Jona Rechnitz: Loan Shark? Diamond Dealer? Lucky Gambler? Real Estate Mogul? Shoshana by any other name…

 

jona rechnitz_crop_exact

NYPost: http://nypost.com/2017/04/26/key-witness-in-nypd-corruption-probe-was-an-alleged-loan-shark/

Key witness in NYPD corruption probe was an alleged ‘loan shark’’

The government’s key witness in multiple corruption probes was a part-time “loan shark” who made money doling out predatory loans, court documents alleged on Tuesday.

Jona Rechnitz — the government’s witness against two NYPD cops accused of taking bribes — “was nothing more than a loan shark” when it came to his business dealings with Hamlet Peralta, the former owner of a Harlem eatery that was popular with cops, Peralta’s lawyer said.

Peralta, the former owner of the Hudson River Cafe, stands accused of running a $12 million Ponzi scheme tied to an allegedly fictitious wholesale liquor business.

Peralta’s lawyer, Cesar de Castro, made the allegations against Rechnitz as part of a legal tug-of-war with feds about what evidence can be introduced at Peralta’s upcoming May trial.

The government wants to call as witnesses victims of Peralta’s alleged scheme who were recruited by Rechnitz — and who learned of the scheme through Rechnitz.

De Castro has objected, arguing that statements made by Rechnitz cannot be offered as the truth because he was engaged in his own loan-sharking scheme.

“Evidence at trial will show that (Rechnitz) was not Mr. Peralta’s agent but the architect of his own scheme in order to bleed Mr. Peralta dry,” de Castro said.

Rechnitz’s lawyer, Alan Levine, declined to comment.

Rechnitz, a real estate investor, is also the government’s key witness in the upcoming bribery trial of Norman Seabrook, former head of NYC’s correction officers’ union.

 

http://nypost.com/2017/04/26/key-witness-in-nypd-corruption-probe-was-an-alleged-loan-shark/

A Platinum Story -de Blasio Unscathed

 

The Real Deal

De Blasio won’t face federal, state charges in fundraising probe

News comes just days after Preet Bharara was fired

Mayor Bill de Blasio won’t be facing federal or state criminal charges for fundraising activities tied to his now defunct Campaign for One New York, officials announced on Thursday.

“After careful deliberation, given the totality of the circumstances here and absent additional evidence, we do not intend to bring federal criminal charges against the Mayor or those acting on his behalf relating to the fundraising efforts in question,” acting U.S. Attorney Joon Kim announced on Thursday.

The investigations hinged on whether de Blasio solicited donations from developers and others who had business before the city in exchange for political favors. In October, the New York Time’s reported that Jona Rechnitz, the real estate developer at the center of the NYPD corruption scandal, was cooperating with authorities. The mayor was accused of giving a retired police official a high-level position in his administration after Rechnitz called him and requested the appointment as a “personal favor.” The federal investigation was conducted by the Manhattan U.S. Attorney’s Office and the FBI. The Manhattan District Attorney’s Office led the state probe.

In his announcement, District Attorney Cyrus Vance stated that there wasn’t enough evidence to prove that the mayor violated state election laws in his efforts to help Democrats take over the Republican-controlled state Senate. The investigation focused on whether he wrongfully sidestepped contribution limits to individual candidates by directing donations to upstate county committees. Vance said, however, that the actions “appear contrary to the intent and spirit of the laws that impose candidate contribution limits.”

Kim noted the unusual nature of announcing that his office wouldn’t pursue criminal charges, saying that, in this case, it was appropriate to not “unduly influence the upcoming campaign and Mayoral election.” The announcement comes just a few days after President Donald Trump fired Preet Bharara from his post as U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York.

The decision not to prosecute clears what was a black cloud over the mayor’s re-election campaign. It remains to be seen if potential Democratic challengers who were waiting on the sidelines as the investigation dragged on will now step aside. Meanwhile, Republican mayoral candidate and Cushman & Wakefield executive Paul Massey announced Wednesday that he raised twice as much as de Blasio since Jan. 12.

