The FBI has launched an investigation into travel and gifts exchanged between two New York businessmen and NYPD officers, reports the New York Post
As many as 20 police officers, including three deputy chiefs and the head of the Upper East Side's 19th Precinct, are being questioned "over gifts and foreign trips the businessmen may have doled out to them in exchange for favors," according to sources, reports The Post.
A grand jury has been convened.
The case began when a wiretap in an unrelated case revealed ties to Philip Banks, who was then the NYPD Chief of Department, and Corrections Union president Norman Seabrook.
Businessmen Jona Rechnitz, who is one of Mayor Bill de Blasio's donors from the Upper West Side and Jeremy Reichberg, known for his NYPD connections, traveled with Banks and Seabrook to the Caribbean and Israel, and paid for parts of their trips, notes The Post.
Banks and Seabrook bought Rechnitz a $5,000 backgammon set that was "custom-made from Israel — So that nobody could say they bought me the [plane] ticket," Seabrook told The Post. "There is no quid pro quo. There's nothing [the FBI] could say Norman did wrong," he added, referring to himself.
Rechnitz also paid for trips for other police to London, Rome, Las Vegas, and the Caribbean, according to sources, reports The Post.
Veteran NYPD Community Affairs Officer Michael Milici has already testified before a grand jury, pleaded the Fifth and was placed on modified duty.
"I have done nothing wrong and have not engaged in any inappropriate behavior with anyone in the NYPD. Beyond that I have no comment," Rechnitz told The Post.
NYPD officers are also under investigation in other cases.
Twenty-three officers are suspects in a protection racket case involving a karaoke bar, reported DNAInfo.
In February, an NYPD police officer was arrested for running a prostitution ring, reported the New York Post
A poll taken in March showed that 96 percent of NYPD officers believe their relationship with the public has gotten worse, reported CBS Local New York
© 2023 Newsmax. All rights reserved.