Brooklyn Landlord Allegedly Also Brothel Owner…. And then There’s Lakewood



Brooklyn landlord with $87M portfolio charged with running prostitution ring out of his buildings

Isaac Schwartz, who owns 48 properties through shell corporations, was arrested last month for enterprise corruption and conspiracy.

UPDATED, Wednesday, Nov. 14 at 11:16 p.m.: One Ditmas Park resident thought he had it bad enough after enduring bed bugs, bulging walls and a hole in the ceiling. But then he learned his building was being used to service an illegal brothel.

Another Park Slope resident also learned there were apartments being used for prostitution in her building.

Both residents had the same landlord, Isaac Schwartz, a regular on the New York City public advocate’s “worst landlord” list who was arrested last month after police discovered a prostitution ring operating in his buildings, according to The New York Times.

Schwartz’s arrest highlighted the role complicit landlords play in enabling illegal prostitution rings to operate in residential buildings. Police alleged that four of Schwartz’s Brooklyn properties,

2007 Foster Avenue483 4th Avenue880 Gates Avenue and 203 Onderdonk Avenue, had housed brothels, as part of a prostitution ring run by a former police detective. The landlord pleaded not guilty and was released without bail on his own recognizance. According to the Times, Schwartz’s portfolio numbers 48 buildings valued at about $87 million.

Citing housing court documents, The Times reported that Schwartz, who works as an EMT in Borough Park, runs his rental company with Mendy Lowy and a contracting firm, Powerful Electric, with his brother-in-law Shalon Seelfreund. Schwartz and Lowy were also connected to a strange kidnapping ring in Lakewood, New Jersey. Schwartz and Lowy paid $2 million in bond to secure the release of a rabbi and another man charged with abduction and assault related to divorces in the Orthodox community, the Times reported.  [NYT] — David Jeans

Correction: An earlier version noted Schwartz was the developer behind a project in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn; it’s a different developer with the same name. 

Some R&R, Debauchery, A Plane and an Ex-Hooker…


Ex-Hooker Testifies About Vegas Debauchery at NYPD Bribery Case

The former call girl who had been paid by a Mayor Bill de Blasio supporter to entertain NYPD brass on a 2013 trip to Las Vegas had some spicy stories to tell last week when she testified at the NYPD corruption case in Manhattan federal court.

Gabi Grecko, born Gabriella Curtis, said under oath Mayor de Blasio’s donor Jeremy Reichberg brought her along on the trip to service “anyone who asked.” In Vegas, she continued, she said she shacked up with NYPD Deputy Inspector James Grant in a room at the MGM Grand.

When asked if she had “sexual activity” with Grant on the trip, Grecko answers that she had. In addition, she confessed to having had “sexual contact” with Reichberg and his real-estate investor friend Jona Rechnitz on the plane.

None of the men chose to have their picture taken with he, she added. “No one wanted to be in any pictures. That was very clear throughout the whole weekend.”

Grecko said she was paid $1,500 for the weekend jaunt. “It was a long weekend it felt like,” she said in court. She said she was told by Grant on the ride home, “If our team had done better we would have been able to give you more.”

The 29-year-old fiancée of millionaire medic Geoffrey Edelsten said the plane experience was “so traumatic that I stopped doing it (prostitution),” according to The Daily Telegraph.

In 2016, Grecko gave graphic details of the reported tryst to the New York Post, claiming: ‘I didn’t think it would be as extreme as it was, but then because I obviously couldn’t get off the plane, I had to do what they were telling me.”

Grecko says she performed sex acts on multiple men at the same time during the plane trip, the DailyMail reported. ‘More than one would try to get my attention at once. They were really creepy and very rude and offensive.”

“A year after the purported incident, Grecko met and fell in love with Edelsten–a wealthy and famous Australian who is 46 years her senior, added the DailyMail. The pair married 2015 but, amazingly, split just months later. The pair has since reconciled and are preparing to re-marry in a traditional religious Jewish ceremony.

Since quitting prostitution, Grecko has embarked on a rap career, going by the stage name GLittA FoxX.

