NY AG Files Sales Tax Lawsuit Against B&H Photo and Store Disagrees

Jewish Owned Megastore B&H Photo Slapped With State Lawsuit, CEO Responds (UPDATED)

YeshivaWorldNews

Attorney general of New York, Letitia James announced on Twitter that she has filed a lawsuit against B&H Photo, the famed New York electronics retailer.

Her tweet reads: We’ve filed a lawsuit against B&H, the photo & electronics store, for allegedly failing to pay sales tax on tens of millions of dollars they received from manufacturers for “instant rebate” discounts to customers. In New York, no company is above the law.”

The state of New York is suing for allegedly failing to pay sales tax on tens of millions of dollars.

Fox5NY reports that the Attorney General’s investigation and subsequent lawsuit came from a whistleblower complaint.

“Today’s lawsuit, filed in New York State Supreme Court, concerns B&H’s failure to pay taxes on money from are point-of-sale discounts the company offers its customers, for which it receives reimbursement from manufacturers.

New York State sales tax is required on that money but the state claims that B&H never paid the tax, despite its repeated and explicit acknowledgments — internally, to outside vendors, and externally, to a competitor — that under New York tax law, it owed sales tax.”

NY AG James

@NewYorkStateAG

We’ve filed a lawsuit against B&H, the photo & electronics store, for allegedly failing to pay sales tax on tens of millions of dollars they received from manufacturers for “instant rebate” discounts to customers.

In New York, no company is above the law.

221 people are talking about this

UPDATE: B&H CEO Responds

Dear B&H Employee,

Today the NY Attorney General filed suit against B&H claiming that we should have collected sales tax from customers on instant savings discounts.  We obviously believe these claims are without merit, especially since the entire consumer electronics retail industry takes the identical approach that we do.  B&H will fight these allegations aggressively.  It’s unbelievable to me that the Attorney General has singled out B&H and is misleading the public about our company, while ignoring the identical practices from much larger competitors.

We issued the following statement to the press:

“The Attorney General is flat wrong – and is trying to create a tax on discounts in order to make New Yorkers pay more.  B&H is not a big box store or a faceless chain; we are a New York institution, having operated here for nearly 50 years with a stellar reputation. The tax department has done countless audits and never once – not a single time – mentioned this widespread industry practice.

“B&H has done nothing wrong and it is outrageous that the AG has decided to sue a New York company that employs thousands of New Yorkers while leaving the national online and retail behemoths unchallenged. The Attorney General wants to charge New Yorkers a tax on money they never spent. It’s wrong and we won’t be bullied.”

We regularly offer customers instant savings discounts.  This is an industry wide practice.  On a camera that regularly sells for $1,000 that has an instant savings offer of $200, the net selling price is $800 and we collect and remit sales tax on the $800.  The Attorney General is claiming that we should collect tax based on the $1,000 and thus have underpaid sales tax for 13 years.  Common sense, legal precedent, and years of sales tax audits approving our practice say we have done everything right.

I want each of you to know that B&H acts with the highest standards of integrity in everything we do, and I find this action offensive and very disappointing.  I look forward to having our day in court to defend ourselves and our customers against these absurd allegations.

To continue reading click here.

 

ADDITIONAL SOURCES:

https://nypost.com/2019/11/14/bh-failed-to-pay-millions-in-sales-tax-attorney-general/

https://ag.ny.gov/sites/default/files/2019.11.14_nyag_v._bh_-_summons_complaint.pdf

Lack of Basic Education A Threat to Society, Israel’s Existential Threat

MK Moshe Gafni speaks in an ultra-Orthodox rally (photo credit: Courtesy)
MK Moshe Gafni speaks in an ultra-Orthodox rally
(photo credit: Courtesy)

Israel ‘under threat’ by lack of basic education for ultra-Orthodox children

Prof. Dan Ben David predicts that by 2065, some 35% of Israel’s population will be ultra-Orthodox, compared to its current level of 9% of the population.

Israel is headed for an existential crisis due to the ultra-Orthodox community’s high birthrate, its ability to retain the members of its sector within the ultra-Orthodox fold, and the failure of schools in the sector to provide their pupils with a basic education, a think-tank has argued in a new policy brief.

The brief, authored by Prof. Dan Ben-David of the Shoresh Institution for Socioeconomic Research, contends that Israel needs to forget its earlier demographic concern about maintaining a Jewish majority, and instead focus on the severe challenges that it will face over the next half a century, during which time the ultra-Orthodox share of the population will more than triple.

That only a tiny percentage of male ultra-Orthodox high school pupils study the core curriculum subjects such as math, English and science means that Israel’s economy in the future will be unable to sustain its needs for a modern, effective army, Ben-David argues.

According to his findings, some 94% of those who grow up in the ultra-Orthodox community remain ultra-Orthodox as adults.
Of the remainder, 3% become religious-Zionists, 2% become religiously traditional and 1% become secular.

At the other end of the spectrum, secular Israelis also have a high rate of retention of their community, with only 10% of those born secular joining another sector of the population as adults.

According to Ben-David’s study – which uses statistical data from the Central Bureau of Statistics – ultra-Orthodox women have an average birthrate of 7.1 children, compared with just 2.2 for secular Jews, 2.7 for religiously traditional Jews and 4.0 for religious-Zionist Jews. The average birthrate for Muslim women is 3.4 children.

Although the religious-Zionist sector also has a high birthrate, it has low rate of retention of its members, with 45% of its community dropping out of the sector, most of whom become religiously traditional.

According to these figures, Ben-David predicts that by 2065, some 49% of all children in Israel aged 0 to 14 will be ultra-Orthodox, compared with their current level of 19%.

The policy brief notes that the overwhelming majority of male ultra-Orthodox high school aged pupils do not study any core curriculum subjects such as math, English and the sciences.

These pupils, both Ashkenazi and Sephardi, mainly attend what are called yeshivot ketanot and yeshivot gedolot, the equivalent of middle and high school, where only religious studies are taught.

It is estimated that some 80% of male Ashkenazi ultra-Orthodox elementary-age pupils attend schools where a minimal core curriculum is taught, although even then it is believed that the requisite hours are not fully taught, and when they are it is to a poor standard.

The Shas-run school network Maayan Hinuch Torani does teach core-curriculum studies, with some 80% of male Sephardi ultra-Orthodox pupils studying in such schools. But the level of these studies is also not thought to be of a high standard.

Efforts to reform primary education in the ultra-Orthodox sector and ensure that schools teach core curriculum subjects were taken by former education minister Shai Piron of Yesh Atid, but various problems, including strong opposition by the ultra-Orthodox parties, meant that most of the reforms were either not implemented or subsequently reversed.

The notion of enforcing the teaching of core curriculum subjects in the yeshivot ketanot and gedolot that ultra-Orthodox boys attend in lieu of high school was not even broached, since the reaction by the ultra-Orthodox leadership and the general population would be so severe.

Ultra-Orthodox girls generally do study the core curriculum since many are expected to support their future husbands economically while they study full-time in yeshiva.

As such, ultra-Orthodox women have a far higher rate of obtainment of higher education qualifications than men, and also have a far higher rate of employment than ultra-Orthodox men.

BEN-DAVID POINTS out that despite recent increases in the number of ultra-Orthodox men and women studying for academic degrees in colleges and universities, the share of working age ultra-Orthodox men with such qualifications has remained the same over the last 15 years, at around 15%, and even declined slightly over the last four years.

Since it is ultra-Orthodox men who have extremely low rates of workforce participation, with just 51% in employment, the figures regarding the failure to increase the share of ultra-Orthodox men with higher education qualifications is of particular concern.

To continue reading click here.

One Step Forward, Ten Steps Back… Australia, The Royal Commission and YCL

Shock at Yeshivah

Waks: ‘Goldhirsch is now effectively back in charge of the safety and wellbeing of children, which is a disgrace and yet another slap in the face to victims/survivors’.

THE appointment of former Yeshivah Committee of Management (COM) member Michael Goldhirsch to the Yeshivah Centre Limited (YCL) board has been met with shock by sections of the community.

Chabad Institutions of Victoria Limited (CIVL) announced this week that Goldhirsch is a new member of its board, and that it has nominated him as one of three representatives on the YCL board, which is the roof board of CIVL and Yeshivah and Beth Rivkah Colleges.

Goldhirsch was a member of the COM until soon after the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse in 2015.

During the time he was on the COM, children were sexually abused within the organisation and victims were re-victimised when they came forward.

Child sexual abuse victim Manny Waks said he was shocked by the announcement.

“Goldhirsch himself has never privately apologised [to me],” Waks said.

“We had hoped that a ‘new’ Yeshivah leadership would heed the message from the Royal Commission and internally hold to account those who disgraced their institution so badly and caused untold damage to many individuals and to the broader Jewish community.

“Astonishingly, Goldhirsch is now effectively back in charge of the safety and wellbeing of children, which is a disgrace and yet another slap in the face to victims/survivors and our families.”

Goldhirsch was part of the COM that was heavily criticised by Counsel Assisting the Royal Commission Maria Gerace, who stated that the COM hesitated when asked to support victims.

“Evidence shows that the Committee of Management sought advice from Robert Richter QC about the potential criminal liability of Rabbi Glick or others in respect of the (now convicted child sexual abuser) David Cyprys allegations and whether or not the COM should contact victims before writing to the community at large to publicly support victims and their families,” she said.

To continue reading click here.

Monsey, NY Banker and Toms River, NJ Man and Brilliant Straw-Borrower Scheme

 

Former banker from Monsey helped steal $1.4 million through loan scam: U.S. Attorney

A 61-year-old former bank director from Monsey faces federal fraud charges involving a scheme to obtain a $1.4 million loan from the financial institution to finance a home health care business, federal prosecutors said.

Tuesday’s indictment charges attorney Mendel Zilberberg and Aron Fried, 46, of Toms River, New Jersey, with filing loan documents based on false statements and misrepresentations through a “straw borrower,” U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman stated in a news release. 

Zilberberg and Fried received the loan through the fraud and used the proceeds, causing the Park Avenue Bank to default on $1 million, Berman said.

INDICTMENT from the U.S. Attorney’s Office

The scheme involved an unnamed co-conspirator who received a share of the money from the loan and a fourth person, identified by prosecutors as a straw borrower.

“As alleged, Mendel Zilberberg and Aron Fried conspired with another to defraud the bank where Zilberberg served as a director,” Berman said. “In a textbook case of self-dealing and breach of fiduciary duty, Zilberberg allegedly exploited his position at the bank to grease the skids for a loan given under blatantly false pretenses, a huge chunk of the proceeds of which he himself dipped into.”

The indictment charges that in 2009, Fried and a co-conspirator sought to obtain a fraudulent loan from the Manhattan-based bank to finance an investment in a home health care business.

Knowing the co-conspirator would not be credit-worthy and had a criminal record, they used a straw borrower for the loan application.

To make the scam work, Fried and the co-conspirator partnered with Zilberberg, who had the authority to personally shepherd the loan through the bank’s approval process and guard it from scrutiny, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

The defendants then concocted a false premise for the loan, supported the loan application with false representations, and set up pass-through bank accounts to funnel the proceeds of the fraudulent loan to themselves, the prosecutor’s office said.

To continue reading click here.

Jackson Township, NJ and the “Second Reading” of a Ritual Slaughter Right

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iHw7WmCy49k

 

WHERE DO WE DRAW LINES OF ACCEPTABLE VERSUS NOT ACCEPTABLE IN A CIVILIZED SOCIETY, PARTICULARLY WHERE RELIGION IS CONCERNED?

Dear Readers:

We find ourselves asking very serious questions, not the least of which is the slippery slope of allowing the ritual waving and slaughter of chickens (not deemed obligatory in the Jewish religion), the female circumcision practiced in some religions (even deemed obligatory by Shafi’i Muslims), allowing cannibalism, also a ritualistic behavior of tribes of other countries and bigamy, a consensual behavior among adults deemed acceptable by some religious groups.

If we are allowing a group of worshipers of a non-obligatory practice to swing chickens over their head and then brutally slaughter those chickens, why are we not allowing another religious group to practice bigamy or polygamy or to marry multiple people at the same time? One religious practice is cruel to animals with little justification for the practice. Another is consensual behavior by and among adults which some deem to have multiple benefits. Why is cruelty to animals acceptable and consensual adult practice illegal?

At what point does religious practice simply become “prohibited” because as a society we can neither justify the level of brutal cruelty nor can we accept the level of waste. We have not even discussed the lack of sanitation, the use of public services to cordon off streets and protect the worshipers, the costs to taxpayers and the list of atrocities surrounding the ritual itself. The list goes on.

Obviously, there are judgement calls here. There are those who don’t see a difference between circumcision of boys and girls. Yet the latter is referred to as “Female Genital Mutilation” or FGM. The reason for the distinction appears to be that the former does not scar the future bodily functions of the boy while a girl is forever scarred by the practice. There is continued debate on the subject and some who see both as equally objectionable.

There are those who see a vast difference between brutally swinging and then unceremoniously slaughtering chickens and the eating of human flesh. Sadly and it pains us to put this out there but the Kaporot ritual is both cruel and wasteful. The chickens are not appropriately treated nor are they then sent to shelters and food banks to be eaten. People are starving and a viable source of food is tossed in the trash. The eating of human flesh, in some societies still accepted, might be deemed an acceptable way to feed the hungry after a person has died. That is a scary and somewhat unsavory thought. But the treatment of chickens for the Kaporot ceremony is no less unsavory, particularly given the resources used and the waste involved. It should be viewed with no less disgust as leaving puppies to  die in plastic bags. And somehow we couch it in religion and see this ritual as acceptable?

Where does that line get drawn? Where does ritual cruelty become something that as a society we simply will not allow? When do we tell practitioners of this cruel practice that we will not as a society accept it. We will not accept the cruelty to animals and we will not accept the wasted resources that could go to the hungry.

When it comes to the yearly Kaporot service, there are many within the religious Jewish community who view swinging a bag of coins over their heads and then giving those coins to charity as a viable alternative and equally as productive where G-d and sins are concerned. We would agree.

As a society do we really want to condone the ritual torture and then slaughter of animals by a religious sect, any religious sect, particularly if those animals are not then used to feed the hungry, the poor or the less fortunate? By Orthodox Jewish standards the chickens are supposed to be fed to the hungry. They are not!

To the Jackson Township Council and the Lakewood Planning Board we formally request that you outlaw the practice and not rewrite ordinances. We formally request that you tell practitioners to use alternative means of practicing religion. There are practices society has simply deemed unacceptable by any human standards. This should be one of them.

 

 

RISE UP OCEAN COUNTY

Tonight at 7:30pm, the Jackson Township Council will do the second reading of a misguided addition to their animal cruelty ordinance which specifically allows for the ritualistic slaughter of birds…a hat tip to our friends in the orthodox Jewish community that will allow your next door neighbor to slaughter chickens in their yard, amongst other things. The meeting place is town hall at 95 W. Veterans Highway.

“Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to prohibit, abridge, or in any way hinder the religious freedom of any person or group. Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter, in order to protect freedom of religion, ritual slaughter and the handling or other preparation of livestock for ritual slaughter are exempted from the terms of this chapter. For the purposes of this section the term “ritual slaughter” means slaughter in accordance with section 98-61(T)(2) of this title.

“Killing a bird if such bird is Poultry owned by that Person and will be used for food”.

There will be public comment after the second reading and some questions to ask may include who will enforce that the bird is actually used for food and not disposed of in, say a black, plastic garbage bag. Or who will oversee the sale of said bird to insure that the person slaughtering it is actually the owner and not a renter (that actually happened at Bingo during Kaporos).

Also Tonight at 6pm in Lakewood the Planning Board is scheduled to once again take up the application for The Parke which will destroy a golf course and replace it with ridiculously high density housing, clog roadways, lead to the pillaging of even more money from the public schools and place added strains on a water supply that has all but run dry. And let’s not forget that The Parke is the development that our friends in the Fairways at Lake Ridge continue to fight in the courts. Previously favorable rulings seemingly led to the near death beating of Fred and Pat Robison for which there STILL is no suspect and no arrest. That meeting is held at Lakewood town hall, 231 3rd Street in lakewood.

You can choose to attend either, your voice is needed in both places.

#JacksonwillNEVERbeLakewood
#usecoinsNOTchickens2020
#playgolfNOThouse
#justicefortheRobisons
#risingupwithoutYOU

Why Merchant Cash Accounts are WRONG For Your Business, We are Urging our Readers to AVOID! – Part II

THE PART OF THE MERCHANT CASH ACCOUNT (MCA) BUSINESS YOU DID NOT KNOW….

1. Did you know that the MCA loan draws down on your account DAILY (rarely WEEKLY) whether you have funds in your account or not?

2. Did you know that, at least on the East Coast of the United States, many MCA lenders are friends, family members, investors all tied to one another in the form of investment; or they use the same attorneys, the same collection agencies, the same brokers? What that means is they monitor your loans like turkey vultures just waiting for you to be unable to render payment so they can pounce.

3. Did you know that most MCA lenders require you to sign a Confession of Judgement, an unscrupulous document that is an admission of default, signed on the full face amount + interest + fees + penalties + collection fees? This means that you owe a sum total before you even get the money in the bank and even as you pay down the loan that Confession of Judgement remains on the face amount of the original loan + interest + fees + penalties + collection fees. In some states there is legislation being drafted to de-legitimize the Confession of Judgement.

4. Did you know that most MCA loans require you to personally guarantee your loan (on the full face amount mentioned above). In the event of a default you risk everything – your home, your car, your life savings, the future of your children, the future of your estate, your business, everything?

5. Did you know that many MCA lenders are completely unregistered with any oversight agency and are not restricted by any form of finance/banking laws intended to protect the Borrowers? They are not bank loans. They skirt all legal loopholes including those regarding confidentiality, usury, fees.

6. Did you know that while the “Interest Rate” (i.e. the rate of interest charged for the loan) may be within legal limits (generally advertised as low-interest), there are associated fees, pre-payment penalties, lending fees, draw-down fees, collection fees, documentation fees, registration fees, that can ultimately add up to nearly 50%-80%, which while not called “interest” are effectively the same thing? They INCREASE THE COST OF BORROWING THE MONEY.

7. Did you know that very few MCA lenders will be willing to re-negotiate the terms on an MCA loan in the event that something goes dramatically wrong and you cannot make payment? More to the point, as soon as you run into problems you usually have ten more offering you better terms, which actually bury you deeper into debt?

WE URGE OUR READERS TO AVOID MCA LOANS, TO CONTACT ATTORNEYS TO REVIEW ALL LOAN DOCUMENTS OF ANY KIND, TO FIND ANOTHER WAY. IF YOU TAKE AN MCA LOAN YOU MIGHT AS WELL BUY A SHOVEL TO DIG YOUR OWN HOLE IN THE GROUND, THEY ARE RARELY A STEP IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION.

The following is an article written for business.com, espousing the benefits of MCA loans. We will not post the entire article but will highlight some of the finer points the writer tried to use to portray the MCA as a benefit to business. He admits that while the loans are advertised at low-interest, they can be “quite high”. He acknowledges in the last paragraph that in some cases, the rate (i.e. effective interest rate) can range in the TRIPLE DIGITS! This means that it can be more than 100%!

We have seen these loans bury far too many people and businesses in debt and wreckage. We want to prevent that from happening. AVOID MCA LOANS!

 

Why Businesses Should Consider a Merchant Cash Advance

Like the name suggests, a merchant cash advance (MCA) is an advance provided as a lump sum to a business in exchange for future credit card sales. Therefore, it cannot be considered a loan, because it does not have the technical details of a bank account such as collateral and a fixed repayment term. It is more akin to factoring, where a lender gives an advance of cash against an invoice. In fact, the companies that offer financing are very careful not to be referred to as lenders but simply as providers. This allows them a lot of leeway in providing financing to small businesses.