Continue Reading here.

Kushner, President Trump, The sins of the Father, Platinum… Part I

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http://forward.com/news/361035/jared-kushner-and-the-white-haired-mystic-whose-dad-got-a-ride-from-a-dead/

Jared Kushner and the White-Haired Mystic Whose Dad ‘Got a Ride’ From a Dead Sage

Jared Kushner’s family charities have given hundreds of thousands of dollars to a mystical Moroccan rabbi who some followers claim has miraculous powers.

The rabbi, David Chananya Pinto, is little known in the United States but has a coterie of wealthy backers. Two separate Kushner family foundations on whose boards Jared Kushner serves have given over $210,000 in grants to Pinto’s New York City study center.

It’s hard to square Donald Trump’s clean-cut, Modern Orthodox son-in-law with the white-bearded mystic who tells a story about a night in 1968 when his father got a ride from a second-century sage driving an Israeli-made station wagon.

Yet Kushner has shown an interest in Judaism’s mystical corners.

Kushner and his wife, Ivanka Trump, plan to attend a Washington synagogue affiliated with the Chabad Hasidic group, a movement rooted in Jewish mysticism. And days before the presidential election, the couple visited the grave of the group’s former leader, where believers say prayers may be answered with miracles.

A spokesperson for Kushner would not comment on the foundations’ donations to Pinto’s charity. Pinto’s New York study center, Chevrat Pinto, did not respond to a request for comment.

The Kushner family are Modern Orthodox stalwarts, founders of a Modern Orthodox high school in New Jersey and members of Modern Orthodox synagogues. But while Modern Orthodox theology de-emphasizes the folk magic and mysticism found in some corners of Jewish tradition, magical beliefs have grown popular among rank-and-file Modern Orthodox Jews.

“There is definitely an upswing in turning to magic,” said Rabbi Alan Brill, a professor of Jewish studies at Seton Hall University. Brill has written on the phenomenon in an essay onModern Orthodox Jews in New Jersey reviving the ancient Jewish magical practice of baking keys into challah bread.

Brill also said that the popularity of traveling charismatic mystics was rising among some Modern Orthodox Jews. “It’s a different relationship than having to sit through a congregation each week,” he said.

Pinto is one of a handful of mystically inclined rabbis gaining popularity in the United States and Israel. His better-known nephew, Rabbi Yoshiyahu Yosef Pinto, attracted a large following of wealthy Jews in the United States and Israel before ending up in an Israeli prison for bribing a high-ranking police officer.

Yoshiyahu Yosef Pinto was released from prison January 25 after serving a one-year sentence. He says he is no longer a rabbi.

Rabbi David Pinto wears the familiar black coat and hat of the ultra-Orthodox Ashkenazim, but he descends from a North African Jewish tradition of miracle workers and saints. Pinto’s ancestors were prominent rabbis; the grave of his great-great grandfather is a popular pilgrimage site for Moroccan Jews. Pinto’s organization describes his father and his grandfather, both rabbis, as “miracle workers.”

Pinto leads institutions in France and Israel, but he regularly visits his New York study center, where his followers include Jews from mainstream Modern Orthodox backgrounds alongside members of the French Jewish community. He delivers his lectures in English, speaking with a French accent.

Stories of the miracles that his father and grandfather worked, and the belief that they can continue to influence daily events, appear to play a major role in Pinto’s religious message. In a May 2016 lecture delivered in Mexico City and available online, Pinto told a story about his father getting picked up on the side of the road in 1968 by the purported author of the Zohar, Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai, who lived roughly 2,000 years ago.

