Shomrim Leader Shaya Lichtenstein Gets 3 Years In Prison For NYPD Gun License Scam

NEW YORK – A Borough Park Shomrim member who pleaded guilty to bribing New York City police officers to get gun permits has been sentenced to nearly three years in prison.

Alex “Shaya” Lichtenstein was sentenced Thursday in Manhattan federal court. Judge Sidney Stein said Lichtenstein must serve two years, eight months in prison after weakening the faith New York City residents have in their police department.

He also must forfeit $230,000.

Lichtenstein said he was “very, very sorry.” The 45-year-old Pomona, New York, resident pleaded guilty to bribery charges in November.

He admitted participating from 2013 to 2016 in a scheme in which he offered officers thousands of dollars in bribes for each gun license.

Prosecutors say he had bragged that he’d gotten at least 150 licenses for people to carry guns.

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  1. Joe Levin
    Joe Levin says:

    The Shomrim patrol leader who bribed NYPD cops to “expedite” gun permits got a lighter jail sentence than federal prosecutors wanted Thursday — because he has a history of community service.

    Judge Sidney Stein sentenced Alex “Shaya” Lichtenstein to 32 months in jail and ordered him to pay a $20,000 fine and undergo alcohol addiction treatment as penance for bribing cops.

    Prosecutors wanted him to go away for 4 to 6 years, but the judge cited Lichtenstein’s charitable works in giving him a lower-than-expected sentence.

    “Mr. Lichtenstein has led a life of great deeds,” Stein said. “He has also committed a great crime.”

    “You participated in corrupting the New York City police department,” he told Lichtenstein, who cried when he did not receive the probation sentence he was hoping for.

    Lichtenstein was found guilty in April of paying favors to officers in the Licensing Division for quick pistol permits that he he then sold to members of the Borough Park ultra-orthodox community for as much as $18,000 a pop.

    He also admitted to offering a whistle-blowing cop $6,000 per permit to keep his mouth shut and help with the scheme.

    Lichtenstein may have gotten off easy for his previous good deeds, but the conviction has decimated his standing in the community, Lichtenstein said.

    “I have destroyed my life and I have hurt the people who mean the most to me,” he said, including his wife, his children and grandchildren. “I was respected in the community. People came to me for help. All of that has ended.”

    Investigators recovered a trove of audio tapes Lichtenstein made while he cut deals with cops — recordings meant to ensure the oft-drunk Lichtenstein could recall specific details in the deals, sources say.

    Lichtenstein admitted his addiction in court on Thursday.

    “I drank from waking up and going to sleep and often in the middle of the night,” he told the judge.

    Prosecutors say the recordings connect Lichtenstein to a separate investigation into a high-ranking NYPD official who allegedly traded favors with two of Mayor de Blasio’s financial backers.

    According to tapes, Lichtenstein met with NYPD Deputy Inspector James Grant, who stands accused of accepting bribes from big-time de Blasio donors Jeremy Reichberg and Jona Rechnitz in exchange for preferential treatment.

    City and federal prosecutors declined on Thursday to charge de Blasio or his aides in the scandal.

    Lichtenstein, who admitted to two counts of bribery during a November plea deal, said he will not be cooperate with investigators.

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