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.

 

 

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CORRECTION – NYPD Confidential – A Diamond of a Setup – How Credible is Rechnitz as a Government Witness?

CORRECTION: Please note the following correction. Jona Rechnitz is the government witness. Jeremy Reichberg is not a government witness. The title of the article contained a typographical error which has been brought to our attention and which have herein corrected. To the extent an error was made it was nothing more than a typographical error and we hope this serves to appropriately correct the record. We appreciate this being brought to our attention.

DISCLAIMER: LostMessiah is republishing the entirety of the NYPD Confidential page with the permission of its author. We are doing so with the understanding that no attribution should be made to him regarding our analysis of the information he has provided, our theories or our views. He is not to be deemed to support our site, though we do support his.
By virtue of the permission granted we emphasize that nothing in this republication should be deemed to imply any support of our site or the theories and analyses we convey. We thank him sincerely for the permission.

 

 

NYPD Confidential - An Inside Look at the New York Police Department.  The New York City police department is the largest and most powerful law enforcement organization  in the country, if not the world. It is capable of both the greatest investigations and feats of bravery  as well as the most flagrant of abuses, both internal and external. While the media chronicles the  former, it often ignores or is unaware of the latter. NYPD Confidential, a weekly chronicle by police  columnist Leonard Levitt, is an insider's view of the department that the public rarely sees.

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Jews, Hasidic Jews and the NYPD

November 5, 2018

With the fatal Pittsburgh synagogue shooting, the increased number of reported anti-Semitic incidents and the upcoming corruption trial of a police inspector with ties to Brooklyn’s Hasidic community, let’s consider the state of anti-Semitism in the NYPD. The good news: at least in the higher ranks, it doesn’t appear to exist.

Click here to read what the police brass say about NYPD Confidential“Not in my command,” said former police commissioner Bernie Kerik, who served from 2000 to 2001. “I don’t recall anything like that. Maybe there are isolated incidents but no, there is no anti-Semitism in the NYPD.”

“It’s a complete non-issue,” says a person with insider knowledge of the department who asked for anonymity to speak openly about the subject. “There is prejudice against other groups, but not against Jews.” He did not specify to which groups he was referring.

Unlike other cities, he says, “The Jewish community in New York City is very broad and very powerful. The police department understands that and is responsive. A cop learns early on that Jews can be helpful.”

Click here to read the New York Times profile of Leonard LevittIn addition, over the past 40 years, New York has had three Jewish mayors as well as a Jewish police commissioner, Howard Safir. And former mayor Rudy Giuliani, who appointed Safir, has long been a supporter of Jewish causes. Ray Kelly, who under Mayor Michael Bloomberg became the longest serving police commissioner in city history, has shared Passover seder with the department’s longtime chaplain, Rabbi Alvin Kass.

Then there are the Hasidic Jews with their 18th-century dress and old-fashioned ways. Some mainstream Jewish organizations are wary of and embarrassed by them. So much so that after the 1991 Crown Heights riots, which led to the fatal stabbing of a rabbinical student by a black mob, the premier Jewish civil rights organization, the Anti-Defamation League, remained silent for weeks.

Click here to read the Washington Post article on NYPD ConfidentialFor the department, dealing with the Hasidics can be a double-edged sword. “There’s a split between the upper ranks of captains and above and lieutenants and below,” says a former top cop. “The upper ranks feel they need to get along with them for political reasons because of the perception that this is what City Hall wants. But many lower ranking cops are bitter towards the Hasidics because of their perceived power and privileges.” Because of this, says another former top cop, “Coming up, I heard plenty of ‘fucking Jews’ and ‘Jew bastard’ talk in the locker rooms.”

No incident better reflected the Hasidics’ influence with City Hall than when in 1978 under Mayor Ed Koch hundreds of Hasidic protesters wrecked the 66th Precinct in Borough Park and injured 60 cops. Whether Koch ordered it, or top commanders perceived that’s what he wanted, no arrests were made. Among cops, the precinct became known as Fort Surrender.

Twenty-one years later, after a cop issued a summons to a Hasidic driver, Hasidics again stormed the 66th Precinct No doubt with Fort Surrender in mind, Borough Commander George Brown refused to release the driver. No doubt at Giuliani’s direction, Safir transferred Brown out of Brooklyn to Police Plaza.

The trial of Deputy Inspector James Grant — who is accused of having sex with a prostitute on a private plane, paid for by Hasidic businessman Jeremy Reichberg, who is on trial with him — is to begin this week. Indications are that the trial will lay bare some of the ties between the department and Brooklyn’s Hasidic community. We got a taste of this in last year’s trial of former corrections union president Norman Seabrook, from the government’s chief witness, Jonah Rechnitz. He’s expected to be the government’s chief witness again.

Gun Licenses in Brooklyn in Exchange for Political Favors – More of Shaya Lichtenstein Investigation

LAW ENFORCEMENT, THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM, THE JUDICIAL SYSTEM: CRIMES COMMITTED REPRESENT AN EXISTENTIAL THREAT – LM:

A police officer trades gun licenses for money and favors thereby committing one or several crimes. He defiles the very institution of criminal justice. A Brooklyn prosecutor involved in this scheme is not only committing a crime but violating the very tenets of the legal system and his oath as an attorney.

All of this is in the name of personal gain.

Is the law enforcement officer not also rigging the job market for other police officers? Is he not manipulating the tax system used to pay the salaries of those officers?  Is the prosecutor not also potentially creating more work for himself, thereby increasing dependence upon him and the office in which he sits?

We posit that corruption within the ranks of law enforcement, the justice system, the legal profession and the supporting political system represents an existential threat to our survival and should be viewed under that lens.

LM 

The New York Times: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/25/nyregion/3-former-police-officers-and-a-former-prosecutor-are-charged-in-widening-corruption-investigation.html?_r=0

3 Retired Officers and Ex-Prosecutor Charged in Graft Inquiry

Three retired police officers and a former Brooklyn prosecutor were charged on Tuesday in a widening federal corruption investigation into the New York City Police Department and its gun-licensing division.

The charges revolve around a scheme in which so-called gun-licensing expediters bribed police officers in exchange for approvals of hard-to-obtain gun permits, according to two criminal complaints unsealed on Tuesday in Federal District Court in Manhattan.

The complaints also show that a former New York police sergeant, David Villanueva, and a gun-license expediter who interacted frequently with the department’s license division have pleaded guilty to bribery and other charges and are cooperating with the authorities.

The charges are the most significant development in the long-running police corruption inquiry since June, when two police commanders were arrested and accused of accepting expensive gifts from two politically connected businessmen in return for illicit favors. Sergeant Villanueva and an officer were also charged at the time in relation to the gun-licensing scheme.

The former officers charged on Tuesday were Paul Dean, who had been a lieutenant, and Robert Espinel; both had been assigned to the license division. A third defendant, Gaetano Valastro, who retired as a detective in 1999, owned and operated a store in Queens that sold firearms and related equipment and also provided firearms training courses, the complaint says.

All three men were charged with two counts of conspiracy to commit bribery; Mr. Dean and Mr. Espinel were also charged with one count of extortion and Mr. Valastro with one count of making false statements.

The former prosecutor who was charged is John Chambers, a lawyer who specialized in helping clients navigate the gun application process in both New York City and Nassau County. He was charged with bribery and conspiracy.

Mr. Chambers gave then-Sergeant Villanueva of the gun-licensing division tickets to Broadway shows, a Paul Picot watch valued at $8,000, tickets to sporting events, sports memorabilia and cash, according to a criminal complaint sworn by an F.B.I. agent. In return, Sergeant Villanueva “ensured that renewals of N.Y.P.D. gun licenses for Chambers’ clients were approved significantly faster,” the complaint charges.

Mr. Chambers was an assistant district attorney in Brooklyn in the 1980s.

The charges were announced at a news conference on Tuesday by Joon H. Kim, the acting United States attorney in Manhattan; William F. Sweeney, the head of the F.B.I.’s New York field office; and James P. O’Neill, the police commissioner. The F.B.I. has been conducting the investigation with the Police Department’s Internal Affairs Bureau since 2013.

