Corrections officers union president Norman Seabrook (far left) and former NYPD Chief of Department Philip Banks (center right) are being investigated over trips paid for by businessman Jeremy Reichberg and Jona Rechnitz (from left, flanking Banks at a charity dinner). Some 20 cops are also being questioned.
FBI ‘investigating NYPD cash-for-favors scheme where officers were taken on exotic foreign trips and given cash by Bill de Blasio’s businessmen acquaintances in return for influence’
Officials said to be looking into conduct into a slew of senior staff and cops
Are believed to have accepted cash from businessman for influence
Two senior cops allegedly had trips to the Caribbean and Israel paid for
Suspected operation was uncovered when a business deal went wrong
Jona Rechnitz and Jeremy Reichberg tried to buy discounted liquor then sell it on at a profit
An investment fell through, prompting the opening of a fraud case
The FBI is investigating an alleged cash-for-favors scandal in the NYPD involving businessmen connected to Bill De Blasio and a number of senior police officers, reports suggest. One of those reportedly involved is former -NYPD Chief of Department Philip Banks (pictured above)
The FBI is investigating an alleged cash-for-favors scandal in the NYPD involving businessmen connected to Bill De Blasio and a number of senior police officers, reports suggest. According to the New York Post, officials are looking into 20 cops, three deputy chiefs and a precinct head who allegedly accepted cash, and in some cases went on exotic foreign trips, in exchange for influence.
There are also reports that cops carried out police escorts at two Jewish funerals in a bid to strike a deal with community leaders. Businessmen Jona Rechnitz and Jeremy Reichberg are believed to have given money to a third party as part of a deal to buy cheap booze, but investors lost their money. Rechnitz and Reichberg both served on de Blasio’s ‘inauguration team’. They planned his party when he took office in 2014. Rechnitz is also believed to be a De Blasio donor. It prompted the feds to open a fraud prob and a grand jury is now being convened, the Post reported.
Wiretaps on the two businessmen’s phones reportedly revealed relationships with several NYPD cops. The newspaper reported that the probe soon led to then-NYPD Chief of Department Philip Banks and corrections union president Norman Seabrook. They became close friends with the businessmen and reportedly traveled to the Caribbean and to Israel in 2014, a trip which is now under investigation. Rechnitz paid for both of the men to go on their Caribbean jaunt, sources told the Post. He also paid Seabrook’s airfare and hotel bills in Israel. Banks allegedly paid for the flight but left the accommodation up to his businessman friend. It was claimed the trip was personal, but he reportedly wore his NYPD uniform during a visit to the Wailing Wall.
Norman insists he did nothing wrong while Banks has not commented on the allegations. Rechnitz also paid for at least part of other cops’ trips to places such as London, Rome, Las Vegas and the Caribbean, sources said. Sources told the newspaper that those being questioned as part of the probe include Deputy Inspector James Grant, head of the Upper East Side’s 19th Precinct; Brooklyn South Deputy Chief Eric Rodriguez; and Deputy Housing Chief Michael Harrington. vHarrington worked for Banks before the chief of department retired.
Although he was on his personal time, Banks wore his NYPD uniform during a visit to the Western Wall in Jerusalem, and when he returned to New York, shared what he had learned with authorities here, sources said.
Corrections union president Norman Seabrook (pictured in 2009) allegedly went on all-expenses paid trips to the Caribbean and Israel, paid for by two businessmen looking for influence
‘I have done nothing wrong and have not engaged in any inappropriate behavior with anyone connected to the NYPD,’ Rechnitz told The Post. ‘Beyond that, I don’t have any comment.