Businessman at center of NYPD corruption probe pleads not guilty

NEW YORK (WABC) -- A businessman at the center of the sweeping federal corruption probe of the NYPD was back in court Monday.

Shaya Lichtenstein pleaded not guilty to charges of bribery and conspiracy.

He's the man accused of facilitating bribes to officers to fast track gun permits for as many as 150 people.

His arrest led to numerous officers being reassigned, and one has been fired for not cooperating with the investigation.

Officials would not say how many suspended permits were originally brokered by Lichtenstein.

"To date, we've suspended 37 licenses; 17 more are pending suspension," Chief of Department James O'Neill said last week. "When a license is suspended, the weapons are surrendered and a thorough review of the license application takes place.

The chief declined to elaborate, but it is all part of the Justice Department's investigation into police corruption in South Brooklyn, where officers are suspected of providing favors and other considerations to local businessmen in exchange for gifts, trips and cash.

Precisely whom Lichtenstein is suspected of bribing is not detailed in the indictment, but an officer, a sergeant and the commanding officer have all been transferred, and the investigation is ongoing.
Copyright © 2020 WABC-TV. All Rights Reserved.