Friday, October 30, 2020

De Blasio donor Jeremy Reichberg sentenced to 4 years for bribery scandal


A former City Hall fundraiser who was convicted of taking part in a massive bribery scheme in which NYPD officers were given lavish gifts that included a private junket to Las Vegas was sentenced Monday to 48 months in prison.

Jeremy Reichberg, who was convicted in January of four counts, including conspiracy to commit honest services fraud and bribery, had tearfully asked District Judge Gregory Woods for leniency moments earlier.

“I acted as an adolescent, wanting special attention, feeling that I was entitled to get special attention for my friends who were police officers,” Reichberg said in Manhattan federal court, struggling to read through prepared remarks and pausing often to wipe away tears and blow his nose.

His attorney, Susan Necheles, argued that her client committed crimes of “hubris … ego and gluttony,” saying he paid bribes to cops so he could pal around with them and look like a “big shot.”

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She argued that the bribes didn’t get him any big favors or put the public in danger.

“What he got were things that made him look like a big shot,” she said. “He hung out with them doing fancy things.”

But prosecutors said Reichberg’s bribes weren’t just to spruce up his image — arguing that he and his former pal Jona Rechnitz got police favors in exchange for their lavish gifts, including help with arrests and difficult-to-obtain gun licenses.

“This was not a crime that created an appearance of favoritism,” said Assistant US Attorney Martin Bell. “This was impropriety of the most basic sort. This was favoritism, bought and paid for.”

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Reichberg also was sentenced for two years of supervised release.

“I believe the offenses were about more than dollars and cents. It’s about corruption of an important public institution,” the judge said.

Reichberg’s prosecution was secured in part with the nine-day testimony of Rechnitz, the “money man” in the bribery scheme who cut a deal with the feds and pleaded guilty to wire fraud conspiracy in 2016 before returning to his native Los Angeles.

Also testifying in Reichberg’s case was Gabriella Curtis, also known as “Gabi Grecko,” the prostitute who provided NYPD cops with mile-high entertainment on a pricey private flight to Las Vegas.

James Grant, a former NYPD commander who was tried alongside Reichberg, was acquitted.

Jurors from the trial have told The Post they had a hard time believing Grecko’s story that she shared a hotel room with Grant in Sin City.

In March, Reichberg’s lawyers alleged that Rechnitz inaccurately testified that Reichberg used police connections to “fix” tickets so recipients could avoid getting points on their licenses or fines, and that he leaned on the head of the state court officers union to get friends who paid him a fee out of jury duty.

Reichberg had maintained he only hired lawyers to help violators with their tickets, and he never helped to get a ticket fixed.

He also said Rechnitz asked him about getting one friend out of jury duty, but that the friend ended up serving on a jury anyway.

In June 2016, The Post exclusively revealed Grecko’s account of wearing a flight attendant uniform during a private plane flight to Vegas during 2013’s Super Bowl XLVII, on which she said she engaged in sex with Grant and others.

In addition to the all-expenses-paid getaway, Grant was accused of taking graft from Reichberg and Rechnitz in the form of a Nintendo game system and an American Girl doll for his daughter, diamond earrings for his wife and hotel accommodations in Italy.

In exchange, prosecutors alleged that Grant provided Reichberg, Rechnitz and their pals with official favors, including NYPD vehicle escorts, help handling private disputes and help getting gun permits.

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The defense contended that all the exchanges were merely favors one pal would do for another, and that none amounted to an illegal quid pro quo.


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