Four months after being found guilty in a corruption scheme involving several police officers and public officials, former Borough Park police liaison and de Blasio donor Jeremy Reichberg has been sentenced to four years in prison, the Wall Street Journal reported.
Reichberg’s partner in the scheme, real estate developer Jona Rechnitz of JSR Capital, was a key witness in the trial, having pleaded guilty to honest-services wire fraud in 2016. Reichberg was found guilty on four of five counts of conspiracy, bribery and obstruction of justice in January.
“This offense is about more than dollars and cents,” Judge Gregory Woods said after the sentencing on Monday. “It is about the corruption of a powerful public institution.”
The scheme, which began in 2008, saw Reichberg provide high-ranking New York Police Department officers with gifts, as well as trips to Israel and Las Vegas, in exchange for favors.
“I became lured in by the glitz and glamour I was exposed to,” Reichberg said before receiving his sentence, as some of his supporters in the courtroom cried.
Reichberg’s lawyer Susan Necheles said her client gave bribes to feel important and not out of greed, noting that he didn’t make much money from the scheme.
Reichberg and Rechnitz both served on de Blasio’s inauguration committee, and the mayor was known to respond almost immediately whenever Rechnitz reached out for help with real estate problems.
In 2016, Rechnitz revealed that Reichberg once used his police connections to shut down part of the Lincoln Tunnel for “diamond king” Lev Leviev, chairman of the international real estate firm Africa Israel. Rechnitz had also worked at Africa Israel prior to founding JSR Capital in 2010.
Reichberg has been directed to surrender no later than August 12. [WSJ] — Kevin Sun