60 Hours/1Million Dollars – How much Cash is Trading Hands in Satmar Shuls Today?

THIS BROKERS NO COMMENT EXCEPT…

The Satmar living in Kiryas Joel, New York, are supposedly among the most impoverished in the State of New York, if not the country. The Satmar as a community boasts billions in assets under management (though admittedly there are allegedly 2 warring factions). 

They are now trying to raise $1 MILLION DOLLARS to fund legislation that would reduce criminal sentencing, oversight, prosecution, etc. Basically, they are trying to raise money to decriminalize, so the crimes committed within the community will not be prosecuted, and if prosecuted, will go unpunished. And they are donating in cash, at least in part (see the cash on the table) making the money largely untraceable.

This is unmitigated “chutzpah” to put it kindly. 

prison reform money

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Legislation to Legalize Marijuana in NJ – YWN Coverage?

download (2)MARIJUANA COVERAGE IN YESHIVA WORLD NEWS, SPEAKS VOLUMES ABOUT OUR THEORY…

Why would the Yeshiva World News be interested in the Legalization of Marijuana in New Jersey unless there were something to be gained by the community it covers? It would make sense if they know who will be joining the commission in New Jersey (see in red below). It would make more sense if they had an inside track into the course legalization is taking. It however would be inconsistent, simply put, with the rest of their coverage.

Over the last few days, we have OPINED that New York is going to be quick to legalize marijuana and the ultra-Orthodox, in particular the Satmar community, are simply counting the minutes. We believe the publication of articles like the one below, dated November 22, 2018, speaks volumes to the interest of the community. 

New Jersey, according to sources close to us, already has an active secondary market for cannabis licenses and the current holders for medical marijuana purposes are buying and selling into and out of their corporate structures on a regular basis. New York has much to be gained if the State beats NJ to the punch, as do those already invested in the business. It is like investing in the futures market, particularly if you have inside information into the future.

CONTINUING COVERAGE…

NJ Lawmakers Unveil Legislation Legalizing Marijuana

New Jersey lawmakers on Wednesday unveiled their latest proposal to legalize recreational marijuana for people 21 and over.

A joint Democrat-led Assembly and Senate committee is expected to discuss the measures Monday.

It’s the latest draft in a long-running effort to legalize recreational cannabis in New Jersey, where despite support from Democratic leaders, including Gov. Phil Murphy, the effort has stalled.

The measure allows for legalizing an ounce of marijuana for adults 21 and older — similar to previous drafts.

Changes in the new bill include a 12 percent tax rate on cannabis. Previous version of the bill included a phased-in rate that climbed from 7 percent to 25 percent.

The 12 percent rate includes the 6.625 percent sales tax, according to the draft released Wednesday. The proposal also permits local governments to apply up to a 2 percent tax on cannabis.

The measure also sets up a five-person cannabis commission charged with regulating the substance.

The members would be full time and receive a $125,000 per year salary, while the chairman would get up to $141,000 annually.

The members would serve for five-year terms and would be appointed by the governor, with approval from the state Senate. Two members would be appointed on the recommendation of the Senate president and Assembly speaker.

To read the remainder of the article click here.

Human Rights Versus Kosher Eateries and Kosher Police – Holding Restaurants Hostage – Kosher Certification Mafia

Comic Leah Forster initially scheduled a New Year’s Eve event at Brooklyn’s Garden of Eat-In in Flatbush, Brooklyn.

NYC kosher cops force restaurants to cancel bookings of lesbian Jewish comic

 

It may be kosher — but it’s not right.

 

A popular Jewish comic from Brooklyn was booted from two different eateries because the local kosher police threatened to yank their religious stamp of approval on the food if a lesbian performed there.

 

Leah Forster, 36, whose stand-up schtick features the insular Orthodox world she grew up in, had planned to hold a New Year’s Eve bash in her Brooklyn neighborhood — but both owners canceled once the “Kosher Nostra” put on the squeeze.

 

Forster’s life as a Jewish lesbian isn’t part of her act, but rabbis from the Vaad Harabanim of Flatbush, the kosher certification organization, still decided hosting her event would be a violation of Torah law.

Now the eateries may face pressure from a different front. The city’s Commission on Human Rights told Forster they may probe the alleged discrimination, she said.

Forster, a big hit on Instagram, first booked her New Year’s Eve event at Brooklyn’s Garden of Eat-In in Flatbush.

She sold 20 tickets at $80 a pop last month — and was excited about performing at one of her favorite restaurants, she said.

But two days after she announced the event online, Chaim Kirshner, the restaurant’s owner, said he was forced to back out by the Flatbush Vaad.

“(The rabbi) said that you’re a lesbian, and you represent that, and we can’t let this go on,” Kirshner told Forster in a phone call that she recorded and shared with the Daily News.

Kirshner said that he has nothing against the LGBT community and “doesn’t care” who hosts events at the restaurant.

 

But losing his kosher certification would kill his business, Kirshner added.

 

“They operate like the mafia,” Forster said. “If they pull your hechsher (kosher certification), you are screwed. They tell other places not to give you a hechsher.”

Kirshner was not available when The News visited the Garden of Eat-In on Sunday.

Forster was ready to give up and stick to secular gigs where her sexual orientation would not be an issue.

 

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Satmar and Rubashkin – $1M, 60 Hours – Prison Reform – White Collar Criminal Reform, A Brazenness – PAY ATTENTION

Rubashking and Prison Reform

TRANSLATION: Rubashkin in Favor of Prison Reform….

Gee, does anyone wonder why? 

To the Members of the US Senate:

You are going to be asked to support a bill, in one form or another with the aim of reducing white collar criminal prosecutions, reducing sentencing requirements, changing the way these cases are viewed, a work currently in progress. It is being supported by the Satmar community.  

We, the non-ultra-Orthodox people of the United States and the ones who are most harmed by these crimes, ask that you NOT make crime easier to commit, but that you tamp down on prosecutions, that you make the penalties greater and that the incarceration times are longer. We believe that these crimes don’t just harm people, they harm markets and investors and investments and a trust in the system. These crimes destabilize, people and the economy.

LM 

Rebe Aron Glick Raising $1M in 60 Hours to Reduce Criminal Accountability, Satmar Initiative…

1M raise

Satmar Raising Money to Pass a Bill to Reduce Accountability, Brazen?

The Satmar community is currently trying to raise $1M in 60 hours to fund spearheading a campaign in the US Senate to reduce criminal accountability for white collar crime.

One of the people whose picture appears in the documentation regarding this effort is Rubashkin, pardoned by President Trump. We really do have no words to describe the brazenness of this effort. 

Please readers… pay attention.

Nursing Homes Requesting Waivers so they Can Provide Substandard Care? Victimizing the Elderly

shlomorally-3

 

More Than Half Of California Nursing Homes Balk At Stricter Staffing Rules

More than half of California’s nursing homes are asking to be exempted from new state regulations that would require them to spend more time directly caring for their patients.

The state’s new staffing requirements for nursing homes, quietly passed in last year’s budget bill, seem universally unpopular. Patient advocates say the new regulations don’t go far enough and that residents remain at risk in poorly staffed homes. Nursing home operators say they can’t hire enough staff to comply.

Under the new rules, which took effect in July but haven’t yet been enforced, skilled nursing facilities must provide at least 3.5 hours of direct care per resident per day, up from 3.2 hours of care previously. That care can range from inserting a feeding tube to changing an adult diaper or helping residents with eating and bathing.

The California Department of Public Health, which oversees nursing homes, is expected to announce in late January which — if any — facilities it will exempt from the new regulations. But some patient advocates don’t like the nursing homes’ balking.

 

“We’re appalled by the waiver system. It’s sending the worst possible message to California nursing homes that it’s OK to staff at levels that endanger residents,” said Mike Connors of California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform, a consumer advocacy group.

(Check to see which California nursing homes have applied for workforce shortage waivers here and here.)

Researchers have strongly linked more nursing staff with better care, with some experts recommending from 3.8 to 4.1 hours of care per patient per day as a bare minimum for quality nursing home care. Having enough staff helps prevent falls, pressure sores and other problems that can land fragile seniors in the hospital.

A recent Kaiser Health News investigation found that for years nursing homes nationwide overstated staffing to the federal government. Now, nursing homes are required to report actual payroll records to remain eligible for Medicare and Medicaid payments.

During the first three months of 2018, 58 percent of California’s skilled nursing facilities averaged at least 3.5 hours of patient care a day, according to a Kaiser Health News analysis of payroll records submitted to the federal government. That rose to 76 percent when including nursing homes where administrators also were counted.

Continue reading

“Kosher Marijuana” and New York – Who’s Making a Play? MTA, a Stoned and Very Happy Passenger….

money and pot

THE MONEY IN RECREATIONAL MARIJUANA, ROCKLAND COUNTY, NEW YORK AND KOSHER CANNABIS…

On May 3, 2018, we cited to sources in Rockland County, New York that told us there is soon to be a “medical marijuana” dispensary opening in the County. The address, while within walking distance of a Clarkstown Central School District grammar school, is a fairly central location with easy access from Clarkstown’s main roadways. 

Further investigation revealed that the State of New York’s worst kept secret is the soon-to-be legalized recreational marijuana. Our sources in the business have stated that facilities with currently existing medical marijuana licenses will have their hands on a gold-mine once recreational marijuana is legalized because they will already have been licensed, bonds in place, fees paid. At least five of the current medical marijuana licensed facilities are already open in the State, with the five newest additions soon to be opened. But once recreational marijuana is legal, even the newest members of the license-holder’s club will have an asset that is worth a fortune, an already existing license, even if they do not actually open a dispensary before marijuana is legalized.

It is our understanding that to get on the next list of licensees requires not only the usual bells and whistles, $200,000 fee, established dispensary and growing facility and a bond to be banked for exposure purposes, but those with the closest personal connections to Governor Cuomo are going to make it to the shortlist first. Isn’t that the way politics always works?

The licenses cannot be sold, at least presently, on a secondary market. However, the companies holding those licenses can be bought and sold and since there is little regulatory oversight at this time, there are very few checks upon changes in command and control. Moreover, the currently licensed companies can accept new members, which don’t necessarily have to be individuals but can be shell LLC’s.

The following article, which we missed during our many distractions of the previous week, illustrates the magnitude of the finances involved. 

While we do not believe that marijuana must be kosher, that nonsense is almost laughable, it is certainly a creative argument to be made for giving Governor Cuomo reason to assuage the fury of some of his allies who may be angry with him for his recent decisions on education and vaccination requirements.

See the following New York Post Article:

Money from marijuana legalization could fix MTA: report

An NYU think tank is high on fixing the cash-strapped Metropolitan Transportation Authority.

A new report out Wednesday by the Rudin Center for Transportation Policy and Management urges the statewide legalization of recreational marijuana — in order to get more green into mass transit.

“No new revenue source can match a tax on weed, ” Mitchell Moss, director of the Rudin Center, asserted to The Post. “New Yorkers deserve a subway system that is as productive as they are. It is time for New York to legalize and tax cannabis — and to designate the revenues for mass transit.”

A potential tax imposed on marijuana — if pot becomes legalized in New York — “would provide a way for the MTA to address many of their operating and capital requirements,” the center said.

Marijuana is currently legal for adult recreational use in 10 states, plus Washington, DC.

The report, citing BDS Analytics — a leading source for cannabis industry data — says the legal pot industry in North America reached $9.2 billion in 2017 and “is projected to generate $47.3 billion over the next decade.”

“This report argues that the subways need a dedicated revenue source with the potential for growth in future decades — one that does not divert funds from other public services, and that has yet to be tapped by the state and local government,” the paper reads.

Several states, including Colorado, Washington and Oregon, have already reported “higher-than-expected tax revenues” from the legalization of marijuana, the report notes

The state Health Department has already backed the legalization of recreational cannabis.

In July, the department released a report saying that legal marijuana sales could generate between $248.1 million and $677.7 million in revenue for the state in the first year alone.

 

Happy Chanukah, Shedding Light, Some History and a Request

download.lights

Our Impetus, Lawsuit Updates/GoFundMe,

Happy Chanukah and the Many Thanks We Owe

LM, 12.5.18

Spotlight shed light on the sexual abuse within the Catholic community. For the efforts of the Journalists involved, worlds changed and a movie was made. Nuchem Rosenberg shed light on child sexual abuse within the ultra-Orthodox community. For his efforts, acid was thrown in his face. Little has changed. New York has remained steadfast in not increasing its Statute of Limitations for reporting abuse and those who report are shunned from their communities. The subject of the epidemic levels of child sexual abuse within the ultra-Orthodox community was, in part, an impetus for this blog.

East Ramapo Central School District was one of the best districts in the country many years back; and in 2016 was one of the worst. Many of the ultra-Orthodox children living in Ramapo do not attain even a basic level of core subjects like maths and science. They speak more Yiddish than they do English and many cannot formulate sentences in English. They are therefore either hostages to their communities or they are compelled to wander “off the derech.” The kids struggle to find a place in a world that, even at its best, requires courage and fortitude to survive. Their stories were yet another reason for starting this blog. One has to wonder, why is it so important to remain in the dark ages? Would it  not make sense to educate, beyond rabbinical scriptures or Torah teachings? One need not exclude the other. A balance must be struck if there is to be dual survival, a civil and religious society.  

And then there was fraud, inexplicable wealth, a lack of transparency, police corruption, political corruption, so rampant in many ultra-Orthodox communities (not all) in Israel and the US, as well as other countries like England, Australia, the DRC. It seems so obvious when you look at a family, any family that one day uses food stamps to pay for food and the next travels to Israel on Business Class on El-Al, something must be off. It does not take a rocket scientist to start asking questions. 

That all roads led back to the ultra-Orthodox community when this blog started in 2016 was by chance. Certainly someone was going to say something? But who really wants to ask those questions when the initial response is to toss out the term anti-Semite or self-hating Jew; and the secondary response is threats of harm or lawsuits?

The largest archive of information focused directly on this subject was published by Failed Messiah, a ten-year endeavor by a single blogger. Much of that archive has been deleted or overwritten, electronically erased,  a tragedy for the library of Rosenberg’s work. Failed Messiah’s author is rumored to have been paid to shut down the site. We have neither any contact with him nor have we been told the whole story from any reliable source. So we can’t say for sure. But his efforts were remarkable.  

It is our goal to continue to shed light on the subjects we have covered over the last two and one-half years. We cannot thank our contributors enough. We could not be more grateful to our readers; and we owe thanks to those who have assisted in providing research. 

At this time of  the Festival of Lights, 8 fed from the oil of 1, we ask you to consider whether this site is of importance to you. If so, can you commit to assisting us in our efforts.

The link is a GoFundMe page we have set up to assist in paying for a legal battle against a multi-billion dollar Satmar connected family.  The information about the suit can be found within the content of the link. We could use the support of our readers. Your anonymity is protected if you so choose.

Bullying, then Sealing Bloggers to Silence, Freedom of Speech and Press Slippery Slope… From here to Khashoggi

LOST MESSIAH BLOGGER UPDATE

Note to Reader:

Between the airing of this news report and this morning, we have received numerous warnings from readers, contributors and friends regarding the safety of our blogger. In pertinent part, we have been told that going forward was a suicidal move, that we should be very careful and that we may want to consider obtaining extra security.

Is this the way the world really works? Stay quiet and behave like sheep, the Satmar way, or risk life and limb to expose the abuses of a system of laws and moral standards? Should all of humanity really be forced into silence by fear of retribution, costly litigation or death? Where then are we as a society that values free speech?

Is it not a slippery slope into silence by fear and bullying to all bloggers, journalists and defiant members of the groups we expose? It is for those last that we remain steadfast. We have been accused of “ruining lives for sport.” But what about the lives of the people, victims to a culture of silence? Is using the courts and judicial systems as a weapon to silence bloggers not a far worse form of sport. We do not do this for financial gain. The attorneys handling cases like this one are likely not working pro bono

This morning at 10:30 am at the Kings County Courthouse, Adams Street, Brooklyn, New York. the matter of sealing of the records was argued. But before entering the Courtroom, everyone was required to turn in their telephones. The Judge provided an explanation, in pertinent part she stated that it was to avoid publicizing an unofficial record of the hearing. It should be noted that pending a decision, the record in full remains under seal. A decision could be immediate or delayed. Until then, darkness.

In honor of Chanukah – the holiday of lights – we wish our readers, our contributors, the Jewish world at large, a very Happy Chanukah. We wish to shine a bright light on the community, our beloved Jewish community, and to embolden those too afraid to speak out. 

We have been and  remain eternally grateful to the contributions of our readers and others. 

 

https://www.nbcnewyork.com/investigations/Rockland-County-Blogger-Reveals-Herself-Amid-Court-Battle-501917552.html

I-Team: NY Blogger Unmasked and Sued for Libel Wants Court Case Public

WHAT TO KNOW

  • Julie Globus is publicly identifying herself as the anonymous blogger who’d been writing under the name LostMessiah

  • The Rockland County woman had been seeking to “uncover crimes, misdeeds and abuses within segments of the Jewish community”

  • Now she’s facing a libel lawsuit, being accused of defamation. But she wants the case file unsealed

Julie Globus is now owning the name: LostMessiah.

For two and a half years, the Rockland County resident — a wife, mother and attorney — wrote an anonymous blog under that name. The blog’s stated purpose: “To uncover crimes, misdeeds and abuses within segments of the Jewish community in the hopes of effectuating change.”

In an exclusive interview, Globus told the I-Team she had two separate focuses: “One was on the ultra-Orthodox community, and the money — where it was coming and going? And I was focusing on sexual abuse. I think there is a need to hold myself and others within that religious community accountable.”

Globus said she wanted to remain anonymous to protect her family.”“The subject matter that I was touching on was really dangerous stuff, like police corruption. Russian diamond smuggling.”

But now, the 48-year-old has been outed and she wants it to be on her terms.

………

Months before the suit was filed, a state Supreme Court Justice in Brooklyn, Wavny Toussaint, had already ruled that one of the articles was false, and ordered the host blog site WordPress not only to take it down, but also to release LostMessiah’s personal information.

Said Globus’ attorney, Henry Kaufman,  “She didn’t have any chance to defend her article before it was taken down by order of the court without having heard our side.”

The lead attorney for the plaintiffs, Anthony Genovesi Jr., asked the court to seal many of the court documents to “avoid re-victimizing my clients by perpetuating the harmful falsehoods.” That request was preliminarily granted pending further hearing.

He said in a statement, “My clients are victims of cowardly, anonymously published falsehoods. The defamation lawsuit is an effort to hold the responsible parties accountable.”

In court papers, Genovesi labels Globus an “internet troll” who “publishes lies on the internet with the sole intention of ruining lives for sport.”

Globus said she can’t talk specifically about the alleged defamation, except to say that she relied on what to her were reliable sources. She now wants the case file unsealed. 

“It puts us all in darkness. It’s a slippery slope, how far can you go to start sealing records of things,” she said.

To read the remainder of the article and for video coverage, click here.

Reichberg – It’s a Dog-Eat-Dog, No… a Brother-Eat-Brother World Out There…

rechnitz

THE NEW YORK POST

NYPD corruption trial gets new twist

Moshe has been granted immunity to testify, the filing said.

On Monday, the defense also played wiretaps It’s brother vs. brother in an NYPD bribe case unfolding in Manhattan federal court.

Mayor Bill de Blasio donor Jeremy Reichberg, who stands accused of bribing NYPD cops, will be facing off against his brother, Moshe Reichberg, according to a new court filing.

Prosecutors plan to call Moshe to testify as early as this week about his Borough Park police-liaison sibling’s alleged efforts to keep evidence from the FBI, the court filing said.

In addition to being charged with bribing cops, Reichberg faces one count of obstruction of justice because feds say he asked Moshe to remove incriminating evidence about his bribery scheme from his house, including business cards of high-ranking officers, documents and electronic devices.showing the government’s key witness, Jona Rechnitz, growing increasingly panicked as city and federal investigators began circling the wagons on his financial shenanigans, which led to their bribery probe.

“I hear a helicopter, I hear an ambulance, I wake up,” Rechnitz told his dad in one call.

Rechnitz – Desperate Times Call for Desperate Measures, And this is the Trustworthy Informant?

THE NEW YORK POST

De Blasio donor admits to privately bashing mayor at NYPD corruption trial

Even as he was getting cozy with the mayor publicly, he was criticizing him privately.

Mayor de Blasio donor Jona Rechnitz admitted at trial on Tuesday that he once sent his friends a photo of himself and Hizzoner with the caption “desperate times call for desperate measures.”

Rechnitz admitted to the snarky comment at the trial of Jeremy Reichberg, who is accused of teaming up with Rechnitz to bribe high-ranking NYPD cops.

Reichberg’s lawyer raised the insult in an effort to raise doubts about Rechnitz’s claims that he had grown close to Hizzoner after he and Reichberg raised big money for de Blasio’s 2013 election.

Rechnitz insisted, however, that his donations and other fundraising bought him and Reichberg special privileges that other New Yorkers couldn’t get, including the mayor’s ear on issues.

“I got access. I got a very quick ­response. If you look at some of the ­e-mails, you see he responds within minutes,” Rechnitz said.

Reichberg is on trial for corrupting cops, including his co-defendant, ex-NYPD Deputy Inspector James Grant. Reichberg has not been charged with bribing or attempting to bribe public officials, but Rechnitz testified to it anyway.

Yeshiva Children, Subpar Education? Perhaps in NY There Will be an Answer

Nuftali Moster founded Young Advocates for Fair Education, the group that sued the city’s Department of Education in a push for more secular instruction in yeshivas. Credit: Bryan Thomas for The New York Times

Do Children Get a Subpar Education in Yeshivas? New York Says It Will Finally Find Out

In parts of New York City, there are students who can barely read and write in English and have not been taught that dinosaurs once roamed Earth or that the Civil War occurred.

Some of them are in their last year of high school.

That is the claim made by a group of graduates from ultra-Orthodox Jewish private schools called yeshivas, and they say that startling situation has been commonplace for decades.

Over three years ago, Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration opened an investigation into a lack of secular education at yeshivas that serve about 57,000 students in the city, but the probe essentially stalled almost as soon as it began. The reason, advocates say, is the city’s politicians, including the mayor, are fearful of angering the Orthodox Jewish community that represents a crucial voting bloc in major elections.

Then the state stepped in with the most significant action yet in the probe. MaryEllen Elia, the state education commissioner, released updated ruleson Nov. 20 dictating how nonpublic schools like yeshivas are regulated and what students in those schools should learn, with consequences for schools that do not comply.

The guidance could force yeshivas to change how they operate and what they teach. It will also hold Mr. de Blasio’s feet to the fire, as his administration is forced to ramp up its investigation into the schools.

“There’s no time to waste,” said Naftuli Moster, the founder of Young Advocates for Fair Education, which pushes for more secular instruction in yeshivas. “New York City has already been dragging its feet for three years.”

The city’s yeshiva probe began in 2015, after Mr. Moster’s group filed a complaint claiming that scores of students — boys, in particular — graduate from ultra-Orthodox yeshivas unprepared for work or higher education, with little exposure to nonreligious classes like science and history. Instead, some yeshiva graduates say, students spend most school days studying Jewish texts. Younger boys sometimes attend about 90 minutes of nonreligious classes at the end of the day, a city report found.

