A former Brooklyn community-patrol leader who pleaded guilty to bribing NYPD officers for gun licenses was sentenced to 32 months in prison in Manhattan federal court on Thursday.
Alex “Shaya” Lichtenstein, a leader in the Shomrim neighborhood patrol in Borough Park, charged a fee of $10,000 to $16,000 and paid two cops in the licensing division $1,000 per application, grossing $150,000 to $250,000, prosecutors said.
Lichtenstein, 45, of Pomona in Rockland County, told U.S. District Judge Sidney Stein that he started out trying to do favors for friends, but it got out of control.
“I make terrible mistakes,” he said. “I am very very sorry. I am disgraced for this mistake and for having to be here.”
The courtroom and an overflow courtroom were filled with dozens of yarmulke-wearing supporters, and Stein said the show of support and a barrage of letters about Lichtenstein’s charitable efforts influenced him to give a lenient sentence.
In addition to the prison term, Lichtenstein was ordered to forfeit $230,000.
“Lichtenstein … corrupted the sensitive process of evaluating gun license applications,” said acting U.S. Attorney Joon Kim. “Today’s sentence shows that individuals who so brazenly abuse the public’s trust in law enforcement … will be held to account for their crimes.”