Tag Archives: U.S. Attorney Loretta E. Lynch

Cop charged with extorting Astoria restaurant owner


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

An NYPD officer and two people were arrested and charged with Hobbs Act extortion of $24,000, attempted Hobbs Act extortion and brandishing a firearm against a Astoria restaurant owner.

US Attorney Loretta Lynch, FBI Assistant Director George Venizelos and Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly announced the charges against Queens resident Redinel Dervishaj, Brooklyn resident Denis Nikolla, and officer Besnik Llakatura, who was assigned to the 120th Precinct on Staten Island.

“The defendants told their victims they offered ‘protection,’ but in reality, they peddled fear and intimidation through the Albanian community-their community-of Queens,” Lynch said Tuesday.

The defendants allegedly demanded monthly payments from the Astoria restaurant owner in exchange for “protection,” shortly after the victim opened his restaurant, according to court papers. Dervishaj allegedly told the victim because he had opened a business in “our neighborhood,” as a result “you have to pay us.”

The defendants allegedly took turns collecting monthly payments from the Astoria restaurant owner over five months.

When the restaurant owner tried to go to Llakatura, the cop allegedly discouraged him from going to the police and tried to persuade him to make the payments.

When he resisted he was threatened with physical violence and chased at gunpoint by Nikolla.

“By creating a climate of fear, the defendants allegedly coerced an innocent restaurant owner into paying for so-called protective services,” Venizelos said. “The victim was further betrayed when seeking the assistance of Besnik Llakatura, an NYPD officer whose sinister intentions were shrouded by his badge of honor.”

 

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Ex-Assemblymember Jimmy Meng sentenced in bribery scheme


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

File photo

It’s one month in jail for former Queens Assemblymember Jimmy Meng.

The father of Congressmember Grace Meng was sentenced on Tuesday, March 12 in Brooklyn Federal Court after pleading guilty to federal wire fraud charges in November, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

“I love my father very much. He made no excuses for his actions, took full responsibility for his behavior and accepted the consequences. Hopefully, we can soon put this difficult chapter in our lives behind us so that he can be back with his family and grandchildren and move on to the next stage of his life,” said his daughter in a statement.

Following his prison time, Meng will serve four months of house arrest and two years of probation. The 69-year-old was also ordered to pay $30,000 in fines and serve 750 hours of community service.

Meng was facing a maximum of 20 years in jail and a fine of $250,000 for scamming thousands from a state court defendant.

He was caught on July 24 at his Flushing lumber yard accepting a fruit basket containing bribe money.

“Jimmy Meng held himself out as a power broker, able to buy and sell justice,” said U.S. Attorney Loretta E. Lynch. “In reality, he was a swindler who tried to obtain $80,000 for a nonexistent bribery scheme.”

 

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