A coalition of prominent ultra-Orthodox rabbis and community members have accused critics of yeshivas of attacking religious freedoms.

“This is a smear campaign against our community and what it stands for,” said David Niederman, a rabbi and the president of the United Jewish Organizations of Williamsburg. “If some people are not happy with what they are taught, it is up to them to take action.”

Avi Schick, a lawyer for Parents for Educational and Religious Liberty in Schools, a group formed after the 2015 investigation was opened, said, “The intrusive set of requirements imposed by the state demolishes the wall between church and state that politicians have hid behind for decades.”

This past summer, the organization, known as Pearls, handed out 10,000 posters and bumper stickers emblazoned with the hashtag #ProtectYeshivas to parents of children in Orthodox Jewish schools.

The state’s guidance places the burden of investigating the schools on Mr. de Blasio’s administration.

City officials are now required to visit all nonpublic schools by the end of 2021 — which will coincide with the end of Mr. de Blasio’s second term — and visit each school every five years after that. If officials find that the schools are not providing an education that is “substantially equivalent” to what public schools offer, the city can give schools more time and resources to add secular teaching. If that does not work, the city can withhold some funding it provides private schools.

In an interview, the city schools chancellor, Richard A. Carranza, said that he had requested training for Department of Education employees who will visit the schools, and that he would prioritize visits to a half-dozen yeshivas he claimed have barred city officials from entry. After that, he plans to send staffers to several dozen other yeshivas that were listed on the 2015 complaint as having insufficient secular education.

This is going to be a robust kind of a visit, and a robust looking into all the nonpublic schools,” Mr. Carranza said. “The mayor has made it really clear from Day 1 for me that he wants us to move aggressively and get this taken care of.”

Though complaints about academics have focused on New York City’s yeshivas, the guidance applies to all nonpublic schools in the state, which has raised alarm bells for other groups.

“We remain gravely concerned over the process, which will likely lend itself to an inconsistent and subjective review of many schools,” Jim Cultrara, the director for education at the New York State Catholic Conference, said in an interview.

The mayor’s handling of the yeshiva investigation will now be monitored not only by the state, but also by those concerned about Mr. de Blasio’s recent dismissal of Mark G. Peters, the former Department of Investigations chief.

After he was fired, Mr. Peters confirmed that his department was looking into whether City Hall interfered with the city Education Department’s inquiry into yeshivas in an effort to maintain ties with the Orthodox community. The issue has since been elevated, and there is a question of whether the mayor sought to tamp down probes into his own administration.

Mr. de Blasio’s pick to replace Mr. Peters, Margaret M. Garnett, was already quizzed at a recent City Council hearing about whether she will continue the probe into City Hall’s handling of the yeshiva investigation. She said in an interview with The Times that she would not “tolerate or accept interference” in any queries involving the mayor.

Advocates for more secular education in yeshivas found reason to celebrate last month, when Democrats seized a commanding majority in the New York State Senate.

The Senate flip robbed Senator Simcha Felder, a Brooklyn Democrat, of an enviable swing vote that he used last year to add protections for yeshivas in the 11th hour of state budget negotiations. Young Advocates for Fair Education, Mr. Moster’s group, has sued the state over the so-called Felder amendment, calling it unconstitutional.

Mr. Felder, who represents Orthodox enclaves of Brooklyn, declined to comment.

Still, enormous obstacles remain for those who want the city to shine a spotlight on yeshivas.

Few if any politicians in Albany or downstate are willing to anger the Orthodox political establishment. Urgent problems in the city’s 1,800 public schools — including ballooning student homelessness and entrenched racial segregation — will take precedence over issues in religious schools that the city does not run.

To read the remainder of the article with the New York Times click here.

Kiryas Joel Rabbi Declares War against NYS Education Department, Rich Hypocrisy

Rabbi Teitelbaum’s Extremist Rant

It is rich that the Rabbi Teitelbaum of Kiryas Joel would declare war on the New York State Education Department, referring to those who would demand educational compliance as “wicked.” It is a supreme hypocrisy that the Satmar live under the protection of the Israeli state yet Rabbi Teitelbaum’s disdain for the “Zionists” leaves no room for interpretation. He makes no bones about a quasi declaration of war on those who demand education and require Israel Defense Fund Service (IDF) of all children (including those identifying as Satmar). There is no mistaking the Jihadi-like meaning of his 60 minute “call-to-arms.”.

It is ironic that he would refer to those  “wicked who persecute Charedi Yiddishkeit” (a reference to Yiddish culture), yet the Satmar are not themselves practicing Yiddishkeit. The term was used in the cross-cultural understanding of Jews post WWII. What the Satmar practice is some brandished form of radical Jewish fundamentalism, in whatever language they choose to speak. Those of us born into true Yiddishkeit know full well that it comprised: Yiddish theater, literature, a solid and well-rounded education and a belief in NOT creating pogroms (think Kiryas Joel). It is part of a greater Jewish identity, one not defined by costumes and claims.

It is almost tragic, if not somewhat nauseating that in his 60 minute “call to arms”, he emphasizes a pride for the safety and wealth of the Satmar community, as compared to the secular and non-Jewish communities in which they live. Has the distinguished Rabbi Teitelbaum forgotten about the epidemic levels of rape and molestation of children within his community? According to Rabbi Nuchem Rosenberg the number of children within the Satmar community who are victims of rape or molestation is unthinkable. Rabbi Teitlebaum seems either to think that raping or molesting children is not a crime (or at least not worthy of consideration in those statistics) or to believe that it does not exist within the Satmar community. We can’t find a broom large enough to sweep up the dirt and yet the Rabbi speaks…

In his targeted and angry Jihadi-like speech, Rabbi Teitelbaum boasts of the money earned by the Satmar, despite the non secular education.  Are they wealthy or are they poor? If the former, why are so many receiving welfare benefits and Section 8 housing funding? If the latter (justifying the social services they receive), then there is little truth in his assertions.

Has he not acknowledged that Kiryas Joel is and has been for many years listed as one of the poorest cities in the country? And as he’s demanding no secular teachings (like science and maths) what will happen when the community does not produce enough doctors to deliver their vast numbers of children born each year? Oh… the Satmar will likely rely on the wicked for that service.

The Satmar as an organized community boasts 200+Million in assets (presumably under management). Yet, to reiterate, Kiryas Joel has been listed for years as one of the poorest cities in the nation. It has been quoted as “redefining poverty.”   Where is all of the Satmar money, Rabbi Teibelbaum, earned by your non-secularly educated children? It is certainly not in the pockets of the residents of Kiryas Joel and others who live on US (and Israeli) social services, unless there is a severe case of fraud going on (in both countries).

We wonder whether it is possible for a family to collect social services in the United States and also in Israel, whether there is a way to manipulate both system. 

Rabbi Teitelbaum’s comments as regarding Israel reflect an unthinkable disgrace upon a country that welcomes the Satmar with open arms. The children of  “the wicked” protect the Satmar in their enlistment, a situation which should not be permitted to continue.

Rabbi Teitelbaum’s comments about New York State and the war the Satmar will declare (Inshallah!) is frightening. We might even regard those comments as warranting law enforcement intervention.

In our opinion if the Satmar are going to eviscerate the countries they inhabit with comments like Teitlebaum’s, the Satmar should not be permitted to inhabit their  borders. The only difference between the Satmar and the most radical Islamic fundamentalists is that so far, the Satmar have not wired their children with explosive devices.

They are not beyond committing violence, however, and we see this speech as the closest thing to Jihadi-like incitement.

 

Satmar Rebbe of Kiryas Joel DECLARES WAR Against NYS Education Department [FULL AUDIO CLIP]

The Satmar Rebbe of Kiryas Joel delivered a fiery speech last night, during which he effectively declared war against the NYS Education Department. The speech was delivered at the 74th annual “Chuf Alef Kislev” event, the day Hagaon HaRav Yoel Teitelbaum ZATZAL, the founder of Satmar Chassidus in America, escaped from the Nazis during the Holocaust in 1944.

The gathering was held at a massive warehouse in Williamsburg, with thousands of Chassidim in attendance.

The highlight of the annual Yom Hatzoloh event is the speech by the Rebbe, using the forum to address some of the burning issues on the agenda, both in Eretz Yisrael and primarily, outside of Israel.

As YWN has been reporting, New York State is taking steps towards stricter enforcement of its education requirements on yeshiva elementary schools. In line with recently released NYS Education Department guidelines, all yeshiva elementary schools must teach a ‘substantially equivalent education’ to public schools, with a minimum of six hours of secular studies daily. The new regulations leave little flexibility for what yeshiva elementary schools may teach.

This is cause for serious concern to many, and this year, the Satmar Rebbe dedicated his annual speech to addressing this new Gezeira, vowing a tenacious fight in what it sees as state intervention in the education of the tenokos shel beis raban, an unacceptable situation to put it mildly.

The Rebbe gave clear instructions to his followers to defy the Education Department’s new orders, noting that the yeshiva system’s successes far outweigh those of the alternative, public schools, which he blasted as needing far more reform than yeshivos.

In his approximately 60 minute long address, the Rebbe first addressed the situation surrounding a new IDF draft law in Israel, which may be legislated in the near future, vowing to fight “that not a single bochur will fall to the Zionists R”L”. The Rebbe then addressed the harsh Gezeira being faced by yeshivos in New York State as a result of the new state educational guidelines mentioned above.

The Rebbe then slammed New York State Commissioner of Education MaryEllen Elia, “who conspired with traitors and the wicked to persecute chareidi Yiddishkeit in New York, which only wants to educate its children in accordance to Torah and tradition as has been from generation to generation, in talmidei torah, in yeshivos ketanos, and in girls schools” cried the Rebbe.

[SHOCK: New NYS Guidelines Require Yeshiva Elementary Schools to Teach AT LEAST 6 HOURS A DAY of Secular Studies]

The Rebbe continued: “She wants to change Klal Yisrael and remove us from our religion exactly as the Greeks wanted in their time, to destroy the education institutions, a decree of extermination (shmad). Who would have thought that here, in the greatest democracy in the world, a time would come when a decree on education would become reality?”

“I hereby declare that Klal Yisroel will not bow down or surrender to the wicked, not even before the Commissioner of Education, and with great devotion we will be able to educate our children in Torah education. We have had many situations in the past demanding mesirus nefesh for the Torah HaKadosha, and also today, we will launch a major war against the Commissioner of Education in any way [necessary] without compromises and agreements.”

“In a democratic country there is freedom of religion and they have no right to interfere in our religion, and if the Commissioner of Education wants to improve education in the State of New York, please ask the public schools to correct their education curriculum. We have been living in New York for 70 years, which is already a number of generations, and one can already see the fruit of our education as compared to the public-school education. In our schools they do not murder, there is no violence, no drug sales and no thieves. Even percentage wise, we are more successful than the public school graduates,” the rebbe continued.

[TROUBLE FOR NY YESHIVAS: Schools Could Face Pressure Under New Rules]

The massive crowd at the Asifa on Wednesday night

The Rebbe continued to attack the commissioner and the poor education of the non-Jews in New York. “We see the percentage of graduates of their (public school) education, and the graduates of the Jewish education system; who fills the prisons and who fills the large commercial houses and factories here in New York?

Percentage wise, we contribute more to the economy with the graduates of our institutions than the graduates of their institutions. Therefore, the government has turned a blind eye to this day and they realized that even though they invest $25,000 per student in government schools, compared with a few tens of dollars per student in transportation and other budgets, they benefit a great deal more from the students of the Jewish education versus their graduates.”

“Therefore,” the Rebbe concluded, “we will not sit idly by but we will fight a fierce battle over our right to live in our religion, and B’ezras Hashem, we will cancel this terrible gezeira and will not obey the Education Commissioner in any way. Of course, it will only happen if there is achdus. We must put all the petty politics aside and to seriously unite all the communities and unite all of the chareidi Jews, to exploit the ties with the leaders of state, to the federal court, and B’Shem Hashem, Na’ase V’Natzliach!”

To view the video and the information provided and continue reading click here.

 

 

Michael Cohen and a Plea Deal, Trump’s Potential “Catastrophe” that Someone May Hope to Put to Rest

download (10)Protecting Michael Cohen, Those Looking for Somewhat Cagey Information

To Our Readers: 

The greatest ally of the ethically challenged is an attorney with equally questionable ethics. He is likely the most dangerous person to that client if he decides to start divulging the content of his files. If Michael Cohen can turn on one he may turn on others, a slippery slope for all of his clients. He placed himself in an untenable position.

Michael Cohen, President Trump’s longtime fixer, former personal attorney and confidant, pleaded guilty on Thursday to lying to Congress about the Russia investigation in a new deal with special counsel Robert Mueller.

LostMessiah has covered the activities of several Russian oligarchs connected in one way or another to 45, generally maintaining a safe distance from formulating those links. We have also managed to uncover information in most of our research long before law enforcement, largely a credit to our sources.

This morning we were advised that there is at least one person looking to uncover the moment by moment whereabouts of Mr. Cohen, for reasons about which we can only speculate. The tip we received did not ask why this information was being sought nor does he or she likely want to know. He or she prefers to remain anonymous.

We make no speculation about who was behind the request for the information, only that it was made.

We leave the rest in the hands of those with far higher pay grades. 

 

 

ARTICLES RE: MICHAEL COHEN

ABC News:   Michael Cohen pleads guilty to lying to Congress in new deal with Mueller in Trump-Russia probe

USA Today: Michael Cohen, Donald Trump and Russia: Prosecutors document series of lies by president’s former fixer

New York Daily News: Michael Cohen, President Trump’s former personal lawyer, admits to lying to Congress in new plea deal with Mueller

 

Michael Cohen’s deal is an outright catastrophe for Trump — and he knows it

Supposed mastermind Donald Trump made an enemy out of a longtime loyalist. Now he’s going to pay the price

Last June, after Michael Cohen pled guilty to a number of federal crimes, including paying hush money on behalf of the president of the United States, he told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos that he wanted to “do the right thing for his family.” I wrote at the time that Cohen seemed to be contemplating becoming the John Dean of the Trump Russia scandal, quoting Vanity Fair’s Emily Jane Fox reporting that people were coming up to Cohen on the street saying he could be a hero if he stepped up and told the truth.

No one really expected him to do that at the time. After all, Cohen had famously said he’d take a bullet for Trump. But it turned out that for all his loyalty, it wasn’t reciprocated. Trump had a fit when the feds served their search warrant on Cohen’s office but almost immediately turned on his old friend, behaving as if he hardly knew him. In truth, Trump had treated Cohen like a lackey for years, denying him respect and refusing to bring him into the White House despite Cohen’s obvious wish to be treated like a member of the family.

Looking at years of jail time and the loss of all your property tends to focus the mind; Cohen wised up. He realized that he had been abandoned and would have to save himself. He hired an old Washington hand, Lanny Davis, and threw himself at special counsel Robert Mueller, practically begging him for a chance to tell everything he knew about Donald Trump’s unethical and/or illegal activities. You can imagine it was a heady feeling to have that kind of power over the man he felt had betrayed him.

Mueller played hard to get. Cohen was not offered one of those cooperation agreements given to Paul Manafort and Michael Flynn. Indeed, prosecutors didn’t seem very interested in what he might have to say. There were sporadic reports of Cohen talking to them, but it almost seemed as if they were indulging a desperate man. That was wrong. They were listening and biding their time. On Thursday, in a move that surprised everyone — including the White House which only got a heads-up just before it happened — Cohen appeared in court and pled guilty to lying to Congress about his dealings with Trump and Russia. This is the first time that Trump has been personally connected to the Russia conspiracy in a court of law.

It was first reported back in 2017 that Trump had been negotiating a Trump Tower deal in Moscow during the first few months of the Republican primary campaign. Trump signed a letter of intent in October of 2015, but and supposedly the deal fell through that December.  Last spring Buzzfeed further reported that this negotiation had actually continued all the way through June 2016, after Trump had clinched the nomination. Cohen and Trump denied it and it seemed not to make much of an impression on the public, although it probably should have. On Thursday that story was confirmed.

It has been reported that the Trump Organization’s partner in the deal, a fascinating character named Felix Sater, who is an old friend of both Trump’s and Cohen, had bragged to Cohen that he could get to Putin. In one email, he told Cohen that “our boy can become President of the USA and we can engineer it.” That’s an odd statement, to say the least. Until this week that was widely assumed to be just hyperbole between two buddies. As it turns out, Cohen actually dealt directly with the Kremlin, as well as with a former general with Russian military intelligence, even as his boss was cinching the Republicn presidential nomination. Cohen has now testified that he kept Trump and members of the family (assumed to be Don Jr. and Ivanka) apprised throughout the campaign about how the deal was going.

And that’s not all. Buzzfeed reported on Thursday night that the Trumps had planned to offer Vladimir Putin a $50 million “gift” of a penthouse in the new Moscow building. It’s unclear whether Trump was aware of that but you can bet they would never have followed through on such a thing without his OK. As it happens, the entire Moscow deal was abruptly canceled on the day the Democratic National Committee hack was publicly reported, just before Cohen was slated to fly to Russia, reportedly to prepare for Trump to make the same trip after the Republican convention in order to seal the deal.

Trump told the voters that he knew nothing of Russia. He said it over and over again. Yet his campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, was $20 million in debt to a Russian oligarch and his oldest buddy, Roger Stone, was allegedly plotting with Russian hackers and WikiLeaks to sabotage Hillary Clinton’s campaign. Trump’s chief foreign policy adviser, Michael Flynn, was on video cozying up to Putin, and was forced to resign after it was reported that he reassured the Russian ambassador that the Trump regime would lift sanctions imposed by the Obama administration over election interference. Two other Trump aides, Carter Page and George Papadopoulos, had strange ties and contacts with Russians during the campaign, and one of them is doing time in jail today for lying to the feds about it.

Now we know that Trump’s personal lawyer was secretly negotiating with the Kremlin for a Moscow Trump Tower development, even as the candidate was fawning over Vladimir Putin on the campaign trail like a moonstruck schoolgirl.

Whether or not what Trump did was technically illegal is beside the point. Trump lied to the American people about all of it — and the Kremlin knew he lied. It’s easy to imagine that Trump’s good friend Vladimir Putin may have reminded him about that in those private meetings they like so much. It’s not as sexy as some of the other rumored kompromat, but it’s got teeth.

Trump canceled his scheduled meeting with Putin at the G20 summit in Buenos Aires this weekend. The White House has said this was because of the recent skirmishes between Russia and Ukraine. More likely Trump just didn’t want to face Putin. All this was supposed to be their little secret.

In Emily Jane Fox’s latest story about Cohen, she describes him getting into his car outside the courthouse on Thursday as a skateboarder rides by and shouts,  “Yo! That’s Michael Cohen. You’re gonna take down Trump!” Maybe if Trump had shown just a little more loyalty to his consigliere he wouldn’t be in this position. No one with Trump’s ethics should ever turn his lawyer into his enemy.

Gemcanton, Eli Nefussy, Emeralds and Leviev

Bloomberg-Zambia’s High Court rejected an appeal by an employee of diamond billionaire Lev Leviev against his deportation, according to official documents seen by Bloomberg.

In a ruling dated June 19, Judge Dancewell Bowa said he didn’t “find any illegality, unreasonableness or procedural impropriety” by the Department of Home Affairs when it expelled Eli Nefussy, the co-chief executive officer of emerald mine Gemcanton Investments Holdings, on November 28.

Eli was challenging his deportation on grounds that he wasn’t afforded the opportunity to make representations before his expulsion. Gemcanton is jointly owned by Leviev and Wolle Mining Ltd. Previously known as the Grizzly emerald mine.

Gemcanton was built by Abdoulaye Ndiaye, a naturalized Zambian originally from Senegal.

Nefussy’s lawyer, Dickson Jere, said they would appeal the ruling. “Courts have powers to review reasons given by the state for deportation, but the judge misdirected himself when he refused,” Jere said in a text message.

 

Leviev’s Gemcanton Mine – Where is Government Intervention?

Government should review Levieve’s partnership at Gemcanton mine

 

The continued diamond smuggling investigation of the Israeli-Russian Diamond Baron Lev Leviev by the Israeli authorities should make the Government of the Republic of Zambia also institute serious investigation and review his investment at Gemcanton emerald mine formerly Grizzly Mining Ltd on the copperbelt.

Mr El Nefussy a representative of Levi Levieve was deported by the Government of the Republic of Zambia in 2017 for purportedly engaging in serious human rights abuses at Gemcanton mine. Unfortunately, no serious arrests were made to make him unwearable to the law for subjecting the poor Zambians to inhuman torture at Gemcanton before a deportation decision could be arrived at. Government opted to deport him, and that decision has not set any disciplinary precedence to would be offenders.

To date,the issue of torture and human rights abuses at Gemcanton by Levi Levieve’s team has not been adequately addressed.

Many of the victims complain that government has not punished the offenders and feel such a precedence would escalate related acts in future. Zambia is among the African countries where the world diamond baron Leviev has massively invested in emerald mining with very little corporate social responsibility (CSO) going to the poor people of Chief Nkana and Lumpuma area where the emerald mine sits as was the case when the investment was wholly owned by Abdoulaye Ndyaye.

Apart from a lack of CSR, Zambia has been a victim of dishonest by many of the foreign investors who come in and ignore the plight of the local people.
The question of Zambians benefiting from some of the investors coming in the country is becoming a thorny one, as locals seem not to benefit. Whether or not some investors are worth hosting in Zambia has become a National debate. People are wondering whether some companies are genuinely investors or coming in to exploit the country’s resources.

Very serious government’s like Israel have investigated some diamond tycoons like Leviev with very little to leave unturned. The Zambian government , like Israeli government should consider thoroughly investigating Levi Levieve’s investment in Zambia.

What is worrying is a lack CSR at Gemcanton from the time Leveiev came on board as a share holder yet the company is making millions of dollars.
Additionally, the restrictions of the local people to the Gemcanton dumpsite has adversely affected the poor Zambians who were known to survive on such dumpsites at the time Gemcanton was called Grizzly Mines under Abdalaye Ndyaye .

It is the local people’s considered view that the speed at which government has let go of the black mountain in Kitwe for the benefits of the local people is the same speed at which government should influence Gemcanton mines management to allow the local people who are currently receiving nothing from Gemcanton under Leviev .

When Honorable Bowman Lusambo was Copperbelt Minister, Gemcanton was restrained and started making headways towards restoring CSR, but upon his transfer to Lusaka, many of the strides made at Gemcanton were buried to the disadvantage of the locals.

There is fear that if government does review Leviev’s investments at Gemcanton, the people of Zambia will benefit nothing from the emerald mine investment.

While government is seriously looking at the empowerment of the local people in mining industries , it is the people’s considered view that the shares of Leviev at Gemcanton are reviewed to benefit the lower people .

Lack of regard for the local people in the area of Corporate Social Responsibility and unfair trading habits have made different stakeholders wonder whether there is serious scrutiny of some foreign investors’ investment record before they can be allowed to invest in Zambia by the powers that be.

