Jona Rechnitz, the government key cooperator in an NYPD-corruption probe, told the feds that his former businessman pal Jeremy Reichberg was with him every step of the way as he bribed city officials.
Including attempts at bribing Mayor Bill de Blasio, newly unsealed court documents show.
Rechnitz, who is the feds’ key witness in multiple on-going probes, told the feds that an unnamed “friend” introduced him to many of the city officials he bribed, including prison guard chief Norman Seabrook, according to a transcript of Rechnitz’s June 2016 plea.
Sources say the unnamed “friend” is Reichberg, a prominent Borough Park resident who was charged last year with working with Rechnitz to pay police officers James Grant and Michael Harrington for perks, including a private police escort that closed down a lane of the Lincoln Tunnel.
In his plea before Manhattan federal judge Richard Sullivan, Rechnitz said Reichberg hooked him up with many of the officials he bribed — and that together they “agreed… to make contributions and to arrange for contributions by others to political campaigns.”
Rechnitz also said Reichberg rode the coattails of his bribes.
“I also understood that my friend, who had introduced me to many of the individuals, was requesting and receiving certain benefits from the officers and political officials in exchange for the personal and financial benefits that I was providing,” Rechnitz said of Reichberg.
Reichberg’s lawyer Susan Necheles responded by saying: “Mr. Rechnitz threw around his own money in the hope that politicians and police officers would become his friends. This was Rechnitz’s behavior and Reichnitz’s money – not Reichberg’s.”
Rechnitz is the key witness in the Manhattan federal prosecutors’ case against the cops and against Seabrook.
Rechnitz was also a government witness in the now-defunct probe into City Hall fundraising.
The real-estate investor told the feds that he donated money to de Blasio’s non-profit Campaign for One New York through fundraiser Ross Offinger in hopes of winning city-issued building permits, sources told The Post.
It’s unclear whether he received any permits as a result of his contributions, but Acting Manhattan US Attorney Joon Kim recently said he will not prosecute De Blasio or his aides due to the “difficulty in proving criminal intent in corruption schemes where there is no evidence of personal profit.”
“With respect to political contributions, I expected my conversations with the fundraiser that I would receive favorable municipal treatment,” Rechnitz said in his guilty plea.