein he had a criminal record — a conviction for felony bribery 15 years ago.
“I told him I had a few speeding tickets and I told him I got into trouble once 15 years ago. He told me, ‘I have to know everything to help you,’ so I told him everything.”
Two or three weeks later, Jay says, he met Lichtenstein at One Police Plaza, where he was led into the Licensing Bureau.
“Everybody there knew him,” Jay recalled. “It was like he owned the place. They were saying, ‘Hi, Shaya! Hi, Shaya!’ ”
A sergeant emerged from a back office and took the unusual step of personally fingerprinting Jay for his license — a duty normally performed by a civilian. That sergeant was David Villanueva, who was transferred from the unit on Monday amid news of Lichtenstein’s arrest, a source said.
A few weeks later, Jay was shown his license by Lichtenstein, who made a last-minute demand for an additional $2,500 in cash, which Jay reluctantly paid.
Jay then went to buy a handgun at a Brooklyn gun shop and discovered his application was flagged by the FBI.
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The New York Post Reports regarding the growing scandal:
“Now we’ve seen the first criminal charges: An official of a Brooklyn security patrol allegedly bribed cops on a regular basis to get up to 150 hard-to-obtain full-carry handgun permits — netting himself a handsome profit in the bargain.
Even if he was just paying off cops to expedite permit applications — at the rate of $6,000 each — that would be bad enough.
But prosecutors say Alex “Shaya” Lichtenstein, an official of the Shomrim Volunteer Patrol Society, also got permits for people with criminal records, reportedly pocketing $18,000 a pop. That’s not merely sordid — it’s downright dangerous.
One permit went to an applicant whose record included four domestic-violence reports, an arrest for forgery and three auto accidents.
Another, The Post reports today, went to a landlord with a felony conviction for bribery.
And the scandal only came to light this month because an honest cop, approached to join in the scheme, turned whistleblower and agreed to wear a wire.
This is also a serious problem for the Shomrim. The society better be furiously vetting its membership for other dubious actors — before outsiders take up the task.
As for the NYPD: Bratton has now been forced to discipline nine top officials, including four deputy chiefs. How much more is to come?
The city needs a Police Department it can trust to continue the fair, effective policing that’s kept New York safe.”