Perversion of Justice, Jeffrey Epstein and the 53 Page Indictment for Sexual Offenses that Never Was

To our Readers: We are publishing the better part of an article from the Miami Herald, with links back to that article. We did not published the interactives or the videos. We suggest you go to the original article and read it in its entirety.
Jeffrey Epstein’s story is utterly horrifying. The number of children involved is tragic; and the magnitude of his sexual operations both maddening and sobering. We thank the author for her precision and detail. 

How a future Trump Cabinet member gave a serial sex abuser the deal of a lifetime

 

Perversion of Justice logoA decade before #MeToo, a multimillionaire sex offender from Florida got the ultimate break.

On a muggy October morning in 2007, Miami’s top federal prosecutor, Alexander Acosta, had a breakfast appointment with a former colleague, Washington, D.C., attorney Jay Lefkowitz.

It was an unusual meeting for the then-38-year-old prosecutor, a rising Republican star who had served in several White House posts before being named U.S. attorney in Miami by President George W. Bush.

Instead of meeting at the prosecutor’s Miami headquarters, the two men — both with professional roots in the prestigious Washington law firm of Kirkland & Ellis — convened at the Marriott in West Palm Beach, about 70 miles away. For Lefkowitz, 44, a U.S. special envoy to North Korea and corporate lawyer, the meeting was critical.

His client, Palm Beach multimillionaire Jeffrey Epstein, 54, was accused of assembling a large, cult-like network of underage girls — with the help of young female recruiters — to coerce into having sex acts behind the walls of his opulent waterfront mansion as often as three times a day, the Town of Palm Beach police found.

Home 02 Epstein EKM.jpg

At this home on El Brillo Way in Palm Beach, young girls, recruited by other young girls, would arrive by car or taxi, be greeted in the kitchen by a member of Jeffrey Epstein’s staff and ascend a staircase. They were met by Epstein, clad in a towel.
Emily Michot emichot@miamiherald.com

Interactive image link

Interactive: Sex abuser Jeffrey Epstein was surrounded by powerful people. Here’s a sampling

Facing a 53-page federal indictment, Epstein could have ended up in federal prison for the rest of his life.

But on the morning of the breakfast meeting, a deal was struck — an extraordinary plea agreement that would conceal the full extent of Epstein’s crimes and the number of people involved.

Not only would Epstein serve just 13 months in the county jail, but the deal — called a non-prosecution agreement — essentially shut down an ongoing FBI probe into whether there were more victims and other powerful people who took part in Epstein’s sex crimes, according to a Miami Herald examination of thousands of emails, court documents and FBI records.

The pact required Epstein to plead guilty to two prostitution charges in state court. Epstein and four of his accomplices named in the agreement received immunity from all federal criminal charges. But even more unusual, the deal included wording that granted immunity to “any potential co-conspirators’’ who were also involved in Epstein’s crimes. These accomplices or participants were not identified in the agreement, leaving it open to interpretation whether it possibly referred to other influential people who were having sex with underage girls at Epstein’s various homes or on his plane.

As part of the arrangement, Acosta agreed, despite a federal law to the contrary, that the deal would be kept from the victims. As a result, the non-prosecution agreement was sealed until after it was approved by the judge, thereby averting any chance that the girls — or anyone else — might show up in court and try to derail it.

This is the story of how Epstein, bolstered by unlimited funds and represented by a powerhouse legal team, was able to manipulate the criminal justice system, and how his accusers, still traumatized by their pasts, believe they were betrayed by the very prosecutors who pledged to protect them.

“I don’t think anyone has been told the truth about what Jeffrey Epstein did,’’ said one of Epstein’s victims, Michelle Licata, now 30. “He ruined my life and a lot of girls’ lives. People need to know what he did and why he wasn’t prosecuted so it never happens again.”

Now President Trump’s secretary of labor, Acosta, 49, oversees a massive federal agency that provides oversight of the country’s labor laws, including human trafficking. He also has been on a list of possible replacements for former Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who resigned under pressure earlier this month.

Acosta did not respond to numerous requests for an interview or answer queries through email.

acosta (1).jpg

Alexander Acosta, now President Donald Trump’s secretary of labor, was the U.S. attorney for Southern Florida when he negotiated an end to the federal investigation of Jeffrey Epstein.
Florida International University

But court records reveal details of the negotiations and the role that Acosta would play in arranging the deal, which scuttled the federal probe into a possible international sex trafficking operation. Among other things, Acosta allowed Epstein’s lawyers unusual freedoms in dictating the terms of the non-prosecution agreement.

“The damage that happened in this case is unconscionable,” said Bradley Edwards, a former state prosecutor who represents some of Epstein’s victims. “How in the world, do you, the U.S. attorney, engage in a negotiation with a criminal defendant, basically allowing that criminal defendant to write up the agreement?”

As a result, neither the victims — nor even the judge — would know how many girls Epstein allegedly sexually abused between 2001 and 2005, when his underage sex activities were first uncovered by police. Police referred the case to the FBI a year later, when they began to suspect that their investigation was being undermined by the Palm Beach State Attorney’s Office.

NOT A ‘HE SAID, SHE SAID’

“This was not a ‘he said, she said’ situation. This was 50-something ‘shes’ and one ‘he’ — and the ‘shes’ all basically told the same story,’’ said retired Palm Beach Police Chief Michael Reiter, who supervised the police probe.

More than a decade later, at a time when Olympic gymnasts and Hollywood actresses have become a catalyst for a cultural reckoning about sexual abuse, Epstein’s victims have all but been forgotten.

The women — now in their late 20s and early 30s — are still fighting for an elusive justice that even the passage of time has not made right.

Like other victims of sexual abuse, they believe they’ve been silenced by a criminal justice system that stubbornly fails to hold Epstein and other wealthy and powerful men accountable.

“Jeffrey preyed on girls who were in a bad way, girls who were basically homeless. He went after girls who he thought no one would listen to and he was right,’’ said Courtney Wild, who was 14 when she met Epstein.

Courtney Wild NEW 02 EKM.jpg

Courtney Wild, 31, was a victim of sex offender Jeffrey Epstein beginning at the age of 14. Epstein paid Wild, and many other underage girls, to give him massages, often having them undress and perform sexual acts. Epstein also used the girls as recruiters, paying them to bring him other underage girls.
Emily Michot emichot@miamiherald.com

Over the past year, the Miami Herald examined a decade’s worth of court documents, lawsuits, witness depositions and newly released FBI documents. Key people involved in the investigation — most of whom have never spoken before — were also interviewed. The Herald also obtained new records, including the full unredacted copy of the Palm Beach police investigation and witness statements that had been kept under seal.

The Herald learned that, as part of the plea deal, Epstein provided what the government called “valuable consideration” for unspecified information he supplied to federal investigators. While the documents obtained by the Herald don’t detail what the information was, Epstein’s sex crime case happened just as the country’s subprime mortgage market collapsed, ushering in the 2008 global financial crisis.

Records show that Epstein was a key federal witness in the criminal prosecution of two prominent executives with Bear Stearns, the global investment brokerage that failed in 2008, who were accused of corporate securities fraud. Epstein was one of the largest investors in the hedge fund managed by the executives, who were later acquitted. It is not known what role, if any, the case played in Epstein’s plea negotiations.

The Herald also identified about 80 women who say they were molested or otherwise sexually abused by Epstein from 2001 to 2006. About 60 of them were located — now scattered around the country and abroad. Eight of them agreed to be interviewed, on or off the record. Four of them were willing to speak on video.

The women are now mothers, wives, nurses, bartenders, Realtors, hairdressers and teachers. One is a Hollywood actress. Several have grappled with trauma, depression and addiction. Some have served time in prison.

A few did not survive. One young woman was found dead last year in a rundown motel in West Palm Beach. She overdosed on heroin and left behind a young son.

Continue reading

Rabbinical Court Gives Custody to Man Accused of Sexually Assaulting His Daughter – Israel

sexoffenseisrael

Imploring the Ultra-Orthodox Community to Protect its Children

We believe that the translation is as close to the content of the original article as possible.

The content reflects a concern amongst Jews, that Israel may be a haven for pedophiles, particularly where the Rabbinical Court gets involved.

We believe that wherever there are ultra-Orthodox zealots, there is a safety net for pedophilia. Israel simply needs to stop accepting Jewish sex offenders into its borders, or alternatively send them back to their countries of origin if Israel is uncomfortable jailing the monsters within its borders.

Sexual assault within the ultra-Orthodox community in Israel and abroad is one of the greatest tragedies of our time, of epidemic proportions. It is our position that the Rabbis who allow this continue, who are responsible for rulings such as the one below, are providing de-facto criminal assistance to the very act of sexual assault. The Rabbis who know this is happening and do nothing, in Israel and worldwide, might as well be holding the children down while the pedophiles abuse them.

The crimes and the disastrous impact on the children that follows is solely on the shoulders of those who sit by and do nothing, or worse still, demand silence.

We implore the ultra-Orthodox communities worldwide to take responsibility for what is happening to generations of children and put a stop to it. This is not about “Moser” (reporting), it is a matter of “Pikuah Nefesh” (the health of the soul).

 

Note to Reader:

The following is an online translation of an article in YNET. The following is the link:

https://www.ynet.co.il/articles/0,7340,L-5414269,00.html 

Rabbinical Court: A person suspected of indecent assault on his daughter will receive custody of her

Despite the police’s recommendation to indict him for sexual offenses, and contrary to the opinion of the welfare authorities, the rabbinical court ruled that a man suspected of indecent assault on his daughter would receive custody of his children. Attorney Batya Kahana Dror: “The court puts itself above the criminal law, the police and the prosecution.” Rabbinical Court: “We decide in accordance with the children’s welfare”

 

The Jerusalem Rabbinical Court ruled that a man suspected of an indecent act against his daughter would receive custody of his children.  Ynet learned that the decision was made despite the police’s recommendation to file an indictment against the man for sexual offenses within the family, in a case that is still awaiting the decision of the State Prosecutor’s Office, and contrary to the opinion of the welfare authorities.

B. was arrested last year on suspicion of sexually assaulting his underage daughter and even photographed the act. He did not deny the actions but claimed in his defense that his intention was good – to document the daughter reconstructing sexual offenses allegedly committed by other relatives, as the basis for a complaint on his part.

The father did report the recovery to the welfare authorities, and even transferred the video to them before his arrest, but his explanations did not satisfy the police, which attributed severe sexual offenses to his daughter. She recently completed the investigation, and the findings were transferred to the State Prosecutor’s Office for a decision on whether to file an indictment in the case. According to the criminal record, the offenses in which he is suspected are protected by a minor and the rape of a minor in the family.

 

At the same time, the parents of the minor are conducting a divorce struggle, focusing on the issue of custody of their children, including the injured daughter. Before the exposure of the video, B. received responsibility for it because of his mother’s precarious medical condition, but after his arrest the Jerusalem Rabbinical Court ruled that they would be transferred to her when the father could fulfill the vision arrangements and meet them only under the supervision of the welfare services.

 

Criminal proceedings against the father

In recent months, the dayanim changed their decision and ordered the transfer of custody to B. The members of the panel, headed by the head of the rabbinical court, Rabbi Mordechai Ralbag, did so in complete disregard of the advanced criminal procedure being conducted in the father’s case – and contrary to the opinion of the welfare agencies that deal with the family

At first the court appointed a psychologist to supervise B’s meetings with the children. Later his powers were expanded so that he could also recommend the vision arrangements. The mother, through her attorney Adv. Edna Ashkenazi, objected to the appointment and refused to recognize him as an objective party and to cooperate with him.

 

The psychologist changed his views during the follow-up: his first recommendation was for joint custody, and he later went on to recommend that the children be transferred to the father’s custody, on the basis of an external professional opinion that presented him with a low level of risk. The dayanim eventually adopted the later position, and last month they decided that the guards would be responsible for the guards.

 

Despite the successive attempt by the welfare authorities to change the court’s decision, it remains the same – while the criminal procedure is still underway and the case awaits the prosecution’s decision to file an indictment against the father. The dayanim explained that they do not accept the position of the caregivers because they claim that there were fundamental defects in their work.

 

The dayyan precedes the position of head of the Avot Beit Din

The judge, Ralbag, who in the past few days was appointed to be the head of the rabbinic courts in Jerusalem (the president of the religious court), sought to limit the significance of the decision, and remarked that the transfer of custody to the father should not be considered a real change in the court’s position, Of B, then the children were in his possession.

 

As a result, the mother’s attorney, Batya Kahana-Dror, appealed to the legal advisor of the Ministry of Social Affairs, requesting that the legal advisor report to the children on behalf of the children and work to remove them from B. “There is no dispute that as long as the father is under criminal investigation for sexual abuse of his children, he can not be a custodial parent,” she argued. “Amazingly, this basic norm is not taken for granted by the court.”

 

"As long as the father is under criminal investigation for sexual abuse of his children, he can not be a custodial parent."  Attorney Batya Kahana Dror (Photo: Gil Yohanan) (Photo: Gil Yohanan)

“As long as the father is under criminal investigation for sexual abuse of his children, he can not be a custodial parent.” Attorney Batya Kahana Dror (Photo: Gil Yohanan)

 

“The rabbinical court itself is above the criminal law, the police and the prosecution – and this time it can not be argued that ‘this is the halachah,'” she added. “On the day we note the struggle against violence against women, we must pay attention to the negative message from a judicial authority that belittles police and prosecution investigations, and thus covers and even encourages the social malaise of violence and sexual abuse in the family.”

 

Court: “There were flaws in welfare work”

The Rabbinical Court’s administration said in response: “This is a complex case in which discussions have been held and detailed decisions have been made, and it is impossible to go into detail at this stage. On the opinion of six dayanim in the regional court. ”

 

“In practice, the Social Affairs Ministry admitted that there were flaws in its work, among other things, including the fact that experts’ opinions were not before the members of the committee before its recommendations were issued, and therefore the decision committee of the welfare authorities will convene soon to reconsider its recommendations. In accordance with the totality of the evidence brought before it. ”

 

The rabbinical court also noted that the woman had filed an application for permission to appeal, but this was rejected by the Rabbinical Court, which explained: “There were fundamental flaws in the manner in which the welfare office dealt with problems that inevitably radiate its recommendatio

 

NYS Can Compel Compliance from NY Yeshivas but Parents Need to Cooperate Too

The bigger problem with the city’s yeshivas: Inspections aren’t enough to fix what ails many of them

 

The bigger problem with the city's yeshivas: Inspections aren't enough to fix what ails many of them
State Education Department Commissioner MaryEllen Elia visits Daily News Editorial Board on Tuesday May 16, 2017. (Susan Watts / New York Daily News)

As the years-long investigation into the city’s ultra-Orthodox Jewish yeshivas drags on, the New York State Education Department just released new guidelines that compel these schools to improve the quality of secular instruction offered to students. The guidelines, issued by Commissioner MaryEllen Elia, include inspections on a five-year basis. If the yeshivas fail, they could have their funding pulled.

I used to teach English, science and social studies in Orthodox yeshivas. Intervention is sorely needed, but I don’t have faith that these measures will succeed.

My schools were better than the ones in question; secular studies were at least offered, three hours a day, four days a week. The students are equally observant to Hasidic Yeshivas with a similarly rigorous Talmud knowledge expected. I tried to bring some of the material I learned in college in the mornings into my classroom in the afternoons, while “sanitizing” my knowledge for the more conservative and austere atmosphere.

It wasn’t always successful because the culture of the place powerfully resisted change.

The improvements recommended by the state need cooperation from parents. Most edification occurs after dismissal. Only 10% of my students, on average, did homework, and that was in large part because their parents weren’t interested in making sure they got it done. In my last marking period, I painfully failed 75% percent of my children.

 

Not a single parent called to complain or fought for their child. And this was in a better school, one that offers English. I cannot imagine how a parent who chose to send their child to a yeshiva that didn’t offer secular studies would stand over her or his son to do homework, after a long day of work as they juggle other children and responsibilities.

 

There is also an issue of time: The community has to choose how to spend the day’s limited hours — whether to help students grow in Torah knowledge or in fields like reading and math.

 

In a scenario where inspectors visit yeshivas, armed with guidelines, I envision administrators paying lip service and agreeing to the terms of people they see as an interference, and then returning to the status quo the second the state examiners leave.

 

The root of the problem here is that many yeshivas have a disregard for outside non-Jewish laws that propel community members to find workarounds.

 

I was hired as a teacher without training, a bachelor’s degree, a background check or a written contract. They let me — a stranger — around children. By law, I was a mandated reporter of child abuse, needing to tell the authorities if I suspected any crimes. On my first day, I was shown the textbook library and told to “figure it out” — a tall order for a neophyte educator who had to prepare students for the Regents and the general outside world.

 

Thankfully, I was always paid on time. But the consistent lack of attention to detail or even a whiff of standards and norms aren’t out of place in that world.

 

Even more than standards, yeshivas need educated educators. My coworkers and I had never earned master’s degrees in education. My employers were also similarly uneducated. They didn’t support the subjects we taught. My principals never offered pedagogical help. They were there for disciplinary issues, in case a student acted up, but never to help a young adult grow in learning.

 

When I repeatedly asked for funding for continuing education workshops, I was rebuffed. I wanted to improve as a teacher, but there were no opportunities.

Inspections are necessary. But they are woefully insufficient.

 

Reiter is a NYC-based teacher and writer.

Reichberg and a Grant of a Shoving Match

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Courthouse shoving match derails NYPD bribery trial

 

The bribery trial of a Brooklyn businessman and a former NYPD Deputy Inspector went off the rails Tuesday after a heated courthouse spat between a defense attorney and a prosecutor.

The showdown between Assistant U.S. Attorney Martin Bell and ex-cop James Grant’s attorney John Meringolo led to threats of criminal charges against Meringolo, as well as a possible mistrial.

The livid litigators went nose to nose after Meringolo allegedly threatened the government’s star witness, Jona Rechnitz. A Grant supporter said he separated the two men.

“Peoples’ tempers were up. It’s been a hard fought trial. We all realize we need to be politer and act in a way that doesn’t inflame each other,” said peacemaker Susan Necheles, an attorney for businessman Jeremy Reichberg.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Martin Bell
Assistant U.S. Attorney Martin Bell (Department of Justice)

Judge Gregory Woods sent the jury home and held a hearing in which Grant said under oath he wanted to continue using Meringolo as his lawyer, despite the kerfuffle.

The trial, which is in its fourth week, has been heated from the start. Things reached a boiling point around 9 a.m. Tuesday as FBI agents escorted Rechnitz, a corrupt donor to Mayor de Blasio, from an elevator to the courtroom.

Meringolo, an animated attorney from Bensonhurst, was chatting with Grant’s supporters as Rechnitz passed by, several witnesses said.

“You’re a disgrace,” Meringolo allegedly told Rechnitz.

Word quickly reached prosecutors and Bell angrily stormed out of the courtroom to confront Meringolo.

“You better wake up from this dream. You’re going to find yourself in trouble!” Bell yelled, according to someone in Grant’s camp.

Shoving ensued.

“Mr. Bell barges out and threatens me and tries to walk toward me in a very confrontational way, so I pushed him away. I did not pop him in his mouth, but I pushed him away from me,” Merinoglo said.

“You can’t come out there threatening my life like you’re a big shot … I’m going to take the threats wholeheartedly. I’m just not going to have it.”

Criminal defense lawyer John Meringolo.
Criminal defense lawyer John Meringolo. (Byron Smith for New York Daily News)

The episode presented such a risk to the trial that U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman, the top federal prosecutor in Manhattan, got involved. He pledged the feds would not prosecute Meringolo for the comment to Rechnitz or ensuing fracas, Assistant U.S. Attorney Jessica Lonergan said.

Potential charges included intimidating a witness, assault on federal property and threats of violence to a prosecutor in the conduct of his business, Judge Woods said, calling the confrontation “a freighted and unfortunate situation.”

Grant is accused of accepting bribes — including a private flight to Las Vegas with a prostitute — from Reichberg and Rechnitz. Grant, a former deputy inspector, allegedly then used his power in the NYPD to help make the men look like big shots through police escorts and other favors.

Reicbherg is accused of showering numerous cops with gifts.

To continue reading click here.

 

 

 

Elder Care – Inadequate Care and Staffing Alleged in Lawsuits Filed

OPINION CONTRIBUTOR:

How Long Can this State Sanctioned Complicity with Human Rights Violations Continue 

As long as Governor Cuomo’s reprehensible Department of Health /Public Health & Health Planning Commission continue to license & enable mafia-like consortia that do harm to the most vulnerable without accountability, this agency and NY State are de facto sponsors of human rights violations.  

What allows so-called long term care providers to determine that understaffing is ethical as old, frail and dying people are left unattended?

What does it take to embarrass NY Lawmakers and the Executive in the richest state in the richest country in the world into vigilance & moral decency?

LM Note to Readers: SentosaCare is the subject of not only an expose published by ProPublica in 2015, but an ongoing litigation against the freelance authors for libel, regarding the content of that article.   The law firm representing the Sentosa Plaintiffs in that case is the same firm representing the Plaintiff’s in the case against LostMessiah’s primary blogger.

Two city nursing homes sued for inadequate care and staffing

The lawsuits allege that understaffing at the facilities has led to infections and unsanitary conditions

A New York law firm filed two class-action lawsuits today against two New York City nursing homes affiliated with Sentosa Care, a large for-profit nursing home group. The lawsuits, brought on behalf of a former patient and the surviving brother of another patient, allege that understaffing at the facilities has led to infections, unsanitary conditions and other examples of inadequate care in violation of state and federal law.

The lawsuits name as defendants the Bronx-based Bay Park Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation in the Bronx and Brooklyn-based Seagate Rehabilitation and Nursing Center, all the owners of the facilities and Sentosa Care itself.

“We’ve gotten many, many complaints from residents [of these facilities] about the horrendous conditions people were left in,” said Jeremiah Frei-Pearson, a partner in the law firm Finkelstein, Blankinship, Frei-Pearson and Garber, which represents the patients in both cases. “People were left in urine and waste for way too long. Federal data also corroborated that these homes are horrific and our own investigation corroborated the conditions.”

Sentosa Care, the subject of a 2015 exposé by ProPublica highlighting low quality ratings at many of its facilities, has nevertheless expanded in New York in other states in recent years. Sentosa Care had at least 25 facilities and nearly 5,400 beds statewide as of 2015, according to ProPublica, but it’s unclear how many New York facilities are affiliated with the network now. In January the Grand Healthcare System sought state approval to purchase two Long Island nursing homes affiliated with Sentosa.

Sherard Clark, the main plaintiff in the case against Bay Park, alleged that he had an open wound on his foot while he was a resident at the nursing home earlier this year, and that the wound got infected multiple times because of a lack of attention from staff. He was often left to change his own bandages and even overheard a doctor reprimanding a nurse for not attending to it, Clark charged in the complaint. When he contracted a staph infection, the home didn’t take the necessary measures to treat it or schedule an appointment with a podiatrist, he added. Clark was also left attached to an empty IV multiple times, and on one occasion, when he attempted to remove it himself, he passed out and fell, hurting his head, according to the complaint.

