Diamonds and Cops and Mistresses, Is this in the 613 Mitzvot? The Wives of These Men Deserve Better

Image result for pics of jona rechnitz and jeremy reichberg

Accused cop-briber courted mistress at NYPD headquarters

She likes cops’ private cell numbers, personal police escorts and long walks at NYPD headquarters.


The Brooklyn businessman accused of bribing cops used police favors to court his mistress, including a special tour of 1 Police Plaza, the woman testified Wednesday.

Tara Sheils said in Manhattan Federal Court that she met Jeremy Reichberg while working as a nurse at Mount Sinai Hospital in Sept. 2014. Reichberg was recovering from gallbladder surgery and she agreed to continue caring for him at his home in Borough Park.


She said she treated him for about six days and they began flirting. She recalled meeting NYPD cops who stopped by to check on Reichberg, including former Deputy Chief Michael Harrington and ex-Detective Michael Milici.

Harrington gave her his card at Reichberg’s request and wrote his cell number on the back, she said.


“In case I needed him for anything,” she said.


She believed the married Reichberg was a chaplain for the NYPD, though he actually wasn’t. He did obtain that title from both the Westchester and Floral Park Police Departments — so that he could obtain parking placards, according to testimony.

As the pair traded flirtatious texts, Reichberg got Sheils a ride in an unmarked police car to get her nails done on Church Ave., she said.

Reichberg texted her photos of him getting a police escort into a football game and invited her to attend a promotion ceremony for Milici, she said.


“I was invited to a promotions ceremony and basically had a tour,” she said. She visited an area where cops monitored surveillance cameras throughout the city, including in subways, she recalled.


She then met Harrington and then-Chief of Department Philip Banks in an office, she recalled.


“There was leftover sushi there,” she said.


Prosecutors and the defense did not question Sheils about a relationship with Reichberg, but previous paperwork in the case has indicated they had an affair. Both sides indicated out of earshot of the jury that they were keen to avoid delving into the issue.


“The evidence will show that Reichberg used his ability to secure favors from the police as a means of impressing Witness-1 and courting Witness-1 romantically,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Martin Bell wrote.

To read the article in its entirety click here.


Call on Feds to Investigate City’s TPT Program, Deep Fraud?

BP Adams, Cornegy Call on Feds to Investigate City’s TPT Program

Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, center, and City Council Member Robert Cornegy Jr., to his leſt , announces they are asking the federal, state and city to investigate the city’s Third Party Transfer program. Photo by Stephen Witt.

Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams and City Council Member Robert Cornegy, Jr. (D-Bedford-Stuyvesant, Northern Crown Heights), the chair of the council’s Committee on Housing and Buildings, today called for a full-scale forensic audit and investigation on the federal, state, and city levels into the issue of deed fraud in the borough of Brooklyn, including the role that the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development’s Third Party Transfer (TPT) program.

The TPT program has been the subject of an evolving series of KCP stories documenting how the program has taken a number of black and brown properties that are fully owned and paid for with no mortgage. The series has also questioned the state judiciary system, and how only three judges oversee almost all of the foreclosure cases.

In letters Adams and Cornegy sent last week to United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York Richard P. Donoghue, United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York Geoffrey S. Berman, New York State Attorney General Barbara Underwood, Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez, and Public Advocate Letitia James, the lawmakers additionally asked for partnership with the City Council to enact a temporary moratorium on TPT seizures and other foreclosures in Brooklyn such as to ensure no illegal activity is occurring.

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A Shout Out to a Mensch of a Santa

This professional Santa Claus is an Orthodox Jew

(JTA) — Just like any other Santa Claus, Santa Rick will spend much of the next couple of weeks sitting children on his knee, asking whether they’ve been good and listening to their Christmas wishes.

If it’s a Saturday, he may have slept overnight in the building. And he’ll only accept payment after nightfall.

For Santa Rick’s last name is Rosenthal, and he’s an Orthodox Jew who does not drive or handle money on Shabbat. But that doesn’t stop him from doing his job.

“I don’t know anyone who wouldn’t help a child,” said Rosenthal, 66, who lives in Atlanta and attends Young Israel of Toco Hills. “If you look at the world as children do, that’s a better feeling. I’m a better person and a better Jew because I’m Santa.”

Rosenthal — a full-time, professional Santa — sees no contradiction between serving as the symbol of Christmas and living as an observant Jew. To him, Santa is a nonreligious spiritual figure who provides trust, reassurance and comfort to the young and old.

He says that anyone who is inclined to criticize him for working as a Santa should consider ways they help non-Jews observe holidays — like working a shift on Christmas when Christians take the day off.

