Alex (Shaya) Lichtenstein has burned various corrupt NYPD cops after he secretly recorded their illegal dealings. The only thing greater than Lichtenstein’s insatiable greed was his obsessive recording of conversations. Prosecutors told a court this week that Lichtenstein secretly recorded some 70,000 conversations. Lichtenstein has pleaded guilty to bribery of police. Lichtenstein was a member of the Orthodox Jewish Patrol that would roam Jewish neighborhoods. His deep religious beliefs however did not seem to stop him bribing officials and committing criminal acts.
Lichtenstein would save the recordings to an email account — detailing his corrupt dealings with NYPD officers to obtain pistol licenses. In addition, the prosecutors seized the phones of Jeremy Reichberg, a Brooklyn businessman who kept images and notes of alleged bribes that included tickers for Super Bowl, Brazil and China.
In one case, Lichtenstein pleaded guilty to offering a cop $6,000 in exchange for an expedited gun permit. Lichtenstein’s $6,000 bribe would result in $18,000 payments that he would demand from his customers seeking gun permits. His “clients” often had records that made it difficult or impossible to obtain permits.
Again Lichtenstein’s leadership role among Orthodox citizens on its neighborhood patrol did not prevent him from bragging about bribing police officers. He reportedly obtained 150 permits, which would yield as much as a million dollars in profit.
He could get 10 years and deserves every minute of it. However, the question is the fate of these officers who, if guilty, justify the toughest possible sentencing.