New York law doesn’t mandate specific patient-to-staff ratios in its hospitals and nursing homes. But Frei-Pearson said, in addition to damages, he plans to seek court orders requiring “sufficient” staffing at both homes to maintain quality care. His law firm has had some success seeking such staff improvements in the past. Earlier this year the law firm reached a settlement of a class action suit against a Syracuse nursing home that included a commitment to boost staffing.

To read the remainder of the article in Crain’s New York Business click here.

LLD’s Story versus the Investigation Story – the Death of Mazal Hadadi

differences

The Many Inconsistencies Between the LLD Story and the Investigation Team Regarding the Death of Mazal Hadadi

The chart is from the below article in Hebrew sets forth the many inconsistencies between the versions given to the press by Lev Leviev’s company LLD and the police on the night of and immediately following the death of Mazal Hadadi, an LLD bookkeeper. 
In the Red is the LLD version and in the blue is the Police version. The top row: “Reasons for death” LLD version – intolerable pressure on the employee as a result of the investigation was the reason for her death. The police version – they have reviewed the LLD claim and there is no connection between the handling of her interrogation and her death. Second column: “Information provided on the night of her death” LLD’s version “We are taking every step to provide all of the possible information and are reviewing all of the sides and believe that a picture is being painted that is causing damage to the information sources” [rough translation] The police version “The details provided by the company are inconsistent with the findings.”

At a later date, we will provide a better translation and hopefully this will get picked up by some of the English language papers which, despite the details often left out, are far better at translating than we are.

 Suffice it to say, there are inconsistencies between the two stories and we remain firm in our belief that LLD wanted to write a narrative that would be accepted by the public, namely that police pressure caused the death [by suicide] of Mazal Hadadi. 

 

Mazal Hadadi’s husband and children have stated that under no circumstances would she have killed herself. In other words, there is no amount of police pressure that would have caused her to toss herself out a 10th floor window. WE 

She returned from the train station after work to a floor on which she generally does not work. There are then about 40 minutes missing from her whereabouts as she entered the building to the time she died. We can’t say that anyone at the company actually pushed her out the window – we are not the investigation team. We can say that we believe she was pushed and the location of the death was to provide a shining example of what will happen to anyone who speaks to the investigators.

Mazal Hadadi was no fool. If the books were being cooked, even if she did not know it, LLD would have done everything in patterns, same time, same day, same week, same year, etc. There will not be any definable movement of money or diamonds that would look obvious. But if one of those times, or days, or movements was off, so were the rest. Hadadi likely could have found the pattern and provided details and we would guess she likely kept a record for herself, even if she had no reason to question the movements of money, inventory or whatever aspect was within her purview. 

מרביתם למדו זאת מציוץ של העיתונאי-הכתב לענייני משפט, גיא פלג, של חברת החדשות, אולם עדיין לא ידעו במי מדובר ובאיזו פרשה נחקרת. שמות משוערים רבים עלו בתקשורת, אך נראה כי במערכות השונות לא שיערו כי מדובר במנהלת חשבונות זוטרה בחברת LLD שבבעלות לב לבייב, אם לשלושה, בשנות ה-40 לחייה. מדובר בעובדת שנחקרה באזהרה מספר ימים קודם לכן במסגרת פרשת “יהלום שחור”, שבמסגרתה נחקר החשד להברחת יהלומים ולהלבנת הון על-ידי חברת LLD בשווי של כ-300 מיליון שקל.

עד מהרה ההשערות הפכו למציאות. פחות משעתיים בלבד לאחר המקרה הטרגי, נחתה הודעת חברת LLD אצל הכתבים, שממנה למדו כמעט כולם על זהות המנוחה. בהודעת LLD נכתב, בין היתר: “אנו ננקוט את כל הצעדים העומדים לרשותנו על-מנת לסייע לחקר מותה, ועל-מנת לשים קץ לתופעות קשות של רמיסת זכויות נחקרים וגרימת נזקים בלתי הפיכים, מתוך רצון לייצר כותרות תקשורתיות”.

וכך, במשפט אחד, מסגרה חברת LLD את השיח שאפיין את העיסוק התקשורתי הנרחב בפרשה בימים שלאחר מכן. עוד באותו ערב, שיגרה החברה הודעות עם פרטים הנוגעים, לטענתה, למקרה, תדרכה עיתונאים והעבירה חומרים התומכים בתזה, שלפיה מי שאחראים למותה של המנוחה, הם חוקרי המשטרה, שהפעילו עליה לחץ בלתי מידתי בחקירתה. כך, נחשפו הכול למכונת יחסי ציבור משומנת היטב, המבקשת מאיתנו להסיק מסקנות על התנהלות המשטרה בפרשה.

כל זאת, יוזכר, בזמן שחברת LLD מנהלת משא-ומתן מול רשויות אכיפת החוק בישראל, בנוגע להגעת בעליה, לב לבייב, לארץ לשם חקירתו בפרשה; ויום לפני הדיון בבקשת החברה לשחרור נכסיה שחולטו כחלק מהחקירה בפרשה.

עוד בנושא דין וחשבון

בלית ברירה, נאלצה משטרת ישראל למסור תגובה מטעמה עוד באותו ערב, שבה התייחסה להודעה שהוציאה החברה. בהודעת המשטרה נאמר כי “הפרטים שהובאו בהודעה לוקים באי-דיוקים מהותיים”.

המהירות שאפיינה את מערך יחסי הציבור המשומן היטב של LLD, כמו גם את קביעת המשטרה כי הפרטים שהובאו בהודעת החברה לוקים באי-דיוקים מהותיים, וזאת עוד בטרם החלה חקירת המשטרה בעניין – היו אולי ראויים פחות לאיזכור, אלמלא הפערים העצומים שהתגלו בין גרסת המשטרה לגרסת LLD, ובייחוד לאור מספר אי-דיוקים שכבר כעת ניתן להצביע עליהם בגרסה שהציגה החברה ביום האירוע וביום שלמחרת.

אגב, מאז מסרבים בחברה למסור פרטים נוספים ולהשיב על שאלות, ומותירים את הזירה התקשורתית למשפחה ולרסיסי המידע שמגיעים מהמשטרה באופן לא רשמי.

שיחה עם עורך דין – שתי גרסאות

ההודעה המהירה של החברה של לבייב שהטילה על המשטרה את האשמה למות העובדת, לא מפחיתה כהוא זה מהחשיבות הרבה שיש לייחס לשאלות המטרידות שעולות ביחס להתנהלות המשטרה במסגרת החקירה של פרשת “יהלום שחור”. בפרשה זו נמתחה ביקורת, לעתים חסרת תקדים בחריפותה, על התנהלות המשטרה מצד שופט בית משפט השלום בראשון-לציון, גיא אבנון, עוד מהדיון הראשון להארכות המעצר של החשודים בפרשה.

נושאים נוספים בהם תוכל/י להתעדכן

בנוסף, סנגורי החשודים העלו כבר מתחילת הפרשה טענות קשות על התנהלות המשטרה בעניינם של החשודים בפרשה, טענות שהלכו והחריפו עם התקדמות החקירה, והגיעו לשיא לפני כשבועיים. זאת, כאשר מנעה המשטרה מפגש של חשוד עם עורכת דינו. מדובר בטענות מהותיות וחשובות, שראוי שיישמעו ויקבלו מקום מרכזי, כפי שביקשה חברת LLD כי ייעשה.

כמו כן, כפי שפורסם ביום ראשון ב”גלובס”, גם לבכירים לשעבר במערכת אכיפת החוק, סנגורים בכירים ודמויות בולטות מהאקדמיה, יש ביקורת נוקבת על התנהלות המשטרה בחדרי החקירות. גם הם מבקשים לרתום את העיסוק התקשורתי באירוע, על-מנת לשטוח את טענותיהם בדבר רמיסת זכויות חשודים.

ועם כל אלה, היום כבר ניתן לומר, במידה גבוהה של ודאות, כי חלק מהפרטים שמסרה חברת LLD באותו ערב נורא, התבררו כשגויים. כך, למשל, באותו ערב שבו אירע האירוע הטרגי מסרו גורמים בסביבת החברה כי למנוחה לא התאפשר להיוועץ עם עורך דין. לעומת זאת, מסביבת המשטרה נודע כי למנוחה הוצע להיוועץ עם עורך דין מספר פעמים.

לאור דבריו של בעלה של המנוחה בכלי התקשורת השונים, כיום כבר ברור כי ללא כל קשר לשאלה – כיצד נהגו בעובדת  המנוחה חוקרי המשטרה, הרי שלפחות בנוגע לזכות ההיוועצות נראה שהם קיימו את חובתם. בעלה של המנוחה העיד כי החוקר שהתקשר אליו באמצע חקירתה הפציר בהם לשכור את שירותיו של עורך דין. אמנם הבעל מתאר זאת כאמצעי לחץ שהופעל על רעייתו הנחקרת, אך לאור דבריו נראים דברי החברה כלא מדויקים, בלשון המעטה.

 

To read the remainder of the article click here.

 

Yeshiva – Tough on Schools? Now or Later…

Threatening to get tough (eventually) on schools that don’t teach

Years into the investigation into whether some yeshivas fail to provide the basic education required by state law, the State Education Department is threatening to get tough.

SED last week issued new guidelines on how it will enforce requiring non-public schools to offer “substantial equivalency of instruction” — that is, whether they teach basics in secular subjects like English, history, math and science.

The rules give Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia a hammer: She can deny cash (for transportation, special education and other funding) to schools that don’t teach — and also list their students as not attending a real school, which means trouble for the parents of the “truant” kids.

But getting to the penalty stage may take quite some time. The rules don’t seem to even start any penalty phase until Dec. 15, 2021.

Huh? The Department of Education has (theoretically) been investigating dozens of yeshivas for three years now. Yet last month Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza revealed six high-school-equivalent yeshivas have refused access to DOE’s evaluators. Do those schools get to restart the clock?

Even then, the guidelines call for joint action between the school and SED officials to get a problem school into compliance.

As Naftuli Moster, the activist who’s led the fight for yeshiva accountability, notes, leaving any real action until 2022 is “far too long for students who are being denied a comprehensive educational experience, day in and day out, to wait.”

All in all, it looks like New York’s leaders have punted on this issue once again.

Leviev v. Klein – Devastating Corporate Divorce – Something Missing….

 

 

Theory: The Current “Black Diamondgate” Smuggling Investigation in Israel may be Reason to Reconsider Klein Ruling

In February/March of 2017, it was announced by numerous papers that the US Federal Court had upheld an arbitration award against the Julius Klein Group, in an ongoing and very messy corporate divorce. We believe that the courts got the decision wrong and the basis of our comments is a single sentence reported by The NY Post on September 18, 2013, when the battle between the parties began. 

In an article entitled: Diamond king in heated battle with jewelry partners

It is quoted as follows:

“The two sides first joined forces in 2002, and Leviev claims he has a 43.5 percent interest in the joint venture, KLG Jewelry.

But Leviev, 57, says he hasn’t been paid any profits since last September as the parties have attempted to reach a settlement agreement for a “complete corporate divorce.”

Leviev wants the court to prevent his colleagues from selling “highly mobile and not easily traceable” diamonds.”

In 2013 Leviev, by his own admission, acknowledged the mobility of diamonds, the ease with which they could be transported from one place to another and frankly, how easy it would be to hide assets in either uncut or unmarked diamonds. We believe that with the new investigation into Leviev and a potential well orchestrated diamond smuggling operation in Israel, the Kleins may have legally available means to open this case for a reevaluation. In other words, who was really hiding what from whom? Were the Kleins really hiding assets or was Leviev manipulating a system he knows all to well.

We have posted for further reading information of interest, including a number of the legal opinions. We have been through the cases and the arbitration information and we do not think that the result was appropriate, particularly in retrospect.

We also question the integrity of the arbitration and by implication the ligitation that followed given Leviev’s own position at the time and the current “Black Diamondgate” investigation in Israel.

Read as follows:

The lawsuit information:  

http://static.reuters.com/resources/media/editorial/20170301/levievvklein–opinion.pdf

Lev Leviev Secures $209 Million Judgment Against Julius Klein Group

Published On: Tue, Feb 28th, 2017

Lev Leviev Secures $209 Million Judgment Against Julius Klein Group

Julius Klein Group asset seizure efforts to commence; Klein Family Martin, Abraham, Moishe and Malka Klein Personally Liable for Debt

lev-leviev 514x360
A Manhattan federal judge on Monday has confirmed an arbitration award holding Julius Klein Group and four of its principals responsible for paying $209 million to LGC USA Holdings, Inc., an affiliate of the Leviev Group led by Israeli billionaire Lev Leviev.

Leveiev accuses his business partners Julius Klein Group, led by Martin, Abraham, Moishe and Malka Klein of freezing him out of three highly lucrative gem companies, in the Manhattan civil suit.

In what may be a record judgment in the diamond industry, Judge Jesse M. Furman confirmed an arbitration ruling from last year and ordered the Kleins to be responsible for paying LGC $142 million immediately. In addition to more than $66 million that has already been paid, for a total of $209 million. This representing the face amount of the award of $111.9 million plus prejudgment interest at 9 percent from Feb. 2014 – Feb. 2017.

The federal court judgment also includes prejudgment interest in the amount of $27.9 million each day from Feb. 2014 – Feb. 2017, the date of entry of the final judgment.

The Julius Klein Group unsuccessfully claimed that the substantial financial award should be set aside because the arbitrators were allegedly biased and corrupt. But the judge rejected these and all of the Kleins’ other arguments in ruling for LGC.

Lev Leviev and the Julius Klein Group formed a joint venture KLG Jewelry in 2002 where Leviev had a 43.5 percent stake.

LGC, led by president Chagit Sofiev-Leviev, intends to pursue collection in a vigorous manner from the debtors including Julius Klein Diamonds LLC, Julius Klein Group Holdings LLC, Julius Klein Diamonds Inc, Klein Tenancy, KLG Jewelry LLC, Sunrise Venture LLC as well as Martin Klein, his wife Malka Klein, his business partner Abraham David (A.D.) Klein and A.D.’s son Moishe Klein.

“The Leviev Group will take all steps available, including seizing corporate and individual assets, to collect this judgment after the lengthy legal procedures now have resulted in this final ruling,” said Charles Michael, the partner at Steptoe and Johnson who represents the Leviev Group.

The Julius Klein Group had tried to keep the arbitration loss secret. As one news report described: “Lawyers for Leviev’s nemesis, the Julius Klein Group, desperately tried, and failed, to seal the Manhattan federal court case related to the whopping award.”

During the arbitration, the Kleins engaged in unseemly stalling and threatening tactics to derail the arbitration, including the filing of a rabbinical proceeding against one of the arbitrators.

 

 

ADDITIONAL SOURCES:

Inside the Leviev–Julius Klein Corporate Divorce

https://www.jckonline.com/editorial-article/inside-the-leviev-julius-klein-corporate-divorce/

“Given this has become a high-profile case, it’s worth looking at its background. Prior to the lawsuits and arbitrations, the two sides had been partners for more than a decade. According to an affidavit signed by Lev Leviev, in 2001, his company and the Kleins created two companies, Sunrise and Vivid Collection. (The latter eventually shut down amid a lawsuit.)

Following that, Leviev became joint venture partners with the Kleins in three companies: Julius Klein Diamonds, Sunrise Ventures, and KLG (which runs the Leviev retail chain). For years, the Klein family operated those businesses. The Klein side claims that Leviev was never involved in its day-to-day operations, but the Leviev side griped in a complaint filed in New York State Court in September 2013 that “the businesses were operated in secret, without providing [LGC] any of the information they were entitled to concerning these entities’ operations.”

In 2012, LGC wanted out, and eventually decided to be bought out of all the partnership companies. The current dispute is over the valuation of LGC’s stakes in those companies.

Following industry custom, this issue was meant to be a settled by an arbitration, which commenced in May 2013. The Klein and Leviev sides chose one arbitrator apiece—Chaim Pluczenik and Israel Zahavi, respectively. Zahavi and Pluczenik picked the third, “neutral” arbitrator, Jacob Bronner. Pluczenik later resigned, calling the process “biased” and “unfair,” and was replaced by Eytan Cohen.”

 

Federal Court Enters Judgment Holding Julius Klein Diamonds, Its Principal Martin Klein & Three Others Responsible for Paying $209 Million to a Lev Leviev Company

https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20170228006120/en/Federal-Court-Enters-Judgment-Holding%C2%A0Julius-Klein-Diamonds

“The Julius Klein Group unsuccessfully claimed that the substantial financial award should be set aside because the arbitrators were allegedly biased and corrupt. But the judge rejected these and all of the Kleins’ other arguments in ruling for LGC. (A detailed opinion is expected to be publicly released.)”
The litigation is LGC USA Holdings, Inc. v. Julius Klein Diamonds, LLC, et al., U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, Case Nos. 16 Civ. 5294 and 16 Civ. 5352.

 

Lev Leviev Wins $209M Judgment Against Julius Klein Group

http://idexonline.com/FullArticle?Id=42902

“The case has been bitterly contested and led to death threats and an alleged smear campaign to the arbitrator initially assigned to decide on it, the New York Post reported.”
“A Manhattan federal judge ordered the Julius Klein Group to pay $142 million to Leviev’s LGC USA Holdings. That sum is in addition to the more than $66 million that has already been paid, according to the report.”

Lev Leviev – “Black Diamondgate” – Globes

Leviev Dictating Terms for any Investigation…

In short, the below article from Globes, which refers to Mazal Hadadi’s death as a suicide (something we don’t believe to be true), sets forth the conditions that are being demanded by Lev Leviev to accept an interrogation. Among them, he is willing to provide a guarantee (presumably financial) that would not be returned to him in the event he decided to flee) but to the point of the article he wanted guarantees that he would not be detained. Would a guarantee provided by Leviev in the form of financial recompense really be enough such that he is a trustworthy party to an interrogation?

His known wealth is enough to feed citizens of the same countries from which he has obtained most of his diamonds. There is no way to know how much money is hidden. Should his immense wealth reduce his accountability?

It is our position that while Leviev’s employees at LLD should not be forced out of work, the result of freezing all Leviev’s corporate assets, Leviev should by equal measure not be rewarded for seeking refuge in the Soviet Union. He has not left the Soviet Union to return to his home in England, to the US or to anywhere else because he is free to remain there without accountability.

The Soviets likely would protect him under all circumstances, and most notably he is well protected by Chabad. We do not believe he should be permitted to dictate terms for his own interrogation. Moreover, as we do not believe his bookkeeper voluntarily tossed herself out a window, our perspective is that the extent to which he is involved should be part of the investigation. Why are these points even negotiable at this juncture?  

נחשף מסמך דרישותיו של לבייב מהמשטרה תמורת חקירתו

“החדשות” פרסמה שורת התניות שדורש איש העסקים שאם יתקיימו – יתייצב לחקירה בפרשת “יהלום שחור”. בין היתר הוא מבקש לשהות במעצר בית ולהפקיד ערבויות

 

שלושה ימים לאחר התאבדותה של מזל הדדי, מנהלת החשבונות בחברת LLD של איש העסקים לב לבייב שנחקרה באזהרה בלהב 433 בפרשת “יהלום שחור”, נחשף הערב (שישי) ב”חדשות” מסמך המכיל את דרישותיו של לב לבייב מהמשטרה בתמורה להתייצבותו לחקירה.

על פי המסמך, לבייב, שסרב עד עתה להגיע לחקירה בישראל,  נכון להתייצב למסור גרסה מפורטת, יעמיד את עצמו לחקירה בחו”ל או, לחלופין, יגיע לישראל. במהלך חקירתו הוא מבקש לשהות במעצר בית ולהפקיד ערבויות. בתום התקופה כאמור, הוא מבקש שיוכל לשוב לעבודתו בחו”ל.

כזכור, המשטרה ביצעה בשבוע שעבר יחד עם רשות המיסים רישום של נכסי לבייב, אותם בכוונתה לחלט באם יורשע, ובמידת הצורך, בתום ההליך המשפטי נגדו. לאור החשד המצטבר כנגדו בכל הקשור למעורבות בפרשת “היהלום השחור” והיקפי הפרשה, החליטו ברשות המיסים ובמשטרה “לתפוס על הנייר את נכסיו של לבייב בסביון ובמקומות נוספים, כך שלא ניתן יהיה למכור אותם או להעבירם לגוף אחר, כל עוד ההליך המשטרתי בעניינו מתנהלים”.

יש לציין כי מדובר בהליך פורמלי הנהוג בחקירות כלכליות, כאשר בעקבות המידע אודות עבירות בהם לכאורה מעורב חשוד, ממהרים ברשות המיסים ובמשטרה לבצע רישום של אותם נכסים. על פי ההערכה, במהלך 16 השנים האחרונות ששת החשודים בפרשה הבריחו יהלומים בהיקף שמעורך ב-300 מיליון שקלים. ההברחה הגדולה ביותר התרחשה לפני כשש שנים, כאשר עובד בכיר באחד העסקים של לב לבייב ברוסיה, הבריח כמות עצומה של יהלומים במזוודות.

במשטרה חושדים כי עובדו של לבייב, שנעצר כאמור בפרשה, חזר לארץ לפני שש שנים, ואז ניצל את מעמדו כתושב חוזר והבריח את היהלומים במזוודות הרבות שהיו ברשותו. עוד חושדת המשטרה כי העובד מכר את היהלומים בלי לדווח לרשויות המס, וזאת הייתה רק אחת מהפעמים שעשה זאת. במשטרה בודקים את הצורך אם לגבות עדות מלב לבייב עצמו, וכן לבצע מעצרים של חשודים נוספים. בידי המשטרה ישנו עד מדינה שמסייע לה בחקירת הפרשה.

 

If Mazal Hadadi was Incapable of Committing Suicide… She did Not Jump, at Least Not Voluntarily

Mazal Hadadi did not Commit Suicide, if all Accounts of her Life are True, she was Murdered

LM – Editorial, to be Updated

According to news reports in English and in Hebrew, “The husband of a woman being investigated in a massive diamond smuggling probe who died after falling from a building this week is denying that his wife jumped to her death and alleging abuse by police.” “Her husband Kobi Hadadi told the Kan public broadcaster Thursday that he did not believe his wife was capable of committing suicide, and alleged that there may have been foul play in her death.” “According to Hadadi, his wife left work Tuesday afternoon, and ran into a friend, who said she seemed “normal and was heading home.” After that, she returned to work and fell from the building.” (Times of Israel -11.23.18 Husband of woman who died after questioning in diamond probe denies suicide)

If as Kobi Hadadi believes, that his wife was not “capable of committing suicide” the police could have theoretically tortured her and it still would not have led to suicide. The point here being, she may have been shaken up but would not have jumped from a building. Bringing the behavior of the police into the narrative is all smoke and mirrors.

