FBI Investigating Mayor De Blasio’s Fundraising

US Attorney Preet Bharara now has Mayor de Blasio in his cross hairs investigating his campaign fund-raising activities as part of a widening probe into NYPD corruption.

The feds are looking at how the mayor solicits campaign cash from members of the real-estate industry and the fund-raising activities of his former campaign treasurer, Ross Offinger, the sources said.

A source who dealt with Offinger told The Post he “plays fast and loose” with campaign-finance regulations.

De Blasio took campaign contributions from Jona Rechnitz, a real-estate investor suspected of giving high-ranking cops ­expensive gifts in exchange for favors.

Rechnitz and Jeremy Reichberg, who both served on the mayor’s inaugural committee in 2013, are at the center of the NYPD ­investigation.

Rechnitz donated $50,000 to de Blasio’s nonprofit group, the Campaign for One New York, and Rechnitz and his wife shelled out the maximum $9,900 to the mayor’s 2013 campaign, records show.

In addition, Rechnitz was one of the biggest bundlers for de Blasio’s campaign, raking in more than $40,000 from contributors.

Hizzoner made his first visit to Borough Park after taking office in 2014 to Reichberg’s million-dollar-plus home for a Campaign for One New York fund-raiser.

De Blasio campaign operatives said they will give back the donations from Rechnitz and his wife but keep the more than $40,000 in bundled contributions.

“We are fully confident that the campaign has conducted itself legally and appropriately at all times,” campaign spokesman Dan Levitan said.

Earlier this week, de Blasio said he wouldn’t make any “final judgments” regarding Rechnitz’s donations until the investigation is complete. Asked why de Blasio changed his mind Friday, a City Hall source said, “You’ll have to ask the mayor.”

Hizzoner also does not plan to return the $50,000 that went to the Campaign for One New York.

The mayor announced last month that he was disbanding the Campaign for One New York after good-government groups called for an probe into whether it was ­violating campaign-finance and conflict-of-interest laws.

De Blasio insisted that the group had simply accomplished its mission.

The $102,300 that Rechnitz, who runs the real-estate firm JSR Capital, gave to Senate Democrats at de Blasio’s urging will not be returned, either.

Another politician, Sen. Adriano Espaillat, a congressional hopeful, confirmed Friday that he is returning more than $14,000 in donations he received from Rechnitz.

Offinger was also treasurer of the nonprofit and once served as a campaign-finance director for Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand.

1 reply
  1. Joe Levin
    Joe Levin says:

    MIDTOWN, Manhattan — Police Commissioner William Bratton announced a shakeup in the NYPD. Four high-ranking officers were re-assigned Thursday as the FBI’s corruption investigation grows larger. At issue is the question of whether officers exchanged special favors for gifts from the Orthodox Jewish community.

    Eyewitness News has learned the latest player caught in the FBI’s crosshairs is Hamlet Peralta, the former owner of the now-closed Hudson River Cafe in Harlem. Peralta is charged with running a $12 million Ponzi scheme. However, the scheme is reportedly unrelated to the focus of the corruption investigation.

    Peralta reportedly has ties to Jona Rechnitz, who served on a committee that planned Mayor Bill de Blasio’s inaugural celebration in 2014. Rechnitz and his wife each contributed almost $5,000 to the Mayor’s 2013 campaign. De Blasio is now returning that money.

    A spokesperson for Mayor de Blasio released a statement saying,

    “We are fully confident that the campaign has conducted itself legally and appropriately at all times.”

    Police Commissioner Bratton said ‘as always, we’ll have to go where the truth takes us.”

    As for the scandal in the NYPD, sources say the investigation began in 2013, looking into police-community relations in Borough Park. Relationships between two Brooklyn businessmen and several high-ranking NYPD officials are being looked into, and whether favors were exchanged for gifts, trips and cash.

    Sources say among those under scrutiny is Chief of Department Philip Banks, and Correction Union President Norman Seabrook. All have denied any wrongdoing, and it is unclear if Mayor de Blasio himself is being implicated in any wrongdoing.
    The question now is – just how far will the investigation go?

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