A Diamond in a Bottle – an Opinion re: compromised emails – Getting Some R&R

Messages in a bottle: Mayor de Blasio’s compromised emails

Messages in a bottle: Mayor de Blasio's compromised emails
Sharing a laugh with pals he says he doesn’t know. (Court Document)

Mayor de Blasio finds himself in painful a pinch as a corruption trial belches evidence of his unseemly ties.

Specifically, emails between the mayor and star witness and megadonor Jona Rechnitz, who is cooperating with federal prosecutors against his former partner in palm greasing, Jeremy Reichberg, and ex-NYPD bigwig James Grant, after pleading guilty to bribing the mayor and buying favors from the police.

Exhibit A: Messages harvested from Rechnitz’s email account oozing with passion between mayor and donor, including this 2014 Inauguration Day missive from the mayor: “Please call me tomorrow to setup a meeting for early next week. I need you to accept the position I offered you.

Love you brother.”

Or, we should say, maybe the mayor: As Reichberg’s lawyer reminded the judge, Rechnitz is notorious for doctoring emails to puff up his profile as a mover and shaker.

If only de Blasio took pains to preserve his emails, instead of asserting a broad right to instantly delete that’s wildly at odds with the public’s right to know, he might have a shot at proving Rechnitz missives phony as a three-dollar bill. Letting a crook tell your story rarely ends well.

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As Sharp As Uncut Diamonds… The R&R – Impersonating Cops too?

rechnitz

De Blasio donor on trial for corruption mocked TSA agents for believing he was a cop

A de Blasio donor on trial for cop corruption was heard on tape Friday blasting airport security for believing he was an actual member of law enforcement after he flashed a police badge that the feds say he got via bribes.

The shocking call reveals self-described Brooklyn police liaison Jeremy Reichberg gloating over his success at tricking TSA agents into letting him skip the dreaded security line at an unspecified airport by showing off his police bling.

“I showed them my shield,” Reichberg said in the secretly recorded call with hedge-fund manager Murray Huberfeld, who pleaded guilty recently in a separate corruption case.

“I said, ‘I got to catch this 10:45 [flight], could they escort me,’ ” Reichberg said. “And they didn’t even screen me — these idiots, these fools. Fools!”

To read the remainder of the article click here.

Reichberg – It’s a Dog-Eat-Dog, No… a Brother-Eat-Brother World Out There…

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THE NEW YORK POST

NYPD corruption trial gets new twist

Moshe has been granted immunity to testify, the filing said.

On Monday, the defense also played wiretaps It’s brother vs. brother in an NYPD bribe case unfolding in Manhattan federal court.

Mayor Bill de Blasio donor Jeremy Reichberg, who stands accused of bribing NYPD cops, will be facing off against his brother, Moshe Reichberg, according to a new court filing.

Prosecutors plan to call Moshe to testify as early as this week about his Borough Park police-liaison sibling’s alleged efforts to keep evidence from the FBI, the court filing said.

In addition to being charged with bribing cops, Reichberg faces one count of obstruction of justice because feds say he asked Moshe to remove incriminating evidence about his bribery scheme from his house, including business cards of high-ranking officers, documents and electronic devices.showing the government’s key witness, Jona Rechnitz, growing increasingly panicked as city and federal investigators began circling the wagons on his financial shenanigans, which led to their bribery probe.

“I hear a helicopter, I hear an ambulance, I wake up,” Rechnitz told his dad in one call.

Rechnitz – Desperate Times Call for Desperate Measures, And this is the Trustworthy Informant?

THE NEW YORK POST

De Blasio donor admits to privately bashing mayor at NYPD corruption trial

Even as he was getting cozy with the mayor publicly, he was criticizing him privately.

Mayor de Blasio donor Jona Rechnitz admitted at trial on Tuesday that he once sent his friends a photo of himself and Hizzoner with the caption “desperate times call for desperate measures.”

Rechnitz admitted to the snarky comment at the trial of Jeremy Reichberg, who is accused of teaming up with Rechnitz to bribe high-ranking NYPD cops.

Reichberg’s lawyer raised the insult in an effort to raise doubts about Rechnitz’s claims that he had grown close to Hizzoner after he and Reichberg raised big money for de Blasio’s 2013 election.

