The testimony of Jona Rechnitz, the real estate investor who used political donations to curry favor with Mayor Bill de Blasio and the NYPD, helped convict his former pal this week on corruption charges.
Jeremy Reichberg, a former Borough Park police liaison, was found guilty today on four of five counts in a corruption scheme that began in 2008, involving several police officers and public officials, the New York Post reported.
Rechnitz, his partner in the scheme, cooperated with the feds and served as a witness during the two-month trial. In one noteworthy incident in 2013, Reichberg and Rechnitz flew to Las Vegas with some NYPD cops and a prostitute dressed as a flight attendant.
One of those cops, James Grant, was cleared of all charges in the same trial. After the verdicts were announced, Grant tried to console Reichberg by patting him on the back and telling him, “You’re going to be all right.”
Reichberg and Rechnitz were once prominent donors to Mayor Bill de Blasio, and the mayor was known to respond almost immediately whenever the Rechnitz emailed him for help with real estate problems.
While cooperating as a witness in a 2016 federal investigation into de Blasio’s fundraising, Rechnitz revealed that Reichberg once used his law enforcement connections to shut down part of the Lincoln Tunnel for diamond king Lev Leviev, chairman of the international real estate firm Africa Israel. Rechnitz himself was an alumnus of Africa Israel, before founding JSR Capital in 2010.
In yet another federal case in 2017, Rechnitz testified that he once pressured the mayor to oppose SL Green’s plans for its office tower at One Vanderbilt. In a statement at the time, de Blasio said the Rechnitz “lied about the integrity of my administration, he lied about exchanges with me.”
Reichberg’s sentencing has been set for April 4. [NYP] – Kevin Sun