According to Pinto, his father, Rabbi Moshe Ahron Pinto, lived 40 years in prayerful seclusion in his home in Morocco, and then, in 1968, sought the permission of the dead sage bar Yochai to move his family to Israel. Moshe Ahron Pinto traveled to Ashdod, then took a taxi to bar Yochai’s crypt in Meron. He finished praying late at night. A disciple who had accompanied him thought they would be stuck near the crypt until dawn, but as soon as they reached the road, an Israeli-made station wagon, an Autocars Sussita, appeared. The driver took them to a house in a nearby village.

“My father went out [of the car], [the disciple] closed the car, and suddenly there was no car,” Pinto said.

Pinto said his father told the disciple that the driver was bar Yochai, and that if he told anyone of the miracle he would die.

The idea that righteous rabbis have the power to perform miracles is a familiar one in mystical Jewish traditions, and particularly among North African Jews. In the literature of Pinto’s organization, dead rabbis and even Pinto himself are credited with causing everyday miracles to occur.

 

An article in the 2010 English-language edition of a magazine published by his organization in Paris reports that a “great miracle happened” at the home of a Chicago follower who hosted Pinto: Two days after receiving Pinto’s blessing, the follower’s daughter was matched with a man whom she eventually married.

The article also reports that after Pinto promised a French follower that God would “perform a miracle for you this week” if the man spent one more hour a day studying the Torah, the man’s son narrowly escaped electrocution.

The story claims that Pinto knows things by miraculous means. “Many people are surprised by the way that the Rav knows and sees things from afar,” the article says. Pinto, the authors report, denies being a prophet. “Everything is due to the merit of the fathers,” it quotes him saying.

In a brief recollection presented in a December 2016 weekly bulletin published by Pinto’s Israeli organization, Pinto claimed that a German boy had been revived from a three-month coma after a man who hosted him on a visit to Morocco prayed at the grave of Rabbi Chaim Pinto, his great-great grandfather.

“I would never dare bang on the tombstone of my grandfather,” Pinto wrote. “However, [the man] did it naturally, and he was answered immediately!”

In New York City, Pinto has a study center, called Chevrat Pinto, in an Upper West Side brownstone. The study center received between $10,000 and $50,000 from a Kushner family foundation nearly every year from 2004 to 2013. Jared Kushner sits on the boards of the two foundations that made the grants, the Charles and Seryl Kushner Family Foundation and the C. Kushner Companies Foundation. He is one of seven coequal directors of the Charles and Seryl Kushner Family Foundation, according to 2014 tax documents, and was a member of a board of directors led by his mother at the C. Kushner Companies Foundation, which no longer exists.

In total, Chevrat Pinto received $217,000 from the Kushners’ two foundations.

Jared Kushner’s aunt and uncle, Marisa and Richard Stadtmauer, have been ever more generous. Their family foundation has given Chevrat Pinto $592,000 in grants since 2009.

To read the article in its original format click here.

Famed J.P. Morgan Building at 23 Wall Street in Play – and Urinating Bosses…

project_rs_23wall

23 Wall Street – Our Theories

We have written on the famed J.P. Morgan piece of property more times than perhaps any other Blog. We have written on the various Jona Rechnitz and Jeremy Reichberg properties/investments/shady dealings. We have written about Chetrit and Bistricer, China Sonangol, Queensway, Angola. The story below from “The Real Deal” almost feels like something we could have written. But, of course, we didn’t.

The new buyer, as you will see below from the article on the bottom of the page, Jack Terzi, lacks certain social graces (or did in 2012). He apparently was an abusive boss who, according to reports in the NY Daily News from 2012, engaged in bizarre behavior. In the interest of full disclosure, his employees at his yogurt shops felt that he was “strictly business” and “humble.” Hard to tell.

We can say this:

It would not surprise us if nestled within the many companies listed on the Africa-Israel website with reference to the Israel Stock Exchange we were to find the new J.P. Morgan buyer’s name, his company or some financial/management synergy with Africa Israel and perhaps concurrently with China Sonangol. It will take a while to find and some might write this one off as a leap. We don’t think so.

