Bribes for New York ‘cops on call’

Two high-ranking New York Police Department officers have been arrested on charges they took over $100,000 (€88,830) worth of flights, prostitutes, lavish meals, and other bribes in exchange for providing a “private police force” for local businessmen.

Deputy chief Michael Harrington, Deputy Insp James Grant, and Brooklyn businessman Jeremy Reichberg, were charged with conspiracy to commit honest services wire fraud.

David Villanueva, an NYPD sergeant assigned to the gun licence bureau, was arrested on charges of conspiring to commit bribery.

In exchange for the bribes, Mr Reichberg and others “got a private police force for themselves and their friends,” US attorney Preet Bharara said at a news conference.

“Effectively, they got ‘cops on call’.”

A criminal complaint said Reichberg exploited his connections within the police department to speed up gun licence processing, make tickets disappear, organise police escorts for him and his friends, get assistance from uniformed personnel to resolve personal disputes, and boost security at religious sites and events.

In return, Reichberg and another businessman showered his police officials with well over $100,000 in benefits from 2012 to 2015.


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