Edelsten, 75, recently told that he and Grecko, 29, have mended their tumultuous relationship the past year and are now happier than ever, and plan to settle again in Melbourne.

“They were married in June 2015 in a registry office next to a photocopying machine in Melbourne’s Chinatown, but they have never got divorced.”

“We are back together now,” he exclusively told “It is only her career that is keeping her in New York City, and as soon as the end of November, when she will have finished her latest music video, she will come back to Melbourne,” he said. “She has changed a lot in the three years since she went back to New York City. Her music career is going very well, and secondly she is much more mature.”

Chabad Rabbi Aryeh Goodman, Previously Convicted of Child Molestation, Charged with Engaging in Prostitution with a Child — Chafraud-Depravitch

East Brunswick rabbi paid for sex with teen, prosecutor says New Jersey 101.5 February 18, 2018: Rabbi Aryeh Goodman, 35, has been charged with one count of engaging in prostitution with a child and one count of endangering the welfare of a child, according to Middlesex County Prosecutor Andrew C. Carey. According to Carey […]

via Chabad Rabbi Aryeh Goodman, Previously Convicted of Child Molestation, Charged with Engaging in Prostitution with a Child — Chafraud-Depravitch

Prostitution, Diamonds, Rechnitz & Leviev?


Jona Rechnitz, Chagit Sofiev Leviev and Lev Leviev
See also Getty Images – LEVIEV’s Thierry Chaunu, Barbara Davis, Leah Raps and LEVIEV’s Effy Raps

Diamonds are Whose Best Friend?

LostMessiah, April 12, 2016
LM has been saying all along that we believe that Lev Leviev and his diamond and real estate investment businesses, Africa Israel, are the key to R&R’s strength and influence. Jona Rechnitz worked for Africa Israel and chronologically, his employment coincides with investments both in the Apthorp property and the 23 Wall Street property amongst many others. These properties are simultaneously listed on the websites of Africal Israel and Rechnitz’s JSR Capital L.L.C.

Effy Raps [connected with Leviev in 2006 and photographed at the Carousel of Hope Ball along with his wife Leah Raps] and Yaron Turgeman [manager of Taly Diamons, owned by Leviev’s daughter], were both donors to de Blasio’s campaign. The donations were bundled into those raised by Jona Rechnitz. According to the New York Post article listed below,  Raps and Turgeman were involved in lawsuits with Leviev, [See Lawsuit – effy_653220_2013_6-1 ] from whom they allegedly swindled millions of dollars. The case was settled in 2014 and the case files are sealed leaving it is unclear how it was resolved.

Rechnitz owns a Murray Hill building, 238 Madison Avenue, which received complaints about prostitution and an illegal massage parlor. LM has also reported previously on anonymous accounts we received of sex trafficking within the Hassidic community. While our contention regarding sex trafficking may be unrelated to the article as presented below, we contend that there is a connection.

Interestingly, 238 Madison was purchased from another diamond dealer. According to the New York Post Rechnitz purchased the property from “an entity linked to Olympic Diamond Corporation, headed by international diamond magnate Nissan Perla.”

Olympic Diamond is listed on Manta with the following information:

Olympic Diamond Corp
Phone: (212) 382-3888
Olympic Diamond Corp
580 5th Ave
Suite 1200
New York, NY 10036
 Nissan Perla


Nissan Perla’s LinkedIn profile states that he is the “President and CEO of Diamond Registry Nissan Perla.” It further states:

”Nissan Perla travels around the world and has a star-studded client roster which prefers to stay anonymous. Due to the international demand for Nissan his service he has a very busy schedule that requires him to divide his time for example between New York, United Arab Emirates, London, Australia, Switzerland, Paris and Hong Kong.

Next to his position as President of Diamond Registry, he is a Secretary of NYC Diamond Dealers Club. Mr. Perla offers his knowledge of diamond exploration, mining, and marketing of polished diamonds, combined with diamond manufacturing, diamond jewelry making and retail expertise into Diamond Registry and their worldwide clientele.”