In a factoring business, the one providing funding is buying a portion of a company’s future receivables. In an MCA agreement, the business’s receivables are in the form of credit and debit card sales. This is a riskier approach for the lender because an invoice does not exist. Thus, the interest rates are higher because of the higher risk profile of these cash advances. Despite the costs, there are still circumstances that necessitate taking an advance. To help you navigate the industry and make more informed decisions, this guide will teach you everything you need to know about MCAs.

…..

2. Factor fee

In a cash advance, the factoring fee replaces the interest rate, although it is essentially the same thing. The average rate is between 1.14 and 1.18 and, when multiplied with the advance amount, shows you what you owe in total. When this factor fee is converted to an annual percentage rate (APR), it becomes equivalent to 15% or more. [Want to know more about factoring? Check out our reviews.]

3. Holdback

Every day, a percentage of the daily credit card sales that is deducted from your bank account and sent to the MCA provider. The percentage can be between 10% and 20% and will be charged until the debt is repaid.

To facilitate the daily payments to the lender, an MCA deal is made with the collaboration of a credit card processing company. One way they allocate monies is by deducting the total sales of the day and sending those to the lender, while the rest are processed to your business bank account. The other way is by allowing the MCA provider to access your credit card sales, and they make their deductions before sending the remaining funds to your account. Alternatively, your bank can handle the account, and the provider’s portion is sent to the MCA provider by ACH.

……

What is the disadvantage of a merchant cash advance?

The most glaring and obvious problem with MCAs is their high cost. At first, the factor rate makes it seem that the debt would be low, but in actuality, the interest rate is quite high. In some cases, the rate can reach triple digits, which is much higher than a bank loan. Also, considering the daily holdback, your business’s cash flow can be negatively affected.

To read the article in its entirety click here.

The Blueprint for Takeover – Jackson Township, Lakewood (NJ), Rockland County, NY – Dear Editor

Image may contain: sky, text and outdoor

Dear Editor of Lost Messiah:

We are asking you to print the following letter along with the link to the documents substantiating our claim. This is the story as we understand it based upon the documents we found. 

https://img1.wsimg.com/blobby/go/ee9f70a2-44e7-40d3-8609-984bcd8638e0/downloads/jacksonlawsuits.pdf?ver=1572200522121

We don’t even know how to explain this secret that has surfaced…..and it looks right on track.

It’s 11 PAGES OF CHANGES FOR JACKSON land use rules.

Story has it there was a secret meeting between Ken Bressi and Agudath Israel of America back in November; and behind closed doors decisions for Jackson Township/Lakewood were made. As you can see from the document the new developments are being designed, the Kapparot Ordinance which would allow the ritual slaughter of fowl during the High Holy Holidays was presented along with the Eiruv Ordinance.  It is all in the documents.

I ask you thiss?

WHAT THE HECK IS GOING ON WITH THE REST OF THE COUNCIL???

Are they to busy too working for Jackson because it seems it’s all Ken Bressi.

Please read the rest below presented from Rise Up Ocean County:

Dormitories, schools, mikvahs, synagogues, community centers, parking waivers, eruvim…all discussed in a closed door meeting between representatives of Agudath Israel of America, Jackson Township Attorney Jean Cipriani and Jackson Township Councilman and Planning Board member Ken Bressi. No one else. No other councilmen…just BRESSI! Why is this guy neck deep in all of this?

Anyhow, when civil litigation is filed there is a requirement for mediation and settlement discussions before an actual trial. There is no requirement that you bend over, grab your ankles and prepare for the worst and yet…last November, as part of that process, this meeting took place to establish common ground and areas that might become common ground. As a result, an eleven page notice of surrender, there is no other way to describe it, was drafted. You can read the entire document by clicking the link below.

In short, these terms of surrender, if approved, would make Lakewood look tame compared to Jackson. Special provisions for almost every orthodox Jewish demand and, you are starting to see some of these being put into place on Tuesday night. A township wide eruv and an ordinance that PROTECTS the ritualistic slaughter of chickens during Kaporos are just the first two steps of capitulation. In essence, your government has given up.

Remember when Mayor Reina said “the gloves are off” signaling that he was ready to fight? How about the announcement that Jackson Township had hired religious land use attorney Marci Hamilton to help guide the town through the lawsuits, fight for home rule and to provide counsel on future ordinances? Well the gloves are back on, Marci Hamilton has left the building and only one thing stands between Jackson staying a rural, blue collar and family friendly town and Lakewood 2.0. YOU!

So let’s all put on our big boy/girl pants because quite literally it is time to take the fight to town hall.

Thank you for publishing this letter.

Anonymous

VIDEO (log in through Facebook):

VIDEO (log in through Facebook):

 

 

 

Dan Gertler and the OFAC Sanctions – Someone Had to Have Been Negotiating with Glencore [OPINION]

COBALT-2-CMS
Dan Gertler, Glencore’s partner and connection in Congo.
PHOTOGRAPHER: SIMON DAWSON/BLOOMBERG

DAN GERTLER, MAGNITSKY, JUNE 15, 2018 AND A SET OF ANNOUNCEMENTS

Dear Reader:

We reiterate that this is an opinion based upon research, public filings and other information available online as well as a wide array of analyses. Our contentions are not to be taken as doctrine. They are opinions.

Yesterday in our opinion piece entitled: “DAN GERTLER, HIS MONEY, THE PEOPLE WITHIN HIS VORTEX, THE DRC, GLENCORE, MAGNITSKY AND BOMBARDIER – PART I” we contended that the CNBC News report, which appeared to make a major announcement in terms of who represents Dan Gertler, was actually inconsequential in nature. We stated that we believe that the entire announcement was nothing more than smoke and mirrors since the FARA filings had actually been made in 2018.

This was nothing new.

Within that Opinion, we also commented on the date of Glencore’s victorious well-publicized announcement, made on June 15, 2018 and the significance of that date. On that date Glencore proclaimed that it had resolved payment issues with Dan Gertler. Those payment issues were adversely affecting shareholders in Glencore, a publicly traded company; and following that announcement shareholders celebrated. Dan Gertler was allegedly due hundreds of millions of dollars which were being tied up; and the uncertainty was holding the stock price hostage. The announcement set it free.

We remarked that in the context of those June 15 announcements, Glencore along with the help of the US and Swiss governments, had come up with a workaround that would allow them the ability to pay Gertler without violating the Magnitsky Act sanctions. What was remarkable to us was another announcement made on the same exact day as the Glencore announcement.

And here is where we made an error. We mistakenly stated that both the Glencore Announcement and the US Treasury Magnitsky Sanctions were announced on the same day.  We were unequivocally mistaken as to the dates. The announcement of that day, June 15, 2018 by the US Treasury, were the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) Sanctions.

Indeed, Magnitsky had been announced by the Department of the Treasury on December 17, 2017, seven months earlier. For your perusal we have posted the Magnitsky Sanctions Notice below and highlighted the relevant section.

The Treasury Department announcement we posted yesterday was actually the announcement of the OFAC sanctions against entities related to Dan Gertler. 

To provide a bit of history:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magnitsky_Act

The Magnitsky Act, formally known as the Russia and Moldova Jackson–Vanik Repeal and Sergei Magnitsky Rule of Law Accountability Act of 2012, is a bipartisan bill passed by the U.S. Congress and signed into law by President Barack Obama in December 2012, intending to punish Russian officials responsible for the death of Russian tax accountant Sergei Magnitsky in a Moscow prison in 2009.

Since 2016 the bill, which applies globally, authorizes the US government to sanction those who it sees as human rights offenders, freeze their assets, and ban them from entering the U.S.[1]

The main intention of the law was to punish Russian officials who were thought to be responsible for the death of Sergei Magnitsky by prohibiting their entrance to the United States and their use of its banking system.[9] The legislation was taken up by a Senate panel the next week, sponsored by Senator Ben Cardin, and cited in a broader review of the mounting tensions in the international relationship.[10][11] Browder later wrote that the Magnitsky Act found quick bipartisan support because the corruption exposed by Magnitsky was blatant beyond dispute, and “[t]here wasn’t a pro-Russian-torture-and-murder lobby to oppose it.”[6]p. 329

In November 2012, provisions of the Magnitsky bill were attached to a House bill (H.R. 6156) normalizing trade with Russia (i.e., repealing the Jackson–Vanik amendment) and Moldova.[12] On December 6, 2012, the U.S. Senate passed the House version of the law, 92–4.[9] The law was signed by President Barack Obama on December 14, 2012.[13][14][15][16][17]

In 2016, Congress enacted the Global Magnitsky Act, which allows the US government to sanction foreign government officials implicated in human rights abuses anywhere in the world.[18]

Generally speaking, the Magnitsky Act is intended as a means to control the flow of money generated from activities that violate human rights. While arguably Dan Gertler is not a “government official” as strictly defined by the Act, his place in the morally challenged list of Magnitsky sanctioned individuals is his connection to Joseph Kabila’s activities in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The DRC is not the only  mineral wealthy impoverished nation where Gertler’s activities provide a thriving source of profiteering.

In no uncertain terms, businesses and partnerships that profit from digging and mining in the DRC (amongst others) while the Congolese people work in deplorable conditions, starve, have little to no access to healthcare and suffer all manner of indignities fit the definition for Magnitsky Act purposes. Whether or not Gertler got a fair shake is up to his attorneys to litigate. Alan Dershowitz, one of Gertler’s attorneys/lobbyists has commented that he believes that Gertler is being wrongly sanctioned. He may be right. That’s for him to defend.

But if you assume for a second that the Sanctions are a form of justice, we find ourselves asking how Gertler has been able to walk sanctioned waters without drowning. It is inconceivable that he has not had a top official negotiating to part those seas. That is the genesis of this opinion.   

In theory, if the Magnitsky Act were to be applied in spirit (and not just in faulty drafting), it would prevent someone engaging in any activities profiting from human rights abuses to have access to any capital, regardless of currency. Unfortunately, the Magnitsky Act, like many other US laws, their related acts or sanctions, have loopholes. The Magnitsky Act has no shortage of holes for educated treasure-hunters and they are best manipulated, like many US finance and tax laws, by the uber-wealthy. Mere mortals simply don’t have the advantages of lobbying teams. The loophole within Magnitsky that Glencore and Gerler were able to circumvent was the focus on business transacting and rendering payment in US Currency – the Dollar, the ever famous Greenback.

As we understand it, under Magnitsky a payment not made through a US company and/or in US Dollars, does not trigger sanctions. And, well… human rights be damned. Such is the case with the Glencore deal.

The US government, the Swiss government and others structured an artfully created carve-out that allowed Glencore to be unencumbered by its association with Gertler, allowed Gertler to retain access to hundreds of millions of dollars allegedly due and owing to him and provided Glencore’s shareholders some comfort. Our view is that someone with a savvy sense of finances, the law and intergovernmental relationships was responsible for orchestrating the shifting tides, lobbying the US President to sign the OFAC paperwork on a  particular date, and drafting and negotiating the Glencore/Gertler payment deal. In our opinion, the person or people had to have a vested financial interest in the outcome of those negotiations, enough legal savvy to understand the nuances, enough inside information into Glencore’s activities and the ear of the US Government.

The timing of the OFAC announcement on the same day as the Glencore announcement was either a really stupid mistake made by super savvy business-people, a misunderstanding, a Glencore leak or a poorly timed coincidence. We do not believe in coincidences. 

To the OFAC announcement, Consistent with Magnitsky Act, OFAC can also block the transfer of assets between related entities of those individuals sanctioned under Magnitsky. In Gertler’s case, the “not exhaustive” list which OFAC announced on June 15, 2018 includes entities with which Gertler is associated; and as of June 15, 2018 the list of entities had been expanded to 34. Interestingly, Glencore, which has acknowledged time and time again a partnership with Gertler, has not had its assets frozen under OFAC.  

That simple reality makes us wonder, who in the US government, the Treasury Department, the “Powers that Be” in these decisions has money invested in Glencore, a publicly traded company, such that Glencore has so far escaped unscathed and is, indeed, able to both continue to transact even with its associations to Gertler, and to pay Gertler, so long as those payments are not rendered in US Dollars. It is also able to continue its own mining activities unhindered.

Moreover, and perhaps more interesting, we note that regardless of which notice circulated on June 15, 2018, it is utterly inconceivable whomever negotiated that deal did not know the sanctions were coming down the pipeline and was not working on behalf someone with a vested financial interest. The shares of stock, as far as we have seen, went wild during the week immediately following the announcement.

LSE – LSE Delayed Price. Currency in GBp

258.05+1.10 (+0.43%)

At close: 4:35PM GMT

To our view, there are two other very interesting points that can be made here. First, why was Glencore not itself sanctioned under the US Treasury’s announcement of June 15, 2018? It would seem that if the US Treasury sanctions were worth their weight in salt where Gertler is concerned, Glencore should have had its assets frozen with the 34 other Gertler associations. We are sure there are a valuable set of reasons why Glencore did not meet the criteria; but we can’t think of any.

Second, are there not tax implications of a decision to exclude payments under Magnitsky?

By our analysis (and it could be wrong), Magnitsky Act money, being money generated in US Dollars, is taxable under US tax laws. It is deemed a part of the long-arm jurisdiction of the US tax system, however much we may disagree with that long-arm. In contrast, once money is deemed to be outside of the scope of Magnitsky, that money is likely also outside the scope of the US Department of Finance’s taxing authority.

As such, it is our belief (and we could be wrong), that not only did Gertler and Glencore’s negotiator find a loophole to allow payment to Gertler, but also found a loophole for Gertler to avoid paying US taxes on this money. Moreover, we are guessing that he has also managed to skirt paying taxes on that hundreds of millions of dollars in any other jurisdiction. It is likely all quite legal and all a function of how the money was characterized in order to avoid Magnitsky.

Our only possible conclusion under the totality of all of the informaiton is that senior government officials in multiple countries were involved in the negotiations that both allowed Gertler to continue operating as though nothing had happened, wholly unencumbered by Magnitsky and that allowed Glencore to continue its operations, given its association with Gertler and Kabila. 

We reiterate that this is only an opinion. It is a theory, based upon publicly available information, logical conclusions and some guesswork and should be taken as nothing more. 

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Is Dershowitz, Freeh and Apfel’s Representation of Gertler Really Such Big News? [AN OPINION]

Dan Gertler and former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, April 28, 2005
 

Tomer Appelbaum

 

DAN GERTLER, HIS MONEY, THE PEOPLE WITHIN HIS VORTEX, THE DRC, GLENCORE, MAGNITSKY AND BOMBARDIER – PART I

Dear Reader:

This is unequivocally our Opinion. It is based upon an analysis of current events and relevant FARA filings. We have posted some of the filings as images on the bottom of this page.

We believe that recent news about Dan Gertler and those lobbying on his behalf are a red herring, a distraction. They are really old news. We believe that the importance in creating smoke and mirrors is to provide a different narrative to Giuliani’s involvement in the Ukraine and his potential connection with Dan Gertler, whether directly or through intermediaries. We are working on that connection.

This is an opinion and should not be taken as anything more. 

In 2017, a number of registrations were made which disclosed to the government that several companies were representing lobbying efforts for both the Democratic Republic of Congo and Dan Gertler. We feel that the DRC and Gertler are inextricably intertwined. He has a long and storied history with Kabila which in 2017 we wrote about extensively. 

The Panama Papers contain more elicit information about Gertler than about almost any other single subject; and his business dealings are creative, if nothing else. Again, this is an opinion.

We are not particularly fond of an industry which underpays citizens to dig for diamonds, cobalt, copper, emeralds and other riches and then makes zillions of dollars on the labor of those citizens who work to barely survive. Meanwhile their employers (using that term loosely) travel on a fleet of Bombardier Planes, have lavish meals delivered to Kinshasa, consistent with the laws of Kashrut of course, the cost of which is more than many of the citizens of the DRC will see in two generations of lifetimes.

We firmly believe that a mineral wealthy country should have citizens who share in that wealth and are not enslaved by it. It is our opinion that the DRC’s citizens are the victims of the vast amounts of wealth of Gertler, Kabila and their networks of associates. We believe it can only be viewed as a Shanda. There but for the Grace of G-d go I…  

In 2018 Alan Dershowitz, Gertler’s attorney (and therefore privileged confidant), Louis Freeh, also an attorney and a former FBI director between 1993 and 2001, and Gary Apfel, also an attorney, (the same brilliant attorney who notably assisted in the defense of Shalom Rubashkin and took on the issues of Criminal Justice Reform) were being paid to lobby on behalf of Dan Gertler. This is not new news. This is also not meant to create the illusion that somehow they are responsible for what is happening in the DRC. We voice no such opinion. They are lobbyists and attorneys and are getting paid to do a job.

The relevant filings were made under FARA in 2018.

What is notable is that at least one document was signed in 2019 and was only  now reported on at any great lengths in the CNBC News report (posted below). It is our position, an opinion, that this is all a great distraction. It is nothing new and should not be viewed as such.

It should be clearly understood that Dan Gertler was sanctioned under the Magnitsky Act.  This was reported by the US Department of the Treasury in a Press Release on June 15, 2018. The full text of that press release, which we are accepting as true and genuine by virtue of its source, is listed on the next page of this report. 

Through crafty maneuvering, and we believe with the help of a current confidant of President Trump, on the same day he was sanctioned, Glncore which allegedly owed Gertler millions, found a workaround to be able to pay Gertler his money. That workaround was to pay him in Euros through overseas bank accounts and companies.

It is our opinion, that the Magnitsky Act sanctions are worthless if a company can “workaround” them by utilizing foreign currency and sources of currency exchanges. Ultimately he is getting paid hundreds of millions of dollars whether he accepts them in “Greenbacks” or in some other currency. The Sanctions should apply to any currency, not just US Dollars, or there really is little point to them at all.

We also find the timing of the announcement of the sanctions and the settlement with Glencore (the company liable to him for back pay) to be somewhat questionable, if not outright insulting to anyone who believes that this is actually a sanction.

We believe that the arrangement with Glencore was back-channeled by another paid consultant with either direct or indirect connections to Gertler. It is that last piece of this opinion that we are working on.

Alan Dershowitz, Former FBI Director Lobbying for Sanctioned Israeli Billionaire

Diamond and mining tycoon Dan Gertler has been under U.S. sanctions since 2017 for corruption, human rights abuses in the Democratic Republic of Congo

Alan Dershowitz, an ally of U.S. President Donald Trump, and former FBI director Louis Freeh have officially registered with the U.S. government as lobbyists for Dan Gertler, an Israeli billionaire known for shady deals and corruption accusations.

The filing, which was first reported by U.S. network CNBC, will allow the two major Washington figures to advocate on behalf of Gertler, who has been under sanctions from the U.S. treasury since 2017.

According to CNBC, Dershowitz, who has never been registered as a lobbyist before, said he was only acting as Gertler’s lawyer.

The lobbying registration, despite only being released now, records the effective start date as October 17, 2018. Dershowitz was advising Gertler as early as last year, according to a New York Times report.

The decision to hire lobbyists is not surprising in itself. “He’s an international businessman and it’s very difficult to do business internationally” when under sanctions, Peter Jones, a campaign leader at international NGO Global Witness, told Al-Monitor.

The place of both Dershowitz and Freeh in Washington and their relationship to the current administration are significant, however.

Louis Freeh, who is also an attorney, was FBI director between 1993 and 2001. He registered to act as a lobbyist for the first time in March this year, but is known to have ties with other controversial figures. This includes former New York mayor and Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani, whom Freeh hired to pressure the Romanian president, according to a report in The Independent, in connection with Hunter Biden.

Dershowitz has been an ally of both Donald Trump and Benjamin Netanyahu, coming out publicly, including in Haaretz, to dispute the accusations of corruption against Israel’s embattled premier. He has come under scrutiny for his links to disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein.

The original sanctions against Gertler said he “amassed his fortune through hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of opaque and corrupt mining and oil deals in the Democratic Republic of the Congo,” mainly through his personal relationship with former President Joseph Kabila.

To continue reading click here.

 

ADDITIONAL READING:

Dershowitz, Freeh Register to Lobby for Sanctioned Billionaire

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-11-05/dershowitz-freeh-register-to-lobby-for-sanctioned-billionaire

High-profile defense attorney Alan Dershowitz and Louis Freeh, a former FBI director, have registered to lobby for an Israeli billionaire investor who’s been sanctioned by the U.S. government.

