Shaya Lichtenstein Pleads Not Guilty To Bribing NYPD Cops For Gun Permits

NEW YORK – This is one of those stories you feel like you’ve seen play out in any number of police shows or movie: someone knows a guy who is close with some police officers and for the right price you can get what you need.

Officials say in this case that guy is Alex Shaya Lichtenstein and that he has been bribing police officers for years.

He pleaded not guilty to bribery and conspiracy in federal court Monday. Neither he nor his lawyer commented after the proceedings.

Lichtenstein, who is not a member of the NYPD, is accused of bribing police officers in order to fast-track gun permits for as many as 150 people, including some with criminal records who would have been denied otherwise. Lichtenstein was a member of Borough Park’s Shomrim patrol.

Police say he charged people thousands of dollars to get their permit approved and was only caught when an officer he tried to bribe with $6,000 per application reported the encounter to internal affairs.

The businessman’s case is at the center of an ongoing corruption investigation into the NYPD, where so far nine members of the force have been disciplined.

The NYPD reassigned three officers as a result of Lichtenstein’s arrest but the indictment doesn’t list who is accused of bribing.

Lichtenstein is out on $500,000 bond. The maximum punishment these charges carry is up to 15 years in federal prison.

1 reply
  1. Joe Levin
    Joe Levin says:

    The Brooklyn neighborhood patrol leader charged with bribing cops kept records of his transactions with officers as he got expedited gun permits for members of the Orthodox Jewish community, The Post has learned.

    Investigators found the “incriminating evidence” after arresting Alex “Shaya” Lichtenstein on bribery and conspiracy charges in April, sources said.

    Since then, authorities have questioned several cops whose names showed up in his files, according to sources.

    Some of the transactions amounted to about $100, sources added.

    Lichtenstein, a leader in Borough Park’s Shomrim patrol, was arraigned on Monday in Manhattan federal court, where prosecutors said they’d seized a trove of computer evidence from his home.

    Investigators took 10 hard drives and numerous flash drives.

    “They are from search warrants from his residence,” Assistant US Attorney Kan Nawaday told Judge Sidney Stein. “We expect they will likely include relevant material.”

    The feds said they also are trying to obtain subpoenas for Lichtenstein’s bank records and records from the NYPD’s License Division, including gun applications.

    Lichtenstein is accused of offering one NYPD cop nearly $1 million for continuing to provide him with gun permits for his clients in the Orthodox Jewish community, court documents state.

    A cop in the NYPD’s License Division also admitted he and another officer were given “lunch money” amounting to about “a hundred dollars” to “expedite” pistol permits for Lichtenstein, the papers allege.

    Lichtenstein showed up for his Monday arraignment in a light-brown suit and white shirt. When asked in court how he pleads, he responded, “Not guilty, your honor.”

    His lawyer, Richard Finkel, declined to comment after the hearing.

    “It is inappropriate for me to comment beyond what I said in the courtroom,” he said.

    Lichtenstein was whisked away in a white Ford Explorer.

    A federal complaint alleges that Lichtenstein was secretly recorded telling a whistleblowing cop that he had secured 150 gun licenses through officers in the License Division — but his connections had “shut him out” after a crackdown.

    “[He] claimed that he did not give cash to his connections in the NYPD License Division, but helped them with things, such as hospital bills for their family,” court papers say.

    Lichtenstein offered the same whistleblower $6,000 for every gun license he could obtain for him, showing him with a calculator that the deal could be worth as much as $900,000, the court papers say.

    “Lichtenstein also said . . . that the reason his customers needed assistance obtaining licenses was because the License Division denies applications ‘for the biggest stupidity,’ such as ‘somebody got a moving violation,’ ” the court papers claim.

    But the feds have alleged that Lichtenstein even scored a full-carry gun permit for a man with a history of domestic violence.

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply