View Full Version : NYPD rocked by massive corruption probe

The Bobster
07-08-2016, 07:49 AM

New charges for cops, businessman at center of NYPD probe
By Kaja Whitehouse
July 8, 2016 | 3:27am

Left: Jeremy Reichberg; top right: James Grant; bottom right: Michael Harrington
Photo: Left: Reuters; Bottom left: Matthew McDermott

NYPD cops James Grant and Michael Harrington, charged last month with accepting favors from prostitutes and other gifts in exchange for police protection, were indicted Thursday and slapped with new charges that could mean more prison time if convicted.

A Manhattan federal grand jury handed down an indictment that hit the two cops with three new charges each — and four additional charges for their alleged co-conspirator, Brooklyn businessman Jeremy Reichberg.

With the indictment, Harrington and Grant could now face as many as 40 years in prison, up from the 20 they faced when initially charged just a few weeks ago.

Reichberg, accused of once paying for a police escort that closed down a traffic lane in the Lincoln Tunnel, now faces a potential 55 years in prison — up from 20 previously.

When indicted in June, the three men were charged with one count of conspiracy to commit honest-serv*ices fraud, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.

The new indictment — which accuses the officers of selling official police services for watches, video games and other gifts — adds charges of hon*est-services wire fraud, conspiracy to pay and receive bribes and the payment and receipt of bribes.

Reichberg — a prominent figure in Borough Park — was charged with two additional counts of honest-ser*vices wire fraud.

Lawyers for the men have denied the charges, including the new counts added Thursday.

“Allegations that Mr. Grant violated the police code of conduct do not support a conviction of a federal crime,” said Grant’s lawyer, John Meringolo.

“Mr. Reichberg is innocent and we will show that in court :rolleyes:,” said his lawyer, Susan Necheles.

“Chief Harrington vigorously maintains his innocence and looks forward to a public airing of these baseless charges before an impartial jury,” said his lawyer, Andrew Weinstein.

The Bobster
07-13-2016, 03:57 PM

Cop accused of trading favors for sex invokes ‘Hillary defense’
By Kaja Whitehouse
July 13, 2016 | 1:05pm | Updated

Photo: Stefan Jeremiah

It’s the Hillary Clinton defense!

A lawyer for the NYPD cop who allegedly engaged in mile-high group sex with a hooker paid for by a shady businessman said his client is no more guilty than the former secretary of state, who was cleared by the feds.

“It’s similar to what the FBI said about Hillary Clinton and why she wasn’t charged,” said John Meringolo, a lawyer for James Grant, who pleaded not guilty in Manhattan federal court Wednesday morning.

“She was unaware she was committing a crime. Here there is no crime whatsoever.”

Meringolo described his client’s alleged conduct, swapping police favors for expensive gifts, as mere violations of police conduct.

“There’s been similar conduct with private jets in the past,” he said, pointing to Commissioner Ray Kelly, who he said “took a private jet” and then paid the cost after the fact in order to hush criticisms.

Meanwhile, Deputy Chief Michael Harrington and Brooklyn businessman Jeremy Reichberg also pleaded not guilty to several charges on Wednesday, including conspiracy to commit honest-services fraud, honest-services wire fraud, conspiracy to pay and receive bribes, and the payment and receipt of bribes.

Harrington and Grant now face as much as 40 years in prison.

Michael Harrington
Photo: David McGlynn

Reichberg, who faces a potential 55 years in prison, has been accused of shelling out large sums of cash with his business associate, Jona Rechnitz, to police officials.

In exchange for the gifts, Reichberg and Rechnitz received “a private police force for themselves and their friends,” Manhattan US Attorney Preet Bharara said in an indictment.

Grant, Harrington and Reichberg were arrested last month following a sweeping 3½-year corruption investigation that has rocked the NYPD and reached as far as Mayor Bill de Blasio’s office, which is being probed over its fundraising.

Prosecutors said Grant accepted a private jet trip to Las Vegas for the Super Bowl, costing $57,000 for the plane alone. During the trip, Grant allegedly had sex with ex-hooker Gabi Grecko, who donned a skimpy flight attendant outfit for the Vegas-bound plane ride.

The Bobster
07-25-2016, 07:45 AM

Preet Bharara expands corruption probe to Westchester
By Carl Campanile
July 25, 2016 | 4:01am

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 :orth: and Jeremy Reichberg :orth:, 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.

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.

Rechnitz also is cooperating in a separate bribery case against former city correction union chief Norman Seabrook after pleading guilty to a conspiracy charge.

Meanwhile, Bharara has two active corruption probes into the dealings of the Cuomo administration. The cases involve accusations of bid-rigging involving upstate economic development programs — including the ballyhooed Buffalo Billion — and related dealings involving ex-Cuomo aide Joe Percoco and lobbyist Todd Howe, who previously worked for Cuomo when he was federal housing secretary.