Dan Gertler, who the Treasury Department said amassed his fortune through “corrupt deals” in the Democratic Republic of Congo, hired Freeh Sporkin & Sullivan LLP to lobby Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control, according to a registration statement it filed with Congress today. The filing was first reported by CNBC.

The Trump administration included Gertler in a crackdown it announced in December 2017 on human rights abusers and corrupt actors around the world. OFAC has also sanctioned 34 individuals and entities it says are tied to him, freezing their assets and shutting them out of the U.S. financial system.

Dershowitz lobbies for the criminal Israeli looter, Dan Gertler

Trump ally Alan Dershowitz and ex-FBI Director Louis Freeh are lobbying for an Israeli billionaire the US has accused of corruption

https://www.cnbc.com/2019/11/05/alan-dershowitz-ex-fbi-director-louis-freeh-lobbying-for-israeli-billionaire-dan-gertler.html

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The XX Chromosome Answer to Male Only Hatzalah – If There Should be Only One, then Why Hatzalah at All?

Yarmulkes, Wigs Fly Over Jewish Ambulance Brouhaha

Two Orthodox Jewish volunteer ambulance organizations – one all-female and the other all-male – faced off yesterday during a hearing at NewYork-Presbyterian Methodist Hospital, arranged to determine the need for licensing for one of the two.

The Ezras Nashim and Chevra Hatzalah ambulance services pled against each other on the subject of certifying the former organization, on the basis that the neighborhood of Borough Park needs another ambulance corporation that can supplement the needs of Jewish women in the area.

An all-female emergency medical service serving Borough Park’s Orthodox-Chasidic community, Ezras Nashim argued their case to become a licensed ambulance service, which would allow them to transport patients to the hospital instead of just home service.

Two Orthodox Jewish volunteer ambulance organizations – one all-female and the other all-male – faced off yesterday during a hearing at NewYork-Presbyterian Methodist Hospital, arranged to determine the need for licensing for one of the two.

The Ezras Nashim and Chevra Hatzalah ambulance services pled against each other on the subject of certifying the former organization, on the basis that the neighborhood of Borough Park needs another ambulance corporation that can supplement the needs of Jewish women in the area.

An all-female emergency medical service serving Borough Park’s Orthodox-Chasidic community, Ezras Nashim argued their case to become a licensed ambulance service, which would allow them to transport patients to the hospital instead of just home service.

Chevra Hatzalah is a male-only EMT and ambulance service in the same community, though they serve many other communities around the world and the country. In Israel, Hatzalah includes female, Christian, Muslim, and Druz EMTs, but in Brooklyn, Hatzalah, as it is commonly called, is against the certification of Ezras Nashim and attended the hearing to make a case against its licensing.

What on the surface seemed to be a medical issue or a community one ended up being a women’s rights dispute, over women’s right to choose how to receive medical care and support.

“I’m here to speak for the community of women that should have choices,” said psychotherapist Rachel Schmidt, LCSW, of the Borough Park Chasidic community. “Now, that young lady who spoke that she called Hatzalah, congratulations to you, I’m glad you made that decision. That was your choice. But I want to have a choice that if I prefer a female, educated, professional medical service, that I want to have that choice to have that professional medical service at my side.”

Volunteers and supporters of Ezras Nashim explained that, under the Jewish law of modesty, Chasidic girls are taught from the age of three not to let a boy touch them — even siblings of the opposite gender refrain from touching — as the only man allowed to touch a woman is her husband.

In life-threatening emergencies, however, the rule of modesty is allowed to be broken, forming the basis for Hatzalah’s opposition.

To then expect a woman in labor to want a male EMT to assist in delivery goes against this teaching, by now ingrained in the woman’s mind.

Making matters worse, many Hatzalah volunteers are men in the community. A woman calling the service may end up with her male neighbor or, as one lady who spoke at the hearing said happened to her, her best friend’s husband.

In calling Hatzalah to help in certain circumstances, like childbirth, means that a woman has to do so with the knowledge that she will possibly be touched and seen by a man who she has to see on a daily basis, unlike her obstetrician.

This is Ezras Nashim’s reasoning for the necessity of their organization for the “two square miles” that the ambulance they are requesting would serve.

To continue reading, click here.

 

Rabbi Daniel Greer, a Guilty Verdict and a Look at Those who, by Looking the Other Way, Were Complicit

Dear Readers:

We are investigating a) the numerous people at the highest echelons of Jewish Community leadership who protected Greer; b) those who bore witness to Greer’s atrocities and chose to remain silent, and c) others who should be held accountable for the tenure of Rabbi Greer’s rabbinical status, such that he remained protected.

For now, we will be publishing commentary. We hope that our coverage of this subject will provide Greer’s victim(s), and there were more than one, find some solace. G-d knows we owe it to them.

A pall cast on community: Letter

The criminal trial of Rabbi Daniel Greer is over. He is guilty of four counts of risk of injury to a minor — a felony — and now awaits sentencing. He was also found liable in the civil case concerning the same complainant. And now, the extreme damage done by him has a chance to mend itself, however long that process may be.

First of all, the rupture of the youth, dignity and integrity of the complainant, who is now 31 years old. Secondly, the damage done to the Jewish people in general and to the religious community of which I am a part specifically as he is well known, very visible and was politically highly influential locally. But thirdly, to people of good faith overall.

Of course, we live in an age of egregious trespass and abuse at the highest and most prestigious levels. Severe cases of abuse, although shocking, are no longer surprising. A leading religious personality of any faith has a special obligation to demonstrate humility and aversion to wrongdoing. This is true in life in general. Perhaps, it is true even more so regarding behavior with children.

Children have only adults to look up to for trust, guidance and instruction. Adults have a sacred responsibility to mentor and love them to the best of their abilities. This is especially so in school, the nest in which young ones grow and mature. By his behavior, the disgraced Rabbi Greer has created a very large ugly hole from which we, all local people of good faith, must hope to emerge to our better selves and to greater goodness and kindness.

Joseph Fleischman

To read in its original format click here.

Jeffrey Epstein Did not Kill Himself… Once We Accept that, Who is Covering up What?

jeffrey epstein suicide autopsy

 

‘EPSTEIN DIDN’T KILL HIMSELF,’ FORMER NAVY SEAL BLURTS OUT ON FOX NEWS WHILE TALKING ABOUT MILITARY DOGS

A former Navy SEAL who was invited on Fox News to discuss military dogs, stunned news presenter Jesse Waters when he suddenly blurted out that notorious sex offender Jeffrey Epstein “didn’t kill himself.”

Mike Ritland, a K-9 trainer and the founder of Warrior Dog Foundation, appeared on Watters’ World on Saturday to discuss Conan, the heroic dog who helped U.S. troops take out ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in the special ops raid in Syria last week, as first reported by Newsweek.

The non-profit organization, based in Commerce, Texas, is dedicated to helping military dogs who have completed their service.

At the end of the segment on Watters’ show, Ritland asked if he could offer a PSA to anyone considering adopting a military dog—but he also slipped in a theory about the death of convicted millionaire Epstein.

“The remarkable nature of these dogs and them being highlighted in the news creates a huge demand by people that frankly shouldn’t have them,” Ritland said.

“If you see the coverage and you decide I want one of these dogs, either buy a fully trained and finished dog from a professional or just don’t get one at all… and Epstein didn’t kill himself.”

“OK, thank you for that commentary,” Watters responded, laughing when he realized what his guest had said. “Maybe more on that later.”

Newsweek has contacted Ritland for further comment.

The New York City medical examiner’s office ruled Epstein died by suicide after he was found dead in his jail cell on August 10 with a bedsheet around his neck. He was awaiting trial on federal sex trafficking charges.

But conspiracy theories about the disgraced financier’s death were reignited recently after a forensic pathologist hired by Epstein’s family said some of the evidence suggests he was murdered.

To continue reading in Newsweek, click here.

 

ADDITIONAL READING:

Alleged Jeffrey Epstein collaborator Ghislaine Maxwell reportedly attended a writers retreat hosted by Jeff Bezos last year

https://www.businessinsider.com/ghislaine-maxwell-was-reportedly-at-jeff-bezoss-2018-book-retreat-2019-11

 

‘Something doesn’t fit’ in Jeffrey Epstein death: New York City Mayor

 

https://www.foxbusiness.com/money/jeffrey-epstein-death-mayor-de-blasio

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has questions surrounding the death of financier Jeffrey Epstein, who medical officials have said hung himself.

“Something doesn’t fit here,” the former Democratic candidate for president said Thursday at an unrelated press conference.

BILL DE BLASIO CALLS JEFFREY EPSTEIN’S DEATH ‘WAY TOO CONVENIENT’

De Blasio was responding to a question about forensic pathologist Dr. Michael Baden’s Wednesday announcement that Epstein’s injuries were more consistent with murder than suicide.

 

Israel Information Firms and the Alleged Hacking Activities, the WhatsApp Lawsuit, Pegasus and Targeted – Bloggers

WhatsApp said it believes the technology sold by NSO was used to target the mobile phones of more than 1,400 of its users.

WhatsApp sues Israeli firm, accusing it of hacking activists’ phones

WhatsApp has launched an unprecedented lawsuit against a cyber weapons firm which it has accused of being behind secret attacks on more than 100 human rights activists, lawyers, journalists, and academics in just two weeks earlier this year.

The social media firm is suing NSO Group, an Israeli surveillance company, saying it is responsible for a series of highly sophisticated cyber-attacks which it claims violated American law in an “unmistakeable pattern of abuse”.

WhatsApp said it believed the technology sold by NSO was used to target the mobile phones of more than 1,400 of its users in 20 different countries during a 14-day period from the end of April to the middle of May.

In this brief period, WhatsApp believes those who were the subject of the cyber-attacks included leading human rights defenders and lawyers, prominent religious figures, well-known journalists and officials in humanitarian organisations.

A number of women previously targeted by cyber-violence, and individuals who have faced assassination attempts and threats of violence, as well as their relatives, were also the victims of the attacks, the company believes.

WhatsApp’s lawsuit, filed in a California court on Tuesday, has demanded a permanent injunction blocking NSO from attempting to access WhatsApp computer systems and those of its parent company, Facebook.

It has also asked the court to rule that NSO violated US federal law and California state law against computer fraud, breached their contracts with WhatsApp and “wrongfully trespassed” on Facebook’s property.

“This is the first time that an encrypted messaging provider is taking legal action against a private entity that has carried out this type of attack against its users,” said a WhatsApp spokesman. “In our complaint, we explain how NSO carried out this attack, including acknowledgement from an NSO employee that our steps to remediate the attack were effective.”

The company is also supporting calls by the UN special rapporteur for freedom of expression, David Kaye, for a moratorium on this kind of invasive spyware.

“There must be strong legal oversight of cyber-weapons like the one used in this attack to ensure they are not used to violate individual rights and freedoms people deserve wherever they are in the world,” WhatsApp said.

“Human rights groups have documented a disturbing trend that such tools have been used to attack journalists and human rights defenders.”

WhatsApp said it had worked with Citizen Lab, an academic research group based at the University of Toronto’s Munk School, to identify the victims of the attacks and the technology used against them. The organisation has begun approaching members of civil society who were affected by the alleged hacks.

John Scott-Railton, a senior researcher at Citizen Lab, said WhatsApp’s action was “a major positive step forward for human rights protections online and will absolutely set a precedent”.

He accused NSO of acting with disregard to the people who were being targeted. “While telling the public it is concerned about human rights, the commercial spyware industry has attempted to carve out an unaccountable space for itself, whereby virtue of its proximity to governments, it claims it is acting lawfully, yet prefers to disclaim any responsibility for that behaviour when it suits them.”

WhatsApp’s announcement comes six months after it disclosed it had discovered a vulnerability that allowed cyber-attackers to install surveillance software on to both iPhones and Android phones by ringing targets using the application’s phone function. It was unclear at that time how many of WhatsApp’s 1.5bn users were affected.

To continue reading, click here.

Malka Leifer – Non-Compliance With the Psych Panel, The Advisers of the Indefensible

Malka Leifer, a former Australian school principal who is wanted in Australia on suspicion of sexual

COOPERATE WITH NEW PSYCH PANEL

Leifer’s lawyers added that they wished the judge to issue a ruling on whether Leifer is mentally fit to stand trial without a determination from the panel.

Lawyers for alleged pedophile Malka Leifer informed the Jerusalem District Court on Tuesday that she would refuse to cooperate with a new psychiatric panel which is scheduled to convene and evaluate her mental fitness for extradition.

Attorneys Yehuda Fried and Tal Gabbai have opposed the formation of a new psychiatric panel, arguing that previous determinations that Leifer was unfit for extradition were based on partially inaccurate evidence, as pointed out by the presiding judge in the case, Judge Chana Miriam Lomp.

“We wish to inform the honorable court that we cannot agree to the establishment of the panel and we cannot agree that our client will take any part in a review that may be conducted by the panel,” they wrote to the court.

Leifer’s lawyers added that they were requesting that the court issue a ruling immediately on whether or not Leifer is mentally fit to stand extradition trial without a determination from the panel.

This would then give them the opportunity to appeal such a decision to the Supreme Court, should the judge decide to proceed with extradition hearings.

Manny Waks, a campaigner against sexual abuse in the Jewish community, said that Leifer’s lawyers were again trying to drag out the case to prevent their client from being extradited and facing justice in Australia.

“They’re trying to prolong this case as along as possible,” said Waks. “It’s a publicity stunt. There is no genuine grounds for this step, and ultimately the court will see through it and hopefully will compel Leifer to participate in the process.”

In September, Lomp issued a decision to establish a new psychiatric panel, stating that the various contradictory medical opinions that have been submitted regarding Leifer’s mental state required that a new expert panel be appointed to make a new, authoritative decision.

Leifer’s lawyers argued that this decision demonstrated the flaws in a previous psychiatric determination that she was feigning mental illness, and claimed further that it should have precluded any new expert panel.

Leifer fled from Australia to Israel in 2008 after allegations of sexual abuse surfaced against her, but legal proceedings in Israel for extradition only began in 2014.

After Leifer was arrested that year, she claimed mental illness to avoid extradition to Australia, a claim which was backed up by Jerusalem district psychiatrist Jacob Charnes, who submitted psychiatric opinions declaring her to be mentally unfit for extradition trial, ultimately leading to her release from detention.

In 2018, Leifer was rearrested on suspicion of feigning mental illness to avoid extradition, and Charnes then signed off on the written opinion of two other psychiatrists of the Jerusalem district declaring that they believed her to be feigning mental illness.

He subsequently backtracked on that position.

Complicating matters further, Deputy Health Minister Ya’acov Litzman is alleged to have met with Charnes during the course of proceedings against Leifer and unduly pressured him into submitting a false opinion declaring the former principal at the Adass Israel School in Melbourne to be mentally unfit for extradition.

To continue reading click here.

Criminal Justice Reform and The Rapist That Will Have His Victim’s Telephone Number – Unintended Consequences?

The Unintended Consequences of the Push for Criminal Justice Reform and What those Who Pushed Were not Considering…

 

 

From the New York City Police Benevolent Association FB Page:

This is not just Nassau County. It will soon be a reality across the entire state come January 1, 2020.

“If you are raped in this county, violently raped by a stranger, in 15 days I’m the DA; I have to turn over your name to that person who raped you and adequate contact information for that person to get in touch with you. And if you don’t answer your cellphone when the rapist calls you, I might have to give over your address if the judge orders me to do so. And if you called your mother, if your mother was your first outcry witness because you wanted to talk to your mother after you were violently raped, now your mother’s a witness and I have to give her name and contact information over to.”

The Backstory of the Chassidim Who Got Criminal Justice Reform Done

The First Step Act was initiated, drafted and spearheaded by a small group of passionate Jewish activists led by Skverer Chassid Moshe Margareten. This activism was aided by the expertise and institutional knowledge of the Aleph Institute, the leading organization caring for the Jewish incarcerated and their families. The bill, which garnered national attention, will have a transformative impact on the American criminal justice system, affecting tens of thousands of inmates, both Jewish and non-Jewish. (Photo: Martin Falbisoner/Wikimedia Commons)

The First Step Act was initiated, drafted and spearheaded by a small group of passionate Jewish activists led by Skverer Chassid Moshe Margareten. This activism was aided by the expertise and institutional knowledge of the Aleph Institute, the leading organization caring for the Jewish incarcerated and their families. The bill, which garnered national attention, will have a transformative impact on the American criminal justice system, affecting tens of thousands of inmates, both Jewish and non-Jewish. (Photo: Martin Falbisoner/Wikimedia Commons)

 

The U.S. Senate’s overwhelming 87-12 approval last week of the First Step Act, the most sweeping package of criminal justice reform in a generation, was lauded by those on the right and the left as a much-needed step in the right direction for the U.S. criminal justice system. The bill will expand early transfer to home confinement via participation in job training and re-entry programming designed to reduce recidivism; modify some mandatory sentencing laws; and ensure that the incarcerated stay more closely connected to their families by placing them within 500 miles of their homes, among other steps.

The bill went back to the House of Representatives on Thursday, where it passed by a massive 358-36 majority, and the next day was signed into law by President Donald Trump—who had been vocal in his support for the legislation—in the Oval Office.

The legislation’s path to fruition, however, was not as simple as it might appear. “For the bill’s supporters, Tuesday’s vote was the culmination of a five-year campaign on Capitol Hill that only months ago appeared to be out of reach … ,” reported The New York Times. “Much of the same coalition that pushed the First Step Act had rallied around similar legislation, the Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act of 2015 … .” That bill was shelved in the run-up to the 2016 elections when it wasn’t allowed on the Senate floor for a vote, dealing a blow to its longtime backers.

But who are these “bill’s supporters” the Times references—members of the “same coalition” that has been working at this for years?

The little-known answer is that the First Step Act was initiated, drafted and spearheaded by a small group of passionate Jewish community activists led by Moshe Margareten, a member of the Skverer Chassidic group. This activism was aided by the expertise and institutional knowledge of the Aleph Institute, the leading organization caring for the Jewish incarcerated and their families. The bill, which garnered national attention, will have a transformative impact on the American criminal justice system, affecting tens of thousands of inmates, both Jewish and non-Jewish.

It was at the urging of the RebbeRabbi Menachem M. Schneerson, of righteous memory—that Rabbi Sholom Lipskar, executive director of the Shul of Bal Harbour, Fla., founded the Aleph Institute in 1981. The Rebbe was a strong and early pioneer of criminal justice reform, seeing a fundamental flaw in incarceration disconnected from re-education and rehabilitation.

“If a person is being held in prison, the goal should not be punishment but rather to give him the chance to reflect on the undesirable actions for which he was incarcerated,” the Rebbe said in Yiddish in a 1976 talk. “He should be given the opportunity to learn, improve himself and prepare for his release when he will commence an honest, peaceful, new life, having used his days in prison toward this end.

“In order for this be a reality a prisoner must be allowed to maintain a sense that he is created in the image of God; he is a human being who can be a reflection of Godliness in this world. But when a prisoner is denied this sense and feels subjugated and controlled; never allowed to raise up his head, then the prison system not only fails at its purpose, it creates in him a greater criminal than there was before. One of the goals of the prison system is to help Jewish inmates and non-Jewish inmates … to raise up their spirits and to encourage them, providing the sense, to the degree possible, that they are just as human as those that are free; just as human as the prison guards. In this way they can be empowered to improve themselves … ”

To continue reading click here.

Merchant Cash Advance – The Shuttering of City Bakery, a NY Institution’s Financial Demise

The City Bakery on West 18th Street unexpectedly closed after nearly 30 years in business. Photo: Ben Fractenberg/THE CITY

How Manhattan’s City Bakery Crumbled Under Weight of Debts

 

Walking into City Bakery on West 18th Street in Manhattan, it was hard to imagine the popular eatery with the best hot chocolate in New York and a famous pretzel croissant could ever crumble.