The charges come weeks after a Brooklyn man, Alex Lichtenstein, was sentenced to 32 months in prison on charges that he paid police officials thousands of dollars in bribes to obtain expedited handgun licenses for his clients.

Bribery, Guns and 32 Months

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DNA INFO

Brooklyn Businessman Sentenced to 32 Months in NYPD Bribery Scheme

MANHATTAN — A Brooklyn businessman who bribed NYPD officers in exchange for expediting gun licenses for clients was sentenced to nearly three years in prison Thursday.

Alex “Shaya” Lichtenstein, 45, had pleaded guilty to bribery and conspiracy charges after paying tens of thousands of dollars in cash bribes since 2013 to Sergeant David Villanueva in the licensing division, who then shared some of the money with Officer Richard Ochetal.

“By engaging in an egregious scheme to trade cash for gun licenses, Alex Lichtenstein and his co-defendants in the New York City Police Department corrupted the sensitive process of evaluating gun license applications in New York City,” acting Manhattan U.S. Attorney Joon Kim said.

“Today’s sentence shows that individuals who so brazenly abuse the public’s trust in law enforcement — whether they are the officers receiving bribes or the citizens paying them — will be held to account for their crimes.”

Lichtenstein — who served as the leader of the Borough Park neighborhood patrol, Shomrim — made off with between $150,000 to $250,000 from his clients, some of whom had criminal convictions and a history of domestic violence.

He was finally banned from the licensing division in 2016 after rumors spread about his client fees and he then tried to bribe another officer who recorded the Brooklyn businessman offering a $6,000 bribe.

Lichtenstein was also sentenced to three years of supervised release and was ordered to forfeit $230,000.

TO READ THE ARTICLE IN ITS ENTIRETY CLICK HERE.

Shaya Lichtenstein’s Secret Recordings

http://dusiznies.blogspot.com/2017/01/shaya-lichtenstein-secretly-recorded.html

Shaya Lichtenstein secretly recorded some 70,000 conversations, including many with cops. Singing like a Chazzan

 

A crooked gun broker secretly made thousands of recordings of conversations with corrupt NYPD cops, federal prosecutors said Wednesday.
The revelation likely will send shock waves through the department.
In a letter filed in Manhattan Federal Court, prosecutors said Alex (Shaya) Lichtenstein secretly recorded some 70,000 conversations, including many with cops.
In November, Lichtenstein pleaded guilty to bribing NYPD officers to obtain pistol licenses.
Lichtenstein saved the conversations to an e-mail account, “many of them contemporaneous memorialization of dealings of questionable legality with members of the NYPD,” according to the letter written by Assistant U.S. Attorney Martin Bell.
“During our initial review of those recordings, we learned that some of these calls implicated at least one of the defendants in this case.”
The feds said they also got “material” from the phones of Jeremy Reichberg, a Brooklyn businessman who is accused of doling out gifts to senior cops, including trips to the Super Bowl, Brazil and China, sources said.
That material was not described in any more specifics.
Lichtenstein pleaded guilty on Nov. 10 to offering a cop $6,000 in exchange for an expedited gun permit.
“I had a good and friendly relationship with New York City police officers. During these years, I gave police officers in the Licensing Division things of value, including money, knowing that by giving them those things, the officers would do me favors, including expediting gun license applications,” Lichtenstein, 45, said.
Sgt. David Villanueva is accused of accepting gifts in exchange for helping speed up weapons permits.
Police Officer Richard Ochetal, formerly of the gun licensing unit, pleaded guilty to charges relating to the probe — and is cooperating with cops, the feds said in June.
Deputy Chief Michael Harrington and Deputy Inspector James Grant were also arrested for allegedly acting as “cops on call” for Reichberg and another wealthy de Blasio donor, Jona Rechnitz.

For further reading:

http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/brooklyn/brooklyn-gun-broker-secretly-recorded-corrupt-nypd-cops-article-1.2956091

Brooklyn gun broker secretly recorded conversations with corrupt NYPD cops

Lichtenstein Pleads GUILTY!