It is a Buyer’s market not a Seller’s market in Manhattan right now (if the comment about the losses below by The Real Deal is any indication). China Sonangol/Africa-Israel/Sam Pa/ want out of New York but we doubt they would take a financial loss. We think that it will prove to be anything but a loss.

AFI Group

The company is traded on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange.
For more information, please press on the image below.

Click here for more information

Subsidiaries:

Africa Israel Properties
Click here for more information
Africa Israel Residences
Click here for more information
 Danya Cebus
 Click here for more information
 Africa Israel Industries
 Click here for more information
 Negev Ceramics
 Click here for more information
Dor Alon
Click here for more information
Blue Square
Click here for more information

 

 

Paydirt: The Compass unicorn, a more modest buyer pool, 23 Wall in play … & more

Billionaires hiding? We’ll take the millionaires: Compass’ valuation comes at a time when Manhattan’s high-end residential market is taking body blows. Developers finally seem willing to accept things aren’t where they were in 2014. They’re either offering fat discounts (Extell at One Manhattan Square, World Wide Group and Rose Associates at 252 East 57th Street), pushing sales back (JDS & PMG at 111 West 57th Street) or abandoning ship (Witkoff at Park Lane, Chetrit & Bistricer at the Sony Building).  “The next two years will be the year of the deal,” PMG’s Kevin Maloney told Bloomberg.

Developers who set their sights a little more main street have been faring better: Condos priced between $500,000 and $999,000 have sold five times as fast as their $10 million-and-up counterparts, according to a Miller Samuel analysis of a decade of residential sales.

You don’t know Jack: JTRE’s Jack Terzi is in contract to buy 23 Wall Street, a landmarked property that was once the headquarters of J.P. Morgan & Co. – it was dubbed the “House of Morgan” — but of late has been a pox on Lower Manhattan. The long-vacant building is owned by the shadowy China Sonangol, a joint venture between Sam Pa’s Queensway Group and the nation of Angola — go figure. Sources told the New York Post that Terzi will be buying the property at a discount to the $150 million Sonangol paid for it in 2008. That’s hard to fathom, except for the fact that Pa is under investigation for allegations of financial crimes, according to the FT.

Terzi, who grew up in Gravesend and cut his teeth at Hidrock Realty, has made a number of splashy acquisitions of late, including a number of $20 million-plus buys in Midtown East. But this deal, if he does close on it, elevates him to a different level — giving him control of more than 130,000 square feet in the heart of Lower Manhattan.

 

Sam-Pa-23-Wall-Street (1)

 

THE NEW YORK POST:

http://nypost.com/2016/08/30/long-vacant-wall-street-landmark-sold-to-retail-developer/

 

For a tall tale about how China Sonangol may or may not have come to its original purchase through individuals mixed up in the NYPD scandals, read The Post’s Steve Cuozzo’s story from July 4.

The 160,000 square feet stretches from the landmarked 23 Wall St. where banker Morgan once had his private offices, around the sloped corner to portions of the base floors of 33 Wall and 15 Broad St.

The stone fortress has been touted as a retail play for years, but it’s stood mostly dark — due to absentee ownership and landmark-related restrictions.

Prospective deals to lease it to Brooks Brothers and a multi-media event company fell through but Hermes has been a tenant since 2007.

The upper stories of 15 Broad next door were converted into apartments.

JACK TERZI – NEW YORK DAILY NEWS:

http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/ex-worker-suing-real-estate-boss-jack-terzi-5-million-abuse-fines-urinating-article-1.1134148

 

Ex-worker suing real estate boss, Jack Terzi, for $5 million for abuse, fines, and urinating

A foul-mouthed boss from hell unzipped more than his lip in torturing his young assistant.

Brash real estate broker Jack Terzi urinated on the underling’s clothes during a three-year reign of terror in their Manhattan office, according to a astonishing new lawsuit.