The roomy, bustling café brimmed with locals and tourists any day of the week. Things got even busier during the Hot Chocolate Festival in February.

But the Union Square bakery abruptly shut its doors over the weekend after nearly 30 years in business, citing “too much debt … which is like quicksand” in a good-bye Instagram post.

…….

Debt for New Yorkers Only

Until this summer, New York was a national magnet for a booming “merchant cash advance” business, thanks to state law that allowed firms to file confessions of judgment in New York courts.

When Kalamata merged last year with another merchant-cash-advance company, Kings Cash Group, the new entity said it provided $300 million in capital to more than 5,000 small businesses.

Bloomberg News analyzed data last year on more than 350 lenders and found cash-advance companies have obtained more than 25,000 judgments since 2012 totaling about $1.5 billion — all in New York.

The biggest player was Jersey City–based Yellowstone Capital, responsible for a quarter of those judgments, Bloomberg found. The New York attorney general subsequently launched an investigation of the industry and subpoenaed Yellowstone.

Fed up with county courthouses being inundated with cases seeking to enforce the judgments, New York State Chief Judge Janet DiFiore prevailed on the Legislature to pass a law that forbids confessions signed with out-of-state businesses from being enforced in New York courts. Governor Andrew Cuomo signed the bill August 30.

To read the article in its entirety click here.

The Merchant Cash Advance Scheme – Predatory Lenders – PART I.

The Merchant Cash Advance (MCA) How it all Works and the DANGER SCENARIO:

 

DANGER! DANGER! DANGER!

MCA Loans are in large part Predatory Lending Strategies! They are sometimes referred to as “Payday Loans.” They can be very, very dangerous.

Let us begin by stating that these types of loans are from quasi-financial institutions that are largely unregulated. They do not following general banking regulations and they do not run afoul of typical usury laws because their “interest” structure is actually fees piled upon fees, coupled with additional fees all baked into the principal amount of the loan. So they can legally say they are “low interest.” Most, are not.

Most, with very few exceptions, are highly predatory.

Most of the loan companies are not set up as investment funds so they have no investment filings or FINRA/SEC requirements and as LLC’s it is very difficult to track the owners. Many are personal investors who themselves have their hands in multiple pockets. They are generally a tight knit group of people who use the same brokers, the same collections attorneys, the same funding groups, etc. 

Most, with very few exceptions, are predatory.

In the interest of full disclosure, there are a small number of these loan companies that are honest and upfront and you know what you are getting. They are few and far between and the desperate Borrower has no way to differentiate.

DO NOT GO WITH A MERCHANT CASH ADVANCE WITHOUT ADVICE OF COUNSEL AND AN ANALYSIS OF THE COMPANY. MOST ARE PREDATORY LENDERS!

HYPOTEHTICAL:

You are a business owner with generally high receivables ($5,000,000/month or $60,000,000/year). You find yourself in a situation where two of your biggest clients are not paying on time and you have payroll to make for your employees for the first pay period in March (You pay on the 1st and 14th) . The payroll requires $300,000, not a big deal since you have $3,000,000 outstanding in invoices (the two unpaid bills). You need cash in 4 days or you will miss payroll (sense of desperation sets in).

A Merchant Cash Advance (MCA) company “A” comes to you through a broker/intermediary or salesman and says we can offer you an immediate infusion of cash of $300,000 for a year. You will repay us on daily draws. We don’t need any major credit checks, just a list of your invoices. 

AND! You will have your money in the account in 3 days, just in time to pay your employees. 

BUT! We will have the rights to collect on those invoices (your receivables) if you cannot make the payments. We will want access to your bank account so that the money comes out immediately. We want your vendor lists. You just have to sign a bunch of papers.

BECAUSE: We are low interest at 6.5%/year or $19,500.00, you don’t have much time to decide. You just need to sign the papers.

OH YEAH… YOU ALSO NEED TO…  personally guarantee the loans AND sign a “Confession of Judgement.” 

A Confession of Judgement is a shady and dangerous legal document, lender-friendly,  borrower-unfriendly. It is akin to an absolutely inarguable Judgement against you if you triggered by a “default.” Depending upon the loan documents (which they convince you not to read carefully) the TRIGGER can be anything from missing a payment to needing additional cash. The Confession of Judgement allows the Lender to demand repayment of loans (from your vendors) without need of going to court to try a case. It will not matter why you could not make payments. It will not matter if the company “jumps the gun” and does not wait for you to actually default by missing a payment. The rules are drafted into the fine print on the loan documents. The action that the MCA company will need to take is a Declaratory Judgement action to simply give them the rights to start collections directly from the vendors who owe money.

UCC FINANCING, LIENS… Most MCA companies also take at UCC financings on the business and on the personal guarantees. Most MCA companies have judges who are “friendly” to these types of transactions and will “fast-track” the stamp on the Confession for collections purposes.

AND THE KICKER: The Confession of Judgement calculates the entire value of the loan at payment time of the entire loan + Fees for “litigation” for “Collections Actions” for other various fees. Usually a Confession of Judgement on an initial offer of $300,000 is listed as a judgement for somewhere between $425,000 and $500,000 or thereabouts, based upon experience reviewing documents.

THE FINE PRINT! The fine print on these loans can be any of the following, each of which can be used to trigger the Confesssion of Judgement.  1. you are precluded from incurring additional debt without advising them; 2. you advise them in the event of hardship; 3. you not place additional liens on the same assets, etc. etc. 

NEVERTHELESS: You think to yourself, this is okay. I am borrowing $319,500.00. On 100 days/year, that’s $3,195.00/day to be drawn from your account, you can do that.

AND: The broker/customer relations person/salesperson convinces you that you can prepay without penalty. He does not tell you that prepayment is prepayment of the face value on the Confession of Judgement, not what you owe on the date of payment. 

SO IN YOUR DESPERATION: You need the cash. It will all be easy because the outstanding invoices cover that no problem. There is no prepayment penalty (or so you are told). As soon as you get the money, you should be able to pay it off. You did not consider your usual use-of-funds and how you stepped into this trap in the first place, short on cash.

SO YOU TAKE THE BAIT!

IF ONLY:  that were the only money you would be paying…. It isn’t. You think to yourself, I can pull this off. 

BUT: MCA A then says that they take 4.5% immediately ($13,500.00) at the time of the loan as a service fee. The loan guy tells you not to worry because it is added to the principal balance so it is not a big deal. So, actually, you are taking out a loan of $313,500.00. The 6.5% interest is on the total

IF ONLY:  it were the only money you are paying it would total $20,377.50. Now the daily draw will actually be $3,338.78/day. 

BUT: The company then says that there is a one-time account setup fee of $2,500.00. No big deal because that is added to the principal balance also. It is baked into the loan. So, your $300,000.00 loan is actually $316,000.00. Your interest is now $20,540.00 (because it is on the total and fees). 

BUT: The company forgot to tell you that there is a daily transaction service fee of $74.71 for every withdrawal. 

NOW: Your daily withdrawal has gone from $3,195.00/day to $3,440.11 (rough numbers). That’s an additional $245.11 on the daily draw or approximate 7%. So your actual interest rate is about 11.5% on the loan.

AND: that’s not where it ends. The fee structure continues. Each fee is added to the initial loan amount, thereby increasing the principal balance of the initial loan. If you stopped there, the total payment to the company would be $344,111.00 at the end of the year. 

BUT: The Confession of Judgement includes all kinds of other fees and no one tells you that no matter what day you pay, you are paying on what is listed on that Confession of Judgement, whatever amount MCA A has added, and all of the associated fees. 

ALSO: If you fail to make the loans after 6 months of payments, even assuming you had a year, the MCA company will go to the court with the amount listed on the original confession of judgement form, not accounting for reductions. 

TWO WEEKS LATER: after making daily payments, you realize that you did not account for your usual use of funds. You need to buy supplies. You need to carry out the ordinary course of business. And you cannot because you are paying nearly $3,500.00/day of draws.

So, in walks MCA Company B.

ANOTHER LOAN: MCA company B offers you an immediate influx of $50,000.00 to keep things running, also under the same terms and conditions as MCA A. He lists MCA A as a creditor so the interest rate is a bit higher because you are now  a greater risk. 

WHAT YOU DON’T KNOW: MCA A and MCA B are largely the same investor pool. They are in cohoots. MCA A now knows that you are having cash-flow problems and need a second loan. If you call MCA A to try and renegotiate, they advise MCA B and both companies decide who is going to be the first to file on the Confession of Judgement. You have effectively warned both companies that you are having a problem with cash-flow and are in danger of default.

What do they do? They send in their friend from MCA C…

 

FOR ADDITIONAL READING:

https://loans.usnews.com/what-is-a-merchant-cash-advance

https://www.pymnts.com/news/b2b-payments/2019/open-banking-merchant-cash-advance-mo-technologies/

https://www.post-gazette.com/business/money/2019/09/15/Small-businesses-high-interest-lenders-merchant-cash-advances-bank-loans-refinance/stories/201909150025

Mike Diederich, Jr. – DA Candidate Rockland County, NY – Op Ed., Values that Protect All Citizens

About Mike Diederich’s DA Opponent, Judge Thomas E. Walsh II

Note to Reader:

Mike Diederich, Jr. is running against Judge Thomas E. Walsh II for the DA position in Rockland County, NY. Judge Walsh, who is running as both an avid Republican and an avid Democrat (depending upon the locations of the signs) seems not to have been able to decide which platform suits him best. We are not really certain what to make of that, except to state that it would seem he has no particular sense of loyalty.

Walsh has been endorsed by a number of law enforcement agencies; but is also funded in large part by big development within Rockland County, with money coming in from Brooklyn, from Lakewood and from other areas which are currently mired in development controversies.

The same people who equate code enforcement with anti-Semitism are the same people supporting Walsh.

In 2013, Judge Walsh, in an article entitlted “New York’s Double Dippers” was cited in the Democratic Chronicle as one of the top paid members of the judiciary at that time:

17 state judges collected salaries and pensions last year, the highest earner being Surrogate Court Judge Thomas E. Walsh II, a retired local judge in Haverstraw, Rockland County, and a former county attorney. State records show he earned a $104,687 pension and two salaries — $3,750 from the state Department of Taxation and Finance and $132,260 as a state judge; he’s also an acting Supreme Court judge. His total compensation was $240,698.

We suspect a win for DA would mark him squarely as one of the top paid people in the County, if not the State, when you attach all of his accumulated pension and benefits; but we cannot independently verify how exactly that works, whether or not he keeps other pensions or has to relinquish them. To the best of our knowledge Walsh is no longer paid as a judge, though we are uncertain what other benefits he may be receiving.

 

Opinion – Mike Diederich, Jr.

 

See the source image

No, It Isn’t Anti-Semitism

In response to “Chassidim Are The Target, Not Overdevelopment” (op-ed, Sept. 13):

Concerns about irresponsible development in Rockland County are not anti-chassidic; “us vs. them” name-calling is counterproductive; and labeling people anti-Semitic when they are simply concerned about the problems they see around them is un-American.

Rockland’s homeowners see ever-increasing taxes of all sorts; public corruption that stems, at least in part, from bloc voting; housing and fire code violations endangering lives; crumbling public schools; and educationally-deficient private schools.

Our nation is great because we welcome diversity and respect everyone’s right to their own religious beliefs. I learned this from my father, who fought in World War II. But religious belief does not give a citizen a free pass to ignore the obligations of citizenship – and one of these obligations is to be an educated citizen.

An informed, educated citizen knows it’s wrong to discriminate against a person because of his religious faith, knows it’s wrong to say, “You cannot live in my neighborhood” because of unfamiliar clothing attire or customs, and knows it’s wrong to be a bigot.

But an informed, educated citizen also knows it’s wrong to deny children their right to a sound secular education and know it’s wrong to call someone an anti-Semite for supporting core American values.

I am an independent Democrat running for District Attorney in Rockland County who served with the U.S. military in places like Iraq and Afghanistan. I have been part of the fight against religious hatred. And as District Attorney, I will promote the values I outlined above since these values protect all citizens.

Mike Diederich, Jr.
Stony Point, NY

Land Use and Shuls Hot Topics to Focus on For Upcoming Elections – Toms River, NJ

Land Use and Shuls Front and Center in Toms River Election

A recent Asbury Park Press article highlighted the prominent place that issues surrounding Toms River’s Orthodox population have taken in its local elections set to be held this November.

Most prominent is a proposed zoning change that would significantly reduce the amount of acreage needed to build a house of worship. The 10 acre requirement, has stymied the development of shuls in the North Dover area which is home to several hundred Orthodox families.

The proposal was released last month, but was quickly pulled from the agenda by retiring Town Council President, George Wittman Jr. He and Council Vice President Maurice “Mo” Hill said they would not support the change. Yet, later, Mr. Hill, a Republican, said that he would approve it if it would satisfy federal authorities who are presently investigating the town’s land use laws amid accusations of bias.

Mr. Hill’s Democratic rival, Jonathan Petro, has increasingly seized on the issue, in attempt to paint his opponent as sympathetic to the needs of the Orthodox community. Mr. Hill has vehemently denied that he has been influenced by any special interests.

Toms River is one of the state’s largest Republican strongholds, but in 2017 elections three Democrats won seats on its council largely with rhetoric criticizing what they portrayed as the council’s accommodation of the Orthodox community’s growth. Some of their campaign literature was criticized as anti-Semitic. One of the group’s most outspoken members, Daniel Roderick, who was recently censured by his fellow council members, re-registered as a Republican shortly after the election.

 

ADDITIONAL READING:

https://www.app.c

Asbury Park Press
Toms River election: Growing Orthodox Jewish population is campaign issue again
Toms River election: Growing Orthodox Jewish population is campaign issue again ….. TOMS RIVER – A simmering dispute over zoning for houses of …. in the 2017 campaign that used “Lakewood” and “Lakewood-style …
1 day ago

 

Controversy Over Proposed Zoning Changes For Houses of Worship in Toms River

LAKEWOOD –

A last-minute move to pull a zoning change that would have eased stiff restrictions on building houses of worship in Toms River boiled over into a public squabble among the township’s Council members.

Township documents reveal that under pressure from the federal Department of Justice (DOJ), the Council had acquiesced to amend an ordinance that required a 10-acre lot in order to build a house of worship, along with a set of related bylaws that have stood in the way of applications from both shuls and mosques in the past.

Yet, last week, when changes appeared on the agenda of a Land Use Committee hearing, they were suddenly pulled. Council President George Wittmann and Council Vice President Maurice “Mo” Hill both questioned how the amendments had found their way to meeting and stated that they would oppose such moves.

Shortly after the Council leaders’ statements appeared in the Asbury Park Press, Councilwoman Laurie Huryk called them out in a press release.

“Council President Wittmann knows exactly how the zoning changes ended up on the Land Use Committee agenda; the Township had committed to the Department of Justice that Toms River would be brought into compliance with Federal Law this year,” she said. “These corrective actions had been discussed many times, and needed to be enacted in a timely manner in order to save the taxpayers of Toms River untoward fines and penalties resulting from the current Federal Investigation.”

Neither Council President Wittmann nor Vice President Hill returned requests for comment from Hamodia.

The DOJ initially opened an investigation of Tom River’s land use regulations vis-à-vis religious organizations in 2016. At the time, a lawsuit was before the courts from the town’s Chabad house, which claimed restrictions on its operation were motivated by a spillover of efforts to block an influx of Orthodox Jews to the town’s North Dover section, which borders Lakewood.

Chabad won the suit and the investigation was closed in April 2018. However, according to a township report on land use rules affecting houses of worship, in December of that year the DOJ announced it was reopening investigations.

Months earlier, the township hired Marci Hamilton, a legal expert specializing in religious land use and a well-known advocate against the expansion of rights for faith groups to advise the Council.

Over the past four years, Mrs. Hamilton’s clients have suffered a string of losses in clashes with Orthodox groups, including attempts to stymie construction of a new Chabad center in Boca Raton, an eruv in Westhampton Beach, Long Island, and a kollel and affiliated housing in Pomona, New York.

The Council, Mrs. Hamilton, and other township officials met with both the DOJ and on at least one occasion with representatives of Toms River’s Orthodox community to appraise the legal viability of its ordinances. The result was an agreement to several changes, most notably a reduction from 10 to seven acres in order to build a house of worship. According to media reports, a clause was also accepted that would lower that to two acres in North Dover, but this is absent from the released documents.

To continue reading click here.

Rabbi Daniel Greer – Conviction for Molestation over Years, and the Silence of the Press and Jewish Groups is Deafening

From the site of Larry Noodles who has covered Rabbi Greer Extensively.

 

GOAT RECRUITED OUT OF TOWN MENSCHEN FOR YOM KIPPUR

This young Jew from out of town is very happy to bend over and speak with convicted pedophile Rabbi Daniel Greer in his black Mercury on the Eve of Yom Kippur. The Goat had no problem recruiting Jews who believe in conspiracy theories. It’s not just the dumb goyim who believe in conspiracy theories. These Jews believe that the Goat was falsely accused of sexual molestation by Avi Hack, Eli Mirlis and Rafi in order to take the Goat’s ill begotten monies that the Goat received from scamming the State of Connecticut and the City of New Haven for years. In the civil trial the jury heard that Ezi Greer was also molested by the Goat. Talk about a vast right wing deep state pizzagoat conspiracy!

Rabbi Daniel Greer, AKA “the Goat” has used his conviction to recruit Jews to the compound. There are many Jews living in Amish style communities with little interaction with the outside world. These Jews even dress like the Amish. Jews who live in Lakewood, Kiryas Yoel, Monsey, Williamsburg and Monroe choose to live in these communities because they believe that the outside world is doomed. They insulated themselves from the morally bankrupt secular world. They have good intentions. They do not want their children to be exposed to a country run by criminals in the White House, pedophiles in Hollywood and con artists on Wall Street. You can’t blame them. The President’s Office and the halls of Congress are occupied by rednecks, hillbillies and trailer trash whose only goal is to line their pockets at the expense of the American people. They wrap themselves in the American flag while their families profit off of such thug countries as Russia, China, and the Ukraine. These criminals don’t even know the rules of the criminal underworld. Criminals are not supposed to rat each other out to the authorities. Trump had no problem ratting out Biden to China for Biden’s sleezy business dealings with the Ukraine. The United States government is run by criminals, traitors and rats. It takes a criminal like myself to recognize another criminal. The guys I lived with in Otisville Federal prison are amateurs compared to the professional crooks in Washington DC, Wall Street, and Beverly Hills.

The Jews who chose to set up their own utopian communes created their own set of problems. They created a yeshiva system that protects and even honors pedophile Rabbis. They created a backward, fundamentalist world where conspiracy theories abound. They think that the goyim want to kill them with the measles vaccine. They rail against homosexuals yet homosexuality is rampant at their all boys yeshiva high schools and summer camps. The Goat has capitalized on their fears and stupidity. The Goat has told these Jews that his conviction was a plot to get his money. These Jews were not hard to convince. They already believe in conspiracy theories. They willingly arrived in the compound to help the Goat.

The Jews who helped the Goat with his minyan on Yom Kippur could be seen, and heard, praying from the second floor of the Goat’s nightmare on Elm Street building all day on Yom Kippur. I walked by and recognized a few of them as some of the drifters who have been recruited in the past. I have occasionally run into these guys and have spoken with them. They are actually decent individuals. They are desperate. They lack money. Some of them can’t carry on an intelligent conversation. Some of them have nervous facial tics. Some are mentally deficient. One guy has a really bad rash all over his body. Some are newly religious. They are misfits. It’s unfortunate that these young men have fallen through the cracks of the traditional Jewish world. Jewish organizations have ignored them. On Yom Kippur they ended up with a 79 year old pedophile who puts the moves on them. I believe Rabbi Notis sent a few guys of his own to help out.