In a letter prepared by her employer, Lev Leviev’s LLC Diamonds, only hours after she died, “The company, LLD Diamonds, owned by Russian-Israeli diamond billionaire and philanthropist Lev Leviev, claimed it had information suggesting that investigators had subjected Hadadi to severe pressure and threats that caused her serious mental distress, Hadashot News reported.” (Times of Israel – 11.22.18 Leviev diamond company urges AG to probe police role in employee’s suicideThat seems odd. If she was working for the company and being questioned in connection with the activities of the company, wouldn’t the company also have already offered her legal assistance? Wouldn’t there be some statement from LLD Diamonds stating that they had a valued employee who would have had top representation for any investigation having to do with her employment?

The articles in Hebrew on the same subjects state that Kobi Hadadi and his children believe in no uncertain terms that they do not believe that she WAS CAPABLE OF committing suicide, quoting directly: “The husband of Mazal refuses to believe the police There is no circumstance under which his wife committed suicide, she to not jump from there.”  (Globes 22.11.18 בעלה של מזל מסרב להאמין לשוטרים: “אין מצב שאשתי התאבדה, היא לא עלתה לשם”) Her friends, her children and others who knew her have all stated the same thing, that she would not have killed herself. In fact, she had plans for the following Shabbat and she was talking of vacations. If we take all of this as true, by Kobi Hadadi’s account it would not have mattered if the police handled the investigation properly or not. His wife, however shaken, would not have ended her own life.

This was not a suicide, full stop. LLD Diamonds has altered the narrative from a woman’s death to police brutality. And in so doing, they have changed the face of the investigation.  And by not pursuing a murder investigation, the police in Israel are doing Mazal Hadadi another disservice. Their investigation should be focusing on: 1) on the original investigation into Lev Leviev and LLD Diamonds and 2) who killed Mazal Hadadi or who threatened her, thereby making jumping the lesser of two alternatives.

We are not committing to a position on who specifically committed the murder, though we have our suspicions. We believe, based upon the facts presented, as well as sources close to the investigation who stated to our sources that Mazal Hadadi was not under suspicion. She had been questioned under caution in connection to the investigation. She may have been uneasy about how the dust would settle but not to the point of suicide. Regardless of the situation presented before her, her family maintains she would not have committed suicide and left three children, her entire world. A person does not wake up one morning and jump from a building. Why go to work to do it, if not to be presented to a wider audience as a warning?

There are dozens and dozens of people with access to the Ramat Gan building on a daily basis. One of those people either pushed her out a window; or, in our view, she was given two choices and that jump was the better alternative. Even that, though, we find hard to believe given her behavior on that day.  Law enforcement should be ignoring the trumped up allegations that they had something to do with the death. They should be focusing on murder or threats. And, more to the point, what information did she have that would have made her a  liability to LLD Diamonds, where she had worked for a number of years.

ADDITIONAL READING:

Husband of woman who died after questioning in diamond probe denies suicide

Leviev diamond company urges AG to probe police role in employee’s suicide

42-year-old woman jumped out of her office window in Ramat Gan’s Diamond Exchange After “aggressive” Police Questioning

Mazal Hadadi ע”ה
 

Israel billionaire Lev Leviev’s diamond company LLD has asked Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit to probe the circumstances of the suicide of Mrs. Mazal Hadadi who was questioned under caution this week in connection with a massive diamond smuggling scandal.

The 42-year-old woman jumped out of her office window in Ramat Gan’s Diamond Exchange District on Tuesday night.

“The circumstances of her death raise the suspicion that she took her life due to severe emotional distress due to the aggressive and disproportionate investigation she was subjected to in recent days,” the letter stated.

YNet –

קובי הדדי מסרב לקבל את הטענות שאשתו מזל בחרה ליטול את חייה בקפיצה מאחד המגדלים בבורסה ברמת גן. “מאז שהחקירה התחילה היא לא רצתה לחזור לעבודה. מי שרוצה להתאבד לא מזמין חברים לשבת”, הוא מתעקש. “לקחו לי חלק מהגוף, נותרנו בלי האור של הבית”

Yeshiva Education, Failing Students, England – Ohr Torah School

The failing school where pupils aren’t taught in English, leave without proper qualifications and aren’t prepared for ‘life in modern Britain’0_School3

Yeshivah Ohr Torah School in Salford has been rated as ‘inadequate’ in all areas by Ofsted

A failing school where pupils are not taught in English, leave with no recognised qualifications and are not prepared for ‘life in modern Britain’ has been slammed by the education watchdog.

Orthodox Jewish Yeshivah Ohr Torah School in Salford has been criticised by Ofsted chiefs in a damning inspection report, in which they said they couldn’t confirm whether pupils are ‘well cared for and safe’.

Parents of children at the all-boys independent school – which serves the Hasidic Jewish community of Broughton Park – were said to have withdrawn consent for inspectors to talk to their sons.

The school, previously graded ‘good’, has been deemed ‘inadequate’ in every inspection category.

Ofsted bosses said that while some youngsters speak English as their first language at home, all lessons at Yeshivah are taught in Yiddish.

Children follow a curriculum based on Jewish religious studies, with ‘infrequent’ opportunities to pursue secular studies,inspectors said.

Yeshivah Ohr Torah School

Other subjects are only taught if relevant to pupils’ religious studies, inspectors said.

“The school’s own measures of pupils’ achievements only have value within their own religious community,” the report read.

Inspectors said students are not encouraged to respect and understand people from other walks of life, including those of different sexual orientation and those who have undergone gender reassignment.

Children do not learn enough about other faiths and cultures, the report added.

The school’s anti-bullying policy was criticised for not including all forms of discrimination, including homophobia.

“Other aspects of pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development are also weak,” inspectors said.

Physical education is non-existent at the school, meaning children do little – if any – exercise at school.

Ofsted chiefs said prospects for pupils are poor because they do not sit any external exams – meaning they finish year 11 with no recognised qualifications, ‘ill-prepared for their next steps’.

Ofsted bosses raised serious concerns about the school

Safeguarding was found to be ineffective and relevant checks were said not to have carried on trustees of the school.

Governors at the school, previously rated ‘good’ in 2014, say Yeshivah still provides a ‘high-quality education’.

They claim the latest rating reflects the government’s new, ‘rigid’ inspection framework.

The Ofsted report read: “Opportunities for pupils to develop their English and mathematical skills are poor. The school does not provide lessons in English.

“Pupils have limited opportunities to practise their speaking, reading and writing skills in English.

“Moreover, little time is given to the teaching of mathematics. This means that pupils are not well prepared for life in modern Britain.”

The school was rated ‘inadequate’ overall and in all four inspection categories – effectiveness of leadership and management; quality of teaching, learning and assessment; personal development, behaviour and welfare; and outcomes for pupils.

Parents told inspectors they were happy with the education provided and ‘strongly supported the school’.

Shaya Leitner, speaking on behalf of governors, said: “We would like to highlight the fact that our school continues to deliver a high quality education, and indeed on previous inspections, we have been rated as a good school.

“The current rating reflects the new inspection framework that is much more rigid which has reduced the flexibility that independent schools have previously enjoyed to structure a broad and balanced curriculum that reflects the ethos of the school community it serves.”

The school has been told it must take action to meet the requirements of the government’s Independent School Standards.

 

Israeli schools reported to avoid teaching evolution — Why Evolution Is True

Oy gewalt! The Times of Israel (click on screenshot below), which I take to be a fairly reliable source about what’s going on in that country, reported at the end of August that the national Education Ministry is pushing teachers to deep-six the teaching of evolution in favor of other stuff. Click on the screenshot […]

via Israeli schools reported to avoid teaching evolution — Why Evolution Is True

Did Leviev’s Bookkeeper Actually Jump – In Other Words, Was it Suicide?

lev levievLev Leviev, a Suicide… Was it Really a Suicide?

AN EDITORIAL  – LM

We have been following Lev Leviev for years. We have followed his entrails with Benny Steinmetz, the DRC, the 88 Queensway Group, Sam PaChina Sonangol,  the cartels, the virtual takeover of the DeBeers empire, Dan Gertler and on and on. It is difficult to amass that much wealth, in an business empire built on enslaving a country and its members, without there being much to be said. 

We have followed the battle between Lev Leviev and Arkady Gaydamak and a trust which Leviev was to hold on behalf of Gaydamak and instead allegedly kept for himself. According to lawsuits, Berel Lazar, a trusted Rabbi, was to hold onto the trust in good faith for Gaydamak to claim later; and instead he and Leviev managed to wrest Gaydamak’s assets away from him. The justice in that is a question for the philosophers. Gaydamak signed the trust document to hide assets. Lazar allegedly “misplaced” the trust (or claimed it did not exist) and ultimately Leviev was all the wealthier for it. With friends like that, one needs no enemies.

We posit, with significant analysis behind us, that in New York the police officers working on behalf of Leviev’s quasi-associate, Jona Rechnitz, were paid in diamonds. We believe the entire story is integrally connected to the closing of the tunnels. We contend that at some point, when time has passed and they are free of prying eyes, at least some of the officers are going to suddenly uncover the buried treasures of their interludes with Rechnitz (and Reichberg).  Rechnitz in our view is perhaps the least credible witness available. He will not stand trial and will save his own skin by tossing others under a proverbial bus. But that is for a different story.

Leviev’s connections to Putin, Kushner, Berel Lazar, the criminal governments throughout Africa and the DRC speaks volumes to who he is. That he has given money to Chabad and other Jewish causes, in a quasi Robin Hood alternate universe, is irrelevant. His wealth is built on blood diamonds and the backs of friends and enemies. That is our perspective.

And today, we do not feel that the woman who jumped to her death in Israel, Leviev’s bookkeeper, committed suicide. We offer condolences to her family, to her loved ones, to those who are experiencing a grief that few will ever understand. People close to the investigation have told us that she was only questioned for a few hours and only in the last day or so. She had not been “under investigation” per say. If she jumped (and by implication we mean was not pushed) we take the position that she did so under threat, for fear of something beyond the investigation or because she had some very dark information. We can only hope that the authorities in Israel, and perhaps in the US are investigating, thoroughly.  

Mark G Peters – Whistleblower – New York Yeshiva Investigation – A Travesty of Justice

MARK G PETERS – WHISTLE-BLOWER – A TRAVESTY OF JUSTICE AND EDUCATIONAL NEGLECT 

The following speaks for itself. We ask you to kindly read and share.

This is a formal statement made by Mark G. Peters. It speaks to the incompetence of the system, the corruption, the lack of  care for the education of the children in the State of New York, as equally entitled to, if not obligated to receive a substantially similar education.

It speaks to educational neglect and it speaks to the obligation of those of us willing to publicize and fight for the rights of all of the State of New York’s children, including those who are receiving an education who should not grow up responsible for those who did not.

petersresponse_Page_01petersresponse_Page_02petersresponse_Page_03petersresponse_Page_04petersresponse_Page_05petersresponse_Page_06petersresponse_Page_07petersresponse_Page_08petersresponse_Page_09petersresponse_Page_10petersresponse_Page_11

Rabbi Shmuel Rabinovitz – Quasi Rabbi, Keeper of the Holy Sites, Never Properly Certified to be a Rabbi

THE KEEPER OF THE WESTERN WALL AND THE HOLY PLACES IN ISRAEL, THE SAME ONE WHO USES RELIGION TO PREVENT WOMEN FROM PRAYING, IS NOT ACTUALLY A RABBI

The following is a loose translation of an article from 2016 whereby Rabbi Shmuel Rabinovitz’s position as keeper of the Western Wall and the holy sites in Israel was questioned because he was never officially certified to be a rabbi. This is the same rabbi (quasi rabbi) who has spoken against women being permitted to pray at the Western Wall. He is the same rabbi (quasi rabbi) who imposes significant restrictions on women including searches to be certain that they are not carrying holy items into restricted areas.

Should he even have been given the position he holds, which is a lifetime position and, for which he is likely handsomely paid, but for which he does not have the rabbinical background generally associated with that position.

To the Rabbi for the Kotel (the Western wall) and all holy sites, there is no rabbinical certification.

The Rabbi Shmuel Rabinovitz who is responsible for the Kotel and all holy sites in Israel, was never tested for or earned the normal rabbinical certification. He was certified as passed down through Rabbinical decree which apparently was acceptable at the time.

 

Without appropriate certification at the age of 25 Rabbi Shmuel Rabinovitz began referring to himself as a rabbi. And 5 years after that he received the position as Rabbi of the Kotel and all holy sites in Israel without receiving appropriate certifications [loosely translated].

He acts as a rabbi for the holy places “the keeper of the holy places” by way of law. The law allows him to act in this position as manager of the holy places but he refers to himself as a rabbi. There is no certification required to be responsible for the Kotel and to make decisions; but he is expected to be certified. As a matter of the rabbinical authority, this generally does not happen as it is expected that the person in his position would have the certification as a rabbi.

From the Rabbinical counsel, Rabinovitz responded “For the Rabbi of the Western Wall, there is a consensus of the many rabbis and from them the highest order of Jewish law “which can be determined  by their head leader” by order of the great Rabbi Shlomo Salman (may he rest in piece). And at that time the requirements to receive the position [of Rabinovitz] could be passed along.”

לרב הכותל והמקומות הקדושים אין תעודת רבנות

הרב שמואל רבינוביץ שאחראי על מתחם הכותל והמקומות הקדושים לא נבחן מעולם במבחני הרבנות. מלשכתו נמסר בתגובה: “הוא הוסמך לרבנות על ידי הגרש”ז אוירבעך. בזמנו זה מה שנדרש”

מערכת כיפה

כג בסיון התשעו

,

29 ביוני, 2016 10:38

Shmuelxq-cc-by-sa

Shmuelxq-cc-by-saצילום: Shmuelxq-cc-by-sa

הרב שמואל רבינוביץ, רב הכותל והמקומות הקדושים, בכלל לא נושא עליו תעודת רב ואף פעם לא נבחן במבחני רבנות. רבינוביץ התחיל לשמש כרב המקומות הקדושים בגיל 25 בלבד, וחמש שנים לאחר מכן קיבל לידיו את רחבת הכותל המערבי מבלי שעשה שום הכשרה רבנית מוקדמת. כך נחשף היום בגל”צ.

הוא מתפקד כרב המקומות הקדושים בתור “הממונה על המקומות הקדושים”, כלשון החוק. משפט זה מאפשר לו לכהן בתפקיד בתור מנהל המקום, אך הוא משתמש בו כרב. אין בתוקף סמכותו של אחראי הכותל לקבל החלטות הלכתיות והוא אמור להיות כפוף לרבנות הראשית, מה שבפועל לא קורה, כפי שאומרים בכירים המקורבים לרבנות הראשית.

מלשכת הרב רבינוביץ נמסר בתגובה: “לרב הכותל המערבי יש סמיכה לכהן כרב מרבנים רבים, ובהם גדולי פוסקי הלכה ובראשם מר”ן, פוסק הדור הגאון רבי שלמה זלמן אוירבעך זצ”ל. בזמנו זה מה שנדרש לכהן בתפקידו”.

A Diamond and a Suicide…Who Should Account?

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Leviev diamond co smuggling ring suspect commits suicide

The 42 year old woman who worked as a bookkeeper at LLD jumped to her death from the company’s Ramat Gan offices.

One of the suspects at Lev Leviev’s LLD diamond company who has been questioned by police under caution has jumped to her death from the company’s offices in the Ramat Gan Diamond Exchange. The 42 year old woman was employed as a bookkeeper at LLD.LLD put out a statement saying, “We received with shock and deep sadness the announcement of this difficult loss of a company employee. We will take every possible action in our power to assist in the investigation of her death and in order to put an end to this difficult situation in which the rights of the suspects are being trampled on, causing irreversible damage out of a desire to make media headlines.”

Nine employees of LLD, owned by the Leviev family, have been arrested for alleged involvement in a diamond smuggling ring, money laundering, customs and income tax violations, conspiracy to commit a crime, fraud, falsifying corporate documents and other offenses. Some of those arrested and since released are close associates of Lev Leviev. On Sunday, the house arrest of two of the suspects was lifted.

From the YU Observer – Education and the Ultra-Orthodox

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THE YESHIVA UNIVERSITY OBSERVER

PULLING THE PLUG ON POTENTIAL: HOW MODERN ORTHODOXY MUST SAVE ULTRA-ORTHODOX EDUCATION

By Molly Meisels, Junior News Editor

At this very moment, children in Jewish day schools and yeshivas across the country are learning about the fall of the Roman Empire, the intricacies of Talmud, and the anatomy of the human body. They are building robots and competing in debate tournaments, while anticipating their acceptances to prestigious universities. Their lives are fixated on an education which will be the foundation of their economic and social futures, allowing them to positively impact their communities. Their lives have been focused on education, both secular and Jewish, for as long as they can remember. It is all they know, and most take it for granted. They expect all Jewish children to have these experiences, but this is unfortunately not the case. If you travel to the ultra-Orthodox communities of Brooklyn and Rockland County, most children will never learn how to write an essay, name the bones in their bodies, or do mathematics beyond multiplication and division. Many will end their secular educations at the age of twelve, and some will never be able to sign their names in English.

The ultra-Orthodox community has many attributes. Its community members are pious, dedicated, and passionate, deserving of respect from the rest of Jewish society. However, the state of education in most ultra-Orthodox communities is in crisis. While I never wish to impede the religious freedoms of individuals, the issue of education is not a religious one. Education is a necessity. Education is the atom of our lives. Without it, we cannot flourish and we cannot succeed. Just as you cannot have gold, silver, or iron without atoms, you cannot have health, wealth, or gender equality without a solid education. Education breaks cycles of poverty and illness, allowing those born into low socioeconomic communities to rise above their circumstances. By prohibiting valid standards of education in a community, you are cutting off a life-line, and pulling the plug on lives that still have potential.

In ultra-Orthodox communities, girls are provided with a solid, albeit a substandard, education. Girls are taught four hours of Jewish studies and four hours of secular studies per day. They are prohibited from learning Gemara and their studies are immensely censored, but they are taught history, English, science, and math. They will most likely not utilize their education, but they have received one. Boys experience education a bit differently. Many Chassidic boys begin their secular educations at seven years old. From seven to twelve, they have approximately one hour of secular studies per day, when they learn the basics of math, reading, science, and history. Secular studies are viewed as an inconvenience by administrative figures, and the children notice this, causing them to disrespect their secular studies teachers. They come to realize rather quickly that their secular education does not matter in the slightest.

When these boys turn thirteen, everything changes. Most boys are sent to yeshivas, where they remain for up to fifteen hours per day. They learn no secular studies at all. Some boys are given the option to take secular studies classes after their fifteen hours of learning, but most decline. They are exhausted. Why learn secular studies when they can use the time to sleep? And more importantly, why learn secular studies if their rabbis do not deem them vital? Consequently, by the time they are eighteen years old, most boys will have the education level of a fourth-grade public school student.

This system sets children up for hardship. Education generates tolerance, understanding, and critical thinking skills, and Chassidic children are deprived of these essential proficiencies. It is well-known that education is dangerous. Education challenges the power of leadership. Education is the one weapon ultra-Orthodox communities cannot fight in the war against secularization. Educate a child and you change a world; keep a child in darkness and you preserve your influence.

Chassidic communities face astronomical levels of poverty, and this is a product of insufficient education. In the Chassidic village of New Square, the average household income is $21,773, compared to the New York State average of $60,741. This makes New Square the poorest municipality in New York, with a poverty rate of 70%. The New York Chassidic community of Kiryas Joel is ranked as the second poorest New York municipality. These communities rely heavily on government funds, making it nearly impossible for them to ever reach stability. While some men in these communities are born with innate business-sense, allowing them to build their way up economically, they are the exceptions. Most struggle to find jobs to support their families, and many women are busy raising their large families, barring them from working full-time jobs.

You’d think that the government would notice this lacking educational system and do something to combat it, but the government does close to nothing to improve the educational standards of these communities. The bloc votes provided by Chassidic sects are vital for political reelections. Without the Chassidic vote, many would not be in their positions. Investigations into the dismal state of ultra-Orthodox educational affairs are pushed off, closed due to inadequate evidence, and utterly ignored. But politicians cannot ignore a problem of this magnitude, as it will grow and consume the next generation of Chassidic children.

If politicians choose to do nothing, then it is up to the Modern Orthodox community to take concrete action. The Modern Orthodox community has a love/hate relationship with the Chassidic community. They adore sharing mystical tales of Chassidic rabbis, admiring the sects from afar. However, they tend to disassociate with the more fundamentalist Jewish sects, and they believe that the issues plaguing these communities are not theirs to combat. But I beg to differ.

Yeshiva University is an institution which defines itself by Torah U’Madda. YU has found a way to fuse these two together, and its students represent Torah Jewry at its finest. Students of Yeshiva University, and Modern Orthodox individuals at large, are the only ones who can assist the Chassidic community. They are in a position to persuade. They can teach the Chassidic community how to balance a Torah life and a life of secular education. They can teach the Chassidic community how to rise above poverty and gender inequality. They can change the worlds of children being denied a fundamental human right. Remaining apathetic is no longer an option. YU is at the forefront of change across the world, but change begins at home. Chassidic communities are family. They share the same genes and heritage as those attending Yeshiva University, and many Yeshiva University students have Chassidic ancestry.

Modern Orthodoxy must exert its resources and vast knowledge to save the state of education in Chassidic communities. It is their obligation to assist those who have trouble assisting themselves, for what good is Tikkun Olam if it is only practiced in third world countries? Modern Orthodoxy must start organizations, lead GED programs, and help encourage local government officials. Yeshiva University should make a concerted effort to recruit students from ultra-Orthodox schools. Many ultra-Orthodox teenagers do not fit the Chassidic mold and want to pursue something religiously different. However, they do not have educational resources and do not believe that there is a religious alternative to their upbringings, leading them to leave Judaism completely. Organizations like NCSY should be welcoming and accommodating to students of ultra-Orthodox backgrounds, since they too could use kiruv. Summer programs and camps should do everything in their power to accept the ultra-Orthodox, as it would provide a comforting and safe Jewish environment for these children to blossom in. Acknowledging the positive work done by many Modern Orthodox institutions should be highlighted and celebrated, like families from Chassidic backgrounds being accepted into schools like Bruriah, Ma’ayanot, and Yeshiva University. However, we should not be satisfied with anything less than excellence, and the current state of ultra-Orthodox education is anything but excellent.

Leviev, Diamonds and Condoms

Diamonds and Condoms and Orifices, but Why?

The irony of this particular story is not lost on us. We can’t possibly imagine how uncomfortable stuffing small glass-like rocks into one’s orifices must be, so this story is almost funny…. if it weren’t.

And we really do not think that the smuggling of diamonds needed be so very elaborate. In fact, if they were not cut or polished, the idea that they could not be smuggled with relative ease is quite ridiculous.

Consider this: a woman carries a makeup bag with mascara, eyeliner, an assortment of lipsticks a variety of eye shadows; and at the bottom of that bag are some stones, lying around, pieces of sand from a beach or sea-glass. It would be so simple. No customs agent would even contemplate the possibility that such mundanely placed items have any value. And to assume they are diamonds? Likely not.  

Every female who has ever traveled likely has unidentified wrappers, residue from makeup, or a hotel shampoo bottle in her makeup pouch or in a lost corner of her handbag. Why is the possibility, that diamonds could be smuggled, identified as a few stones from the beach, perhaps, mingled with seashells meaninglessly lost in a handbag really so hard to conceive? At very worst, a woman carrying such items could so easily claim not to know that they had any value. Whereas, a person with strategically stuffed items in orifices would have a far more difficult time explaining away such items. And, one would think that movement within the airport restricted by those items would be far, far more uncomfortable.