“As a Jew, we are to be a light unto the world,” Rosenthal said, paraphrasing a famous Jewish aphorism from the Bible. “That’s one of our jobs. If we can help make people’s lives better, we should do that. It’s a mitzvah. If we can ease tensions between Jews and non-Jews, we can do that.”

Rosenthal began playing Santa at age 16 as a gag. He would dress up and hang mini bagels on his non-Jewish friends’ Christmas trees. He occasionally played the part in subsequent decades.

But he became a full-time Santa seven years ago when two things happened: First, his parents passed away within two weeks of each other, which led him to grow out his beard, a custom of the traditional Jewish 30-day mourning period after a parent’s death. Soon after he was shopping at Home Depot when he noticed that a little boy was staring at him transfixed, sure that he was Santa Claus.

“I knew what he was thinking and I said, ‘Don’t tell anyone you saw Santa buying tools for the elves at Home Depot,’” he said. “He was frozen dead over. I walked into the store, I looked back at the first row and he’s still staring at me.”

Since then, Rosenthal has become Santa year-round. He and his wife, Tracy, run a Santa school, Northern Lights Santa Academy, that hosts three-day weekend seminars on how to be Santa. The school covers everything from fashioning a good costume to making sure you have legal and insurance protection in place. But the seminars also promise fun times, like a Christmas movie screening and a photo op with a live reindeer.

The couple also runs the National Santa Agency, which books a network of 100 Santas, Mrs. Clauses and elves for private parties and events. Rosenthal is a member of the International Brotherhood of Real Bearded Santas.

While his busy season obviously is Christmastime, Rosenthal says there’s business all 12 months. He’ll go to schools, birthday parties, senior homes and trade shows. He did a gig this year in Hong Kong. He’s even taken part in marriage proposals — he gives the woman an engagement ring that she had already selected with her partner.

“I say, ‘If I asked you to marry me, would you marry me?’ and then I pull out the ring,” he said. “They say, ‘Where is Bob?’ or ‘Where is Jeff?’”

Rosenthal looks the part. He has a bushy beard, oblong glasses and several Santa suits — including a golf suit (he says his game is unbeatable) and a red-and-white, full-body Santa swimsuit. He curls his mustache every day and uses three kinds of conditioner on his hair and beard. And his demeanor, for lack of a better word, is jolly. Speaking to this reporter, he casually uses the phrase “butcher, baker or candlestick maker.”

Part of what he loves about being Santa, Rosenthal says, is that the Jolly Old Elf has been called the second-most recognizable figure in the world — after Jesus. He said that patients with Alzheimer’s at seniors residences will recognize him even when they can’t recognize their own spouses.

“It is incredibly humbling because people are in awe of you,” he said. “They’re intimate with you, they tell you really funny stuff, they tell you horrible stuff, and they do that because you’ve known them since they were born. You’ve known their parents since they were born.”

His wife says that even when he’s not in the suit, Rosenthal will wear a red shirt — and frequently be mobbed by kids. Because she doesn’t dress the part of Santa’s wife, Tracy says she will usually keep her distance so kids don’t “think Santa’s stepping out on Mrs. Claus.”

“From a personal perspective, we never are able to go out anywhere in public where he is not recognized as Santa,” she said. “Usually if we go to the store, I know it’s going to take a little bit longer because he’ll be stopped and I’ll usually be waiting for him to be done talking to children.”

Rosenthal says the job can be taxing sometimes because he must be open to the array of human emotions. He says he cries often after talking with people, and recalls an especially painful time when a little boy sat on his lap and asked for a small trampoline for Christmas for his dead brother.

“I have to be jolly; I have to get rid of it,” he said of the job’s emotional burdens. “We have open wounds as Santas. We got shot at all the time in good ways and bad ways.”

But one thing that has not been a challenge, he says, is a Jew playing Santa. He makes clear that he’s not a Christian minister or even St. Nicholas. To his mind, he’s an American Santa who wants to help people.

“Santa is an American cultural thing,” he said. “When I’m Santa, I’m Santa. I’m a spiritual guy who believes in the world being a better place.”

A Gem of a Monthly Train Pass and a Window Mazal Hadadi Could not Have Accessed (Without Help) – Murder?