Rabbi Notis is the perfect example of a conspiracy theorist. I watched Notis testify for the Goat in his criminal trial. Notis stated that anyone who was raped by a rabbi would never go back to that rabbi as an adult. Notis knew very well that Avi Hack went back to the Goat for many years as an adult. Notis would probably argue that Avi Hack was part of the conspiracy to take the Goat down and get his money. Why would Avi Hack voluntarily testify that he was raped by the Goat? Avi had no reason to come forward. Why would Avi want to embarrass himself and his family by coming forward? There was no evidence that Avi was raped by the Goat other than Avi’s own statements. Notis had nothing to say about the Goat molesting Rafi. Rafi never went back to the compound as an adult to honor the Goat. Rafi didn’t have anything to gain by testifying against the Goat. Notis had nothing to say about the allegation that Ezi Greer was molested by his own father. During the civil trial the expert witness for Eli Mirlis testified that Ezi Greer may have been raped by his father. Such inflammatory information would never have been disclosed to the jury had there not been some grain of truth to it.

There is a Connecticut Jewish media blackout with regard to the Goat’s guilty verdict. The silence of the New Haven Jewish Federation, synagogues of all denominations, and Rabbis of all persuasions is deafening. The Goat was always critical of Jewish organizations, especially the Jewish Federation. The Goat was not affiliated with any of these organizations. The Goat never needed their handouts. The Goat got his money by scamming the State of Connecticut with grants for his non-profits and scamming the City of New Haven for grants to plant trees in the Edgewood neighborhood. The Goat used to mockingly say that these organizations focused on the Holocaust and Israel, and ignored the Torah, the source of moral law. Jewish organizations raise money by appealing to Jewish guilt. The Goat was right in this regard. These Jewish institutions lack any moral foundation whatsoever. All they care about is fundraising. If a Jewish child was raped by a Gentile the Jewish organizations would make sure the entire world knew about it. But if your Jewish kid is raped by a Rabbi, the Rabbi gets a free pass. The Rabbi’s crimes get swept under the rug. Victims get silenced. The Goat knew that he could get away with his crimes for 40 years because he knew that Jewish organizations support Rabbi pedophiles over Jewish victims. The Goat is laughing all the way to prison. The Goat got away with raping numerous Jewish children for 40 years. I have been contacted by others out there who claim that the Goat raped children other than Avi Hack and Eli Mirlis. The leaders of Jewish organizations do not realize that when you don’t speak out for other parents’ children, nobody will speak out for you if something happens to your child. Ironically the depraved Goat knows more about morals than the Jewish Federation.

One of the Goat’s recruits at the Goat’s dorm at 777 Elm Street, greeting New Haven Independent reporter Chris Peak when Peak went to interview guys staying at the compound

I expect the Goat to start recruiting young men for Sukkot. Reserve your seat in the Goat’s sukkah now in order to get a good view of the Goat. Just be careful not to bend over when you wave your luluv and esrog.

To continue reading click here.

Malka Leifer, Israel S. Ct. Overturns Decision to Release on Bail – Justice at Last?

Malka Leifer is led from the court by a police woman.

Israel’s Supreme Court overturns decision to release alleged paedophile Malka Leifer on bail

Israel’s Supreme Court has overturned a decision to release alleged paedophile Malka Leifer on bail.

Key points:

  • The Supreme Court rejected an order by the Jerusalem District Court to release Malka Leifer to house arrest
  • Victoria Police is attempting to extradite her to Australia to face the child sexual abuse charges
  • Ms Leifer has fought against her extradition on mental health grounds since 2014

Victoria Police is seeking to extradite Ms Leifer to face 74 charges of sexual abuse against students at the Adass Israel Jewish girls school in Melbourne, where she was the principal.

The Supreme Court judge who ruled in their favour, Anat Baron, mentioned concerns during the appeal about Ms Leifer seeking to evade extradition, as she left Australia hours after allegations against her surfaced in 2008.

 

Ms Leifer has been fighting extradition to Australia on mental health grounds since 2014.

The extradition stalled after a court ruled she had a debilitating mental illness and was not fit to be sent to Australia to face charges.

But private investigators commissioned by the group Jewish Community Watch filmed Ms Leifer shopping, socialising and going into Tel Aviv to cash welfare cheques, despite her telling the court she was housebound and catatonic.

That led Israeli police to arrest her on suspicion of obstruction of justice and she was jailed in February 2018, although that particular case against her has not progressed in Israel’s courts.

The country’s Deputy Health Minister, Yaakov Litzman, has also been accused of trying to stop the extradition by pressuring the Jerusalem District Psychiatrist to find Ms Leifer mentally unfit for extradition.

Police have recommended he be indicted for abusing his authority, but he denies any wrongdoing or that he sought to help Ms Leifer because she is from the same Jewish Orthodox sect.

On Thursday (local time), the Supreme Court of Israel rejected an order by the Jerusalem District Court last week to release Ms Leifer from jail to house arrest while her extradition case is underway.

One of Ms Leifer’s alleged victims, Dassi Erlich, welcomed the decision.

To continue reading, click here.

The Platinum (Teflon) Partners – and a New Trial for One an Acquittal for Another – An Unheard of Move…

Note to readers:

One of the problems with having lost total anonymity (see here) is the second hat worn by the blogger, that of an attorney. Unfortunately of late, attorneys have been suspended for criticizing judges. Whistle blowers are now at risk for their lives from the ruler of what used to be the free world; and the moral compass of the judicial system in the US seems to have turned on its axis. Being a nameless and faceless spokesperson for truth or some form of justice is risky; but putting a face to that is like removing a Kevlar vest. 

Anonymity provided protection, not by allowing us to type words we otherwise would not have typed, but by affording us with a voice without the weights and burdens of multiple degrees and professional demands and what could appear to be attorney advertising were it to have a face. Our voice spoke words of a faceless anybody who did the research and came to a set of conclusions. We no longer have that level of protection. So we tread lightly, a chilling of speech in full force and effect. And for the sake of attorney ethics, perhaps call this attorney advertising, perhaps not. View it as you will. 

And we digress. The ruling below by Judge Brian Cogan feels nothing short of a betrayal of justice for the victims, for justice and for the entire financial system. The jury had it right despite the theatrics of truly gifted attorneys representing the defendants. The attorneys did their jobs and the jury ruled, even at the many legal and judicial disadvantages imposed by Judge Cogan. And then the judge overruled. 

We don’t get it. It feels very wrong.

The jury was an unsophisticated jury with likely precious little by way of experience in the investment world. And yet they were convinced that there was enough evidence to convict Mark Nordlicht and David Levy. We were disappointed they missed the whole picture but they got a piece of it right.

Unfortunately the Prosecution team did a rather inadequate job of breaking up the entire fraud piece by precious piece; and missed so many crucial bits of evidence to put before the jury, not the least of which was a comparison to how the global markets were performing at the time the Platinum Partners were active. This comparison shed light on how lacking in transparency were the activities of Platinum Partners now Teflon Partners at the time.

It was all very complicated; but could have been broken down by someone with enough experience in investments to break it all down. Yet the jury got the significance of Black Elk, a feat of epic proportions. 

We have years of research behind our stories on this subject, a lifetime in the hedge fund world and extensive knowledge of the subject matter. The lawyers representing the State were out-played by master craftsmen. Simple.

But the jury got it right.

To be undone by the judge came as a surprise, accompanied by a deep sense of sadness and a feeling of despair for everything just and true about our judicial system, if such truth exists, and our financial markets. The markets work because of the integrity of the investment vehicles, the rules the hedge fund managers MUST play by.  Teflon/Platinum Partners did not play by those rules. It all only works in concert when the investors can count on the judicial system to ensure act as referees or alternatively dole out equitable and judicial remedies when all else has failed. In this case, the justice system was in discord, as we see it.

The world’s financial markets continue to function only when investors can trust the underlying materials about the risks,  solely when investors understand the thickness of the ice they are going to be skating on, which is supposed to be transparently laid out. There can be no substrata of lies and deceit or the entire endeavor is accompanied by hidden risks. That was the Teflon/Platinum Partners strategy. They hid risks, the ice was thinner in places. 

This case, if not for any other in our anonymous and not-so-anonymous viewpoint, is representative of an entirely broken system. If risks can be so well hidden that minutiae determine a Judge’s unilateral decision to overturn a verdict, no market is safe.

The jury understood the material and afforded us with a just result. The judge here we simply do not understand. 

Hopefully the prosecution team will retry this case; and perhaps they will contact those with an abundance of knowledge on the materials for assistance. If they decide not to retry the case, the victims will have been re-victimized by the very system designed to protect them. 

If the Prosecution does not retry this case it will only either serve to substantiate a belief in unequal justice for the wealthy or prove that the Securities Acts and the investor laws are meaningless or some combination of the two. The Jury got it right. One of those convicted has been acquitted by Judge Cogan. Game well played.

We implore upon the Prosecution to take up the case again and to do better. 

New Life In Platinum Partners Case, Acquittal And New Trial

In a rare move, U.S. District Judge Brian Cogan (Eastern District of New York) overturned a jury’s conviction.  Cogan acquitted David Levy and granted a new trial for Mark Nordlicht.  Levy and Nordlicht, both executives at now defunct hedge fund Platinum Partners, were convicted of securities fraud, conspiracy to commit securities fraud, and conspiracy to commit wire fraud in July of this year after a 9-week trial.  A third defendant, former Chief Financial Officer Joseph SanFilippo, was cleared of all charges.

Back on December 14, 2016, seven individuals were indicted for their alleged participation in transactions at Platinum Partners, which was founded in 2003.  Two of the primary targets of the investigation were Nordlicht, one of Platinum’s founder partners and its Chief Investment Officer, and David Levy, a senior executive at Platinum who also served as co-portfolio manager for Black Elk, an oil and gas company that Platinum controlled from August 2010 through September 2015.

As the trial approached,  Nordlicht made a change in counsel from high powered attorneys at Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan LLP to Jose Baez who gained notoriety when he won “not-guilty’ decisions in two separate high profile murder cases defending Casey Anthony (Florida) and former New England Patriot tight end Aaron Hernandez.  It was an interesting strategy and one that seems to have paid off for now.

There is no doubt that there was some great lawyering here, but the case is also interesting because it went from some slam dunk Ponzi scheme, to a real hedge, who had some exotic investments, that went out of business after the FBI raided the place.  So was it the hedge fund that was a fraud or an FBI raid that caused the fund to shut down?  One thing is clear, there was a raid.

Platinum managed multiple funds, including Platinum Partners Value Arbitrage Fund, L.P. (“PPVA”), Platinum Partners Credit Opportunities Master Fund, L.P. (“PPCO”), and Platinum Partners Liquid Opportunity Master Fund L.P. (“PPLO”). One transaction involved the valuation of one of the funds’ investments, Black Elk – an oil and gas company that Platinum controlled from August 2010 through September 2015, and the subsequent sale.

Government prosecutors claimed that Nordlicht and Levy hatched a plan to get the money from Black Elk’s sale through misrepresentations to bondholders.  The Government claimed that the evidence would show that the defendants rigged the Black Elk bond consent solicitation.  At trial, the jury found Nordlicht and Levy guilty on counts six to eight (related to the Black Elk) but not guilty on counts one to five, which related to Platinum.   

After a 9-week trial and the partial guilty verdict, Nordlicht and Levy moved for a judgment of acquittal under Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 29 and for a new trial under Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 33. Judge Cogan deferred ruling on these motions until Nordlicht, Levy, and the government prosecutors fully briefed their respective positions.  So just when prosecutors thought the trial was over, it wasn’t.  After hearing arguments from both sides, Judge Cogan acquitted Levy and stated that Nordlicht’s motion for acquittal was denied, but a new trial was approved as prosecutors did not provide enough evidence to sustain the conviction.

Judge Cogan wrote;

“In considering whether to grant a new trial, a district court may itself weigh the evidence and the credibility of witnesses, but in doing so, it must be careful not to usurp the role of the jury .. The ultimate test is whether letting a guilty verdict stand would be a manifest injustice. … There must be a real concern that an innocent person may have been convicted.”

Although the Government adduced sufficient evidence for a judgment of acquittal to be unwarranted, letting the verdict stand against Nordlicht would be a manifest injustice. Thus, Nordlicht’s motion for a new trial is granted.

It was a complex case but Platinum was a complex hedge fund, something any jury would struggle with.  It all started with an FBI raid, allegations that Nordlicht was seeking to flee the country and that the hedge fund was a Ponzi scheme.  It turns out that the FBI’s raid was successful in taking down the Platinum but there was no clear motivation as to the defendants when they began to experience a liquidity crisis at Platinum (a real issue but not necessarily criminal).  It’s not against the law to make bad decisions or to lose money … something that seems to have been criminalized in this case.

To continue reading click here.

An Orthodox Jewish Nobel Laureate Advocates for Yeshiva Accountability in a Dual Education for Children.

Professor Yisrael Aumann is a Nobel Prize-winning Israeli mathematician. He is a professor at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and has held visiting positions at Princeton, Yale, Berkeley, Louvain, Stanford, Stony Brook, and NYU.

We Must Work Together So That All Yeshiva Students Get a Dual Education

In last week’s Torah reading, Moshe Rabbeinu commands us to choose life — “Uvacharta Bachaim.” From this, the Talmud Yerushalmi in Kiddushin derives that a father must teach his son a trade and thus provide him with a livelihood. In this Talmudic passage, Rabbi Yehuda puts it bluntly: “If a father doesn’t teach his son a trade, it’s as if he taught him highway robbery.”

So it should come as no surprise that, as a frum Jew, I believe that our yeshivas should provide robust secular studies alongside an uncompromised Torah education.

hen my family fled from Germany to the United States in 1938, they enrolled me in a religious elementary school in Boro Park. When it was time to choose a high school, I decided on the Rabbi Jacob Joseph Yeshiva (RJJ) on the Lower East Side of Manhattan.

After finishing university in the 1950s, I made aliyah to Jerusalem, and since then have pursued an academic career; but I’ll always remember my yeshiva experience as an exceptionally positive one that had a lasting impact on my life. For that reason, when the lawyers of Agudath Israel asked me for an affidavit describing my experience in yeshiva to urge the New York State Education Department not to intervene in the dual education provided by yeshivas like RJJ, I was glad to provide it.

As I wrote in my affidavit, “The immersive, time-consuming experience of deep Talmud study in an educational setting such as RJJ is absolutely necessary for the continuity of Orthodox Jewish life and practice. We were taught not merely a religion, but a way of life. And in that way of life, we were taught — and to this day I repeat daily — ‘Talmud Torah Kenneged Kulam’: the study of Torah is as important as all other religious observance put together.”

Shortly after news of the affidavit was reported in the Yeshiva World News website under the headline “INCREDIBLE: Nobel Prize Winner & Yeshiva Graduate To NYS Education Dept: ‘Talmud Torah Knegged Kulam!’” I got an email from a Chasidic yeshiva graduate that I found deeply upsetting. He informed me that he himself had received no secular instruction at all; and that most Chasidic yeshivas teach only a few hours a week of sub-par secular studies in elementary school and none at all in high school.

The picture that was painted for me — and later confirmed by other Chasidic graduates and parents of current students — is of young men who often graduate without even the basic skills to operate professionally. In many cases, this leads to poverty, and also to a sense of insuperable handicap.

Having left New York well over 60 years ago, all this was a revelation to me. Despite the distance, I find it impossible to ignore the genuine distress of the young men with whom I corresponded and the grave wrong being perpetrated on generations of children.

I stand behind every word in the affidavit; but knowing what I know now, I ask the public to read it with an emphasis that is perhaps a little different. Namely, that “I had wonderful experiences with BOTH secular and Jewish studies at RJJ. … The credit for my academic success belongs to Mr. Joey Gansler and to the mathematics he taught at RJJ. … If I were asked today to advise Jewish teens who have been admitted to both Stuyvesant and a yeshiva high school about which to attend, I would absolutely recommend that they attend a DUAL-curriculum yeshiva such as RJJ.”

We must continue vehemently to oppose government oversight and intrusion in yeshivas. The government has no right to dictate how we run our schools. But as my affidavit indicates, it does have a right to see to it that all children get a basic secular education that will enable them to be productive members of society. And that is also the Halacha.

To continue reading click here.

 

Rabbi Daniel Greer Guilty on All Charges – Part II, Why Has Mainstream Press Not Covered This?

From the site of Larry Noodles, with permission. Shana Tova v Gmar B’Chatima Tova. You have done justice to this story like no other. Kudos!

 

GOAT GUILTY ON ALL CHARGES

There was no victory for the Goat today. The Goat was convicted of four counts of risk of injury to a minor. The Goat faces a maximum of 80 years in State prison

Yesterday I was convinced that the Goat would walk away free today. After watching the jury deliberate this morning I became convinced that the Goat would be convicted. The jury handed Judge Alander a note asking the same question they had asked yesterday. They wanted to know the years Dr. DeRosa worked at the Yeshiva. They didn’t want to know about anything else that they had asked about yesterday. I figured that there was one juror who was hung up on Dr. DeRosa. I thought that the evidence was overwhelmingly against the Goat. I figured that the majority of jurors wanted to convict and that there was one or two holdouts. The majority had to convince the holdouts to convict. It was only a matter of time before there would be a verdict of guilty.

At about 12:30 PM the jury returned a verdict of guilty on all four charges of risk of injury to a minor. After the forewoman of the jury stated “GUILTY” four times, the Goat looked at his Ewe, shook his head and then looked away. The Ewe sat in silence. The Goat and the Ewe had prayed all morning. Their prayers were not answered. The marshals surrounded the Goat. They put him in cuffs. They took him outside the Courtroom and into a side room. Willie the Dow asked Judge Alander to poll the jury. Each individual juror was asked whether they voted to convict. Sentencing was set for November 20th. The Goat faces a maximum of 80 years in prison. The Goat did not look happy. The Dow crashed. It was Black Wednesday.

State’s Attorney Wilinsky asked Judge Alander to increase the Goat’s appearance bond now that the Goat was a convicted felon. The Dow argued that the Goat never attempted to leave the compound and has lived in New Haven for 40 years. Wilinsky asked the Dow whether the Goat had an Israeli passport. The Dow said he would find out. Judge Alander increased the Goat’s bond to $750K. Judge Alander told the Dow that he can come back in the afternoon for a bond hearing in order to discuss electronic monitoring and other conditions of the Goat’s release.

The Goat was locked up for an hour or so in a holding cell in the Courthouse and then appeared at the bond hearing in the afternoon. The Goat paid a bondsman ten percent of the $750K and was fitted for an ankle bracelet. The Goat will have electronic monitoring and be confined to his home in the compound. He will be allowed to go to a shul approved by Probation and allowed to visit his attorneys office and his doctors. The Dow asked Judge Alander if the Goat can go to Beth Israel Shul in Onset MA for Rosh Hashana and the Jewish holidays. Beth Israel was Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik’s summer Shul. The Dow argued that the Goat has been spending Shabbos in Onset lately and that it is hard to get a minyan in New Haven. Judge Alander told the Dow that the Ewe can help him round up a minyan here in New Haven. Request to travel to Onset for Yom Tovim DENIED.

When States Attorney Wilensky argued for electronic monitoring the Ewe mumbled “Anti-Semite” in the courtroom. At least the Ewe didn’t call her a “SHAYGETZ.” Guys in Otisville prison called me a self hating Jew all the time, which never bothered me. If they really hated me they called me a “SHAYGETZ.” Attorney Wilensky should not feel insulted when the Ewe called her an Anti-Semite. Wilensky should pity the Ewe, the Goat will be locked up with her on home confinement with an ankle bracelet all the time. Could you imagine being locked up with the Goat 24/7?

Judge Alander indicated that the Goat was a flight risk. The States Attorney argued that Orthodox Jewish child molesters tend to flee to Israel. The Dow objected to the electronic monitoring on the Goats hooves on Saturdays on the grounds it would violate the Sabbath. Objection OVERRULED.

