De Blasio fundraiser and witness Jona Rechnitz sentenced to prison

The JSR Capital head aided federal agents in their corruption investigations.

TRD New York /
Dec.December 20, 2019 09:47 AM
Jona Rechnitz (Credit: iStock)

Jona Rechnitz (Credit: iStock)

A federal judge has sentenced Jona Rechnitz — prolific witness, political fundraiser and the head of real estate firm JSR Capital — to serve five months in prison and pay $10 million in restitution.

Since pleading guilty in 2016 to bribing police officers, public officials and a union boss, Rechnitz has spent hundreds of hours assisting in a municipal-corruption probe, the Wall Street Journal reported.

In 2017, Rechnitz was booted from the Borough Park real estate firm where he was a partner, and was implicated in a $70 million Ponzi scheme involving “Hamilton” and Super Bowl tickets. That year, he skipped town to California.

He also admitted to pressuring Mayor Bill de Blasio to oppose SL Green Realty’s One Vanderbilt office project. He said he was acting on behalf of his friend, Andrew Penson, who at the time owned the adjacent Grand Central Terminal and was suing SL Green over the development. In his ruling, the judge acknowledged the perception that white-collar criminals avoid prison if they cooperate with prosecutors.

“There is a feeling that if you get to the prosecutor early you don’t serve,” U.S. District Judge Alvin Hellerstein said. “I think it’s wrong.”

Rechnitz, a campaign bundler in 2013 for de Blasio, had also asked the mayor for help solving his real estate problems, according to emails obtained by the Daily News under the Freedom of Information Law. His testimony aided in the convictions of New York City correction-union president Norman Seabrook, hedge-fund founder Murray Huberfeld and another former de Blasio fundraiser, Jeremy Reichberg.

Alan Levine, an attorney for Rechnitz, said he planned to appeal the decision. [WSJ] — Georgia Kromrei


Related Articles

arrow_forward_ios
Donor tied up with de Blasio’s real estate pal Rechnitz sentenced in NYPD bribery scheme

Donor tied up with de Blasio’s real estate pal Rechnitz sentenced in NYPD bribery scheme

Donor tied up with de Blasio’s real estate pal Rechnitz sentenced in NYPD bribery scheme
Jona Rechnitz says he pressured de Blasio to help friend in lawsuit against SL Green

Jona Rechnitz says he pressured de Blasio to help friend in lawsuit against SL Green

Jona Rechnitz says he pressured de Blasio to help friend in lawsuit against SL Green
Jona Rechnitz says he was given mayor’s cell, told to “always be in touch”

Jona Rechnitz says he was given mayor’s cell, told to “always be in touch”

Jona Rechnitz says he was given mayor’s cell, told to “always be in touch”
Mayor Bill de Blasio and Dr. Oxiris Barbot (Getty, iStock)

Day care — and its landlords — get a lifeline

Day care — and its landlords — get a lifeline
Mayor Bill de Blasio (Getty)

De Blasio to sign Airbnb, property tax legislation

De Blasio to sign Airbnb, property tax legislation
Governor Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio (Getty, iStock)

New York City indoor dining postponed indefinitely

New York City indoor dining postponed indefinitely
Mayor Bill de Blasio with 1 Central Park West and 1 Court Square (Getty; APOPS@MAS)

Mayor grabs privately owned public spaces for dining outside

Mayor grabs privately owned public spaces for dining outside
Mayor Bill de Blasio (Getty)

NYC to rely on complaints to enforce sidewalk dining rules

NYC to rely on complaints to enforce sidewalk dining rules
arrow_forward_ios

The Deal's newsletters give you the latest scoops, fresh headlines, marketing data, and things to know within the industry.

Loading...