פרשת מותה של מזל הדדי: רכשה חופשי חודשי ברכבת

[Loose Translation: The Death of Mazal Hadadi: She Had Just Purchased a Monthly Train Pass]


עורך הדין ששי גז שנשכר על ידי הבעל קובי טוען כי מחשבון כרטיס האשראי שהגיע לידי המשפחה ניתן לראות שלא הייתה בכוונתה להתאבד: “תכננה להמשיך לחיות”

אלון חכמון 12/12/2018 22:00 2 דק’ קריאה
מזל הדדי ז"ל ובעלה


“מזל הדדי לא התאבדה”, כך מציין עו”ד ששי גז פרקליטה של המשפחה שאת שירותיו שכר האלמן של המנוחה קובי הדדי. “יש לנו חששות כבדים שהיא נרצחה ועל המשטרה לבצע את החקירה ביסודיות ובצורה מקיפה. המקום שממנו לכאורה נפלה אל מותה אינו מאפשר לבחורה כמוה להתאבד, לא הייתה לה שום סיבה להתאבד” אומר עו”ד גז ושולף נתונים חדשים אליהם נחשף ביממה האחרונה.

[Loose Translation: Mazal Hadadi did not kill herself” concluded an investigator on behalf of the family. We have significant suspicion that she was murdered and that the police are investigating this secretly. The place where she was thought to have jumped is not accessible for her to have jumped and she had not reason to kill herself. ]

“ביום האירוע הטראגי, ניתן לראות בוודאות מדף פירוט של כרטיס האשראי שלה שהגיע ממש אתמול כי היא רכשה קודם לכן כרטיס רב קו לרכבת ישראל – ראשל”צ, כך שבוודאות היא תכננה להמשיך ולחיות. יתרה מכך ערב קודם לכן בשיחת סלון עם בעלה קובי, היא אמרה לו ‘אנחנו עוד נטייל הרבה בעולם’, כך לדבריו של הבעל שמחפש לדעת מה עומד מאחורי האירוע הזה”.

[Loose Translation: “On the day the event occurred there is undeniable proof that she purchased on her credit card receipt, which was received yesterday, a monthly train pass. She had also just told her husband that they were going to travel again, as she was reminiscing about a previous vacation.]

במשפחתה של הדדי , מסרבים להשלים עם עמדת המשטרה לפיה מזל ז”ל, קפצה אל מותה מהבניין שבו עבדה בחברתLLDשבבעלות לב לבייב. המשפחה קוראת למשטרה להמשיך בחקירה באינטנסיביות יתרה כדי להתחקות אחר מי שעומד מאחורי המעשה. “לא היתה לה כל סיבה בעולם להתאבד. זה הזוי מה שקרה כאן”.

[Loose Translation: The family of Hadadi is refusing to believe that she succumbed to police pressure and jumped from Lev Leviev’s building. The family is demanding that the police do a proper, intensive and thorough investigation into the company LLD, which stands behind the events that transpired on that day.]

כזכור, לפני כשלושה שבועות, נתקבל דיווח אודות נפילת צעירה מבניין משרדים הסמוך לבורסת היהלומים ברמת גן. בתום חקירה ראשונית קבעה המשטרה כי מדובר בהתאבדות. מסתבר כי באותן דקות המתין הדדי, לרעייתו בתחנת הרכבת בראשון לציון. כאשר חזר הביתה התבשר על האירוע הטראגי וסירב להאמין לבשורת האיוב. הדדי דוחה את האפשרות שרעייתו קפצה אל מותה וסבור כי מדובר ברצח.

מזל הדדי, מנהלת חשבונות בחברה של לבייב, נחקרה ימים אחדים קודם לכן במשרדי להב 433 בלוד במסגרת חקירת פרשת היהלום השחור, ששמו של לבייב נקשר אליה, אולם היא שוחררה בתום

Lev Leviev – Spotlights and Shadows and Diamonds

Diamond Smuggling Scandal Spotlights Shadowy Israeli Tycoon

By: AP

This Dec. 2, 2009 photo showsLev Leviev at a district court in Tel Aviv, Israel. Israeli police are demanding his return from Russia to be questioned of charges including smuggling, money laundering and tax offenses. (AP Photo/Ofer Vaknin)


Tel Aviv – A shadowy Israeli billionaire who made his fortune in the insular world of diamonds has suddenly found his empire in jeopardy after close associates were busted in a massive smuggling ring and an employee mysteriously plummeted to her death from his high-rise Tel Aviv office building.


Lev Leviev, known in Israel as the “king of diamonds,” has enjoyed close ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin and has a reputation for generous philanthropy to Jewish causes. But now, Israeli police are demanding that he return from Moscow for questioning on allegations of smuggling, money laundering and tax offenses.