The allegedly abusive broker was accused by ex-employee Albert Sultan of abuse that included cutting four-letter insults, sharp flying objects and bizarre fines.

Sultan, hired shortly after Terzi launched his company in 2009, “became emotionally distraught, was humiliated and embarrassed … by the systematic and continuous unlawful harassment,” charged the 15-page suit filed Wednesday.

Court papers contain a cruel recital of Terzi’s perverse management style, including the time he “urinated on a garment” belonging to Sultan as others watched.

Terzi was accused of throwing a shoe and a pair of scissors at his young assistant, hurling insults like “f—— idiot” and “piece of s—“ — and repeatedly “sneezing in (Sultan’s) face in a contemptuous fashion.”

Terzi, in a countersuit, charged Sultan was a conniving backstabber who launched his own business with confidential information stolen from Jack Terzi Real Estate.

Sultan, of Eatontown, N.J., declined further discussion about his ex-boss.

 

 

Apthorp Sitts and Rechnitz Ruins… We Think Not…

anthrop

THOR EQUITIES SCOOPING UP VALUABLE PROPERTIES FOR NEXT TO NOTHING… JONA RECHNITZ AND JSR CAPITAL… WHAT’S THEIR YIELD???? 

 

WE ARE GOING ON A THEORY:

Tell us…

What happens to a building when it is leased or sold at below market rates?

The value of that building and all of the units in that building fall, drop, sink, use your word of choice.

What happens then?

Well… An Equity firm goes in and saves the day, buying 70 units for far below market value.

So, did Jona Rechnitz ruin market efforts or did he purposely sabotage marketing efforts so that the building would be worthless?

And, who owns the building anyway…???

In our view, Jona Rechnitz is nothing if not very, very predictable. We believe that the news articles that follow in large part missed the point. Jona Rechnitz did not ruin a building because he failed. Quite the contrary, he succeeded. Thor Equities got a steal…. And, if Rechnitz was involved, there is money behind the deals closed to sink the value of the units in that building.

What commonalities can we find?

we are looking…

Jona Rechnitz ruined marketing efforts at the Apthorp: report

Continue reading

Preet Bharara Comes to Westchester to get more R&R?

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Preet Bharara expands corruption probe to Westchester

http://nypost.com/2016/07/25/preet-bharara-expands-corruption-probe-to-westchester/

US Attorney Preet Bharara’s corruption probe into the dealings of two shady businessmen and donors to Mayor de Blasio has expanded to Westchester County, The Post has learned.

Bharara has subpoenaed the offices of Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino about dealings with de Blasio financial backers Jona Rechnitz and Jeremy Reichberg, who have been linked to recent city pay-to-play scandals.

FBI agents also recently quizzed politically wired cabby advocate Fernando Mateo, who introduced Rechnitz and Reichberg to Astorino, according to a source familiar with the inquiry.

Reichberg, a Brooklyn resident who had no known previous ties to Westchester County, was named a volunteer county police chaplain in June 2013.

A few days later, entities tied to his pal Rechnitz donated $25,000 to Astorino’s re-election campaign.

Preet Bharara

During a recent visit to Mateo’s Irvington home, the FBI grilled him about the businessmen’s ties to Astorino as well as de Blasio, according to a source familiar with the interrogation.

“The FBI agents wanted to know everything they could about the Astorino relationships with Rechnitz and Reichberg,” the source said.

Mateo, a Latino civil leader, supported Astorino’s re-election in 2013 and was appointed to the Westchester County Police Advisory Board.

Mateo also is in hot water after admitting to The Post that he secretly bundled campaign money to the de Blasio campaign through an unemployed Brooklyn woman.

Mateo declined to comment on the probe.

Astorino confirmed his office has been blitzed with subpoenas from Bharara’s office.

“Yes. Informational subpoenas were issued to the county executive, the county police, and the county itself, which is no surprise given the need to get all available background
in an investigation involving so many city figures,” said Astorino spokesman Bill O’Reilly.

