A Clifton businessman tried to bribe a kidnapping victim into dropping charges against Bergen County-based Instagram influencer “Jay Mazini,” authorities charged.
Bassam Patrick Aljanadi, 56, “contacted the victim and his family on numerous occasions,” Bergen County Prosecutor Mark Musella said Thursday afternoon.
Aljanadi, who owns a heating and air conditioning company, offered the victim cash in exchange for dropping kidnapping charges filed against Jebara Igbara, the prosecutor said.
He did this to “try and obstruct and/or impede the investigation and prosecution of Igbara,” Musella said.
Igbara, 25, of Edgewater and three alleged accomplices are accused of kidnapping a man in Fort Lee, stripping him naked and holding a machete to his neck while threatening to kill him if he didn’t remove negative social media posts.
Igbara had claimed a net worth of $33 million while cultivating a reputation for distributing stacks of cash to random people in New York.
That was before federal authorities in Brooklyn charged him last month with scamming four of his nearly 1 million followers out of more than $2 million in Bitcoin in exchange for worthless wire transfers.
Igbarra had also been arrested in Garfield in February and spent 10 days in the Bergen County Jail for driving while suspended, records show.
He was back behind the wheel of his white 2020 Land Rover on March 15 when he picked up the victim at the 7-Eleven on Palisade Avenue in Fort Lee on the pretense of wanting to talk over coffee, authorities said.
The 25-year-old victim, who’d apparently trashed him online, apparently got hinky when two of Igbarra's associates got into the SUV, a complaint on file in Superior Court in Hackensack says.
So he got out and sped off.
The crew chased down the victim, who was then beaten and shoved into Igbarra's Land Rover, the complaint says.
Authorities issued Aljanadi a summons to answer witness tampering charges in court, Musella said.
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