It’s a stunning downturn for one of Israel’s most well-known tycoons. Born in the former Soviet republic of Uzbekistan, the 62-year-old Leviev immigrated to Israel as a youth in 1971 and began working as an apprentice in a polishing plant in Israel’s then-booming diamond industry. His meteoric rise saw him later establishing a plant of his own, and striking deals in Angola and Russia that briefly undercut the DeBeers diamond giant. He later branched out to real estate, construction and chemicals, with his Africa-Israel holding and investment company becoming a powerful player in the Israeli market and establishing Leviev as a precursor to a wave of Jewish oligarchs from the former Soviet Union who have become power brokers in Israel.

Though his net worth is estimated at more than $1 billion, Leviev suffered heavy losses in recent years because of his massive investment in Russia, where he is known to enjoy strong government support. Leviev, who moved to London a decade ago and recently relocated to Moscow, denies any allegations of impropriety and is currently negotiating terms of his return with Israeli police. But insiders say that even if he hasn’t been formally charged with a crime, his mere association with the suspects accused of smuggling some $80 million worth of diamonds hidden in briefcases over several years could be devastating to his brand.

“I can’t believe he would put himself in such a situation. He is still a strong oligarch, and this is not his style. A smuggling of this scale could topple businesses far larger than his,” said Alex Kogan, a journalist who has covered the oligarchs in Israel for the local Russian-language press. “Even if he is not involved, this whole affair will harm him greatly.”

Leviev’s son and brother were arrested in early November, along with four others, and are currently out on bail in what has been dubbed the “Black Diamond” affair.

The saga took a more tragic turn on Nov. 11, when Mazal Hadadi, a bookkeeper for Leviev’s diamond firm LLD, fell to her death from a small, elevated bathroom window on the 10th floor of his office building next to Israel’s Diamond Exchange.

The death was initially reported as a suicide, the supposed result of a breakdown following tough police questioning about the smuggling affair. The family acknowledges Hadadi was rattled by the investigation but insists the mother of three would never take her own life and was on her way to meet her husband after work when a mysterious call to her cell phone made her abruptly return to the office.

Israel’s reeling diamond industry has been trying to distance itself from the affair. With tens of thousands of employees in the 1970s, Israel was once the world’s largest diamond trading center but fell on hard times in recent years because of the proliferation of synthetic diamonds and outsourcing of polishing plants to countries like India, where wages are far lower. Dubai has also cut away at Israel’s status as the regional gateway for trading because of tax benefits for companies.

But Israel is still a leader in the polishing of large diamonds and a hub for e-commerce and technological developments. Though officially still a member of the Israel Diamond Exchange, Leviev hasn’t been seen in Israeli diamond circles in years as his business interests focused elsewhere and his brother took over the leadership at LLD.

An official in the industry, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the ongoing investigation, said the affair has put a strain on other Israeli diamond dealers. The Israeli market is now considered to be a highly regulated industry that has cleaned up its act after decades of shady dealings and association with “blood diamonds” mined in conflict zones that financed human rights violations. In 2003, Israel joined the Kimberley Process by which members meet annually to discuss strengthening controls over conflict diamonds.

Leviev’s alleged motivations are also a mystery, since diamonds entering Israel only need to be declared and inspected rather immediately taxed.

For now, there are far more questions than answers. The Israeli media has been filled with trickles of information along with interviews with the bereaved bookkeeper’s family, criticism of police conduct and speculation over whether Leviev will return and be arrested.

In a statement, Leviev’s Israel office denied all allegations against its employees.

“Mr. Leviev and all of the companies under his control operate in accordance with accepted norms, adhering to the law,” it said. “We hope that this matter will be clarified quickly and the suspicions will be proven baseless.”

It’s the kind of attention Leviev has long tried to avoid, preferring to limit his media coverage to his philanthropy for the Chabad movement, a Hasidic sect that performs outreach to Jews around the world, rather than his diamond dealing.

“It’s a closed world where people like to keep their secrets,” said Kogan, the journalist. “He doesn’t like publicity and doesn’t like to stick out.”

Cannabis News – Across the County


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Cannabis News Round-Up


Denver will vacate low-level marijuana convictions that occurred before legalization. The little Colorado town that pot built.

Rhode Island considers marijuana legalization as New England turns green. The high costs of legalizing marijuana in New Hampshire.

A new revenue source for NYC mass transit: Legalizing and taxing cannabis. Long Island public hearingcenters on legalizing recreational marijuana. Minority entrepreneurs look to break into burgeoning New Jersey pot industry. Jersey City tells cops to keep arresting people for pot.

Could Minnesota be next to legalize marijuana?

North Carolina legislature to consider marijuana legalization in 2019.

