Jacob Daskel, coordinator of Brooklyn South Safety Patrol shomrim of Boro Park sits with his gun squat coordinating the robbery of 29 Church Ave.
On Monday, two high-ranking New York Police Department officers were arrested on charges that they took over $100,000 worth of free flights, prostitutes, expensive meals and other bribes in exchange for providing a “private police force” for local businessmen. Deputy Chief Michael Harrington, Deputy Inspector James Grant and a third defendant, Brooklyn businessman Jeremy Reichberg, were charged with conspiracy to commit honest services wire fraud. The arrests are the latest development in a series of overlapping public corruption investigations coordinated by U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara. David Villanueva, an NYPD sergeant assigned to the gun license bureau, was also arrested on charges of conspiring to commit bribery. The arrests follow months of revelations that have embarrassed the country’s largest police department and put Mayor Bill de Blasio on the spot about his campaign financing.
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CBS2 Political Reporter Marcia Kramer has more.
(20 Jun 2016) Charges brought against four men arrested Monday in a widening city corruption probe include lurid claims that a top police official roomed with a prostitute during a Las Vegas trip as businessmen spent over $100,000 to ensure unformed officers were available as their private security force.
Two high-ranking New York Police Department officials and a police sergeant who oversaw gun license applications were among the latest arrests in a case that has cast a cloud over the nation’s largest municipal police force.
Deputy Chief Michael Harrington, Deputy Inspector James Grant and a third defendant, Brooklyn businessman Jeremy Reichberg, were charged with conspiracy to commit honest services wire fraud — the latest development in a series of overlapping public corruption investigations coordinated by U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara. David Villanueva, an NYPD sergeant assigned to the gun license bureau, was arrested on charges of conspiring to commit bribery.
In announcing the arrests, U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said Reichberg exchanged bribes for “cops on call.”
Harrington was second in command at police headquarters in an office responsible for all uniformed operations.
The complaint said Harrington and an unidentified police chief let a businessman buy dinner once or twice a week for 18 months at expensive Manhattan restaurants, where bills ran $400 to $500.
Andrew Weinstein, Harrington’s lawyer, said the charges against his client were politically motivated.
Among favors was $59,000 spent on a private jet in February 2013 that took Reichberg, an unidentified detective and James Grant, commander of an Upper East Side precinct, to Las Vegas, the court papers said. The complaint said Reichberg and another businessman arranged for a prostitute to join the flight and spend the weekend with the group, staying in Grant’s luxury hotel room.
The head of Grant’s union declined to comment. His lawyer didn’t immediately return a message seeking comment.
Reichberg, Harrington and Grant were each charged with conspiracy to commit honest services wire fraud.
The fourth person arrested Monday was David Villanueva, an NYPD sergeant assigned to the department’s gun license bureau. He was charged with conspiracy to commit bribery. Villanueva and a uniformed officer named Richard Ochetal allegedly took money from Alex Lichtenstein in exchange for gun licenses.
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After being accused from the stand by a witness in a corruption trial, Mayor Bill de Blasio refused to answer questions Friday. CBS2’s Jessica Layton has the latest.
CBS2’s Marcia Kramer reports.
They made headlines in December after rekindling their relationship.And now former prostitute-turned-rapper Gabi Grecko, 28, and her husband Geoffrey Edelsten, 75, are ready to take things to the next level by renewing their vows.Speaking to Sydney Morning Herald, Gabi revealed that she’s currently in the process of a ‘fast conversion’ to Judaism so she and Geoffrey, who is Jewish, can tie the knot in a New York synagogue.The couple first wed in an Asian registry office in Melbourne back in 2015. Share this article Share Geoffrey is currently recovering from an operation and Gabi is still based in New York, so the pair have yet to see each other in person since reconciling.To keep their long-distance love alive, Gabi admits that they’ve been ‘sexting’ each other. Geoffrey, who is a medical entrepreneur, has also been receiving help in the love department by taking a new erectile dysfunction tablet that he developed. Meanwhile, Gabi is currently focused on her burgeoning rap career after debuting her hip-hop alter-ego Glitta Fox last year. The rapper has already released two singles, Glitta Foxx Lean and See Me Madd.In 2016, Gabi hit the headlines after she claimed she was paid to accompany two NYPD officers at the center of a corruption probe on a lavish alcohol and sex romp to Las Vegas in 2013. The busty socialite told the New York Post that she was paid to join the since-fired Deputy Inspector James Grant and Detective Michael Milici on a private jet to Sin City.She said she was recruited by New York businessman and Bill de Blasio campaign donor Jeremy Reichberg, recalling how she performed sexual favors for the officers during the flight, sometimes on both men simultaneously.Gabi famously met Geoffrey on a sugar daddy website when she was 25.
The officers are accused of filing false police reports, stealing from citizens, robbing drug dealers of cash and guns and selling heroin, among other allegations, according to authorities.
The mayor said former donor Jona Rechnitz is a ‘criminal’ and dismissed Rechnitz’s comments about pay to play. CBS2’s Hazel Sanchez reports.
Shocking video has surfaced, documenting the easy access achieved by a pair of donors to Mayor Bill de Blasio who reportedly used gifts and bribes to weasel their way into the very heart of the New York Police Department.
A photo taken at a dinner showing donors Jeremy Reichberg and Jona Rechnitz bracketing then-NYPD Chief of Department Philip Banks takes on a new whole new meaning in light of the astonishing dash cam video played out at Reichberg’s trial on charges of bribing police officers.
The video shows Reichberg and Rechnitz, who has already pleaded guilty and is testifying as a government witness, somehow gain access to the heavily protected underground garage at the department’s headquarters in lower Manhattan.
“We’re passing the frozen zone, about to get to the garage,” Rechnitz can be heard saying on video.
He then boasted about their ties to Banks, at the time the top uniformed cop in the city.
“We’re going to go park in the chief of department’s extra spot,” Rechnitz said.
The pair’s brazen belief in how much access their money has given them was on full display as they approached a cop standing guard in the cold.
“Please salute us, officer, if you want to keep your job,” Rechnitz boasted.
Then, they can be heard barking orders as they entered the garage — a place that’s even off-limits to rank and file cops.
“I would expect that the chief, the PC, sent us a representative to walk us up to the private elevator,” Rechnitz said. “I expect nothing less.”
Banks, who has not been charged with any wrongdoing, did in fact send an escort who can be seen greeting the pair effusively. Jurors were also shown pictures and video of the pair wearing Santa Claus hats and driving a black Aston Martin to deliver Christmas presents to officers, but it was the unfettered access to police headquarters that’s riled police experts.
“This is totally outrageous to give people who aren’t members of the service this kind of access,” expert Joe Giacalone said. “When you do something like this, you corrupt the entire organization.”
Banks’ lawyer, Ben Brafman, told CBS2 his client would not comment on any evidence in the trial which resumes on Friday.