A relative of accused NYPD influence peddler Jeremy Reichberg tried to sneak out of his house with seven smartphones, along with thumb drives and business cards of police and political officials on the day of Reichberg’s arrest, a prosecutor said in federal court Tuesday.
Reichberg, a Brooklyn investor, is charged in a payoffs-for-favors scheme with bribing former NYPD Deputy Chief Michael Harrington and Deputy Inspector James Grant. Reichberg and associate Jona Rechnitz, a cooperating witness, have also been identified as key figures in a federal probe of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s fundraising.
The disclosure about the effort to remove materials from Reichberg’s home just as agents were preparing to execute a search warrant came as prosecutor Martin Bell described evidentiary materials in the case to U.S. District Judge Gregory Woods in Manhattan.
Bell said evidence in the case included wiretaps on phones of Reichberg and Rechnitz for “several months,” emails, and items the “family member” tried to take out of Reichberg’s home on June 20, the day of his arrest, that also included DVDs and “paper evidence.”
Defense lawyers told Wood they thought a recent Supreme Court case, narrowing the definition of an “official act” that could be the subject of a federal quid-pro-quo public corruption case, would knock out some of the government’s charges.
“The state of the law is in complete flux,” said Reichberg’s lawyer, Susan Necheles.
Woods scheduled the next court appearance in the case for Oct. 27, but he has not yet set a trial date.