Missouri lawmaker files marijuana legalization bill after voters approve medical cannabis.

As Altria eyes potPhilip Morris ignores peer pressure. Altria invests $1.8 billion in cannabis company Cronos. Navigating cannabis legalization 2.0. Major alcohol association briefs Congress on marijuana legalization. In 90-second clip, Fox & Friends pushes string of misleading claims about marijuana. Investing in marijuana dispensary stocks could be a big mistake.

Will Trump’s wall help keep US weed out of Mexico? Marijuana in Mexico: how to legalize it effectively, fairly and safely.

Capitalistic US faces fight with Canada for cannabis supremacyUSCanada cross-border dispatches on the state of cannabis legalization. In Canada, you can study marijuana production for college credit. Why moldy weed is a problem in Canada and how to fix it. Pot is so hot in Canada that firms are importing workersNetherlands master weed growers are flocking to Canada

The Source material for this article can be found in attached links. Please find the Original Article here.

Recreational Marijuana in New York…. A Kosher-not-so-Kosher Harvest?

Cuomo preparing recreational marijuana plan for New York in 2019

Thomas Franck 


  • The Office of Governor Andrew Cuomo on Tuesday reaffirms its goal of creating a program for regulated marijuana use.
  • As part of a well-telegraphed initiative, the governor’s office hosted the listening sessions throughout September and October to gauge community appetite for legal cannabis.
  • A May study by New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer projected marijuana use could foster a $3.1 billion market in the state.
  • In Colorado, marijuana retailers made $1.5 billion last year and accrued $247 million in taxes and fees, according to state records

The Office of Governor Andrew Cuomo on Tuesday reaffirmed its commitment to creating a model program for controlled recreational marijuana use in New York State.

“As we have said since August, the goal of this administration is to create a model program for regulated adult-use cannabis — and the best way to do that is to ensure our final proposal captures the views of everyday New Yorkers,” said Cuomo spokesman Tyrone Stevens.

“That’s why Governor Cuomo launched 17 listening sessions in cities across the state to give every community in every corner of New York the opportunity to be heard,” Stevens added. “Now that the listening sessions have concluded, the working group has begun accessing and reviewing the feedback we received and we expect to introduce a formal comprehensive proposal early in the 2019 legislative session.”


As part of a well-telegraphed initiative, the governor’s office hosted the listening sessions throughout September and October to gauge community appetite on the implementations of a regulated marijuana program in New York State. Cuomo’s office said in August that community input would “assist the Regulated Marijuana Workgroup in drafting legislation for an adult-use marijuana program for the legislature to consider in the upcoming season.”

Earlier this year, a multi-agency study commissioned by Governor Cuomo and led by the Department of Health concluded that “the positive effects of regulating an adult marijuana market in NYS outweigh the potential negative impacts.”

“I have reviewed the multi-agency report commissioned last January and have discussed its findings with Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker,” Cuomo said on Aug. 2. “The next steps must be taken thoughtfully and deliberately. As we work to implement the report’s recommendations through legislation, we must thoroughly consider all aspects of a regulated marijuana program, including its impact on public health, criminal justice and State revenue, and mitigate any potential risks associated with it.”

Shares of major Canadian cannabis producers that trade on U.S. exchanges closed mixed on Tuesday. Tilray and Cronos Group both fell, while Canopy Growth and Aurora Cannabis rose 6.9 percent and 3.4 percent, respectively. Some of the shares ticked higher after the NY Post reported the comments from Cuomo’s office.

While cannabis in the U.S. remains federally illegal, the industry analysts believe the U.S. market for cannabis could be sizable, with the current illicit market valued at around $40 billion to $50 billion. According to the latest Gallup poll, 66 percent of survey respondents now support legalizing marijuana. That’s a record high and was the third consecutive year that support for legalization has increased to record levels.


A study released in May by New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer projected OKing marijuana use could foster a $3.1 billion market in the Empire State.

The comptroller’s office also said that, by applying tax rates in line with other states, New York could “reap as much $436 million annually in new tax revenue from legal marijuana sales.” New York City alone could garner as much as $335 million, Stringer’s office said, which “could be used to invest in communities most damaged by decades of criminalizing marijuana usage and possession.”

In the 2018 midterm elections, Michiganders chose to authorize the legalization of possession, use and cultivation of marijuana products by those who are at least 21 years old. Ten states and the District of Columbia have now approved recreational use of pot.

In Colorado, marijuana retailers made $1.5 billion last year and accrued $247 million in taxes and fees, according to state records.

WATCH: Cramer says Altria needed Cronos deal to show a pulse