But… we did find some humor in the theory nonetheless. We only hope that whomever suffered the indignity of smuggling diamonds in such an uncomfortable manner got paid very, very handsomely. 

A woman carrying just such a purse would likely raise far less suspicion and suffer far less opprobrium.

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Police believe Leviev workers had diamonds smuggled into Israel in condoms

Investigators in mass fraud probe say Russian-Israeli billionaire’s enterprise hired couriers to hide gems inside bodies, a tactic typically employed by crime organizations

Russian-Israeli billionaire Lev Leviev’s diamond enterprise, the subject of a mass fraud probe, is suspected of smuggling hundreds of millions of shekels’ worth of gems into Israel inside condoms inserted into couriers’ bodies, in a tactic law enforcement officials have described as a page out of a crime organization’s book.

Leviev’s son and brother have been arrested in connection with the smuggling operation. Leviev himself is reportedly being sought by authorities for questioning over the case — which was first made public last week — but he is refusing to return to Israel from Russia.

Zevulun and Moshe Leviev were among six suspects held on suspicion of smuggling. The pair had run a diamond facility owned by Lev Leviev and the remaining four suspects held senior positions in his company. The remand of all six suspects has been repeated extended by the Rishon Lezion Magistrate’s Court.

Details of the investigation at the Lahav 433 anti-corruption police unit and of the testimony of a state witness in the case were published Thursday by the Ynet news site, exposing the way the gems made their way from Russia into Israel.

Leviev’s enterprise would hire couriers who packed the diamonds into condoms and then inserted them into their bodies. Donning suits, they posed as businessmen and managed to pass Israel border control without raising suspicion.

The diamonds — worth some NIS 300 million ($81.4 million) — were then sold illegally in Israel, without paying taxes. They were also smuggled into other countries, according to the investigation.

“That tactic is very common for drug dealers, who use couriers to smuggle large quantities of drugs inside the couriers’ bodies,” a source with knowledge of the investigation was quoted by Ynet as saying.

“The mere thought of smuggling in this way is a testament to the criminal intentions of those officials. They were afraid that the diamonds would be discovered had they been smuggled in suitcases, and therefore worked with couriers who were willing to take the risk.”

The Russian diamond factory is suspected of operating in two separate production lines: a legal one, which included all the necessary reports to authorities and tax payments, and the illegal one. Police believe that design sought to eliminate suspicion by ostensibly being a law-abiding business, similar to crime organizations that typically also retain legal businesses.

Police and Tax Authority officials believe Leviev played a role in the sting, according to the Walla news website, which did not specify what he is suspected of. Police and prosecutors haven’t yet decided whether to ask Russian authorities to extradite Leviev or request permission to conduct the investigation on Russian soil.

More arrests in Israel and abroad are expected, according to authorities.

The case was cracked with the aid of one of the suspects who turned state witness after he was stopped six months ago at Israel’s Ben Gurion Airport carrying a diamond worth a million shekels ($270,000), the Globes website reported.

In a statement, Leviev’s company LLD Diamonds previously said it had no information about the arrests.

“The company knows nothing of the events reported in the media,” the statement said. “Mr. Leviev and the companies he owns operate according to the appropriate norms, and in compliance with the law. We hope that the matter will quickly be clarified and that the suspicions will turn out to be baseless.”

Born in the then-Soviet republic of Uzbekistan, Leviev moved to Israel at age 15 but  lived in London for much of the past decade before moving to Russia. He is a major supporter of many Jewish causes, including Chabad-Lubavitch, a Hasidic sect that focuses on outreach to Jews around the world.

Shady Landlords, the Sex Trade, Brothels and the Ultra-Orthodox Community Not Mentioned… though not Absent…KJ

Kiryas Joel and 2016 – to Today’s News – Nothing New

In 2016 we ran a piece on sex trafficking in Kiryas Joel, New York only to be called raving lunatics by others on the internet. We had heard first hand accounts of “sex slavery” from housekeepers being brought in to “service” the homes and guests of the homes. Many wanted to avoid any discussion of the topic publicly or even remotely publicly for fear of reprisals from their sponsors. In today’s climate, illegal immigration and cracking down has only made that problem worse. Many will not speak for fear of deportation. Imagine trading one’s body and her/his dignity for refuge. It is unthinkable.

At the time we had read accounts of what amounted to sex trafficking couched in the cover of Au Pairs from abroad. These were girls brought in to care for children, and to service men. We had been told numerous stories and even had a theory regarding one of the Leviev properties in NYC mentioned in 2016.

It is unfortunate that at the time we could not get the victims of these crimes to come forward nor could we substantiate what we believed has been happening for quite some time.

While the NY Times article mentions the difficulties in holding people accountable (particularly the Landlords) and in putting a stop to the brothels, we believe that in many cases the Landlords are not blind to what is happening within their premises. We do not think that the property managers are unaware and we have our suspicions that the network that allows these activities to continue is far better organized than the NY Times article below would have us believe. Smuggling in humans for sex trafficking, or even luring innocent victims, is much like smuggling diamonds. It probably is equally as, if not more, lucrative.

If law enforcement relied on the information obtained by the network of bloggers, it could expand its crime-fighting toolbox.    

THE NEW YORK TIMES

The New Brothels: How Shady Landlords Play a Key Role in the Sex Trade

An apartment building in Park Slope, Brooklyn in a residential area where many families live. A prostitution ring had taken over two apartments to use as brothels. The landlord was complicit, the police said.CreditDave Sanders for The New York Times

Most tenants of a drab, four-story building in Park Slope, Brooklyn, knew about the brothel in their building. Strange men buzzed their apartments at all hours, looking nervous as they headed toward the same two apartments where many residents believed sex was being sold.

Calling the landlord was useless, several tenants said.

“I thought it was strange that he didn’t seem worried about it,” one woman who lived in the building for seven years said. “It was so out in the open.”

In September, the police broke up a large prostitution ring that had been protected by seven police officers. Prosecutors said the landlord of that Park Slope building, Isaac A. Schwartz, was in on it. He has pleaded not guilty to charges of enterprise corruption and conspiracy.

Known by his nickname, “Shragie,” Mr. Schwartz not only owned four of the buildings where the ring’s prostitutes worked, but he’s also been twice included on an official list of the city’s worst landlords.

A retired detective, Ludwig Paz, was charged with being the leader of the ring, which operated brothels in several buildings in Queens and central Brooklyn, but the authorities said Mr. Schwartz also played a key role: finding locations for Mr. Paz.

In New York, gentrification has pushed prostitution indoors. Street walkers have all but disappeared. Prostitutes now advertise online, sex dates are arranged over the phone and brothels operate inside apartments in residential neighborhoods.

As a result, landlords play an important role in the sex trade. By enlisting Mr. Schwartz, Mr. Paz avoided having a landlord report his activities to the police, law enforcement officials said.

Efforts to rid the city of illegal sex have previously implicated prominent landlords, but the police have had a difficult time proving the extent of an owner’s knowledge and involvement.

David M. Hoovler, a former federal prosecutor who is the district attorney in Orange County, N.Y., said the rise of human trafficking in the United States has resulted in an increasing number of landlords willing to participate in illegal activities.

But it’s difficult to prove anything against them in court.

“You have to have evidence that links them to the actual criminal enterprise,” Mr. Hoovler said. “They actually have to have the intent to participate in it. They have to derive a profit from it.”

[A former vice detective is at the center of one of the New York Police Department’s worst scandals in recent years]

Inspector James P. Klein, the commanding officer of the vice enforcement division, where Mr. Paz worked until 2010 and where he was working when he started his secret enterprise, said the police rely heavily on undercover operations and the city’s nuisance-abatement law to shut down brothels.

But landlords are rarely charged with a crime, he said, because the police often don’t have enough evidence to show they are complicit, which results in a never-ending game of Whack-A-Mole: The police shut down brothels and massage parlors, only to see another open in the same place or nearby.

Mr. Schwartz declined to comment on what role, if any, he had in Mr. Paz’s business. Mr. Schwartz’s lawyer, Gedalia Stern, also declined to comment, as did several of Mr. Schwartz’s relatives and colleagues.

The police said it remained unclear how Mr. Schwartz, who is 44 and lives with his wife in Midwood, Brooklyn, partnered with Mr. Paz.

 

But one law-enforcement official, speaking on the condition of anonymity in order to discuss an open case, said that Mr. Schwartz spent several years “actively assisting” Mr. Paz and knew “exactly what kind of business was being conducted” in his buildings.

The former tenant in the Park Slope building, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because she feared retaliation by her previous landlord or his associates, said Mr. Schwartz’s response when she asked him why he tolerated having the sex trade in his building was, “They pay me good money.”

In one of his appearances in housing court, Mr. Schwartz said that his business was built on buying buildings in distress — or what he called “dumpsters” — and turning them “into something.” His strategy depended on receiving city money to house the homeless.

“So mainly all of my real estate is put together from shelters,” he testified in 2016.

On numerous occasions, the city paid Mr. Schwartz to house the homeless in some of his buildings, court records show, including one at 880 Gates Avenue in Bedford-Stuyvesant, where the authorities said a brothel operated.

But the brothel buildings comprised only a fraction of Mr. Schwartz’s larger portfolio. Through a network of shell companies, he owns at least 48 properties worth more than a combined $87 million, city records show. The companies all can be tied back to an entity called Pacific Management, which Mr. Schwartz still runs, with a partner, Mendy Lowy, from a cramped and cluttered office on Coney Island Avenue above a Pakistani bakery. (Ms. Lowy did not respond to several phone calls seeking comment.)

Mr. Schwartz has twice ended up on the Public Advocate for the City of New York’s list of the worst landlords. Eight of Mr. Schwartz’s buildings were on the city’s watch list last year, racking up more than 500 violations for problems such as water leaks, bulging walls and inadequate light and ventilation, officials said. Court records show that Mr. Schwartz and his companies have been sent to housing court more than 150 times recently.

One of those proceedings involved Sven Britt, a musician who four years ago moved into an apartment in a high-rise at 2007 Foster Avenue that Mr. Schwartz purchased a decade ago, property records show.

 

Within a few months, a gas leak in the unit prompted National Grid to shut off the gas, Mr. Britt said. Then came a bedbug infestation. After that, Mr. Britt said, came a series of ceiling collapses so severe that he could see “daylight through the roof.”

But Mr. Britt noticed what appeared to be an even bigger problem: a brothel in the building.

Law enforcement officials said it can be difficult and expensive to investigate landlords like Mr. Schwartz who are suspected of profiting from prostitution, in part, because it is largely a cash business.

Mr. Hoovler, the Orange County district attorney, said his office spent months investigating a hotel chain in New Windsor, N.Y., after its managers agreed to give discounted room rates to an undercover police officer posing as a prostitute. Investigators pored over hotel and banking records and conducted wiretaps to confirm the hotel managers knew about the prostitution.

“We were able to show not only links to money, but we were also able to show the links between the people,” said Mr. Hoovler. Eventually, two company officers pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of permitting prostitution, and the corporation pleaded guilty to promoting prostitution and paid a $1,000 fine.

 

The authorities in New York City followed a different strategy in the 1970s during a campaign to push pornography and prostitution out of Midtown Manhattan. Rather than seeking indictments, the city went after landlords through their mortgages, taking advantage of standard clauses that allowed banks to foreclose on properties where illicit activity was taking place, said Sidney Baumgarten, a lawyer appointed by Mayor Abraham Beame during that era to lead the Midtown Law Enforcement Coordinating Committee.

The city identified more than 450 illicit establishments between 59th Street and The Battery at Manhattan’s tip, Mr. Baumgarten said. The businesses were popular with landlords because they commanded higher rents and rampant official corruption during that time made them difficult to snuff out.

“You had a lot of people who were interested in keeping things going on this way,” Mr. Baumgarten said. “I tend to think that a lot of it is still going on.”

Little in Mr. Schwartz’s history indicated he would eventually be accused of being involved in prostitution. At Mr. Britt’s housing court trial, Mr. Schwartz described himself as the hard-working son of a bakery owner from upstate New York.

He also said he had helped run a contracting firm, Powerful Electric, with his brother-in-law before he started in real estate. Powerful Electric, based in Brooklyn, is still owned by the brother-in-law, Shalom Seelfreund. He declined to be interviewed.

Mr. Schwartz had another side job too — as a good Samaritan. He joined the East Midwood Volunteer Ambulance Corps in 2006, and served three years as an emergency medical technician. The president of the corps, Yakov Hornitzer, said Mr. Schwartz stood out as a dedicated worker who took many shifts and attended classes to enhance his knowledge of medicine. Three years later, Mr. Schwartz took the test to become a full-fledged paramedic and joined the Hatzolah ambulance service in Carnarsie.

A few years after that, he was tied to a bizarre kidnapping ring in New Jersey. He and his real estate partner, Ms. Lowy, signed two $1 million bonds securing the release of a pair of Orthodox Jewish men — one of them a rabbi — whom federal prosecutors charged with abduction and assault.

For hefty fees, the government said, the defendants would snatch reluctant husbands from the streets, would tie them up and beat them and sometimes shock them with Tasers until they agreed to divorce their wives.

Lawyers for the men, who are now in prison, said they did not know how Mr. Schwartz and Ms. Lowy knew their clients.

To read the remainder of the article click here.

Brooklyn Landlord Allegedly Also Brothel Owner…. And then There’s Lakewood

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THE REAL DEAL

Brooklyn landlord with $87M portfolio charged with running prostitution ring out of his buildings

Isaac Schwartz, who owns 48 properties through shell corporations, was arrested last month for enterprise corruption and conspiracy.

UPDATED, Wednesday, Nov. 14 at 11:16 p.m.: One Ditmas Park resident thought he had it bad enough after enduring bed bugs, bulging walls and a hole in the ceiling. But then he learned his building was being used to service an illegal brothel.

Another Park Slope resident also learned there were apartments being used for prostitution in her building.

Both residents had the same landlord, Isaac Schwartz, a regular on the New York City public advocate’s “worst landlord” list who was arrested last month after police discovered a prostitution ring operating in his buildings, according to The New York Times.

Schwartz’s arrest highlighted the role complicit landlords play in enabling illegal prostitution rings to operate in residential buildings. Police alleged that four of Schwartz’s Brooklyn properties,

2007 Foster Avenue483 4th Avenue880 Gates Avenue and 203 Onderdonk Avenue, had housed brothels, as part of a prostitution ring run by a former police detective. The landlord pleaded not guilty and was released without bail on his own recognizance. According to the Times, Schwartz’s portfolio numbers 48 buildings valued at about $87 million.

Citing housing court documents, The Times reported that Schwartz, who works as an EMT in Borough Park, runs his rental company with Mendy Lowy and a contracting firm, Powerful Electric, with his brother-in-law Shalon Seelfreund. Schwartz and Lowy were also connected to a strange kidnapping ring in Lakewood, New Jersey. Schwartz and Lowy paid $2 million in bond to secure the release of a rabbi and another man charged with abduction and assault related to divorces in the Orthodox community, the Times reported.  [NYT] — David Jeans

Correction: An earlier version noted Schwartz was the developer behind a project in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn; it’s a different developer with the same name. 

Trading Favors with De Blasio Donors, Some Thoughts Revisited

To Our Readers:
We are reprinting the following with the express permission of the editors of the “The Chief”. By granting us permission to reprint their article, they are not to be deemed to be endorsing our site or its content. Nor are they to be assumed to be in any way supporting of our analyses or conclusions.  
As to the content of the article, we note that in March of 2018, the question of Jona Rechnitz’s credibility to testify as a witness against others was raised in the below article. We wholeheartedly agree with the comments below. Our words might be far less subtle than the words used by the article’s author.
We find ourselves wondering why at the current time, only Grant is being held to the proverbial legal fire and other officers have been given what appears to be a pass for behavior we think may be no less allegedly egregious. We have commented that we think Grant was in over his head with the crew in which he was embroiled.  
As to our reprint of the below article, we note that we were unable to obtain the complete formatting of the page and invite our readers to look to the original links.
We are very grateful to the editors of the Chief for their permission and are very grateful for the ability to share information. 
LM
A Scandal Renewed
March 12, 2018

Retired NYPD Chief Pleads Guilty To Favor-Trading With Mayor’s Donors

The scandal over the alleged corruption of high-ranking NYPD officials by donors to Mayor de Blasio had receded from public view, but it popped back into the news with retired Deputy Chief Michael Harrington’s guilty plea.

 

When he was arrested in June 2016, Mr. Harrington was charged in Federal court with conspiracy to commit honest-services wire fraud, which carries a maximum term of 20 years in prison. On March 1, he pleaded guilty to misappropriation of property belonging to an organization receiving Federal funds: the NYPD. That offense carries a maximum term of 10 years.

 

Probation or 10 Years?

His attorneys and the prosecutors agreed on a term of zero to six months. But that agreement is not binding on U.S. District Judge Gregory Woods, who can set any term up to the 10-year maximum. Sentencing is set for June 11.

 

Mr. Harrington, 53, of Staten Island, was one of a handful of top-ranking NYPD officers charged with accepting cash and other gifts, including the services of a prostitute, from the two donors, Jeremy Reichberg and Jona Rechnitz.

 

In exchange, the two donors called on the officers to provide police-related assistance for themselves and their associates as needed, said prosecutors with the Office of the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District. That assistance included assigning police officers, helicopters and boats to escort people and investigate private disputes, the prosecutors said.

 

Mr. Rechnitz has pleaded guilty and agreed to testify against other defendants.

The corruption allegations reached as high as Mayor de Blasio, who denied any wrongdoing and said he barely knew the two donors despite Mr. Rechnitz’s testimony that he had done favors for the pair in exchange for donations.

 

Firearms Permits

 

The allegations also included members of the NYPD License Division, who were charged with taking bribes for expediting firearms permits.

 

Mr. Reichberg and Mr. Rechnitz “got a private police force for themselves and their friends,” the U.S. Attorney at the time, Preet Bharara, said at a news conference after their arrest in June 2016. “Effectively, they got ‘cops on call.’”

 

Mr. Harrington had originally been scheduled for trial at the end of April with retired Deputy Inspector James Grant and Mr. Reichberg.

 

In his plea, Mr. Harrington told Judge Woods that he provided the police services because he “understood Mr. Reichberg to be a leader within the Jewish community, and also considered him a friend.”

He admitted arranging an NYPD escort for a prominent man’s funeral, having residents of a summer camp for seriously-ill children to visit an NYPD training facility, ordering counterterrorism officers to monitor a Manhattan synagogue and setting up a police helicopter to fly above a party Mr. Reichberg was hosting on a boat.

 

Wrong but Not Illegal?

 

Judge Woods asked him whether he knew he was breaking the law. “Your honor, I certainly knew at the time that what I was doing was wrong,” Mr. Harrington replied, “but I didn’t appreciate until much later that what I did was illegal.”

Mr. Harrington’s attorney, Andrew Weinstein, asked Judge Woods to sentence his client to probation. “The single new charge to which Mr. Harrington pled guilty today involving the misapplication of NYPD property is obviously a horse of a different color compared to the bribery-based offenses with which he was originally charged,” he said in a statement after the proceeding.

 

Mr. Harrington retired from the NYPD in May 2016. He had worked with Mr. Reichberg as an Inspector in Brooklyn North and then as executive officer in the office of Chief of Department Philip Banks III, who according to news reports received cash and trips funded by Mr. Reichberg and Mr. Rechnitz. Mr. Banks was not charged and reported the income from the two on city disclosure forms.

 

When Mr. Harrington retired, he had recently been named No. 2 in the Housing Bureau. After that assignment, he had been placed on modified duty by then-Commissioner William J. Bratton because of the Federal investigation. Police officers can safeguard their pensions by retiring before they are convicted of criminal charges.

 

Mr. Grant, a Deputy Inspector who commanded the prestigious 19th Precinct, has been charged with accepting cash from and doing official favors for Mr. Reichberg. He also retired in May 2016 after being placed on modified duty.

 

The Credibility Question

 

It’s questionable how effective Mr. Rechnitz will be as a witness against Mr. Grant and Mr. Reichberg. He was the key prosecution witness in last year’s trial of Norman Seabrook, the longtime president of the Correction Officers Benevolent Association, on charges of accepting a $60,000 bribe in return for investing $20 million of union money in a hedge fund run by co-defendant Murray Huberfeld.

 

However, in cross-examination, defense lawyers emphasized Mr. Rechnitz’s own checkered history: his heavy-handedness, self-importance, financial shenanigans and history of lying. Jurors found him difficult to believe, and the proceeding ended in a mistrial.

 

Federal prosecutors promised to retry Mr. Seabrook and Mr. Huberfeld, but they have not discussed publicly what they will do about their witness’s credibility problems.

 

More R&R, Victimizing the Prostitute, She Deserved Better then and She

 

Image result for pics of jona rechnitz and jeremy reichberg

NYPD corruption trial: Ex-prostitute testimony details Las Vegas weekend

https://www.amny.com/news/nypd-corruption-trial-1.23122444

The Manhattan federal court NYPD corruption trial took a trip on the seamy side Thursday as an ex-prostitute took the stand to describe how she was hired to dress up in a skimpy stewardess  outfit on a private jet to Las Vegas and then have sex with former deputy inspector James Grant.

Gabriella Curtis, 29, known as Gabi Grecko at the time of the trip in 2013, said that after the three-day Las Vegas Super Bowl weekend arranged by Grant’s co-defendant Jeremy Reichberg with five men altogether, she was unhappy Grant only gave her $1,200 to $1,500.

“The fact I was with multiple people . . . I thought it would be more,” she said, but Grant told her, “If our team had done better then we would have been able to give you more.”

Reichberg, 44, and former partner Jona Rechnitz, are charged with giving out favors ranging from meals and gifts to home repairs to the prostitute for Grant, 45, and other cops, in return for escorts, access to public events, assistance with gun permits and other perks.

Curtis said she was at loose ends in 2013, trying to make money to escape a bad relationship when she got into hooking through a website called Sugar Daddies and a Miami-based escort service.

She met Reichberg, a businessman from Borough Park, Brooklyn, at a bachelor party in a Midtown hotel attended by 15 men where she performed sex acts. He got her phone number, she testified, and later called her to arrange for the Las Vegas trip.

In addition to Reichberg and Grant, she identified another man on the trip as “Jona” — a reference to Jona Rechnitz, Reichberg’s partner and the government’s star witness in the case, who has previously testified about his efforts to corrupt cops, union officials and Mayor Bill de Blasio.

She said the group’s suite at the MGM Grand had two rooms, and she stayed in one with Grant, but said her escort services were “for everyone who asked.”

Curtis is reportedly now engaged to an Australian businessman. Defense lawyers are expected to portray her as a not-credible fame seeker more interested in exposure than truth.

But in her direct testimony, Curtis said that after the NYPD corruption case broke, she did an interview with the New York Post in an effort to empower women, not out of self-interest.