Rechnitz insisted, however, that his donations and other fundraising bought him and Reichberg special privileges that other New Yorkers couldn’t get, including the mayor’s ear on issues.

“I got access. I got a very quick ­response. If you look at some of the ­e-mails, you see he responds within minutes,” Rechnitz said.

Reichberg is on trial for corrupting cops, including his co-defendant, ex-NYPD Deputy Inspector James Grant. Reichberg has not been charged with bribing or attempting to bribe public officials, but Rechnitz testified to it anyway.

Rechnitz and de Blasio and Reichberg and Grant and Seabrook and Mateo and…

Rechnitz says he met privately with de Blasio to discuss NYPD chief’s resignation

 

Mayor Bill de Blasio had a much closer relationship with disgraced donor Jona Rechnitz and his partner Jeremy Reichberg than he has ever let on, according to testimony and correspondence presented Wednesday in the ongoing NYPD corruption trial in federal court in Manhattan.

Rechnitz — who is cooperating with federal prosecutors and testifying against Reichberg and NYPD officer Jimmy Grant — said he and Reichberg befriended former NYPD Chief of Department Philip Banks III over a period of several years before he abruptly announced he was resigning from the force in 2014.

They bought Banks trips to the Dominican Republic and expensive meals, and wooed his closest allies in the Department, in the hopes of building a network of powerful police officers who could help them obtain favors like lights and siren escorts to bypass bad traffic, or help fix tickets for their friends and family.

When Banks announced his plans to resign, it jeopardized that plan and Reichberg and Rechnitz panicked, Rechnitz said Wednesday. Rechnitz asked Mayor Bill de Blasio — who has repeatedly denied a “close relationship” with his former donation bundler — for help. The mayor immediately asked for an in-person meeting, Rechnitz testified.

At the time, in late October of 2014, there was speculation that Banks left because he’d been passed over for police commissioner. Banks, who was soon to be promoted to the highest ranking civilian job on the force, publicly stated that the new job was too ceremonial and would take him away from real police work.

The departure of the highest-ranking black officer in the department prompted an immediate public relations crisis for de Blasio and news reports surfaced that mayor’s wife Chirlane McCray blamed then-Police Commissioner Bill Bratton for Banks’ departure.

But in reality, federal investigators were already scrutinizing Banks’ finances, for potentially laundering $300,000 in undisclosed income.

At the time, Rechnitz wanted de Blasio to try to convince him not to leave. In an email sent to the mayor’s personal Blackberry on Nov 3, 2014, he begged the mayor for help.

The email, which copied another de Blasio bundler, Fernando Mateo, had the subject line “Please help please please.”

“I’m in my office in a summit with Fernando, Norman and Jeremy,” Rechnitz wrote, referring to Mateo, former Corrections Officers Union President Norman Seabrook and Jeremy Reichberg.

“What can we do for you to refuse Banks’s resignation and get him back in and for Bratton to see past Phil’s monstrous mistake?” Rechnitz wrote.

Rechnitz said the mayor invited him to come discuss the matter in person, at the South Street Seaport, and the pair met.

“Bill was fuming that day” because Banks “had embarrassed the mayor,” Rechnitz said Wednesday.

“[De Blasio] had higher aspirations for him. He was going to make him police commissioner one day,” Rechnitz said, adding that de Blasio felt Banks had “made a big mistake.”

That email was not disclosed by City Hall to reporters despite multiple Freedom of Information requests for any communications between Rechnitz and the mayor sent on government or personal email accounts. Nor was another email exchange introduced as evidence in federal court Wednesday between Rechnitz and de Blasio from early February of 2014, in which Rechnitz offered the mayor tickets to see the Knicks play.

De Blasio declined, but said he wanted “to profoundly thank you for all the help you’ve given lately. Means a lot to me. And fyi, it has been an absolute pleasure getting to work regularly with Chief Banks. His future is bright.”

Those two emails were in addition to another missive City Hall failed to producefrom Rechnitz to de Blasio that surfaced last year as evidence in Seabrook’s federal corruption trial. Seabrook was convicted on bribery charges earlier this year.

