Alex "Shaya" Lichtenstein, the man at the center of a wide-ranging NYPD bribery scandal involving the sale of gun permits to civilians, was sentenced to 32 months in jail yesterday, according to an announcement from the U.S. Attorney's Office.
Lichtenstein, who had previous pled guilty for his role in the bribery scheme, had his sentence handed down in federal court yesterday. He previously admitted that while he was a member of the Borough Park neighborhood watch group the Shomrim, he paid up to $1,000, as well as gifts like limo rides, to NYPD officers in the police department's Licensing Division in exchange for gun licenses for his clients. Under the cover of acting as an expediter for gun licenses, Lichtenstein would take payments from $10,000 to $16,000 from his clients and give part of the money to the police officers he worked with. In at least one instance, Lichteinstein helped a man with four domestic violence complaints on his record get a gun permit.
"By engaging in an egregious scheme to trade cash for gun licenses, Alex Lichtenstein and his co-defendants in the New York City Police Department corrupted the sensitive process of evaluating gun license applications in New York City," acting U.S. Attorney for the Southern District Joon H. Kim said following the sentencing.
The case that has unfolded since Lichtenstein was busted for bribing NYPD officers for gun permits has seen three NYPD officers demoted for their roles in helping Lichtenstein with his scheme. Even with this sentencing, the case may not be over. According to the Times, federal prosecutors announced that they had found evidence of other bribes paid to "high ranking" NYPD officers, based on records that Lichtenstein kept. Earlier this year, prosecutors told the court that they had recordings of 70,000 conversations that Lichtenstein had made, including some with NYPD officers about his gun licensing bribes.