“I hoped I could help other females. While females are slut-shamed, men get high-fives,” she said. “I didn’t do it to hurt anyone….I didn’t do it for fame.”

She said the whole experience was a disaster. The story, a tabloid sensation in the city, was the “exact opposite of what I wanted and most of it wasn’t true,” she testified, and the reporter started dating her for a month before it ended badly.

“I felt really isolated,” said Curtis. “ . . . This was a person who seemed as if he cared about me.”

If she does any more interviews, she said, she wanted them to be “feminist” interviews.

“I feel like I’m not even a person any more,” she said. “I feel like I’m just a hooker.”

During cross-examination Thursday afternoon, defense lawyers said they want to put in evidence that Curtis has posed in revealing outfits for news outlets since her brush with celebrity to contradict her story of exploitation. But U.S. District Judge Gregory Woods has said he may not allow it.

Please click here to reach the source material.

 

 

Opinion: NYC Investigation of Yeshivas a Farce – New York’s Children the Losers

education_sign_resizedNYC’s so-called investigation of yeshivas is a farce

 

For a brief moment last summer, new Chancellor Richard Carranza seemed set to break the logjams and turn the city’s three-year farce of an investigation into Jewish religious schools into something serious.

Guess again: Carranza has just disclosed that none of the Orthodox yeshiva high schools — always the real crux of the alleged problem — will allow city investigators in.

For years, activists have charged that some Orthodox schools fail to provide the basic secular education that state law requires. Even those elementary schools that offer a bare minimum of instruction reportedly end it after age 13.

In 2015, the de Blasio administration announced an active investigation. But years passed with no sign that any such probe was actually under way.

Now NY1 reports that Carranza has notified State Education Commissioner Mary Ellen Elia that 21 of the 30 targeted schools have been inspected (surprise: all “passed”), and three others have scheduled visits.

As activists note, the fact that the visits are scheduled instead of unannounced strongly suggests any investigating is being driven by the schools, not the city.

More important, six high schools won’t even let officials in the door, so Carranza is asking Elia for help. Elia, in turn, says long-promised new guidelines for such inspections are coming … real soon now.

Again, more than three years have passed — during which the politically potent Orthodox community, while fighting the non-probe tooth and nail, got the Legislature to water down the education requirements.

City Investigations Commissioner Mark Peters is looking into whether political interference explains the city’s foot-dragging.

This is not religious persecution; it’s about ensuring that kids learn the basic knowledge and skills to function outside their community. Plainly, Team de Blasio doesn’t see that as any kind of priority.

A Little Gem of A Story – Paying Attention to the Crystal Clear Details – 580 Fifth Ave.

580 5th.2

Leviev, 580 Fifth Avenue, The Crystal Clear Details and Africa Israel

We have made no bones about our theories regarding the number of diamonds there are floating around New York, either unpolished and uncut or simply unaccounted for on any formal records or invoices. We have believed this since our stories were published in 2016. We believe that the key to understanding this theory rests in the role Lev Leviev’s enterprise had and may continue to have in New York. The properties bought and sold through Africa Israel, its appraisers, its real estate developers, its agents, its management companies should not be ignored.

Jona Rechnitz worked for Leviev through Africa Israel, was deeply connected to him on the real estate side of Africa-Israel’s ventures and had access to Leviev’s connections, at last for some time post his employment. We do not believe that Rechnitz is a credible informant because he has too much to save with regard to his own skin.  

We believe that the pay to play scheme heavily reported and the use of aircrafts and prostitutes involved some of the same players, people Leviev would have known or had reason to know quite well. We believe that the investigators are missing simple dots for the “i’s” and crosses for the “t’s”.

We believe that it might behoove investigators in the US, attorneys representing alleged criminals in current trials and even those looking at not-so-kosher deals should be very curious regarding the current gag order in Israel. Such an order does not come easy there.

Finally, or perhaps not so finally, it should be noted that last week’s convention of Kinus Hashluchim is as much a fundraising event as it is a schmoozing and mixer for the wealthy and businessmen within the Chabad organization and even wealthy non-Chabad who have something to offer. The cellular phone activity at those events should not really be ignored by anyone paying attention. The photographs tell a 1000 words.  

THE DAILY NEWS, MARCH 12, 2018

Jeweler who donated to de Blasio got quick meeting about subsidizing diamond industry

A jeweler who has been a longtime donor to Mayor de Blasio hit up Hizzoner with the idea of subsidizing the diamond industry — and in minutes got a sitdown to discuss the proposal, records show.

 

Reuven Kaufman, the head of the Diamond Dealers Club of New York, sent an email to de Blasio at 9:21 p.m. on March 18, 2015, to talk about ways the city could help diamond manufacturing and support trade associations.

 

The mayor replied within eight minutes from his Blackberry email account, according to correspondences the Daily News obtained through a Freedom of Information Law request.

 

De Blasio thanked Kaufman for reaching out and cc’ed his aide Avi Fink, Deputy Mayor Alicia Glen and her then-chief of staff, James Patchett, instructing them to follow up with him.

“Alicia/James, please note that I have a long and positive relationship with Reuven, and know that he can provide us with real insight re: his industry,” he wrote.

Indeed, Kaufman has been a gem for de Blasio’s campaigns — ever since he first donated $1,000 in 2007 to de Blasio’s run for public advocate.

 

He and his family have donated a total of $41,075 to de Blasio’s war chest over the past decade, records show. Most recently, Kaufman, his wife and their two sons each gave the maximum contribution of $4,950 in January — after de Blasio already won re-election as mayor.

 

Between 2007 and 2012, the Kaufmans donated $21,275 to de Blasio campaigns.

“There was nothing sinister about this proposal,” Kaufman said last week when asked about the email exchange in 2015. “I was trying to help improve productivity and bring jobs to the city.”

 

In his initial email to de Blasio, Kaufman said he had read how the mayor wanted to bring back manufacturing to the city.

 

He explained how “unlike other diamond centers around the globe, the New York diamond industry receives no governmental support for its initiatives.”

Kaufman said that the city’s Diamond District has a highly skilled and coveted group of aging experts — but subsidies could help the next generation of manufacturers.

He ended his email by offering to accompany de Blasio on his upcoming trip to Israel.

 

“If you are planning to take along any business leaders, I would be proud and honored to accompany you,” Kaufman wrote.

 

Two hours after de Blasio’s reply, City Hall officials had set up a meeting with Kaufman for March 25. The rapid response even had Kaufman marveling.

Kaufman wanted to discuss ways the city could help diamond manufacturing.
Kaufman wanted to discuss ways the city could help diamond manufacturing. (© / Reuters/REUTERS)

“U work late. I’m impressed,” Kaufman wrote at 11:03 p.m. to Sonam Velani, a senior adviser to Glen who arranged the sitdown.

 

“Contrary to popular belief, government can be efficient!” Velani replied.

Last week, a mayoral spokeswoman maintained Kaufman did not receive any special treatment.

 

“Whether it’s someone who has the Mayor’s email address, or someone he meets on the subway or who calls into his radio appearances, it’s the Mayor’s job to refer people having an issue with city government to the appropriate people in city government,” said spokeswoman Melissa Grace. “And political supporters shouldn’t be barred from accessing their government.”

 

As for the meeting, Kaufman brought along one of his sons and two other Diamond Dealers Club honchos to the March 25 gathering with Velani and another unnamed EDC official.

 

EDC said that it only had one meeting with Kaufman and it didn’t lead to any subsidies.

Kaufman acknowledged his longstanding support of de Blasio but said the mayor has never done anything to help him.

 

“You can check all your records,” he said. “He has done nothing for me. I have not asked him for anything.”

 

Kaufman gave his first $1,000 donation to de Blasio through an intermediary, Yitzchok Fleischer, a powerful rabbi in Borough Park’s Bobov Hasidic community who was an early supporter of the future mayor.

 

After de Blasio won the mayoral race in 2013, Fleischer told Tablet Magazine he expected easy access to City Hall for helping him get elected.

“He owes me everything,” Fleischer said. “Without me he wouldn’t be anyplace.”

The News previously reported that Kaufman’s business is in a suite at 580 Fifth Ave. in the World Diamond Tower. The Diamond District building was a popular place for de Blasio to find donors.

 

To read the remainder of the article click here.

 

 

A LLD Diamond of a Criminal Organization, a Gag Order and Extended Arrests

Arrests of Three in Smuggling Case Linked to Israeli ‘King of Diamonds’ Extended

 

Police call his LLD company a ‘criminal organization’ ■ The three are Leviev’s son, Zvulun; LLD’s CEO Reuven Shmuelov; and a third person whose name is subject to a court gag order.

The arrests of three people whom police allege were part of a diamond smuggling operation run by a company controlled by Lev Leviev was extended for three days on Sunday. by the Rishon Letzion Magistrates Court.

The three are Leviev’s son, Zvulun; LLD’s CEO Reuven Shmuelov; and a third person whose name is subject to a court gag order.

In asking for their arrest to be extended by six days, a request that Rishon Letzion Magistrate’s Judge Guy Avnon cut by half, police representative Gal Chesner described LDD as “operated like a criminal organization that uses diamond dealers like drug dealers. This is a company that tampers with and destroys evidence.”

The three are part of a group of nine that were arrested a week ago as part of a long-running police investigation of alleged smuggling by LLD, a privately controlled company founded by Leviev, one of Israel’s best-known businessmen. The other six have been released with restrictions.

 

 

 

 

Miriam, The Orthodox Community in England, Corrupt Practices [AUDIO]

Myriam

https://www.bbc.co.uk/radio/play/m000113m

 

CLARIFICATION AND COMMENTS:

We have no doubt that the same financial fraud and evasive practices described in this presentation are happening in the United States and in other parts of the world. Miriam describes, with precision and accuracy, a process whereby she earned extraordinary money while collecting public welfare benefits. The same is undoubtedly happening within the Haredi community in the United States.

The Satmar, for example, boasts tremendous assets under management as far as the community at large is concerned and yet, Kiryas Joel in New York, is listed as one of the, if not the poorest city in the United States. That is simply not logically consistent. 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kiryas_Joel%2C_New_York

With respect to the ritualistic behavior, the radical ultra-Orthodoxy that is described in this audio is not mainstream Judaism. The personal marriage related practices described are followed by only the most religious within the greater Jewish community, and a rabbi or rebbe’s involvement is not the same within all sects, something which we felt needed to be emphasized.

We believe that the community from which Miriam escaped is more like a cult than Judaism.

Please listen and share. 

The Allure Of Luxury Housing at the Expense of the Elderly – 2266 Cropsey Ave.

Allure Group planning luxury rentals on Brooklyn nursing home site

The firm behind the Rivington House sale is building a 243-unit project

UPDATED, Nov. 7, 5:03 p.m.: Allure Group, the real estate developer at the center of the Rivington House nursing home scandal, is filing permits to build a luxury rental project on a site that also houses a Brooklyn senior facility.

The firm and its partner Landpex Development are looking to build a 30-story rental property at 2266 Cropsey Avenue in Bath Beach, according to documents filed with the Department of Buildings on Wednesday.

Allure and Landpex filed the permits under alternate addresses 2230 Cropsey Avenue and 1625 Shore Parkway. City records show a rectangular site, which runs the length of Cropsey Avenue between Bay 23rd Street and 23rd Avenue and is home to the King David Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation, a facility that provides long-term care for seniors. Allure told The Real Deal that the filing is not for the site of the senior facility. It is for the adjacent parking lot it also owns and a row of houses beyond. The company also said that the senior home will remain open, and that it plans to invest $10 million in the property.

The new plans call for a 243-unit residential complex that spans 222,300 square feet. The proposed structure will be divided between 196,000 square feet of residential space and 26,300 square feet for a community facility. If approved as proposed, the building would be 326 feet tall. Amenities would include a fitness room and recreation area for tenants, a pool, a men’s spa and an outdoor lounge on the 23rd floor. There will also be a community day care facility on the ground floor.

Allure acquired the property for $30.1 million in 2015, property records show. It was previously owned by the Sephardic Home for the Aged. The firm took out a $55.4 million mortgage on the property last June.

Allure, headed by Joel Landau, was a central figure in the Rivington House scandal. It paid a $2 million legal settlement following an investigation by then-Attorney General Eric Schneiderman into the sale of the deed-restricted Lower East Side nursing home. It sold the building for $116 million in 2015 to Slate Property Group, which had planned a luxury housing development at the site.

Landpex’s Joseph Flakowitz hung up the phone when asked about the project.

ADDITIONAL RESEARCH:

 

 

Rehab Consortium Nabs Bensonhurst Nursing Home for $30M

2266 Cropsey Avenue
2266 CROPSEY AVENUE.

Allure Group, a for-profit consortium of rehabilitation centers, has purchased what was called the Sephardic Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Bensonhurst. The property sold for $30.1 million on Dec 31, according to public records filed with the city on Tuesday.

SEE ALSO: The Voices of TerraCRG

The site at 2266 Cropsey Avenue between Bay 32nd Street and 23rd Avenue, sold by Sephardic Home for the Aged, is comprised of 83,388 square feet, according to PropertyShark.

Under Allure’s ownership, the facility is now known as the King David Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation. The company runs four other facilities across Brooklyn, one in Queens and one in Manhattan, according to its website.

“We are excited to extend our group’s reach to a new neighborhood in Brooklyn,” said Melissa Guglielmo, Allure’s chief operating officer, in a press release. “We’re proud to show a new community what we are all about.”

While less hyped, southwest Brooklyn has dramatically increased its volume of real estate activity recently, as Commercial Observer previously reported.

Based on Sephardic Home for the Aged’s website, the facility was a non-profit organization whose mission was to care for the Jewish elderly. The site was also used as a space for community meetings, such as jobs information nights listed on the Bensonhurst Bean. The status of the non-profit is unclear, though it shares the same address and phone number as King David Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation.

Both Sephardic Home and Allure Group declined to comment.

 

Measles – Are Rational Minds Going to Prevail on Vaccinations Urges from Baadatz – From YWN

MEASLES OUTBREAK SPREADS: 8 Bochurim in Yeshivas Mir Yerushalayim Hospitalized; Baadatz Urges Vaccinations

YESHIVA WORLD NEWS

Health Ministry officials in Israel and around the world are concerned with the increasing spread of the measles, the likes of which we have not seen in many years.

More than 1300 people have been sickened in Israel, and an unvaccinated 18-month-old child was R”L killed.

Thee outbreak has spread to the Frum communities in the New York / New Jersey area, including Monsey, New Square, Williamsburg and Lakewood, where the so-called anti-vaxxers are under fire for endangering the other members of the community, those who comply with guidelines and have had themselves and children vaccinated.

On Tuesday, 28 Marcheshvan, eight bochurim from the Mir Yeshiva were hospitalized, diagnosed with the measles. This includes local bochurim and some from overseas. Medical personnel arrived at the yeshiva on Tuesday morning and the dining hall was converted to a medical clinic as bochrim were vaccinated. (as can be seen in the photos attached above and below) Vaccinations were given to local and bochrim from abroad learning in Mir.

Rabbi Dr. Menachem Chaim Breyer, Deputy Medical Director of Bnei Brak’s Mayanei HaYeshua Hospital and a representative of the Rabbis for Medical Ethics on Tuesday morning spoke with Kol Chai radio host Betzalel Kahn, seeking to highlight just how worrisome the situation is.

Rabbi Dr. Menachem Chaim Breyer, Deputy Medical Director of Bnei Brak’s Mayanei HaYeshua Hospital

Rabbi Dr. Breyer explained “The fear is not just in Israel, but around world, and while there were 34 documented cases of measles in Israel in 2017, today, there are already 1350 cases in Israel, and that number of climbing. In addition, in one-third of the cases there are medical complications, and the mortality rate in these cases is 1:1000”.

Many are getting vaccinated now, after the outbreak, and Israel’s Health Ministry has launched a major campaign, an effort to educate the tzibur and a call to all whose children are unvaccinated, to come and get vaccinated immediately. Similar cries have been heard in Monsey already, as well as other places.

Rabbi Dr. Breyer explains that while with many viruses if one is exposed, it is not that likely to spread to others. However, he explains the case regarding the measles is not so, since it is very aggressive and if 100 people are exposed to the virus, 90 will become ill as a result so the spread is rapid and worrisome. He mentioned the experts in the Health Ministry are also considering to begin vaccinating the little ones at the age of 9 months instead of today’s norm of one year.

Kol Chai:
Do we know what caused the spread this year, above previous years?

Dr. Breyer:
We don’t know but someone who visited Israel from abroad brought it here. What is certain is the persons who do not vaccinate their children are a major contributory factor and these children infect everyone around them, and anyone they come into contact with.

I have been visiting with Gedolei Yisrael and HaGaon HaRav Moshe Sternbuch Shlita instructed me to delve into deeper and to bring him information to determine the magnitude of the illness, and recommendations as to what needs to be done.

In a letter released by the Ravaad Eida Chareidis, Rav Sternbuch states specifically it is the responsibility of every father to make certain his children are vaccinated, bringing quotes from Shulchan Aruch citing the matter of שפיחת דמים, causing loss of life. Dr. Breuer told Kol Chai those who do not vaccinate their children are not aware of the damage they are causing and the responsibility they bear for the spread of the illness in proportions that have not been seen in decades.

Kol Chai:
The illness today is primarily in chareidi areas?

Dr. Breyer:
I don’t want to respond right now.

Kol Chai:
This is not speaking ill of any population but simply providing factual information to the chareidi tzibur listening to us now.

Dr. Breyer:
The illness came from a person visiting Israel from abroad but if parents vaccinated their children, we never would have reached the numbers we have today. Why do these people gamble with the lives of their children, after all they [the others] are not hefker.

Rav Sternbuch realizes what is taking place and admitted his is thinking if this possibly demands declaring a day of tefilla or a fast day, so we must realize the magnitude of what we are facing, the spread of the illness as we have not seen in decades. There are almost no reactions to be concerned with and I one again call on parents to have their children vaccinated immediately.

LLD DIAMOND USA, 580 Fifth Avenue, New York, LEVIEV’S “Sources of Rough Goods”

OUR HERITAGE.

LLD Diamonds has been supplying high quality diamonds to polishers, cutters and jewelers over the past three decades. Founded by renowned diamantaire, businessman and philanthropist Lev Leviev, LLD Diamonds USA is a member of the prestigious Leviev Group of Companies (LGC) and – uniquely among manufacturers – operates at every level of the diamond pipeline. With more than 30 years of experience in the diamond industry, is the world’s largest privately held diamond manufacturer. The firm is also the world’s largest diamond and cutting group and is entirely independent of external suppliers since the company has its own widespread sources of rough goods.

OUR EXPERTISE

LLD diamond’s source of rough straight from the mines, provides access to top quality rough. Our industry largest in-house cutting and polishing capabilities empower us to distribute finest diamonds and produce exquisite jewelry to the high-end jewelry manufacturers and retailers. We are passionate about diamonds, and this passion is at the heart of everything we do. We are not here simply to sell polished diamonds as just another product. Many outstanding diamonds pass through our offices on a daily basis, but we still see one as an exquisite gemstone on its way to bringing years of pleasure to its ultimate owner both of its exceptional physical beauty and for the love and commitment of a long-term relationship that it represents. LLD Diamonds, recognized as an international diamond industry leader, has been awarded multiple industry achievements and accolades, including Israel’s “Outstanding Exporter” government award.

OUR OPERATIONS

At LLD diamonds, we manufacture superior quality polished diamonds and are a source of high-level polished stones for clients worldwide. Our diamond industry knowledge together with our widespread market intelligence enables us to identify changing trends in different countries regarding cut, color and clarity and enabling us to provide customers with a range of goods. Our highly skilled and experienced craftsmen know how to bring out a diamond’s clarity and show the maximum fire and brilliance that a diamond possesses. We aim to consistently supply high-quality polished diamonds on time and precisely as requested. With our main sales office in the heart of the Diamond District at 580 Fifth Avenue, New York among other strategic locations worldwide, LLD is your “Natural Choice” of partner, no matter your size or needs.

Chabad Kinus 2018, Lev Leviev, Berel Lazar, Cozy Ties and Dancing in New York

101174_news_05112018_74695

The Forward October 8, 2017

Chabad Feuds With Jewish Leaders Over Cozy Ties To Eastern European Autocrats

In the former Communist states of Central and Eastern Europe, established mainstream Jewish groups are increasingly worried that Chabad, the international Hasidic movement, is allying itself with authoritarian governments.

In countries from Hungary to Russia, they say, Chabad is at times playing down anti-Semitism in a bid to compete with local Jewish groups and win access to financial resources and political influence.

Chabad, in turn, says that mainstream groups are too embroiled in secular and political issues, including polarizing disputes about democracy and civil liberties, at the expense of guarding core communal Jewish interests of physical security and Jewish religious freedom. In some cases, Chabad officials say, these establishment groups are also corrupt.

The increasing tensions between Chabad and more established Jewish groups are playing out in different ways in different countries. Each case is unique:

*In Russia, Vladimir Putin has for years favored Chabad Rabbi Berel Lazar over the long-established chief rabbi of Russia, Adolf Shayevich. Shayevich aligned with a Jewish umbrella group that sought to keep its distance from the government in the post-Communist era. Lazar has been more supportive.

*In Poland, Jarosław Kaczyński, leader of the ruling hard-right Law and Justice party, met in August with two Chabad representatives and the leader of a third Jewish group in a get-together that state media portrayed as a discussion with the community. Leaders of major groups who wrote Kaczyński about their fears of rising anti-Semitism in Poland were not invited.

*In Hungary, prominent Jews and non-Jews have criticized President Viktor Orbán for using anti-Semitic tropes in his extended national campaign against the American financier George Soros. A senior Hungarian Chabad rabbi, however, has defended Orbán.

Chabad, for its part, strongly defends its conception of and approach to Jewish interests. “When you start, as a representative of the community, mixing Jewish issues with political issues, even if they’re social, and saying you represent the whole Jewish community, it doesn’t work very well and is frankly dangerous,” one Chabad official in the United States said. “You’re mixing politics with what’s in the interest of the Jewish community.” Speaking on condition of anonymity in order to speak candidly, he explained: “Anti-Semitism is an issue for the Jewish community. Other rights are issues all [citizens] must grapple with, not the Jewish community uniquely.”

Founded in 1775 in what is today Belarus, Chabad-Lubavitch saw its ranks decimated after the Holocaust. But over the past decades, the movement, with its headquarters relocated to Brooklyn after World War II, has become a global force. Thousands of its emissaries, known as schlichim, are reaching out to Jews of all persuasions, on American college campuses and in outposts around the world.

“Chabad plays an outsized role” in post-Communist Eastern Europe, said David Shneer, professor of history, religious studies and Jewish studies at the University of Colorado, Boulder. And Chabad, he said, “works with governments that allow Judaism to be practiced no matter their political orientation.” The Hasidic group does not, he said, see Jewry as an independent political force in the context of civil society, as in the American style. Instead, “Chabad uses its relationship to state power to become the face of Judaism,” Shneer said.