“Everything requested was turned over in a timely manner, and we’re happy to be helpful in any way going forward.”

Astorino claims he has done nothing wrong.

But the fact that Bharara’s probers are snooping around Westchester is not welcome news to the pol.

Astorino was the Republican Party’s nominee for governor in 2014, losing to the Democratic incumbent, Gov. Cuomo. He is considering running for governor again in 2018.

Reichberg was indicted in an NYPD scandal, in which he allegedly provided cops cash, free trips and even a prostitute for a Super Bowl bash.

Rechnitz has become a government cooperator in the case that has ensnared and disgraced a growing number of top-ranking cops in what has become the worst corruption scandal to hit the department in decades. Four officers have already been charged.

To read the complete article click here.

 

Solomon Rechnitz, Netanyahu – Corruption, a Family Business

Netanyahu Corruption Scandal Envelops Wealthy U.S. Haredi Family

shlomo reichnitz

Shlomo Rechnitz, under investigation for money laundering donations to Netanyahu family &/or Likud Party

The only thing better than a nice, juicy sex scandal is a nice, juicy corruption scandal.  Bibi Netanyahu has already had his very own sex scandal.  But it didn’t manage to wreck his career or his marriage.  The brewing corruption scandal threatens to do at leastone, if not the other.

I reported yesterday on an investigation that has caught up Netanyahu, his son, Yair, possibly his wife, Sara, and his former chief of staff Ari Harow.  Today, a Channel 2 news report snares a new player in the scandal, Shlomo Rechnitz.  There’s a baseball saying: you can’t tell the players without a scorecard.  As this criminal probe expands, I’ll try to keep the players clearly identified and offer some background.

robert reichnitz & netanyahu

Robert Rechnitz with pal, Bibi Netanyahu

Rechnitz comes from a wealthy, extended ultra-Orthodox family based in California.  The scion of the family and Shlomo’s uncle, is Robert Rechnitz, a real estate investor who founded the Bomel Companies and an Israeli subsidiary, Bomel Israel.  He has been vice chairman of the Republican Jewish Coalition and founded a Congressional lobbying group on behalf of Israel’s Iron Dome anti-rocket system (or should I say, “racket system?) the Iron Dome Tribute.  He even developed a branding slogan: “the Humane Defensive Weapon.”  I always thought the words “humane” and “weapon” were oxymorons.  But not in the topsy-turvy world that is pro-Israel advocacy.

I learned all this not from Wikipedia or Rechnitz’s corporate biography, but from the corporate PR firm Rechnitz hired to polish his image, the Friedlander Group.  Unfortunately, he didn’t hire them to monitor the reputation of his children and close family members.  Because now two of them are in very hot water.

His nephew, Shlomo owns the largest nursing home conglomerate in California: Brius Healthcare Services (brius is the Yiddish version of the word for “health”).  The State of California has investigated his firm numerous times for violations of health regulations.  He was the subject of a class-action suit.  His Pasadena nursing care facility was accused of recruiting felons as patients. Several employees faced criminal charges from that escapade.   He complained once to the Sacramento Bee that the charges against him made him out to be “the Charles Manson of the nursing home business.”  I’m guessing no one from Friedlander was available to accompany him to this interview.  That image really sticks in your mind.

Not to mention the time he announced that his employees, for whom he’d purchased 18,000 Powerball tickets, had won the Powerball jackpot.  The NY Times even featured him in a major story.  Well, it turns out it wasn’t true.  It was all a hoax, supposedly perpetrated by the son of one of the “winning” employees.