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Alex Lichtenstein of Pomona, a volunteer for the Brooklyn Borough Park Shomrim, sold the licenses for up to $18,000 each, prosecutors said.

https://www.dnainfo.com/new-york/20161110/civic-center/brooklyn-businessman-guilty-bribing-police-gun-licenses

Continue reading

NORM… – If You Were Going to Defraud Your Fellow Officers – You Needed to Learn the Ropes!!!

seabrook.2

Ex-correction union boss Norman Seabrook wasn’t properly supervised and showered execs with ‘luxury gifts,’ suit says

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/crime/norman-seabrook-showered-execs-luxury-gifts-suit-article-1.2852569

Correction union execs weren’t keeping an eye on now-indicted ex-president Norman Seabrook when he invested pension money in a “Ponzi scheme” – because he had long showered them with gifts such as cars, a new lawsuit alleges.

The feds have alleged Murray Huberfeld, who ran an investment firm called Platinum Partners, agreed to give Seabrook a kickback in late 2013 — so he would invest union money in one of its high-risk funds.

Seabrook dumped some $20 million of Correction Officers’ Benevolent Association money into Platinum Partners in 2014.

That December, Seabrook received a $60,000 cash kickback in an $800 Ferragamo bag and became “angry,” griping it wasn’t enough, Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara has alleged.

Hedge fund holding Seabrook’s investment files for bankruptcy

Sources previously told the Daily News that the middleman who delivered the money to Seabrook was Jona Rechnitz, a major donor to de Blasio’s mayoral bid and the now-shuttered Campaign for One New York.

Platinum Partners has since declared bankruptcy, however – making COBA’s investments in the fund “virtually worthless,” according to the Manhattan federal court lawsuit, filed by Jeffrey Norton, of Newman Ferrara, and Philip Seelig. Seelig was COBA president from 1979 to 1992.

Seabrook got away with investing in Platinum — without COBA’s executive board knowing or approving the investment — because execs “had, for years, failed to supervise Seabrook in any meaningful way,” the suit charges.

“Indeed, Seabrook had ensured the Executive Board’s quiescence through liberal dispensations of gift cards, cars, and plush job assignments away from Rikers Island, which ensured they exercised no due diligence over Seabrook’s activities,” court papers say.

Indicted former NYC correction union boss wants Disney vacation

The suit also slams COBA’s law firm, Koehler & Isaacs LLP, as being “more loyal to Seabrook than to COBA” — and distracting union leadership — to protect its business interests.

“Although Koehler & Isaacs knew that Seabrook had made the high stakes investment, its contract with COBA could be imperiled if Koehler & Isaacs made any representations that called into question Seabrook’s activities,” court papers say.

The feds have alleged Murray Huberfeld agreed to give Seabrook a kickback in late 2013.

The feds have alleged Murray Huberfeld agreed to give Seabrook a kickback in late 2013.

(Jefferson Siegel/New York Daily News)

“Accordingly, Koehler & Isaacs neither advised nor warned the Executive Board about the investment.

“Instead, Koehler & Isaacs helped Seabrook co-opt the Executive Board by providing the members with GPS devices and other luxury gifts,” the suit says.

Seabrook loudly pleads not guilty to corruption charges

COBA President Elias Husamudeen said in a statement to The News that the filing is “yet another frivolous suit” brought by those who have an axe to grind with the union.

“The fact of the matter is that no matter how many lawsuits are brought against our union, we remain focused on representing and fighting for our members, 24 hours a day, seven days a week,” Husamudeen said.

Koehler & Isaacs also shot back at the suit, calling the allegations “salacious” and misleading.

“The facts will show that Koehler & Isaacs, along with COBA’s financial advisors, performed a thorough and diligent vetting of the union’s investment in Platinum Partners, which at the time of the investment, produced among the highest returns for investors in the hedge fund industry,” the firm said in a statement.

A new dimension to Seabrook corruption scandal?

To read the remainder of the article click here.