Restaurant owner being held on $5M bond in NYPD corruption scandal

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Jim Dolan has the story.

There are new damning allegations in a scandal involving NYPD officers allegedly on the take.

A detective in Brooklyn has been suspended as part of this federal corruption case.

But a restaurant owner accused of running a Ponzi scheme in Harlem was back in New York.

Hamlet Peralta's attorney didn't have much to say about him after court Tuesday.

"We're not going to comment. No comment," said Cesar de Castro, Peralta's attorney. "I don't think I can comment on that."

Peralta was in court, charged with fraud, but he is a central figure in a growing NYPD scandal that involves allegations of corruption at nearly the highest levels of the department.

Last week, Alex Lichtenstein was charged with bribing NYPD brass, and now Peralta.

"He has not been formally charged in the indictment so I'm going to ask people to wait to judge. It's the same thing we tell juries as we are about to start a trial, do not jump to judgment," de Castro said.

Prosecutors say they have overwhelming evidence.

Peralta is alleged to have raised over $12 million in what prosecutors call a classic Ponzi scheme that had at least one high ranking NYPD official as an investor.

Prosecutors say Peralta's confidence in running the scheme was bolstered by his close relationship with police.

In fact, his close relationship to NYPD members who can help him is one reason he poses a "flight risk."

Peralta is being held on $5 million bail.

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nypdcorruptionNew York City
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