Rechnitz is also reported to have bought the anti-Haredi blog, Failed Messiah, written for years by Shmaryahu Rosenberg.  Rechnitz and many of his associates had been skewered in its posts for years.  Though conditions of the sale were not made public, they apparently bar Rosenberg from creating a new blog; or at least one covering the same subject as his old one.  That online property promptly disappeared from the internet.  Clearly, the Haredi community had withstood the slings and arrows of outrageous (mis)fortune from Rosenberg’s pen for too long.  The tycoon stepped in to end the attacks.  Lately, a new iteration of the blog, Lost Messiah, was launched by former readers of the old blog who wished to maintain the service it had done to the Orthodox community and the Jewish world.

Rechnitz appears to be playing a lead role in the Scandal of the Day as a major donor to Netanyahu and the Likud.  His uncle, Robert, was the western chair of American Friends of the Likud, which would mean he both donated and raised massive sums from Orthodox Jews on behalf of the Israel far-right.  As such, the elder Rechnitz would’ve worked closely with Ari Harow, the man in the spotlight of the current scandal.  That’s how Shlomo would’ve come to the attention of the Israeli police investigating the money-laundering operation.  Among Shlomo’s wide and varied philanthropic endeavors was funding Hebron yeshivas, among the most virulently racist and violent in Israel.

I haven’t dug deeply into the background of Victor Deutsch, Harow’s former business partner.  But I wouldn’t be surprised if he too is Orthodox and perhaps a close friend of the Rechnitz family.  If this guess turns out to be true, Deutsch would have excellent motive to benefit Harow and the Likud by the sort of fraudulent business transaction they’re accused of arranging, in selling the latter’s company for $3-million in largely unaccounted-for funds.

Jonah Reichnitz

Jona Rechnitz: show him the money!

Another Rechnitz facing the glare of bad PR is Jona, Robert’s son and cousin to Shlomo.  Jona began his career in real estate working for Lev Leviev’s Africa Israel.  Leviev, who began his own career as a blood diamond merchant to the stars, also maintains vast real estate holdings in the U.S., Britain and Israel.  His company has also built Israeli settlements.  Jona helped manage the Leviev real estate portfolio in New York until they had a falling out.  After that, Rechnitz formed his own company, JSR Capital.

Jona and another wealthy Hasidic Jew have beenswept up in the bribery and corruption scandal which has rocked the De Blasio administration in New York City.  They did favors for the corrupt head of the city prison officers union, Norman Seabrook, and offered gifts and benefits to senior police officers in the precinct where they lived.  Among the crooked deals was a $60,000 payment to Seabrook (paid in a $1,000 Ferragamo hand bag) in return for the union boss’ steering $20-million to a Rechnitz associate’s investment fund.  Seabrook was miffed as he’d been told he could net $150,000 from the arrangement.

Among other favors were all-expenses paid gambling junkets to Las Vegas on a private jet.  Another part of the entertainment provided was a prostitute dressed as a flight attendant whose “services” included far more than providing drinks and snacks.

Presumably, Rechnitz did this so he could gain favorable service response and attention from local police personnel in Brooklyn Orthodox neighborhoods.  But he had even bigger ambitions, which led him and his associate made six-figure donations to various DeBlasio political fundraising vehicles once he’d won the Democratic mayoral primary.

Jona lobbied the City Council and succeeded in gaining a $655,000 “discretionary” allocation to underwrite a “cultural sensitivity” police training seminar hosted by the Simon Wiesenthal Center, which was Rechnitz’ pet project.  Presumably, part of the curriculum was learning sensitivity to the special interests of the Haredi community.  You certainly won’t find any sensitivity to the Muslim community in this program.

All of this paints a portrait of a wealthy Haredi family parlaying money into political clout on a local, national and international scale.  Unlike other American families in which wealth is wielded within discrete nuclear families, in the Haredi world extended families (clans) unite to pursue objectives that benefit both their families personally and their extended Orthodox communities.  It’s certainly cleaner and less deadly than the old Italian mob.  But as the Netanyahu investigation shows, it’s no less venal and corrupt.

 

To see the article it’s entirety, see Titan Olam, click here