Brooklyn, NY - Report: FBI Money Laundering Probe With Link To Charedi Police Buff Leads To Potentially Widespread NYPD Scandal
Brooklyn, NY - A high ranking NYPD official with close connections to the Jewish community has been placed on modified duty after refusing to answer questions from a grand jury. The grand jury investigation is linked to an FBI money laundering probe that involves several prominent members of the NYPD.
Community Affairs Officer Michael Milici of the 66th Precinct was called on Monday before a grand jury that was investigating whether police officers accepted gifts in exchange for favors, which is prohibited by the NYPD. After invoking his Fifth Amendment rights and refusing to testify, Milici was removed from active duty and stripped of his badge and gun as reported by The Daily News.
Milici’s lawyer, Patrick Parrotta denied that his client had accepted any gifts.
Numerous members of the NYPD have been called in for questioning, most of whom are said not to be targets of the investigation. Among those who have been questioned by the FBI are three deputy chiefs and the head of the Upper East Side’s 19th Precinct.
Sources told the New York Post that the FBI launched an initial money laundering investigation that into a business deal involving NYPD chaplain and businessman Jeremy Reichberg, a prominent Jewish real estate developer and a third party that went sour, with large sums of money being lost. Wiretaps on the two businessmen’s phones showed close relationships with several high members of the NYPD including former Chief of Department Philip Banks III and Norman Seabrook, president of the New York City Correction Officer’s Benevolent Association, prompting the second investigation which targeted members of the NYPD.
Both men also have close ties to Mayor Bill de Blasio and served on his inaugural committee.
Sources said that NYPD officers may have received trips including paid vacations in exchange for doing favors for the two businessmen, including providing police escorts for Jewish funerals.
The real estate developer reportedly paid for a portion of several trips made by Banks and Seabrook to various locations, according to sources. The four men also traveled to Israel together in 2014, with the real estate developer covering the cost of both men’s airfare and Seabrook’s hotel bill. Banks and Seabrook reciprocated with a $5,000 custom made Israeli backgammon set as a thank you gift.
Neither Banks nor Reichberg could be reached for comment regarding the investigation. Seabrook said that there was no quid pro quo in reference to the 2014 Israel trip and that he had done nothing wrong.
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