I tried to interview a few jurors but was unsuccessful. Two of the female jurors were in tears hugging each other as they walked down the street outside the courthouse. I followed them over to a local restaurant where they all ate lunch together. I noticed that one of the alternate jurors joined them. I went into the bar and asked if I could speak with them, but they appeared very tired and told me that it was a very difficult case and they needed some time to unwind and relax and didn’t want to talk about it. As I left I overheard one of them remark that he was impressed with the performance of the Dow. The Dow rallied and shot up 100 points, after suffering a huge crash with the guilty verdict. I also overheard the jurors mention Avi Hack’s name. I have a feeling that had Avi Hack testified the guilty verdict would have come much sooner. The attorneys were able to drag right wing black hat Haradi Rabbi Notis all the way from Lancaster PA, and poor old Dr. DeRosa from Southbury, yet the key witnesses, the missing pieces to the puzzle, the missing links, Avi Hack, Dov Greer and Ezi Greer, were mentioned throughout the trial yet were AWOL.

The Goat will be confined to his home with an ankle bracelet for at least two years while he files and then argues his appeal. If the Goat is given permission to make a minyan at the compound his recruits may wonder why he is wearing an ankle bracelet. I wonder if the Goat will take his pants off over his ankle bracelet or under his ankle bracelet. The Goat will be allowed to have minors in the compound, as the charges of sexual assault were dismissed so the Goat will not have to register as a sex offender. The Goat can rebuilt his compound and call himself “The Ankle Bracelet Rebbe.”

In closing argument the State made a compelling argument that Eli Mirlis was unable to report the molestation and abuse to Dov Greer, Ezi Greer and Avi Hack. 14 year old Eli Mirlis felt that these adults knew what was going on and would have done nothing to stop it if he reported the abuse.  This verdict is long overdue, but unfortunately the enablers who protect abusers and pedophiles never face justice.  I have reported on this case in my blog since 2016.  I do not get any personal pleasure when Mr. Greer, or anyone else for that matter, goes to jail, as I have spent 18 months in Federal prison myself and I would not wish incarceration on my worst enemy.  But Mr. Greer presents a physical danger to others and should be in jail, regardless of his age.  After speaking with numerous child sexual assault victims, who reached out to me, they express more anger towards the adults who protected and enabled pedophiles like Mr. Greer or decades, than the actual abuser himself.  I hope that this highly publicized verdict will give others who have been abused the strength to come forward.  As for other pedophiles, enablers and protectors of abusers, beware of Larry Noodles, I will hunt you down, and get you locked up just like the Goat. Make my day SHAYGETZ!

We’re slogging on, from 516 Ellsworth Ave, Noodles has finally been vindicated with the guilty verdict. Yechi Noodles! Moshiach Now!

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If you wish to help the Larry Noodles website defray the costs of court documents, transcripts, depositions, investigations & research, and make a tax deductible contribution to a non profit organization that works to help bloggers like Larry Noodles protect themselves against bullies like Daniel Greer, and the Department of Injustice, please donate your hard earned dollars, shekels, and dinars to this organization:  First Amendment Watchdogs Incorporated, PO Box 2951, New Haven, CT 06515.  For IRS non profit status and EIN number click this link

Missed This – As Did Too Many Others – Deafening Silence – Rabbi Greer is now a Convicted “Injuror of a Minors”!

Published in its entirety from the blog of Larry Noodles. Thank you for picking this up. Sorry we missed it! Folks, if you will not donate to us, Noodles asks for assistance for his blog, a tax deductible donation. We do not gain by providing him a window for support. His reporting detailed what the rest of us seem to have missed. We will pick up this one and the next, in their entirety and with permission.

LM

The silence of Jewish religious and lay leaders, rabbis and Jewish news reporters, of all political persuasions, on the Goat verdict is deafening.

JEWISH LEADERS, RABBIS & PRESS SILENT ON GOAT VERDICT

It is very rare for members of the Jewish tribe to agree on anything these days. There is a large spectrum of political and religious viewpoints among American Jews, from the right wing Haradi to the far left Bernie Bro’s. Liberal Jews are just as outspoken and opinionated as Jews who support the Donald. Secular Jews do not mince words when they describe Orthodox Jews as misogynistic narrow minded bigots. Haradim have no problem referring to secular Jews as self hating Jews. You never hear such venom exchanged between civilized Christians.

The Jewish world has found common ground with the guilty Goat verdict. Jewish leaders of all stripes and denominations have all refused to publicly comment on the Goat verdict. The unified vow of silence is deafening. The Goat has managed to unite the Jewish people just before the Jewish New Year. Moshiach is supposed to arrive on a donkey, not a goat.

Not one leader from any Jewish Federation located in the entire United States has spoken about the Goat verdict. Not one pulpit Rabbi from any denomination in the entire country has spoken about the Goat verdict. Are they saving their comments for their grand Rosh Hashanah speeches that they are currently preparing to read to their followers in shuls, synagogues and Temples throughout the country on Monday? I don’t think so.

The mainstream media and the Jewish media has not reported on the Goat verdict. The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Vosizneias, Hamodia, The Forward, and the New York Post all reported on the Goat when he was first arrested, yet they now have asserted their First Amendment right to remain silent, just as the Goat did during his criminal trial. The Associated Press ran a very small blurb today.

The only logical explanation for Jewish radio silence on the Goat verdict is fundraising bucks. Fundraising for the Catholic Church dropped when pedophile priests were exposed and arrested. “It’s all about the Benjamin’s baby” as State’s Attorney Roberg argued in closing arguments to the Goat jury. Roberg tore apart the Dow’s argument that Mirlis was in criminal court because he wanted money. Roberg told the jury that Mirlis already got his civil judgment. Mirlis didn’t have to return to Connecticut and tell everyone in the world the excruciating details about how he got repeatedly raped by the Goat.

Jewish non-profits and religious organizations would not have any problem raising money if these organizations were transparent, efficient, and honest and not mired in waste, hypocrisy, insecurity, and nepotism. Providing a warm, stimulating and engaging place for Jews to pray, learn and interact would also attract and keep new members. News of the Goat would have no impact on fundraising.

The only Rabbi brave enough to make any kind of statement about the Goat, on Facebook no less, was Modern Orthodox Rabbi Shlomo Zuckier. Zuckier was the Rabbi at Yale Hillel for a year or two. I first met Zuckier after I got out of Otisville prison. He let me pray at the Yale Hillel even though he knew of my criminal record. I’ve been kicked out of many shuls because of my blog. The first shul I was kicked out of was the prison shul in the Otisville prison. The Jewish inmates got mad because I was sending my blogs to Paul Bass at the New Haven Independent. Fortunately I had two prominent inmate Rabbis doing long bids in Otisville who lobbied for me to be readmitted to the shul. In New Haven a local Rabbi said I couldn’t get an aliya because of my blog about the Goat. I wonder if this idiot would give me an aliya now. He should sponsor a kiddush for me. I probably saved his children from getting raped by the Goat.

I am still waiting for that kiddush the Goat’s son Dov Greer promised me on the first Shabbos that I got out of Otisville prison. Some people think that my anger towards the Goat stems from the kiddush that Dov failed to deliver. I went to the Goat shul on my first Shabbos out of Otisville and Dov Greer was nowhere to be seen. All I saw was Avi Hack and the Goat. Dov reneged on the kiddush. This incident reminds me of the story of Kamsa and Bar Kamsa. I was invited to a kiddush by the son of the Goat, ie., Bar Goat. When I got to the kiddush I realized that I wasn’t invited and Bar Goat was nowhere to be found. I offered to pay Papa Goat for the kiddush. Papa Goat refused. I then went to the authorities and helped the State of Connecticut get the Goat convicted on four felony charges of risk of injury to a minor. I never ratted out the Goat to the Caesar, ie., the Feds, unlike Bar Kamsa. I never blemished one of the Goat’s ducks, chickens or goats who live in his barn on West Park Ave. I did not cause the exile of the Jews. The Jews are already exiled in their cul de sacs in the American suburbs with their 55″ flat screen televisions.

Rabbi Shlomo Zuckier is the first and only American Rabbi, of any denomination, to write about the Goat verdict, on Facebook no less. If the President of the United States can make proclamations to the masses on Twitter why can’t Rabbi Zuckier speak to his followers on Facebook? These are the brave words of Rabbi Shlomo Zuckier: “Even A horrific Chilul Hashem and perversion of the Torah, now confirmed with this judgement. As a practicing rabbi in New Haven when these now-confirmed allegations came to light, and as someone who knew some of the victims, I felt the repercussions of this atrocity personally. Hoping this decision leads to some degree of Nechama for the victims; at the very least it should prevent any further wrongdoing.”

I encourage all readers, fans, followers, felons and stalkers of Larry Noodles to congratulate Rabbi Zuckier for standing up for truth and justice. Please be polite and do not stalk Rabbi Zuckier. And please do not use foul language, even if you think you mean well. And please use spell check and do not write to Rabbi Zuckier in all caps.

A man was selected, preferably a Kohen, to take the goat to the cliff in the wilderness and he was accompanied part of the way by the most eminent men of Jerusalem. Ten booths had been constructed at intervals along the road leading from Jerusalem to the steep mountain. At each one of these the man leading the goat was formally offered food and drink, which he, however, refused. When he reached the tenth booth those who accompanied him proceeded no further. When he came to the cliff he divided the scarlet thread into two parts, one of which he tied to the rock and the other to the goat’s horns, and then pushed the goat down. The cliff was so high and rugged that before the goat had traversed half the distance to the plain below, its limbs were utterly shattered. Men were stationed at intervals along the way, and as soon as the goat was thrown down the cliff, they signaled to one another by means of kerchiefs or flags, until the information reached the high priest. During the forty years that Simon the Just was High Priest, the thread actually turned white as soon as the goat was thrown over the cliff: a sign that the sins of the people were forgiven. In later times the thread did not always turn white: proof of the Jew’s moral and spiritual deterioration, that was on the increase, until forty years before the destruction of the Second Temple, when the change of color was no longer observed.

For G-d, For Country, For Yale, For Rabbi Zuckier. Yechi Noodles!

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REDACTED – PLEASE SEE THE ORIGINAL SOURCE: https://larrynoodles.com/jewish-leaders-rabbis-press-silent-on-goat-verdict/

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If you wish to help the Larry Noodles website defray the costs of court documents, transcripts, depositions, investigations & research, and make a tax deductible contribution to a non profit organization that works to help bloggers like Larry Noodles protect themselves against bullies like Daniel Greer, and the Department of Injustice, please donate your hard earned dollars, shekels, and dinars to this organization:  First Amendment Watchdogs Incorporated, PO Box 2951, New Haven, CT 06515.  For IRS non profit status and EIN number click this link

Jewish “Alleged” Pedophiles, Israel Might Be Your Land of Milk and Honey… Malka Leifer Granted House Arrest

Malka Leifer, a former Australian school principal who is wanted in Australia on suspicion of sexual

ALLEGED PEDOPHILE MALKA LEIFER SENT TO HOUSE ARREST PENDING MENTAL EVALUATION

Leifer is standing trial for extradition to Australia on 74 counts of sexual abuse against sisters Dassi Erlich, Ellie Sapper and Nicole Meyer while she was principal of an ultra-Orthodox school.

Alleged sex offender Malka Leifer will be released to house arrest on Friday, the Jerusalem District Court ruled on Wednesday.

Following a decision last month by Judge Chana Miriam Lomp – who is presiding over the case – to appoint a new panel of psychiatric experts to evaluate Leifer’s mental fitness to stand extradition trial, Leifer’s lawyers appealed for her to be released from prison to house arrest.
Judge Ram Winograd, presiding over the house-arrest petition, acquiesced to that request on Wednesday, and Leifer will be released to her house in Bnei Brak with her sister.
The prosecution has until Friday to appeal the decision.
Leifer is standing trial for extradition on 74 counts of sexual abuse in Australia against sisters Dassi Erlich, Ellie Sapper and Nicole Meyer while she was principal of an ultra-Orthodox school. She has claimed for many years to be mentally unfit for extradition.
Leifer fled Australia to Israel in 2008, but legal proceedings against her only began in 2014.
A hearing on October 6 at the Jerusalem District Court will determine which psychiatrists will be on the three-member panel to decide whether she is mentally fit for extradition. The panel will be expected to issue its opinion by December 10.
“We are bitterly disappointed that Malka Leifer has been granted bail and is being released to house arrest,” said Jewish Community Watch, whose private investigation restarted legal proceedings against Leifer in 2018. “It’s impossible to understand how Leifer, who has already proved herself to be a flight risk, contemptuous of the justice system and a risk to children, would be allowed to leave prison.”
Leifer’s defense team has made it clear that their tactic is to drag out the proceedings for as long as possible, and the court appears to be allowing them to do so.
“I am deeply shocked and astounded that someone who is well enough to [be released to] house arrest isn’t well enough to go on a plane,” said one of Leifer’s alleged victims, Nicole Meyer. “I am hurt by the State of Israel.”
To continue reading click here.
ADDITIONAL READING ON LEIFER’S HOUSE ARREST:

Accused paedophile principal Malka Leifer on bail in Israel

RELATED STORIES:

 

RELATED STORY: Israeli court delays Australian alleged paedophile teacher’s extradition
RELATED STORY: Malka Leifer’s team rallies to prevent extradition to Australia over child sex assault charges
RELATED STORY: ‘We didn’t question it’: Why a school headmistress allegedly preyed on girls

Bloggers, MeToo, the CVA and the Ultra-Orthodox Community’s Sex Abuse Crisis that is too Widespread to Ignore

The Ultra-Orthodox Community’s Sex Abuse Crisis Has Finally Reached a Tipping Point

By Hella Winston; illustrated by Hunter French

Thanks to a new law, one of the most secretive and isolated subcultures in the United States is facing possible exposure.

Fourteen years ago, an anonymous blogger calling himself Un-Orthodox Jew (UOJ) lit a fuse in the ultra-Orthodox Jewish world when he began posting sexual abuse allegations concerning a Brooklyn yeshiva teacher named Yehuda Kolko. As the blog’s hit counter climbed into the hundreds of thousands and the comments piled up, it became clear to anyone reading that Kolko’s alleged behavior spanned several decades and was not exactly a secret in his community. It had even been the subject of an inquiry by a religious court in the 1980s, a proceeding that reportedly was derailed by threats made by the head of the yeshiva where Kolko taught to the dozen or so people who had come forward to give testimony. (Among ultra-orthodox Jews, going to the police to “inform” (mesira) on another Jew was and largely remains taboo and can result in ostracization or worse.)

But until that day in 2005, nobody had ever discussed the details of the saga in a public forum.

One of the early comments on the blog came from a reader named David, who wrote, “I too was molested by Rabbi Yidi Kolko, both while a student in 7th and 8th grades… and during those same summers whilst a camper in Camp Agudah.” His full name, he would later reveal, was David Framowitz, and for some time he had been obsessively searching the internet for any mention of Kolko. Before closing his initial comment, he wrote, “It is about time that the wall of silence be torn down.”

Thanks to a law that took effect last month, Framowitz’s hope may finally be realized.

Early this year, in the wake of the explosion of the MeToo movement and a cascade of abuse allegations leveled against institutions from Hollywood to the Catholic Church, New York passed the Child Victims Act (CVA). In addition to extending the statute of limitations for civil suits and criminal charges, the law allows a survivor of child sex abuse to file a lawsuit within a one-year period that began on August 14, no matter their current age. The so-called “look-back window” is key when it comes to cases involving the ultra-Orthodox world because those most likely to sue are people who are no longer in the community and subject to pressure or intimidation by its members, which often means they are much older than the prior limit on child sex abuse cases: between the ages of 21 and 23.

According to Frum Follies blogger Yerachmiel Lopin, who writes about sex abuse in the Orthodox Jewish world and says he has been in contact with more than 100 abuse survivors over the past 10 years, fear of retaliation and becoming a social pariah deters many “inside the [Ultra-Orthodox] community who want to publicly expose abusers and have them face legal consequences.”

“An Orthodox Jew needs to live within walking distance of a synagogue,” he said. “There is no getting away from the ties, and the risks of having their children expelled from schools, losing their jobs, and being shunned by their neighbors and relatives. Even moving to another country doesn’t get you away, because the networks are international.”

Legal obstacles proved insurmountable during the initial push to expose Kolko. None of the victims appeared to be within New York’s statute of limitations to press criminal charges (before the victim’s 23rd birthday) or file civil suits (before 21 to sue an institution and before age 23 to sue a perpetrator). The activists did recruit a lawyer willing to take a gamble on a legal theory arguing that a climate rife with “concealment, intimidation, and misrepresentations” had prevented the victims from filing timely lawsuits. The attorney initially filed a lawsuit on behalf of two victims against Kolko and the yeshiva where he had taught for more than 30 years (other suits were subsequently filed).

 

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Pelcovitz and Leading Orthodox Rabbis Line Up Behind Sex Offender Evan Zauder (From the archives- 3/31/14) — FRUM FOLLIES by Yerachmiel Lopin

Update (9/20/19) Dr. David Pelcovitz spoke to SAR parents in the aftermath of the arrest of their teacher, Rabbi Jonathan Skolnick, for child porn production involving a student. He is scheduled to speak at other schools. That is a terrible choice. Parents, after you read this post, please contact your school’s administrators and urge them not […]

via Pelcovitz and Leading Orthodox Rabbis Line Up Behind Sex Offender Evan Zauder (From the archives- 3/31/14) — FRUM FOLLIES by Yerachmiel Lopin

The Child Predators Who “Hide in Plain Sight” Grooming Children and the Days of Reckoning for Yeshivas

A view outside the Yeshivah of Flatbush Joel Braverman High School in Brooklyn, N.Y. (Google Street View)

‘We feel like we failed’: How one Jewish school is processing the arrest of a teacher who preyed on children

NEW YORK (JTA) — Sitting at the front of a large room lined floor to ceiling with Jewish holy books, Rabbi Joseph Beyda’s voice broke as he processed, seemingly in real time, the idea that a trusted teacher had preyed on his students.

“I think the overarching feeling of the administrators and the faculty and the board of the school is, we know you trust us, we take that trust very deeply, we dedicate our lives to it, we failed on this,” said Beyda, the principal of the Yeshivah of Flatbush’s Joel Braverman High School. “You could say it’s not our fault, but we feel like we failed.”

Beyda was speaking Wednesday night at a forum for parents and alumni at the Brooklyn high school that was called in the wake of last week’s arrest of Rabbi Jonathan Skolnick, a former teacher charged with soliciting naked photos of students for years, going back to at least 2012. An FBI special agent sitting to Beyda’s left confirmed the rabbi’s assertion: There was no way for the school to have known what Skolnick was doing.

“This is a man who hid in plain sight,” said the agent, Aaron Spivack. “There is nothing this school could have done. There’s nothing that anybody could have done. A wolf in sheep’s clothing, if you want to use that analogy. Predators are predators for a reason. They find ways to be predators.”

Skolnick, who moved last year to an administrative position at SAR Academy, another Orthodox school in New York City, was arrested Friday night by the FBI and charged with the production, receipt and possession of child pornography and child enticement. He was immediately fired by SAR. He had taught at Flatbush from 2012 to 2018.

Days after the arrest, which came only weeks into a new school year, parents, faculty and administration are still in shock. They want to know if there is any way to prevent this in the future, what to tell their kids and how to encourage them to talk about any abuse by Skolnick. SAR also held an open meeting for parents to speak with an FBI representative and school administrators.

“It’s just very sad that it took a long time until this came out in the open,” said the grandmother of one of Skolnick’s students, who declined to give her name for fear of being publicly linked to the scandal. “But it’s understandable because people are reluctant to expose such incidents. It’s sad, and I know he was a good teacher, he had a good reputation. My granddaughter and her friends, they were shocked.”

At the Flatbush forum, Spivack reviewed the FBI investigation of Skolnick’s alleged crimes. The rabbi is accused of posing as a teenage girl online and soliciting underage boys to send him explicit photos. At least one boy complied, and Skolnick threatened to release them publicly after the boy said he wouldn’t send more. Spivack said there is no evidence at this time suggesting that Skolnick inappropriately touched students or distributed the photos.

According to the FBI’s criminal complaint, Skolnick admitted that he had requested explicit photos from 20 to 25 people, most of them children. Beyda said he believes that many Flatbush students were solicited.