At the time, de Blasio’s spokesperson said the email was not in City Hall’s possession.

Asked Wednesday, mayoral spokesperson Eric Phillips said only, “There was a diligent search performed and the complete results were provided to the requester.”

De Blasio’s relationship with Rechnitz and Reichberg came under close scrutiny in 2016 and 2017, when the mayor and some members of his administration came under federal investigation for their fundraising practices.

The federal inquiry was closed in 2017 without any charges being brought against the mayor or his staff.

But when the inquiry first became public in the spring of 2016, de Blasio downplayed the extent of his interactions with the pair — despite the fact that de Blasio had attended a fundraiser at Reichberg’s house and that Rechnitz had contributed more than $150,000 to the mayor’s campaign, a nonprofit he controlled, and a separate effort to help Democrats win back control of the State Senate in 2014.

“It’s not a particularly close relationship,”de Blasio told reporters in 2016. “I met them first around the time of the [2013] general election. I hadn’t known them previously and really haven’t seen them in the last year or more.”

But hundreds of pages of emails released by City Hall in 2017 in response to a records request show Rechnitz and Reichberg had easy access to officials in City Hall and the mayor, who often responded to their emails within minutes.

In 2017, de Blasio told reporters Rechnitz was “trying to present some great closeness, not just with me but with others, and it’s just not true.”

De Blasio’s personal meeting with Rechnitz at the South Street Seaport to discuss Banks’ resignation wasn’t the only previously unknown courtesy to the pair of donors.

According to emails obtained by POLITICO through a Freedom of Information request, the mayor afforded Reichberg another honor: a personal phone call to Reichberg when he was hospitalized to have his gallbladder removed, in September of 2014.

“Dear Mayor: Jeremy Reichberg will undergo surgery tomorrow morning at Mt Sinai Hospital, I would like to surprise him with a call from you,” another of de Blasio’s campaign bundlers, Fernando Mateo, wrote on September 2, 2014 to de Blasio’s personal email address. “I will stop by the hospital early afternoon 1-2pm who can I reach out to for you to wish him well. It will mean a lot to him and to me as well.”

To continue reading click here.

Rechnitz and Reichberg and Ho, Ho, Ho… Merry…. Huh?

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Video shows de Blasio donors allegedly delivering bribes to cops

You better watch out, you better not bribe …

Accused cop-briber Jeremy Reich­berg and cohort Jona Rechnitz donned Santa hats and cruised around in a black Aston Martin convertible to deliver Christmas grifts to officers on Staten Island, according to videos and photos released Tuesday.

The pricey goodies, including Nintendo games and American Girl dolls, were delivered to Reich­berg’s co-defendant, former NYPD Deputy Inspector James Grant, as well as retired cop Eric Rodriguez and already-convicted ex-Deputy Chief Michael Harrington, Rechnitz testified in Manhattan federal court.

“Ho, ho, ho!” Rechnitz says in the video.

Rechnitz explained that he wasn’t just channeling the jolly fat man — he was mocking one of Reichberg’s “competitors,” a man named “Abe” whom he described as also having high-level connections in the NYPD.

“You little ho,” he said of Abe in the clip.

In another video, the two men are seen driving up to a heavily protected 1 Police Plaza with ease while boasting about their ties to then-Chief of Department Philip Banks.

“We’re going to go park in the chief of department’s extra spot,” Rechnitz boasts in the video.

“Please salute us, officer, if you want to keep your job,” he adds snarkily as the men drive past a cop standing guard in the cold.

“Philip Banks is now chief of department, and we have full access,” Rechnitz explained of the statements on the witness stand.

Another photo showed Reichberg standing next to an underground parking spot for the police brass. Rechnitz says in the video that they “were parking, and then we’re going with the PC [Police Chief Banks] in his car to the ball-dropping,” referring to the New Year’s Eve Times Square crystal-ball-­descent celebration, which the NYPD controls.

Rechnitz has already admitted to bribing cops and public officials, including some in City Hall.

He testified Tuesday against Reichberg, who’s on trial for bribing police officers.

Rechnitz said Reichberg had many city officials in his pocket and used those connections to charge pals who wanted to buy their way out of jury duty and land expedited building permits.

