He got waved into NYPD headquarters. He got a police escort to the New Year’s Eve ball drop. And when he asked Tommy Hilfiger to give an internship to a police chief’s daughter, the fashion mogul responded “I’m on it.”
Aspiring real estate bigshot Jona Rechnitz shared a laundry list of favors lavished on NYPD cops Monday in Manhattan Federal Court, from a detective who posed as his security guard to former Chief of Department Philip Banks, who gave them special access to 1 Police Plaza.
Rechnitz testified that his partner in the scheme to corrupt cops was Brooklyn businessman Jeremy Reichberg, who is charged with bribery. Rechnitz has pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit honest services fraud and is cooperating with the government.
Among the cops the pair sought to cultivate was Deputy Chief David Colon, Rechnitz said. He and Reichberg rented a hotel room for a Sweet 16 party for Colon’s daughter, Rechnitz recalled. They also bought him a Breitling watch worth as much as $5,000, he said. When Colon’s daughter sent Rechnitz her resume for an internship at Tommy Hilfiger in March 2013, Rechnitz sent it to Hilfiger himself.
“This is a daughter of an NYPD chief. Very close friend,” Rechnitz wrote to Hilfiger in an email shown in court.
“I’m on it, thx,” Hilfiger replied.
The following month, Hilfiger wrote to Rechnitz, “Jona, she’s on board as a Tommy Hilfiger intern!”
“Beautiful, thank you,” Rechnitz wrote back.