“The number is really high,” the principal said. “And it’s not going to be surprising to be greater than 100, and maybe more than that.”

Both SAR and Flatbush have policies governing the reporting of sexual harassment, teacher communication with students and the boundaries of teacher behavior with students. SAR conducted a background check before Skolnick was hired that came up clean, as did an FBI check. Beyda said Flatbush has an extensive interview and reference-checking process, and now does criminal background checks as well.

Advocates for preventing sexual abuse in the Jewish community said that the key for schools is to recognize and prevent what are called “grooming” behaviors — actions such as inviting kids over for sleepovers or luring them to secluded spaces — that lay the groundwork for abuse.

“If you see a rebbe insisting that a child spend Shabbos at his house without any other supervision there, that’s a red flag,” said Asher Lovy, the director of community organizing for Zaakah, which combats child sex abuse in the Orthodox community.

Joel Avrunin, the parent of a child who allegedly was sexually abused by a rabbi at a Jewish camp in Maryland, said that schools should hire an external firm to investigate Skolnick’s behavior and the school’s response to it. That’s what SAR did following revelations that Stanley Rosenfeld, an assistant principal at SAR in the 1970s who later taught English there, had abused students.

“What are the schools doing to find out the extent of his involvement with children?” Avrunin asked. “I’d like to see any school first hire an outside investigator. Who did he have contact with and what anti-grooming policies did the schools have in place?”

SAR did not respond to a JTA request for comment.

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The Protection of Accused Child Molesters – An Accused Rabbi Working With Kids, the Complacence of Toras Zev

Yeshiva Torah Temimah

Rabbi accused of molesting student in Brooklyn now heads NJ yeshiva

A rabbi once accused of sexually molesting a student in Brooklyn  is now a principal at a New Jersey yeshiva — which touts his “wisdom and experience” on its website, The Post has learned.

Rabbi Joel Falk is named by a former Yeshiva Torah Temimah student in a new lawsuit, one of the first against a rabbi under New York’s Child Victims Act.

Baruch Sandhaus, now 52, claims Falk “would inappropriately touch” his penis in 1980, shortly after he started ninth grade at age 13, according to the lawsuit.

Falk, 74, who still lives in Brooklyn, now serves as the principal of Hebrew studies at Toras Zev, a Lakewood, N.J. yeshiva.

Sandhaus, a Florida businessman, said he is horrified that Falk is working with boys.

“It is devastating for me to hear that Falk is still working at a yeshiva. This man should not be around kids. I don’t want any children to suffer the way I did,” Sandhaus told The Post.

While in the ninth grade, Sandhaus confided in Falk that he had been abused by fellow Rabbi Joel Kolko in elementary school. Falk spent time counseling the troubled teen — and then abused him as well, he alleges.

Sandhaus complained at the time to the Midwood yeshiva, but a dean warned the family to keep quiet about the allegations or he “could not guarantee the safety” of the boy and his siblings, he contends.

The yeshiva kept Falk as a rabbi and principal until 1989. He was never criminally charged.’

But it settled with two other former students who alleged abuse by Kolko, paying them a total $2.1 million in 2016, The Post reported. Sandhaus also names Kolko in his suit.

Reached at the Lakewood yeshiva, Falk refused to discuss the allegations, telling The Post, “I’m sorry, but I’m not going to take this call.”

Sandhaus filed suit in Brooklyn Supreme Court under the Child Victims Act, which opened a one-year window for people of any age to seek damages against their alleged abusers, no matter how long ago the abuse happened.

Survivors for Justice, an NYC-based advocacy group, sent a copy of the lawsuit to the Lakewood yeshiva — and urged it to take precautions.

“It would be unfortunate if Toras Zev joined a long line of ultra-Orthodox yeshivas covering up allegations of child sex abuse and protecting the reputations of child molesters in their employ,” said spokesman Ben Hirsch.

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HUD, Rabbi Zvi Feiner, Lack of Nursing Home Oversight, Who Really Pays for This, Taxpayers.

While HUD is Left Holding the Bag for Approximately $146M in Failed Loans Underwritten for Rabbi Zvi Feiner’s Ponzi Scheme, Some HUD Underwritten Loans Make Nursing Home Owners Supremely Wealthy. 

Taxpayers on the Federal and Local Level Pay for HUD, A Program Intended to Help the Poor and Vulnerable.

WHERE IS THE OVERSIGHT? Social Programs, Government Institutions Need Better Oversight. 

Skilled nursing chain’s collapse leaves HUD holding the bag on $146M

When a nursing home chain collapsed last year, its default on $146 million in loans became the biggest loss in the 60-year-history of a HUD loan-guarantee program, according to a new investigative report.

The New York Times reported Friday on Rosewood Care Centers’ backing by a Department of Housing and Urban Development that insures some 15% of U.S. nursing homes.

While HUD officials told the newspaper the Chicago company’s demise was an “outlier,” the Times outlined a lack of record keeping and oversight around HUD’s nursing home loan insurance program. It has left some worried about its future.

The program helps senior care facilities secure lower-cost loans, promising to cover them if the owners balk. The program now guarantees $20 billion in mortgages for more than 2,300 nursing homes, the Times said.

At Rosewood, owners never filed required financial statements with HUD. Investor Rabbi Zvi Feiner purchased Rosewood and its 13 nursing and assisted living facilities in late 2013.

He has since been sued in connection with Rosewood and other investments, with vendor plaintiffs going after debts and investors claiming misappropriation.

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THE HUD SETTLEMENT AS FOLLOWS:

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Are Government Agencies Potentially Allowing People to Duplicate Identities? Perhaps, perhaps not…

A Conversation in a Government Office Where Passports are Issued and What to Make of It All

The events described below happened at about 8:00 am on September 24, 2019. Names have been changed from those having the conversation for the purposes of privacy.

The eyewitness was across the room and the conversation was not completely clear. This is therefore being brought to your attention as a point to think about.

What is relayed below is what was audible and could be overheard:

Customer: Hello, here are the the documents for my wife’s passport.

Clerk: Sir, her name on the identification documents does not match the name on the forms you submitted.

Customer: Her name is Tova. She goes by Tova. That’s her name. She needs a passport.

Clerk: Yes, okay, sir. But the documents say Leah. The name on the form must match the documents.

Customer: No. Ma’am. She goes by Tova and we were told that is okay. Tova is her name. It is what is used on other forms. The birth certificate, see, her middle name, its Tova.

Clerk: Sir. But the name on the documents must be as listed on the identification documents.

Customer: Yes. But I came in before. I spoke with someone. They said it was okay. She isn’t called Leah. She’s called Tova. So, I spoke with someone and that person said that we could use the name my wife actually uses. I was told there is a way to do it, to write it. And, its fine.

Clerk: Okay, well, if you were told it is okay, your wife must fill out the form with something that says that she is also known as. Have her fill out the form and add that and then come back to me.

 

END OF AUDIBLE CONVERSATION –

This all may be very innocent. The person overhearing the conversation could not see the content of the documents presented to the clerk.

But, if the passport is accepted by the government agencies, what if Tova actually already has a passport in the name as documented, Leah? And, what if she is then issued two passports?

While the person relaying this conversation said it was difficult to hear, it is conceivable that the State will issue this woman a second passport using her middle name, based upon the responses of the customer.

If, indeed, it is easy to have passports issued in names that are similar to but not exactly those names on the identification papers is somewhat unsettling. This would mean that it is possible for someone to carry two passports with different names and use each for different purposes. One person effectively becomes two.

This entire conversation could be meaningless. The departments that issue passports could return all documentation as invalid. But, it is something to think about.

 

Rabbi Zvi Feiner Settles with SEC But, “he won’t be able to satisfy it because…” Where is the Outrage?

People Should Be Outraged, Rabbi Feiner Settles Suit with the SEC; but it is Hard to Imagine any Sense of Remorse Given Comments by his Attorney to Crains

Crain’s Chicago Business reported the below information about the SEC settlement with Rabbi Zvi Feiner and the associates who swindled fellow Jews out of millions. But just to throw salt in the wound, the attorney representing Feiner and FNR, Mr. Ariel Weissberg a respected Chicago attorney, in his comments stated that his client doesn’t have the financial means to pay the SEC fines (or presumably to repay his victims). We wonder how much his attorney is getting paid to have thrown that salt in wounds of Feiner’s victims. This is not intended to in any way malign an attorney who did well by his client.

Should there not be a sense of outrage?

There is something very, very wrong with the statements made by Feiner’s attorney throughout the entire article, but perhaps the last paragraph speaks volumes about the righteous indignant response of the defendant.  The last paragraph in the article reads as follows:

Feiner settled two civil suits, even though one ended in a judgment in his favor, Weissberg said. “It was the right thing to do,” he explained. “In the Jewish Orthodox community, that’s what we aim for. . . .There’s a higher authority that needs to be answered.”

Really? In the Jewish world we should not be committing these crimes at all. There is nothing about this entire incident, lasting years, that reflects “the right thing to do.”

A Rabbi, someone who had the respectability of his community,  should be held to an almost unachievable standard of decency. Rabbi Feiner used the respect of those around him to lure them in and then he financially harmed his investors.

A braggadocios statement saying that the SEC fines will not be met because the Rabbi doesn’t have the financial means (as he apparently spent or repatriated that money to another country) should be leaving everyone with a really sour taste.

It is time that the Orthodox community remove the Hasmachut (Rabbinical Ordination) of those who commit crimes against the Jewish community. If, indeed, we are all looking to the same “higher power.”

Rabbi accused of defrauding Holocaust survivor, other investors settles Ponzi scheme charges

A Chicago rabbi and a business associate settled charges they operated a Ponzi scheme that triggered a $146 million default, the biggest ever for a federally insured loan program for nursing homes. Still at issue is how much the rabbi, Zvi Feiner, will pay.

Feiner, Erez Baver and their Skokie firm, FNR Healthcare, were accused by the Securities & Exchange Commission of defrauding an elderly Holocaust survivor and other members of Chicago’s Orthodox Jewish community. They siphoned off at least $11.5 million raised from 62 or more investors to buy nursing homes and assisted-living facilities throughout the Midwest, according to a complaint filed Sept. 19 in federal court here.

Feiner, 49, is an ordained Orthodox rabbi and sole owner of FNR. Without telling investors in limited liability companies, according to the complaint, he sold facilities owned by other LLCs and used at least $9 million in proceeds to pay other investors and lenders. Baver, 39, is FNR’s executive vice president. He and his company, Cedarbrook Management, received more than $2.5 million for personal use, the filing said.

While Baver and Cedarbrook have agreed to pay back about $2.25 million and a civil penalty to be determined, Feiner and his attorney are negotiating a figure. “It’s going to be a big number,” said Ariel Weissberg, a Chicago attorney representing Feiner and FNR. Whatever it is, Weissberg added, “he won’t be able to satisfy it because he doesn’t have the financial resources.”

Baver’s attorney, Stephen Rosenfeld of McDonald Hopkins’ Chicago office, said he would check with his client before commenting.

Starting in 2010, Feiner solicited funding for 20 LLCs including four cited in the SEC complaint. One of those four, Rosewood Care Centers, operator of a dozen nursing homes and an assisted-living facility in Illinois and St. Louis, was seized last year by the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development after defaulting on HUD’s $146 million loan.

To continue reading in Crains, click here.

 

Finding Assets – Who Owns What? Platinum Partners and Their Trusts

The Personal Assets of Platinum’s Partners and Their Wives – Who Owns What? It is Well Hidden, The Trust Confusion

EDITED 9.23.19 3:49PM

We have posted a tax grievance filed by the wife of Mark Nordlicht, Dahlia Kalter. In the interest of privacy, we have redacted both the property address and the telephone numbers, though they are accessible publicly. 

To provide some background, Mark Nordlicht along with one of the partners was convicted in the Black Elk scheme and has unsurprisingly appealed that conviction.  But, perhaps the Judge who has yet to rule on the appeals, might want to consider what has happened to assets and the concerted efforts (often apparently confusing) to keep those assets hidden.

The holding companies/trusts/family investments vehicles are so confused, it would seem, that those charged with managing them and defending them (against things like tax assessments) can’t keep them straight.

The paperwork speaks for itself…

The losses to Black Elk Investors, well… those should somehow be recoverable. Perhaps one of the many trusts the money could have seeped into?

 

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Delays, Delays, Delays… Malka Leifer, Judge Lomp Do you Think Her Victims Get to Delay Their Nightmares?

Malka Leifer in court in May 2018.

Court orders new psych report for accused child sex abuser Malka Leifer

Jerusalem The Jerusalem District Court has ruled that a new psychiatric report is needed to assess if former Melbourne school principal Malka Leifer is fit to face an extradition trial over child sex abuse allegations.

Judge Chana Miriam Lomp on Monday presented a distant deadline of December 10 for the new assessment to be filed by three psychiatrists, in order for the court to decide if Leifer is truly mentally unfit, or faking her illness.Now at hearing 57, the case to try and bring the former principal of the Ultra- Orthodox Adass Israel school in Elsternwick in Melbourne’s south-east back to Australia to face 74 charges of rape and child sex abuse has met countless delays.

Judge Lomp in court said the evidence she had seen hadn’t reached a significant benchmark to automatically state that Leifer had been feigning her illness and therefore was fit enough to face justice.

Manny Waks, chief executive officer of the child sex abuse prevention group Kol v’Oz, said after the hearing that the decision was the “worst-case scenario”.

“It leaves the entire case in limbo and it’s just prolonging the pain and suffering to Leifer’s alleged victims,” Waks said.

Dassi Erlich, one of the survivors of Leifer’s alleged abuse who has been fighting to bring Leifer back to Australia for eight years, said the ruling left her feeling defeated.

In five years of court hearings, 30 psychiatrists have already been involved in determining if Leifer is fit to face extradition trial.

“How is this not enough? How many more psychiatrists need to weigh in? How much more emotional pain?,” Erlich said after the hearing.

“We are defeated but we will not give up.”Erlich and her two sisters intended to travel to Israel from Melbourne for the court hearing but cancelled their plans due to the continual and exhausting delays in the justice system.”We’ve decided to push off our trip to Israel and reserve our energy until there is more certainty regarding next steps in this long process,” Erlich announced earlier in the month.

Allegations of child sex abuse were first raised against Leifer in 2008.

The continual delays in court and the findings that Israel’s Deputy Health Minister Yaakov Litzman acted to have medical assessments altered in Leifer’s favour has raised question marks around Israel’s judiciary.

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Malka Leifer – The ONLY Way to Serve Justice for the Abused is to Return Her to Australia – Victims Abused by the System

Demonstration against Malka Leifer outside the Jerusalem District Court

MALKA LEIFER JUDGE: PANEL TO RULE ON ALLEGED PEDOPHILE’S MENTAL STATE

Decisions will stretch out even further legal proceedings to extradite alleged sex offender which have taken nearly six years

Judge Chana Miriam Lomp said that since there has been a considerable of conflicting information and testimony on the case she needed to hear from a new expert panel in order to make a definitive ruling on Leifer’s mental fitness.

A hearing on October 6 in the Jerusalem District Court will determine which psychiatrists will be on the three-member panel.

The panel will be expected to issue its opinion by December 10.

The decision will mean that the legal efforts to extradite Leifer to Australia which have already taken six years will drag on even longer, frustrating Leifer’s alleged victims and activists who have waged a concerted campaign for Leifer to stand trial in Australia.

Leifer is standing trial for extradition on 74 counts of sexual abuse in Australia against sisters Dassi Erlich, Ellie Sapper and Nicole Meyer while she was principal of an ultra-Orthodox school, but has for many years claimed to be mentally unfit for extradition.

Jewish Community Watch stated that it was very disappointed with the judge’s decision to consult with a new expert panel.

“After more than 57 court hearings, the court has pushed off the decision once again and assigned it to yet another group of psychiatrists,” said JCW.

“The real decisions the court has made today is that it wishes to be seen as an international embarrassment instead of a justice system which protects the most vulnerable.

“We continue to support the survivors, who have waited far longer than any victim should have to in order to simply face their alleged abuser in court. Their fight for justice is our fight, and we hope the community will rally around them until such time that Leifer is finally extradited back to Australia.”

Leifer’s lawyer Attorney Yehuda Fried spun the decision as in favor of his client arguing that “the court has determined that the state has not lifted its burden [of proof] and argued that the ruling meant Leifer would not be extradited.

Fried also said that he would petiiton the court to release Leifer from prison where she has been held since she was rearrested in 2018.

Leifer fled Australia to come to Israel in 2008, but legal proceedings against her only began in 2014.

A psychiatric panel ruled on Leifer’s case at the beginning of the legal proceedings against her that she was fit to stand trial for extradition to Australia but a private investigation into her situation in 2017 conducted on behalf of the Jewish Community Watch organization raised severe questions over her supposed psychiatric incapacity to stand trial.

The police subsequently initiated its own investigation and arrested Leifer in 2018 on suspicion of feigning mental illness to avoid extradition.

In May 2017 after a previous hearing in the District Court, private investigator Tzafrir Tzahi who carried out the private investigation into Leifer, said that his team had observed Leifer for two weeks and that her behavior and functioning seemed perfectly normal.

“During the investigation we saw that she was functioning like a normative woman and mother,” said Tzahi.

“She does the shopping, hosts her children on Shabbat, goes to the grocery store, goes to the post office, speaks a lot on the cell phone, laughs, converses with people, nothing that could indicate a problem with her daily functioning,” he continued, adding that they had also witnessed her writing cheques and paying bills.

Tzahi noted that Leifer does not work, but that she occasionally goes to Bnei Brak, alone by public transport, for various arrangements and also to meet one of her children.

He also stated that during the entire two weeks his team had tracked her they had not seen her husband once.

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A Rabbi On Trial for Sexual Assault in Connecticut, Day Three, a Summary and Comments

Childhood Sexual Abuse and its Aftermath, “Unbelievable” and a Rabbi on Trial…

The following is being posted with permission in its entirety from the website of Larry Noodles. We encourage you to view the article and the website by clicking here. The permission granted should not be deemed an endorsement of our site by the author. 

The article, “State v. Daniel Greer – Day Three” is a summary from the trial of Rabbi Daniel Greer, affectionate referred to by Larry Noodles as “The Goat.” This is explained in an earlier article. 

Day Three is a summary the testimony of Lisa Melillo, an expert in forensic interviews of victims of sexual abuse, a summary of the testimony of Shira Mirlis, the wife of one of the victims and a summary of the testimony of Dr. Gabrial Fagan, an expert on Orthodox Jewish child molesters. It is being re-posted here by LM in the context of new developments at a number of acclaimed institutions of religious learning, now confronting abuses that occurred within their midst. 

Childhood sexual abuse is complicated, devastating and has lifelong implications. As described in a recent Netflix television series, “Unbelievable” which is a true account of a serial rapist – [altogether unrelated to a religious community] a victim walks around with the aftermath of sexual abuse for a lifetime as if carrying a bullet fragment in the spine. Nothing could be more accurate. The relevance of that series to this article lies with the victim, Marie, who was destroyed not only by her rapist but by the handling of her case by the investigators, the responses of those she trusted and the recriminations that followed.

Childhood victims of any sexual assault are forever altered. Their sexual encounters are never completely healthy following abuse, no matter how much therapy a victim undergoes. And most childhood victims do not get therapy.

The nature of childhood sexual abuse is further complicated and made deeply tragic when the abuser is of the same sex as the abused. Not only does the guilt, shame, embarrassment, self-loathing and diminished self-esteem become part of a victims’ psyche; but also in victims of same gender abuse, the victimized is forced to confront the questions of sexuality that accompany that abuse.

For communities that have chosen to hide the abuse, childhood victims are victimized, repeatedly, over and over, by each and every person who knows, knew or suspected and said nothing. The complacence, if not disgraceful cover-ups within that community, are daily reminders, constant betrayals. The community enables the abuser and leaves the abused with a terminal sense of demoralization.

