Mayor de Blasio’s campaign accepted donations from two Manhattan jewelers who were accused of scamming millions of dollars in cash and gems from an Israeli billionaire known as the King of Diamonds.
Paul “Effy” Raps and Yaron Turgeman each forked over the maximum $4,950 in donations bundled by businessman Jona Rechnitz, who is at the center of a federal probe into NYPD corruption and shady de Blasio campaign finances.
Their donations were among $41,650 that Rechnitz raised for the 2013 campaign. Raps and Turgeman also donated another $4,500 and $400, respectively, separate from the bundled money.
The bundled contributions were recorded less than a month after a Manhattan Supreme Court suit alleged that Raps had swindled millions of dollars from a jewelry company owned by Lev Leviev, a renowned diamond merchant who’s on the Forbes World’s Richest People list at 278 for 2016.
In that suit, Raps the distributor of singer Janet Jackson’s Unbreakable Diamonds jewelry line was described as someone who’s “dressed in nice clothing, but he’s the devil.”
Turgeman, meanwhile, was sued in December 2013 for allegedly ripping off Leviev through schemes that included purchasing diamonds at inflated prices from Turgeman’s father and other associates, then selling the gems for little or no profit.
Leviev’s suit against Turgeman was settled off the record in 2014, while the suit mentioning Raps is listed as “disposed” though the entire case file has been sealed.
City records also reveal that Rechnitz owns a Murray Hill apartment building where the Buildings Department last year got a complaint about prostitution inside an illegal massage parlor.
Online reviews of AV Bodywork at 238 Madison Ave. describe Russian hookers who provided everything from “happy ending” rubdowns to full-on sex.
A building inspector wrote that the complaint didn’t include an apartment or floor number — and noted that the situation “appear[ed] to be a police matter.”
Rechnitz was also slapped with a Housing Court suit for locking out Joan Haggerty, 83, from her $121-a-month studio apartment following a brief nursing-home stay in 2014.
Rechnitz was threatened with jail time before finally giving her a working refrigerator, stove and oven, according to court records.
Rechnitz didn’t respond to questions and the NYPD said no prostitution related charges had been filed in connection with the address.
Both Turgeman and Raps declined to comment, and a de Blasio campaign spokesman wouldn’t say if Hizzoner planned to return the cash he got from the men.
“This appears to be a business dispute that was settled out of court,” said spokesman Dan Levitan. “The mayor nor his campaign know anything about it.”
De Blasio’s campaign money was overseen by Ross Offinger, whose activities are part of the federal probe, sources have said.