In some countries with histories of anti-Semitism and mixed records or worse during the Holocaust, Jewish activists are currently battling their governments’ efforts to promote heroic but distorted national accounts of the countries’ conduct during the Shoah. But “Chabad says we can’t dwell on the past,” Shneer said. “Chabad is waiting for the Messiah and needs Jews to do mitzvot,” or Torah-based commandments. That’s “about the present and future, not the past,” he said.

Konstanty Gebert, a prominent Polish journalist, traditionally observant Jew and early member of Solidarity, the trade union that ousted his country’s communist regime, didn’t mince words about what this means in his country. It was, he said, “an act of disloyalty to the existing Jewish community,” for two Chabad rabbis to meet recently with the leader of Poland’s hard-line nationalist ruling party in a session that excluded other Jewish groups that were pressing the leader publicly on alleged government tolerance—and even encouragement—of rising anti-Semitism,

The August 17 meeting, which also included the head of Poland’s Jewish Cultural Society and a controversial Israeli-British public relations consultant named Jonny Daniels, took place after major Jewish organizations wrote Kaczyński, about being “appalled by recent events and fearful for our security.”

Earlier that month, Bogdan Rzonca, a lawmaker with Kaczyński’s own Law and Justice Party, wrote on Twitter: “I wonder why there are so many Jews among those performing abortions, despite the Holocaust.” Jews protested that party leaders issued no reprimand.

They have also, among other things, criticized the government’s financial support for Radio Maria, a media empire whose anti-Semitic broadcasts have been condemned by the U.S. State Department, the Council of Europe, the Vatican and the Polish government’s own National Television and Radio Broadcasting Council.

Kaczyński ignored the leaders’ letter. Then, under headlines such as “Polish Ruling Party Head Meets With Jewish Community Leaders,” Polish state media played up Kaczyński’s meeting with Chabad and the other two Jewish figures.

“Obviously the government… is handpicking its Jews,” Gebert charged.

The response of the Chabad rabbi Mayer Stambler to this criticism is virtually a declaration of full autonomy. “Chabad-Lubavitch in Poland represents the Jews of Poland, as any other organization here does,” he said in an email to the Forward. The rabbi, who heads Chabad’s Warsaw outreach, added pointedly, “No group can claim to exclusively represent Polish Jewry.”

In their meeting, Stambler related, “We definitely raised the issue of anti-Semitism!”

Kaczyński, he said, “made it clear that he definitely supported Jewish life in Poland. And he certainly supports the State of Israel.” During their talk, the Polish leader acknowledged that anti-Semitism exists in Poland “in various circles and places,” said Stambler, “but it is impossible to accuse him and the leadership of his party of giving encouragement of any kind, [to] anti-Semitism.”

Last May, it was one of Chabad’s representatives in Hungary, Slomó Köves, who came to the defense of the country’s nationalist government when many Jewish and non-Jewish Hungarians raised concerns that Orbán was stoking populist hatred by using classical anti-Semitic themes in his campaign against Soros. Hungary’s Jewish umbrella group, the Federation of Hungarian Jewish Communities, which, like Chabad, receives government support, has often shied away from speaking out against Orbán directly, but ultimately joined in the criticism. (Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, however, sided with Chabad when he rebuked his ambassador in Budapest for raising the same criticism.)

Chabad leaders believe that through years of effort, they have earned the right to act autonomously in what they see as Jewish interests.

“We started with my wife and me,” said Rabbi Baruch Oberlander, the 51-year old chief Chabad rabbi in Hungary, as he sat in his book-filled office in Budapest’s historic Jewish Quarter.

Oberlander grew up in Brooklyn’s Williamsburg neighborhood, a son of Hungarian Holocaust survivors. He and his young wife — herself the daughter of a Chabad emissary in Italy — arrived in Budapest in 1989, right before the fall of the Communist regime.

“We came here to teach Judaism in a place where unfortunately they didn’t have the option,” Oberlander said. “The biggest problem of Judaism in Eastern Europe and the whole world is ignorance…. They don’t know what Judaism is all about, so you cannot expect them to stick to religion, to the culture and traditions that they don’t know and don’t understand.”

Oberlander set out to build a new Jewish infrastructure in Hungary: printing new translations of prayer books that have not been updated in seven decades, launching a publication, opening educational institutions and training a new generation of religious scholars.

At the same time, other Chabad shlichim were setting out on similar projects throughout the suddenly defunct Soviet bloc. As young Chabad couples began to expand their activities in the region, some developed close ties with the local authorities.

In 1990, Berel Lazar, Oberlander’s brother-in-law, arrived in Russia, where he found that the revived Jewish community, after years of underground development during the Soviet Jewry movement, already had its own nascent leadership. These activists from various organizations ultimately coalesced around an umbrella group known as the Russian Jewish Congress, led by Vladimir Gusinsky. An early oligarch under the Russian Federation’s first president, Boris Yeltsin, Gusinsky’s holding company included NTV, the leading private television network in Russia’s newly free media.

“Gusinsky was the most important leader of Russian Jewry,” said Alexander Osovtsov, a former executive vice president of the RJC who now lives in Israel. The RJC, meanwhile, was politically “neutral,” he said.

The young Lazar, however, befriended Lev Leviev, a wealthy Israeli-Uzbek in the diamond business. He later expanded his support network to include oligarchs like banker Roman Abramovich — and, when he succeeded Yeltsin, President Vladimir Putin himself.

“The uniqueness of Chabad is reaching out, not waiting for people to come with questions,” Lazar told the Forward in a phone interview.

But there are other incentives. Chabad emissaries get initial funding from the organization when they are sent to a new country, but they are then expected to fundraise locally. This puts pressure on Chabad rabbis to reach out to wealthy businesspeople and well-placed government officials for financial support.

With Putin’s ascent to the presidency in 2000, Gusinsky, who insisted on his media network’s journalistic independence, drew the Kremlin’s ire by running many pieces critical of the government. Lazar made a decision: He quit the Congress, and claimed the title of chief rabbi.

————————-

“Gusinksy was using his business and his position as a Jewish communal leader to oppose Putin politically,” the American Chabad official said. “And Rabbi Lazar and others said, ‘Look, it’s very fine for Jews to be part of that debate, but don’t bring the whole Jewish community down by picking a fight with the ruling party in the name of all Jews and Judaism.’”

Gusinsky, in defiance of the Kremlin, supported his media outlets’ investigation into the bombing of several buildings in Moscow that the government attributed to Chechen terrorists. Gusisnky’s NTV probed evidence cited by some independent investigators who raised the possibility that the bombings were in fact the work of the FSB, Russia’s successor intelligence agency to the KGB, seeking to influence upcoming elections.

The Kremlin response came quickly, on several fronts. A fraud investigation against Gusinsky eventually moved him to flee the country. And as part of Putin’s campaign to weaken Gusinsky, the newly elected president invited Chabad’s Lazar, instead of the longtime chief rabbi Shayevich, who was aligned with the RJC, to his inauguration. Since then, Lazar has been the Kremlin’s openly preferred Jewish leader, attending speeches and state events and receiving significant support from the government.

“Mr. Lazar is not independent,” Osovtsov said. “He is one of the members of Putin’s team. He’s the main Jew of Russia, according to the authorities and Putin’s personal decision.” Osovtsov pointed to Lazar’s recent conciliatory meeting with a pro-Putin politician who made openly anti-Semitic statements as evidence of the rabbi’s unquestioning loyalty to Putin.

“We’re not dealing with the Kremlin differently than any other government,” Lazar said in response. “The Kremlin has done a lot to support religion.” He cited examples, like the government’s support for the construction of a museum, and the return of Jewish community properties. “The Jewish religion [in Russia] is on par with all other religions,” he added. Moreover, “when it comes to values and morals,” the Kremlin’s position resembles that of Russia’s religious groups, he said.

Chabad officials insist that Russia is a unique case. But others in the region see Chabad rabbis trying to emulate Lazar’s approach in Russia.

In Poland, everyone is “a little bit hesitant because of what’s happening in Russia and Ukraine, with Chabad being very close to Putin,” said Jonathan Ornstein, who serves as the executive director of the Jewish Community Centre of Krakow. “I think that’s a little bit of what we had now with that meeting. The meeting was harmful for Polish Jewry.”

Chabad, Gebert said, “is certainly competing for the attention of the authorities…. By meeting with those it wants to meet with, [the government] sends a clear signal to the existing Jewish community,” whose leaders complain that the government is tolerating anti-Semitism.

“We have never claimed to represent all Jewish organizations or that we are the exclusive representatives of the community,” Stambler said in response. But at the same time, he added, “As an apolitical organization, we seek to maintain a positive relationship with the government, with all political parties, with relevant NGOs and with others.”

In Hungary, Chabad competes with the umbrella Jewish organization, the Federation of Jewish Communities in Hungary, known under the acronym MAZSIHISZ, with both groups receiving government funding and unclaimed properties belonging to Hungary’s prewar Jewish community.

“We step up not only in favor of issues that directly affect the Jewish people,” said András Heisler, president of MAZSIHISZ, which eventually spoke out against Orbán’s anti-Soros campaign. “But we keep in mind the problems of the whole Hungarian society, from the issues of poverty up until exclusion, from persecution of Gypsy [Roma] people up until the xenophobia. We are not driven by interests of the government or the opposition, but the Torah and our conscience.”

It’s a striking counterpoint to Chabad’s narrower definition of Jewish interests.

“Many times people advocate for certain policies as ‘Jewish values,’” the American Chabad official said. “But are they really? They’re surely important values, but… just because some Jews feel strongly about something does not automatically make it a ‘Jewish value.’”

 

Read more: https://forward.com/news/world/384236/chabad-feuds-with-jewish-leaders-over-cozy-ties-to-eastern-european-autocra/

 

Massive Diamond Smuggling Scheme, Leviev and the Mishpacha…. How Long Ago Did We Publish this Information?

 

A No-Brainer Following Dots..

To Our Readers:

This was a no-brainer. The above pictures have been included because, as we see it, the entire diamond smuggling scheme is connected to Leviev’s activities in the US, whether quietly as an investor in Africa Israel or through his notorious ride through the closed tunnels of NYC.

We have presented you with our theories numerous times over the last several years, including the Congo connection, Leviev’s recent portfolio of assets changes, the China Sonongol connection. This was about connecting dots.

Leviev is the confidante of Berel Lazar, the chief Chabad Rabbi in Russia, the same Berel Lazar who defrauded Arkady Gaydamak out of hundreds of thousands, if not millions of dollars, which Mr. Gaydamak was never able to substantiate after years of trials. We think the courts had it wrong back then. Suffice it to say, Lazar and Putin are quite close in their relationship, including the revelation that Putin enjoys eating Matzoh.

Friends, we are suggesting that there is far more here than meets the eye. If you have followed our analysis of Leviev, Platinum Partners, 23 Wall, China Sonongol, the Queensway Group, the DRC, the notorious drive through the NYC tunnels without authorization to close those tunnels, you know that we have been largely spot-on.

Please reread our articles from way back, some of which we have linked above. We are spot on here too.

LM

 

 

Family of Lev Leviev, famous businessman, tied to massive diamond smuggling scheme

 

Son and brother of the well-known businessman among the suspects accused of multi-million dollar smuggling operation.

Israeli billionaire Lev Leviev was identified as the businessman whose relatives were arrested Monday morning over a massive diamond smuggling scheme.

Leviev’s son and brother were two out of six suspects arrested in early morning on suspicions of smuggling diamonds to Israel worth hundreds of millions of shekels. Also among the six was a a veteran employee of one of Leviev’s factories in Russia, who returned to Israel six years ago and took advantage of his status as a returning resident to smuggle diamonds in his many suitcases he took with him, according to The Jerusalem Post’s Hebrew language sister publication Maariv.

News site Mako reported that the police will ask to investigate Leviev himself. His diamond company LLD said in a statement: “Mr. Leviev and the companies under his control act in accordance with the proper norms, while adhering to the law. We hope that the matter will soon be clarified and the suspicions will prove to be baseless.”

The arrests came following an undercover operation conducted by the Israel Police’s Lahav 443 National Crime Unit and the Tax Authority in collaboration with the State Attorney Office’s taxation and economics department.

The suspects are suspected of money laundering, customs offenses, offenses under the Income Tax Ordinance, conspiring to commit a crime, false registration of corporate documents, fraud, and other offenses.

Police suspect that the suspects each played a part in planning and smuggling diamonds into Israel over the course of several years, without reporting it to the relevant authorities.

The investigative units intend to carry out additional arrests both in Israel and abroad.

“The Israel Police will continue to focus enforcement against severe economic crime, while operating intelligence systems and conducting joint investigations with other enforcement authorities in order to expose the perpetrators of the offenses,” the police said.

Attorney Eyal Bessarglick, who represents one of the suspects together with attorney Keren Berkowitz, said “these are preliminary suspicions which we are certain will be refuted later on. Our client has nothing to do with the affair. He worked with the businessman more than six years ago and there is no evidence linking him to a criminal suspicion. We hope that the investigation will be concluded quickly so that our client can prove that he has nothing to do with the affair and the suspicions. ”

 

A Diamond of A Smuggler – Arrests and Ummmm… the Putin Connection?

lev leviev

Report Links Leviev to Diamond-Smuggling Arrests

Nov 5, 2018 10:03 AM   By Rapaport News

 

RAPAPORT… Israeli authorities suspect an employee at a Lev Leviev company of smuggling hundreds of millions of shekels worth of diamonds into the country, according to local news website Ynet.

A staff member at one of the diamond mogul’s businesses in Russia is suspected of smuggling large quantities of the stones in suitcases when he moved to Israel six years ago, the Ynet report said. Police also arrested Leviev’s son and brother, according to Israeli media.

Six people were arrested in total on Monday following an undercover investigation, a police spokesperson said. Police suspect them of money laundering, customs and income-tax violations, conspiring to commit a crime, fraud, and making false assertions in company documents, adding that authorities planned to apprehend further suspects in Israel and elsewhere.

The spokesperson did not respond to a request for comment on Leviev’s connection to the case. Leviev’s company was not immediately available for comment.

A Diamond of Scheme, What is a Diamond but a Piece of Glass? Lev Leviev and Some Glass in Suitcases…

lev leviev

THE LEVIEV STORIES… WE CALLED IT THEN, WE KNOW IT NOW…. DEVELOPING –

We direct your attention to articles LostMessiah published in 2016/2017 regarding Africa Israel, Jona Rechnitz, buildings in New York and California, namely the JPM Building on Wall Street and the Rialto Building in California. Further directing your attention to the  China Sonongol connection to that building, and our firm belief that, in no uncertain terms, NY City Police involvement included payments with uncut diamonds and the assistance of Jona Rechnitz and Jeremy Reichberg in orchestrating these deals, vis a vis Rechnitz’s relationship with Lev Leviev through Africa Israel,  it comes as no surprise that Lev Leviev, along with his family members has been under investigation for smuggling diamonds between the Soviet Union, Great Britain and Israel.

As we said all along, a diamond when unpolished and cut is imply glass. He is accused, amongst other things, of simply enclosing those diamonds in luggage.

We will be flooding you with supporting articles that have been released this morning. You will have access to them in Hebrew and English. Please continue to follow the story closely. We were not wrong in our assessments at the time and we are not wrong now.

 

LM

ARTICLES TO FOLLOW:

JERUSALEM POST – 5.11.18 9:20AM

FAMILY OF LEV LEVIEV, FAMOUS BUSINESSMAN, TIED TO MASSIVE DIAMOND SMUGGLING SCHEME

Son and brother of the well-known businessman among the suspects accused of multi-million dollar smuggling operation.

Israeli billionaire Lev Leviev was identified as the businessman whose relatives were arrested Monday morning over a massive diamond smuggling scheme.

Leviev’s son and brother were two out of six suspects arrested in early morning on suspicions of smuggling diamonds to Israel worth hundreds of millions of shekels. Also among the six was a a veteran employee of one of Leviev’s factories in Russia, who returned to Israel six years ago and took advantage of his status as a returning resident to smuggle diamonds in his many suitcases he took with him, according to The Jerusalem Post’s Hebrew language sister publication Maariv.
News site Mako reported that the police will ask to investigate Leviev himself. His diamond company LLD said in a statement: “Mr. Leviev and the companies under his control act in accordance with the proper norms, while adhering to the law. We hope that the matter will soon be clarified and the suspicions will prove to be baseless.”

The arrests came following an undercover operation conducted by the Israel Police’s Lahav 443 National Crime Unit and the Tax Authority in collaboration with the State Attorney Office’s taxation and economics department.

The suspects are suspected of money laundering, customs offenses, offenses under the Income Tax Ordinance, conspiring to commit a crime, false registration of corporate documents, fraud, and other offenses.

Police suspect that the suspects each played a part in planning and smuggling diamonds into Israel over the course of several years, without reporting it to the relevant authorities.

The investigative units intend to carry out additional arrests both in Israel and abroad.
“The Israel Police will continue to focus enforcement against severe economic crime, while operating intelligence systems and conducting joint investigations with other enforcement authorities in order to expose the perpetrators of the offenses,” the police said.

Attorney Eyal Bessarglick, who represents one of the suspects together with attorney Keren Berkowitz, said “these are preliminary suspicions which we are certain will be refuted later on. Our client has nothing to do with the affair. He worked with the businessman more than six years ago and there is no evidence linking him to a criminal suspicion. We hope that the investigation will be concluded quickly so that our client can prove that he has nothing to do with the affair and the suspicions. “

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Rubashkin Celebration of Release… It was Trump, the Price for Patronage and Not a Miracle

Thousands Rejoice with Rubashkin

Photos: Itzik Roytman/COLlive

Thousands of Jews gathered Sunday evening, the last night of Chanukah, to celebrate the anniversary of the miraculous release from prison of Sholom Mordechai Rubashkin.

By COLlive reporter
Photos: Itzik Roytman/COLlive

Thousands of Jews gathered Sunday evening, the last night of Chanukah, to celebrate the anniversary of the miraculous release from prison of Sholom Mordechai Rubashkin.

The occasion marked the one-year anniversary of the former kosher meat executive’s sentence being commuted by U.S. President Donald Trump from a harsh 28-year sentence.

News of Rubashkin being commuted by President Trump last year has been called a modern-day Chanukah miracle after repeated appeals had been turned down.

The event, marking the simcha felt by all of Klal Yisroel, took place at The Ulam Hagadol on New Utrecht Avenue in Brooklyn, with a simultaneous event for women at Gan Yisroel on Church Avenue. Thousands more joined from around the world via live feed on COLlive.com. The event was coordinated by Yochi Fleishman

Speakers included Rubashkin’s son Getzel Rubashkin, Rabbi Leibish Lish, Rabbi Shlomo Laizer Meisels, and Rabbi Pinchos Lipshutz, Publisher of Yated Ne’eman.

“Ever since his release, gedolim and Jewish leaders around the world have been encouraging my father to dedicate himself to spreading the message of emunah and bitachon, and that is what he has done,” Getzel Rubashkin says.

“‘Alef, Bais, Gimmel’ has become a household phrase. This event is a moment to loudly and clearly thank Hashem and reaffirm that we got the message – emunah and bitachon will bring geulah.”

A moving video recounted the worldwide effort to help Rubashkin and the joyous and unified joy at his miraculous release.

To read the remainder of the article, click here.

A Diamond in a Bottle – an Opinion re: compromised emails – Getting Some R&R

Messages in a bottle: Mayor de Blasio’s compromised emails

Messages in a bottle: Mayor de Blasio's compromised emails
Sharing a laugh with pals he says he doesn’t know. (Court Document)

Mayor de Blasio finds himself in painful a pinch as a corruption trial belches evidence of his unseemly ties.

Specifically, emails between the mayor and star witness and megadonor Jona Rechnitz, who is cooperating with federal prosecutors against his former partner in palm greasing, Jeremy Reichberg, and ex-NYPD bigwig James Grant, after pleading guilty to bribing the mayor and buying favors from the police.

Exhibit A: Messages harvested from Rechnitz’s email account oozing with passion between mayor and donor, including this 2014 Inauguration Day missive from the mayor: “Please call me tomorrow to setup a meeting for early next week. I need you to accept the position I offered you.

Love you brother.”

Or, we should say, maybe the mayor: As Reichberg’s lawyer reminded the judge, Rechnitz is notorious for doctoring emails to puff up his profile as a mover and shaker.

If only de Blasio took pains to preserve his emails, instead of asserting a broad right to instantly delete that’s wildly at odds with the public’s right to know, he might have a shot at proving Rechnitz missives phony as a three-dollar bill. Letting a crook tell your story rarely ends well.

Ramapo, New York, Pay Raises, Ridiculous Vacation Time, Deficits, Obfuscation, Tax Raises

Ramapo: Top officials get personal employee agreements with raises, perks

RAMAPO – Aside from increasing their own pay up to $20,000 a year, Town Board members have taken care of five top department heads, approving employee agreements for them with hefty time off and buybacks beyond their base salaries topping $157,000.

The multiple-year agreements include the potential for more than 70 paid days off a year, including 33 vacation days, 10 personal days, 18 sick days and 12 holidays, as well as 168 hours of paid compensatory time.

Supervisor Michael Specht said Friday that the perks for the town’s top administrators are not that different from what contracted union employees get after working many years for the town.

He didn’t know the total value of the agreements, since they would depend on how employees uses their allotted time and perks.

“The senior management employee benefits are in line with some of the longtime CSEA employees and police agreements, for say, the captains,” Specht said. “These are senior people most of whom have been with the town for a long time. I thought the agreements were fair, reasonable.”

The five Town Board members approved employee agreements for the following administrators:

  • Mona Montal, the supervisor’s chief of staff, purchasing director and budget coordinator, until Dec. 31, 2021, retroactive to Jan. 1, 2018. She signed her agreement in October.
  • Christian Sampson, the appointed Town Clerk, until Dec. 31, 2019, retroactive to Jan. 1, 2018. Sampson signed the agreement in October.
  • Linda Condon, the appointed personnel administrator, until Dec. 21, 2021. Condon signed her agreement Oct. 26, retroactive to Jan. 1.
  • Scott Shedler, the appointed tax assessor and supervisor of facilities and risk management, until Dec. 31, 2021. Shedler signed the agreement Oct. 19, retroactive to Jan. 1.
  • Yitzchock Ullman, the appointed receiver of taxes, until Dec. 31, 2019. Ullman signed the agreement in October, also retroactive to Jan. 1, 2018. Ullman is a former Town Board member appointed to the position in 2018.

The Journal News/lohud.com obtained copies of the employee agreements — which mostly provide the same benefits — from the Ramapo Town Clerk’s Office under the Freedom of Information Law. The town responded with the documents within five days, though it had 25 days to respond.

The agreements also allow for the five administrators to also accrue limited amounts of unused vacation days, such as 50 bankable days, and convert unused holiday pay into sick time. They can cash in time off and drive a town car for seven days a week, when they are on call for town business.

AGREEMENT: Mona Montal

AGREEMENT: Yitzchok Ullman

AGREEMENT: Linda Condon

The agreements provide for CSEA-mirrored pay raises for each administrator, one 5 percent longevity raise during the life of the pact, and two extra vacation days per year during the agreement.

The employees also are allowed paid days off for personal reasons, including for religious observances and get five leave days for the death of an immediate family member.

 

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