Children very rarely will report abuse that has not actually happened. Sometimes those children do not understand the nature of what has occurred until they are older, when the “bullet to the spine” is so deeply ingrained in their persona that confronting it risks changing a familiar reality. Adult victims of childhood sexual violence who have lived a lifetime with memories of abuse know that there are moments when the nightmares they confront provide comfort. An alternative reality risks leaving a frightening void.

Children do not know enough to invent sexual confrontations that did not occur. They are innocent enough to not always know they have been abused. Children of insular communities generally are not taught sexuality until they are in early adulthood, and trying to tie in childhood memories with young adult realities can be confusing, unsettling and overwhelmingly terrifying. And then there is the guilt and the shame. 

For those of you who are reading this and engaging in the very same cover-ups intended to protect the good name of your community, understand that you are equally as complicit in the abuse as if you had committed it yourself. For members of the justice system, those whose jobs it is to investigate these cases, understand that children do not make up stories of uncomfortable sexual encounters. Tread lightly. You are dealing with the fragile psyche of a child or the shattered life of an adult victim.

Children can misread signs but there is a fine line. Treading lightly on the side of the victimized child is often the better side of valor. Children do not have enough information to invent those stories, particularly not children of religious communities.

For those tasked with hearing new cases that are being filed by childhood victims, do not take your task lightly. The courage of a victim does not come easy. It is like being dragged in gravel while tied to a truck moving at 100 miles per hour. It is agonizing, harrowing, humiliating and can seem endless. Think of the sound of nails scratching sharply on a blackboard, a diamond needle scratching along the vinyl of a record album, and understand you have been tasked with hearing a story that should be disturbing to hear but is far nearly unendurable to tell. Please take your responsibility with the depth of gravity the children and adults deserve. 

For a victim the experience of telling the story is heart-rending and scarring and jarring and summoning that level of strength is nothing short of heroic. Children deserve better from our society by not having their stories ignored.

For children or parents of children who are being victimized, please come forward. Your time is now. You will be paving the way to a brighter future for yourself or your child. If you have lived in silence, don’t be afraid of your new reality. You are finally able to seek justice. Take the reins in your hand and ride with them.

There will never be light, just fewer less frightening shadows.

LM     

STATE V. DANIEL GREER DAY THREE

In the case of the State of Connecticut v. Daniel Greer the State presented the testimony of Lisa Melillo. Melillo is an expert in forensics interviews of victims of sexual abuse. Melillo discussed “delayed disclosure.” She testified that children have fear of not being believed or fear of family reaction or fear of getting into trouble. Children may not know that they are being abused, they don’t have sexual knowledge. Children have loyalty to their abuser and love their abuser. In most cases the children know their abuser well. There are very few cases of “stranger danger.” Most cases the sexual abuse occurs as part of a relationship with the abuser, separate from the abuse, it could be a family member. Children fear that they could suffer economic consequences, that their father will be thrown in jail, the family will be broken up, they will have no money. Melillo said children fear going into foster care if they report the abuse.

Melillo said teenage victims don’t perceive themselves as victims. They can be tricked into thinking that they are not being abused. They think that they are in a legitimate relationship. Males are socialized not to be victims. The stigma of homosexuality prevents victims from making a report.

Melillo testified that there is a power relationship that goes on with sexual abuse. The adult has more power over the child than the child has over the adult. We socialize children to obey adults, ie., police officers, teachers, etc… Children have the fear of punishment, or may even be threatened overtly by the abuser. The child perceives the adult as someone who can get them in trouble. The teaching method of “good touch bad touch” to teach children about abuse is no longer used by therapists. A bad touch can feel good to the child. The child is conflicted, as the body is responding in a pleasurable way.

Melillo testified that children “accommodate” the abuse by keeping it a secret. The children feel shame and embarrassment. They feel that they are damaged. Children try to protect themselves, everything will be OK if I just don’t tell. They protect themselves by maintaining a secret. Kids don’t have the resources to help themselves and they feel helpless and trapped. The kids feel they have to accommodate the relationship.

Melillo testified that after kids make a report they have a hard time trying to pin down the details of individual episodes, especially if the abuse has been going on for a long period of time. They may remember the first or last incident. If the abuse has been going on for years it is difficult for them to pin down times, dates and locations. Melillo testified that the children may share other activities with the adult. The sexual abuse may be one part of the relationship. The child also has positive interactions with the adult.

Willie the Dow cross examined Melillo. The Dow pointed out that she testified 36 times in Court, and in each case she testified for the State. Melillo said she would testify for the defense but no defense attorney ever asked her. The Dow pointed out that some people make false reports. The Dow asked Melillio whether the majority of Melillo’s 600 forensic interviews were with young children and not teenagers. Melillo said a large portion of her interviews are with adolescents and teenagers. The Dow obviously didn’t do his homework, he didn’t score any points. The Dow is down, its a bear market in the Goat stock exchange. The Dow pointed out to Melillo that she did not meet with the victim nor did she meet with the Goat. Why would anyone want to meet the Goat?

Melillo testified that the first sexual assault or sexual experience is the most memorable. The Dow asked her if someone left out crucial information in their report of their first assault whether that would that be important. The Dow tried to hammer Mirlis about the fact that in court he mentioned that the Goat touched his crotch on the first assault while in the police report Mirlis did not mention anything about the Goat touching his crotch. The Dow asked Melillo whether “leaving a crucial part about the crotch touch” was important. If this is the best defense that the Dow has for the Goat the State of Connecticut should start to get a jail cell ready for the Goat.

The Dow asked Melillo about whether the victim’s claim would be valid if the victim invited the abuser to a Christening or a bris, do you know what a bris is?” Melillo smiled and said she knew what a bris was and nodded her head. The Dow didn’t have to Dowsplain a bris, although I believe the Dow wanted to explain it to her and show off how educated he has become on Jewish customs.

The Dow made Melillo admit that some factors can be evidence of abuse while the same factors can be evidence of no abuse. Honoring the abuser or severing ties with the abuser can both be evidence of abuse. The Dow didn’t score any points with his cross examination.

Shira Mirlis was called up next to the witness stand by the State of Connecticut. She testified that she is the wife of Eli Mirlis, she has three kids, she went to seminary and then to Israel. Her relationship evolved very quickly with Eli when she met Eli in Israel. Shira testified that Eli told her that he was molested by a “rabbi” when she first met him in 2005. He said he was “molested by the rabbi of the yeshiva of new haven, he was crying when he said this.”

Shira testified that the day Eli was supposed to go back to the United States with Shira he got a call that his father had passed away. Eli was devastated and was very worried about his siblings. Eli was 18 and Shira was 19. Eli was the oldest of six other siblings. Eli and Shira went to the United States and went to the funeral and Eli sat shiva. The goat was at the funeral and may have been at the shiva. After 30 days there was shloshim. Shira was not present at the shloshim. Shira testified that Eli was very protective of his siblings during the thirty days before shloshim.

Shira testified that in 2007 she and Eli got engaged and planned a December wedding, on December 16th. The summer that Eli’s father died the Goat called Eli and said he wanted to meet him to discuss something. The Goat told Eli to meet him at the Branford Motel. Eli told Shira that he wasn’t sure what the Goat wanted. Eli assured Shira that he wasn’t going to let anything happen to him when he was with the goat. After Eli went to the hotel Eli called Shira and asked her to come to the Branford Motel, after the Goat had left. When she talked to him she knew something happened between the Goat and Eli, she could tell by the sound of his voice. Shira went to the Motel and Eli was crying and told her something had happened. Eli didn’t want to discuss the details about what happened between him and the Goat. Shira said Eli had sexual activity with the Goat at the motel and Eli was upset and regretted it. Shira wanted to be supportive of Eli and didn’t press him on all the details. Shira didn’t want Eli to go to the motel with the Goat in the first place.

Shira testified that the Goat was at her wedding, he signed the marriage contract, the ketuba, but she didn’t see him sign it. Shira testified that there were 400 people at her wedding. She said she had no interaction with the Goat. She said that there was a mechitza in the wedding hall, separating the men from the women. She testified that the men dance with the men and the women dance with the women at a Jewish wedding. She testified that she didn’t trust Daniel Greer. She said that she kept a close eye on Eli when he interacted with the Goat. She said she didn’t understand the relationship between Eli and the Goat but she dealt with it the best she could.

Shira testified that she had a sheva brachot, a party after the wedding, at Avi Hack’s house in New Haven. Larry Noodles was at this sheva brachot in December of 2007. Nobody called me to the witness stand. If I was called to the witness stand I would attest that the Goat stopped in the sheva brachot for about two minutes and left. I found it strange that the Goat didn’t stay as I knew Mirlis was a former student. I would think that the Goat would want to stay at the party as he was Eli’s rabbi. I didn’t know Eli at the time. I was asked to attend the party because they needed a minyan for the sheva brachot, and Avi couldn’t scrounge together enough people in the community to come by to make the minyan. Some of Eli’s friends from the goat high school were there.

Shira testified that after she got married she went to New Haven during the Jewish holidays and occasionally on Shabbos. She testified that she fought with Eli about going to New Haven. She said she “couldn’t look at” the Goat. Shira testified that she almost died giving birth to her first son, she hemorrhaged. Shira was in the hospital. She didn’t realize that Eli chose the goat as the sandek and Dov as the mohel. Shira was very upset that Eli chose Dov and the goat to be part of the bris. She knew that the Goat paid for the bris so she went along with it. She said that Eli was making very little money at the time. They were both about 20 years old. She didn’t like the goat holding her son. Shira testified that she had two miscarriages before her son was born, and she didn’t want the goat to touch her son, after all she went through to have a baby. Why is it so easy for rich old Goats to manipulate young people with no money?

Shira testified that Eli eventually told her the gory details of his relationship with the Goat. She said that the Goat and Eli look normal in public. She said Eli told her that “he didn’t like the goat going into him, and mostly the Goat gave him head but when he gave the goat head he wouldn’t let the goat cum in his mouth.” She had a very sick and disgusted look on her face when she explained this to the jury. She said that Ele cried when he told her these details.

The Dow cross examined Shira. The Dow asked Shira why she didn’t want “Dove” Greer involved in the bris. Shira corrected the Dow and said “Dov” Greer not “Dove.” The Dow said there is “Ezi, is that how you pronounce it, and the Hack, and the operation, you know what I am talking about.” The Dow asked Shira if the Jewish community all ate at the same kosher stores, all went to the same shuls and was not unlike another “ethnic community, such as Wooster Square, St. Michael’s Church, Pepe’s Pizza, you know what I am talking about?” Shira looked at the Dow as if he was from planet Mars.

At one point during the cross examination of Shira the Goat pulled the Dow aside and they had a little sidebar whisper conference at counsel’s table. After they finished the Judge asked whether there was any other issues the Dow wanted to raise. Willie the Dow told Judge Alander that he wanted to read a passage of St Paul from the Corinthians. The Judge asked the Dow how that would be relevant. The Goat looked angry. I can’t believe that the Goat requested that his Attorney read a passage from the Corinthians. The Goat would never allow a copy of the Corinthians in his Goat shul.

The Goat is not losing his religion. Even though I had reported that Willie the Dow told Judge Alander that the Goat had surgery scheduled on September 30th, which falls on Rosh Hashana. I heard wrong. The Dow wanted to introduce medical records of the Goat’s prior hernia operation which was on September 30th of some year, which may not have been on Rosh Hashana.

The Dow asked Shira whether she ever told Eli to report the Goat to the police. Shira said she always told Eli to report the Goat to the police. The Dow asked Shira whether she knew that there was a police department in Lakewood, where she lived at the time. The state objected. Objection SUSTAINED

The Dow asked whether Shira ate at the Goat house when she came to New Haven after 2008. Shira interjected that she “RARELY” went to the Goat’s house for meals. The look on her face is one of revulsion when she talks about the Goat. She is very convincing. The jury was riveted by her testimony.

The Dow introduced a copy of the Gan Gathering ad book, showing the ad placed by Mirlis. The Gan gatherings were fundraising dinners that the Goat had every year. I went to many of these gatherings. I have been looking for old ad books for historical purposes, if you have any drop me a line. The Dow asked Shira whether she ever placed an ad on the Gan’s ad book for their “annual anniversary event.” They were fundraising events not “anniversary events.” The Dow is down another 100 points on the world markets.

The State called Dr. Gabriel Fagan, an expert on Orthodox Jewish child molesters, to the witness stand. Fagan graduated from John Jay University and Yeshiva University. Dr. Fagan testified that he works with victims of child abuse as well as perpetrators of abuse, and provides counseling. Dr. Fagan was dressed in black pants, a white shirt, a black jacket, a long brown beard, glasses and a black velvet yarmulke. Dr. Fagan stated that he has testified in a Jewish rabbinical court but never in secular court. The State’s attorney said to Fagan, “Obviously you’re Jewish…” Dr. Fagan interjected, “most people think I am Amish.”

Willie the Dow introduced himself to Fagan before the Court proceedings in the bleachers. The Dow asked Fagan whether he knew what New Haven was famous for. Fagan shook his head. The Dow told him that New Haven was famous for its pizza. The Dow told Fagan that “you people should get out more you would like the pizza.”

Fagan testified that not all Orthodox Jews have beards, he said some don’t have beards for business purposes, others for hygeine purposes. Some see it as law or a common custom. He said most Orthodox Jews wear black jackets and white shirts, as they are very “fashionable.” Some people in the courtroom laughed. Fagan said his clothing is simple, and related to issues of modesty.

Dr. Fagan testified about Orthodox schools and why the sexes are separated. He said that most Orthodox Jews won’t date prior to marraige. There is a strong culture not to engage in pre-marital sex. When you put a bunch of teenagers together there is a risk of pre-marital sex that could lead to mixed dancing. I added the mixed dancing. Fagan didn’t mention mixed dancing.

Fagan said boys and girls learn differently which is a good reason to keep them separated for educational purposes. He said this is a well accepted custom for thousands of years, and Jewish law. He said that the difference between the Orthodox and the non Orthodox is the acceptance of the oral law. There is a way to do everything from the time you wake up until the time you go to sleep. There are 613 commandments, that are expanded on in the oral law, which covers marriage, monetary laws, weddings, bris. The Torah is seen as a blueprint on orthodox life, with the oral law providing additional explanation and commentaries on the meaning of all the laws. The laws apply from the day you are born until the day you die. For Orthodox Jews everything involves community, men need to pray three times a day, they need a quorum of ten individuals, you are always involved in the community, for a school you need a community. You have civic patrols that work with police, you have the EMTs, women who help other women who give birth, when you are sick there are communal institutions that help you, this is what it means to be an Orthodox Jew. The community is extremely central to Orthodox Jewish practice. The Rabbi is the master of ceremonies, in smaller communities a rabbi and his Rebbetzin will be the quarterback for everything in the community. Dr. Fagan testified that without the rabbi in the community there would be chaos. You need rabbis to serve as the conduit as to religious information and guidance.

Dr. Fagan has little coke bottle glasses and speaks quickly with a New Yawk accent. Fagan reminded me of Woody Allen in his rabbi costume in Anne Hall. Dr. Fagan testified that the Orthodox Jewish community has been about ten to fifteen years behind the secular world with regard to issues of sexual abuse in the Jewish community, but today many Jews have written books, formed organizations, and have addressed this issue. Faga said he was aware of these issues in 2002 because he was in the Jewish community as he grew up Orthodox. Formal sex ed was not done in 2002-2003, the time Mirlis alleged that he was raped by the Goat. Fagan said his parents were very open minded and he received information from his parents about the ‘birds and the bees’ as a youngster. He said not as many Orthodox Jewish parents were as open minded.

Fagan said he advises parents that their kids are going to learn about sex one way or another, its better that they learn from their parents rather than someone else Dr. Fagan testified that most Orthodox Jews don’t have televisions and they filter the internet. Jews are highly segregated and not exposed to sexual issues. Jews don’t even have the words to use to speak about sexual topics. There is not even a Yiddish word for sexual abuse.

Dr. Fagan testified that the topic of his PhD dissertation was the issue of why victims did not come forward for a long period of time after abuse. Dr Fagan stated that there is a Yiddish word for the backside, the “tuchos” and most parents use the words “front tushie” and “back tushie” but there are no words for penis or vagina. If children don’t know these words they don’t know that they are being abused if they are touched in this part of their bodies.

Fagan testified that there is a strong focus against “gossip mongering” in the Jewish world. If you speak evil of others you can violate 8-12 commandments. It is inculcated from early on not to speak evil or make accusations against others. Even in kindergarten it is taught not to talk about others, even if someone steals your blocks, you are not supposed to tell the teacher who stole your blocks.

Dr. Fagan testified about how Rabbis are given the highest honor and respect in the Jewish community. The Rabbis are your teachers and as you get older, such as in high school, you may spend 16 hours a day in school. They are your mentors, your guides and teachers, more so than your own parents. Rabbis are part of the connection of chain of events to the Jewish religion, throughout their lives.

Dr. Fagan testified that religious and spiritual conflicts are amplified when the student is abused by a Rabbi who they are close to. The trust is violated. Trust is a central theme in life from the time you are a baby. The relationship between student and rabbi is based on trust, there is reverence, an expectation that this person has additional knowledge to help them in life, when this trust is violated and rocked, the trust gets eroded. A victim is going to have a hard time in social groups, to engage in romantic relationships. If you can’t trust your partner it is difficult to function in a relationship, there is jealousy. Betrayal is another common problem, a crisis of faith, an individual who is part of the community and has a family, and then you have someone who represents that religion and spirituality, it makes the victim question the entire religion. The sense of betrayal comes not just from the person who violated the trust but also a betrayal from God.

Dr. Fagan testified that if someone who is running the place is stealing your wallet, who do you tell? If the Rabbi is running the place and he molests who do you report it to? The dynamic of traumatic sexualization gets amplified. If you have your first sexual encounter in not a typical way, if your first exposure to sexuality is experienced as “icky” or “yukky” it can lead to problems, sexual acting out, excessive pornography. Because masturbation is frowned upon in Jewish world, someone may struggle with sexual self control, he may engage in prostitutes, pornography, etc…

Dr. Fagan testified that in 2006 there was nothing public in the Jewish world on sexual abuse. The first victims who came out felt alone, they felt they were the only ones who were victimized, they got shamed by the community. Victim shaming. If someone came out their entire family was deemed undesirable for marriage. It would effect marriagability. With sexual abuse there is a fear of being seen as “used goods” that people don’t want to talk about.

Fagan testified that a child who is abused will not run away, our brains are like swiss cheese, we look at the good and try not to look at the bad, to justify staying in the house. The Goat did not look happy during this part of the testimony, he pulled the Dow aside, the Dow objected and asked that the testimony be striken. Dow’s Motion to strike testimony DENIED

The Dow cross examined Dr. Fagan. The Dow said that Orthodox communities are not all the same, they may be different whether you are in Passiac or in Crown Heights. The Goat didn’t look happy watching a fellow Orthodox Jew rat him out on the witness stand, spreading loshen hora. Fagan is worse than Larry Noodles! Dr. Fagan told the Dow that most Orthodox schools don’t allow radios, but if they do it is only AM radio rather than FM radio, so they can listen to the Yankees.

The Dow asked Dr. Fagan about rabbinical court. The Dow asked whether Jews are supposed to go to Rabbinical court. The Dow implied that Mirlis was somehow deficient because he didn’t go to a rabbinical court to report abuse, and he went to secular court instead. Nobody in the Jewish world today goes to rabbinical court in order to report sexual abuse.

During the break I spoke with Dr. Fagan. I asked him where he lived. He said he lived in Woodmere, New York. I asked him whether he knew Dov Greer, who lived not too far from Woodmere. Fagan said he never heard of Dov Greer. I pointed to the Goat and said that Dov was his son. The Goat heard our conversation and looked at Fagan to see whether Fagan knew Dov. The Goat hasn’t seen his children in a couple of years. The Goat burned that bridge down a long time ago.

We’re marching on, from the Criminal Court at 235 Church Street, New Haven, on to a conviction without a reasonable doubt, to the outer edges of the flat earth, we’re marching bitterly, goat cliff after goat cliff we are conquering! Yechi Noodles! Moshiach Now!

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