Ex-Cop Acquitted, Businessman Convicted in NYPD Bribery Trial - NBC New York
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Ex-Cop Acquitted, Businessman Convicted in NYPD Bribery Trial

A jury cleared former NYPD Deputy Inspector James Grant of all charges Wednesday. Businessman Jeremy Reichberg was convicted on four of five counts he faced

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    An NYPD commanding officer accused of accepting bribes has been found not guilty. But the moneyman who did the bribing has been convicted. Jonathan Dienst reports.

    (Published Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2019)

    What to Know

    • A former NYPD deputy inspector was acquitted on all counts in a bribery scheme trial — but his co-defendant didn't get off so easily

    • A jury cleared former NYPD Deputy Inspector James Grant of all charges Wednesday

    • Businessman Jeremy Reichberg was convicted on four of five counts he faced

    A former NYPD deputy inspector was acquitted on all counts in a bribery scheme trial — but his businessman co-defendant didn't get off so easily. 

    A jury on Wednesday acquitted former NYPD Deputy Inspector James Grant of all of the charges he faced. Businessman Jeremy Reichberg was convicted on four of five counts he faced. 

    Grant and Reichberg were facing trial for honest services fraud, bribery and conspiracy charges.

    The scheme allegedly involved “the receipt of tens of thousands of dollars in meals, trips, home renovations, and other benefits in exchange for an array of official NYPD actions, including private police escorts, ticket fixing, and assistance in settling private disputes,” the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York said.

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    Grant, along with Deputy Chief Michael Harrington and Sgt. David Villanueva, were accused of accepting gifts and favors from influential businessmen in exchange for favorable treatment and official services, including one instance in which the businessmen allegedly pulled strings to get the NYPD to shut down a lane of the Lincoln Tunnel so officers could escort an entrepreneur visiting from another country.

    Reichberg and another businessman, Alex Lichtenstein, were also named in a trio of criminal complaints unsealed in 2016.

    A fourth officer, Richard Ochetal, pleaded guilty to bribery charges in connection with the probe.

    Prosecutors alleged that Harrington and Grant accepted expensive meals, game systems, hotel stays and other benefits in exchange for being "on call" for Reichberg and Jona Rechnitz, another businessman who previously pleaded guilty to charges and has been cooperating with federal investigators.

    Court papers also alleged that Reichberg and Rechnitz used their connections for a variety of purposes.

    According to the criminal complaints, Reichberg and Rechnitz allegedly took Grant, another unnamed detective and others on a private jet to Las Vegas for Super Bowl XLVII. The two businessmen also allegedly arranged for a prostitute to join in on the trip, and the prostitute spent the weekend in Grant's hotel room.

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    Grant also allegedly let the businessmen pay for a hotel in Rome, several home projects and a $3,000 watch. On Christmas in 2014, the complaint alleges that Reichberg and Rechnitz showed up to Grant's home wearing elf hats and gave his children and wife gifts.

    The two businessmen also allegedly recommended that Grant, then the head of the 72nd Precinct, be promoted to the head of the 19th Precinct on the Upper East Side in 2014 and were on the phone when Grant's supervisor told him about the promotion.

    In exchange for the gifts, the complaint alleges that Grant regularly provided the pair police escorts and allowed the businessmen and their friends around police barricades. He also helped Reichberg get a gun license in about a third of the time it normally takes.

    The charges came amid a widening probe that focused on whether former NYPD supervisors accepted gifts and vacations in exchange for official services like police escorts, fixing tickets or shutting down streets for private events.

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