MIDTOWN, Manhattan (WABC) --Police Commissioner William Bratton announced a shakeup in the NYPD. Four high-ranking officers were re-assigned Thursday as the FBI's corruption investigation grows larger. At issue is the question of whether officers exchanged special favors for gifts from the Orthodox Jewish community.
Eyewitness News has learned the latest player caught in the FBI's crosshairs is Hamlet Peralta, the former owner of the now-closed Hudson River Cafe in Harlem. Peralta is charged with running a $12 million Ponzi scheme. However, the scheme is reportedly unrelated to the focus of the corruption investigation.
Peralta reportedly has ties to Jona Rechnitz, who served on a committee that planned Mayor Bill de Blasio's inaugural celebration in 2014. Rechnitz and his wife each contributed almost $5,000 to the Mayor's 2013 campaign. De Blasio is now returning that money.
A spokesperson for Mayor de Blasio released a statement saying,
"We are fully confident that the campaign has conducted itself legally and appropriately at all times."
Police Commissioner Bratton said 'as always, we'll have to go where the truth takes us."
As for the scandal in the NYPD, sources say the investigation began in 2013, looking into police-community relations in Borough Park. Relationships between two Brooklyn businessmen and several high-ranking NYPD officials are being looked into, and whether favors were exchanged for gifts, trips and cash.
Sources say among those under scrutiny is Chief of Department Philip Banks, and Correction Union President Norman Seabrook. All have denied any wrongdoing, and it is unclear if Mayor de Blasio himself is being implicated in any wrongdoing.
The question now is - just how far will the investigation go?