The ex-friend recalled taking advantage of Reichberg’s cozy connections soon after meeting him about a decade ago, realizing his new buddy might be able to help him get a special placard to park wherever he wanted, including in no-parking zones.

“Everybody in the city knows that parking is a hassle,” the real estate investor and jeweler shrugged on the stand.

Rechnitz said he quickly learned that Reichberg was using his city connections, including with ­court-officer union boss Dennis Quirk, to line his own pockets.

The witness claimed that Reich­berg used Quirk to get people out of jury duty and got paid for it. Rechnitz did not say Quirk took any money.

Quirk, president of the New York State Court Officers Association, acknowledged to The Post on Tuesday that he helped Reichberg get people out of jury duty but said it was all based on legitimate adjournments and that no money was exchanged for the favors.

“I never got paid money from anybody,” Quirk said.

“If I can help somebody, I will help somebody.”

Meanwhile, Reichberg also had contacts with the city’s Department of Buildings, which he used to expedite housing permits for buddies, Rechnitz said

To continue reading click here.

More R&R, Victimizing the Prostitute, She Deserved Better then and She

 

Image result for pics of jona rechnitz and jeremy reichberg

NYPD corruption trial: Ex-prostitute testimony details Las Vegas weekend

https://www.amny.com/news/nypd-corruption-trial-1.23122444

The Manhattan federal court NYPD corruption trial took a trip on the seamy side Thursday as an ex-prostitute took the stand to describe how she was hired to dress up in a skimpy stewardess  outfit on a private jet to Las Vegas and then have sex with former deputy inspector James Grant.

Gabriella Curtis, 29, known as Gabi Grecko at the time of the trip in 2013, said that after the three-day Las Vegas Super Bowl weekend arranged by Grant’s co-defendant Jeremy Reichberg with five men altogether, she was unhappy Grant only gave her $1,200 to $1,500.

“The fact I was with multiple people . . . I thought it would be more,” she said, but Grant told her, “If our team had done better then we would have been able to give you more.”

Reichberg, 44, and former partner Jona Rechnitz, are charged with giving out favors ranging from meals and gifts to home repairs to the prostitute for Grant, 45, and other cops, in return for escorts, access to public events, assistance with gun permits and other perks.

Curtis said she was at loose ends in 2013, trying to make money to escape a bad relationship when she got into hooking through a website called Sugar Daddies and a Miami-based escort service.

She met Reichberg, a businessman from Borough Park, Brooklyn, at a bachelor party in a Midtown hotel attended by 15 men where she performed sex acts. He got her phone number, she testified, and later called her to arrange for the Las Vegas trip.

In addition to Reichberg and Grant, she identified another man on the trip as “Jona” — a reference to Jona Rechnitz, Reichberg’s partner and the government’s star witness in the case, who has previously testified about his efforts to corrupt cops, union officials and Mayor Bill de Blasio.

She said the group’s suite at the MGM Grand had two rooms, and she stayed in one with Grant, but said her escort services were “for everyone who asked.”

Curtis is reportedly now engaged to an Australian businessman. Defense lawyers are expected to portray her as a not-credible fame seeker more interested in exposure than truth.

But in her direct testimony, Curtis said that after the NYPD corruption case broke, she did an interview with the New York Post in an effort to empower women, not out of self-interest.

“I hoped I could help other females. While females are slut-shamed, men get high-fives,” she said. “I didn’t do it to hurt anyone….I didn’t do it for fame.”

She said the whole experience was a disaster. The story, a tabloid sensation in the city, was the “exact opposite of what I wanted and most of it wasn’t true,” she testified, and the reporter started dating her for a month before it ended badly.

“I felt really isolated,” said Curtis. “ . . . This was a person who seemed as if he cared about me.”

If she does any more interviews, she said, she wanted them to be “feminist” interviews.

“I feel like I’m not even a person any more,” she said. “I feel like I’m just a hooker.”

During cross-examination Thursday afternoon, defense lawyers said they want to put in evidence that Curtis has posed in revealing outfits for news outlets since her brush with celebrity to contradict her story of exploitation. But U.S. District Judge Gregory Woods has said he may not allow it.

Please click here to reach the source material.