580 5th Avenue which houses Olympic Diamond amongst many other diamond dealers is partly owned by Extell Development Company. The President of Extell is Gary Barnett. Interestingly, Raizy Haas, Extell’s Senior Vice President responsible for Project Management and Development also sits on the Zoning and Land Use Committee of the Real Estate Board of New York. She is an orthodox Jew from Borough Park without a college degree.

Africa Israel U.S. CEO Sues to Liquidate Taly Diamonds

Bloomburg, December 1, 2014

“Chagit Leviev Sofiev and LGC USA Holdings Inc. contend that Turgeman and other Taly managers failed to honor an agreement to liquidate the business and have ignored their partners’ attempts to get information about the wind down.

 “LGC is a 50 percent owner and member of Taly Diamonds LLC and Ms. Sofiev is one of two company managers tasked with overseeing all company operations,” according to the complaint. The executive has been “wholly excluded from all of the company’s business decisions by the defendants.”

Besides mishandling diamonds, Taly’s managers also have improperly backdated or shredded company documents and “manipulated the company’s inventory and computer-data system to hide their wrongdoing,” Leviev Sofiev said in the suit.

In his dismissed suit, Turgemon said Leviev Sofiev improperly interfered with the business and asked a judge to allow Taly Diamonds’ current managers to control wind-down efforts.

As Africa Israel USA’S top executive, Leviev Sofiev manages assets including a retail condominium section of the Times Square Building in New York and the 67-story Casa Moderna on Biscayne Boulevard in Miami.

The case is LGC USA Holdings Inc. v. Taly Diamonds, CA No. 10411, Delaware Chancery Court (Wilmington).”

To read the entire article click, here.

The New York Post, April 12, 2016

Shady de Blasio donors accused of ripping off Israeli billionaire

Mayor de Blasio’s campaign accepted donations from two Manhattan jewelers  who were accused of scamming millions of dollars in cash and gems from an Israeli billionaire known as the King of Diamonds, The Post has learned.

Paul “Effy” Raps and Yaron Turgeman each forked over the maximum $4,950 in donations bundled by businessman Jona Rechnitz, who is at the center of a federal probe into NYPD corruption and shady de Blasio campaign finances.

Their donations were among $41,650 that Rechnitz raised for the 2013 campaign. Raps and Turgeman also donated another $4,500 and $400, respectively, separate from the bundled money.

The bundled contributions were recorded less than a month after a Manhattan Supreme Court suit alleged that Raps had swindled millions of dollars from a jewelry company owned by Lev Leviev, a renowned diamond merchant [Africa Israel] who’s on the Forbes World’s Richest People list at 278 for 2016.

In that suit, Raps — the distributor of singer Janet Jackson’s Unbreakable Diamonds jewelry line — was described as someone who’s “dressed in nice clothing, but he’s the devil.”

Turgeman, meanwhile, was sued in December 2013 for allegedly ripping off Leviev through schemes that included purchasing diamonds at inflated prices from Turgeman’s father and other associates, then selling the gems for little or no profit.

Leviev’s suit against Turgeman was settled off the record in 2014, while the suit mentioning Raps is listed as “disposed” — though the entire case file has been sealed.

City records also reveal that Rechnitz owns a Murray Hill apartment building where the Buildings Department last year got a complaint about prostitution inside an illegal massage parlor


Online reviews of AV Bodywork at 238 Madison Ave. describe Russian hookers who provided everything from “happy ending” rubdowns to full-on sex. A building inspector wrote that the complaint didn’t include an apartment or floor number — and noted that the situation “appear[ed] to be a police matter.”

Rechnitz was also slapped with a Housing Court suit for locking out Joan Haggerty, 83, from her $121-a-month studio apartment following a brief nursing-home stay in 2014.

Rechnitz was threatened with jail time before finally giving her a working refrigerator, stove and oven, according to court records.

Rechnitz didn’t respond to questions from The Post, and the NYPD said no prostitution-
related charges had been filed in connection with the address.”

Click here to read the article in its entirety.