Rabbis and Politicians – The similarities are Shocking – Protecting a Synagogue or its Rabbi?

See J-Wire Australia and New Zealand: http://www.jwire.com.au/the-jerusalem-beth-din-serves-an-injunction-to-protect-south-head-synagogue/

The Jerusalem Beth Din serves an injunction to protect South Head Synagogue

A meeting of creditors is scheduled to take place in Sydney on Friday.

The ruling was made following a letter to the Beth Din in Jerusalem written by the spiritual head of the South Head Synagogue Rabbi Benzion Milecki on Monday July 10th in which he wrote:

“Because the Synagogue Board and President acted and are acting in a manner that endangers the continued functioning of the Synagogue through the defendants taking unilateral actions, that include boycotting and requesting members of the community to pray in another venue (in order to force the resignation of Rabbi Milecki),  liquidating the Holy Congregation Ahavat Shalom, selling the land and Synagogue building in all of its parts – including the Synagogue, the Beth HaMidrash, the Library, the Mikveh etc – G-d forbid (which is possible because the President of the Synagogue released the bank and replaced it with himself as mortgagee together with two other Board members);].

And because it is the intention of the defendants to execute their plan leading to the destruction of all the facilities, an irreversible situation incapable of remedy (because, as mortgagees, they can vote for the liquidation of the Synagogue as means of retrieving their funds at the creditors’ meeting that will take place on Friday morning, 20th Tammuz);

Therefore I request His Honour the Av Beth Din and the Beth Din to issue an immediate injunction that prevents any of the sides from acting in a manner that could lead to the destruction of all these holy facilities.”

Order of HaRav HaGaon Rav Chaim Shlomo Rozental, Rav and Av Beth Din of Jerusalem, and Av Beth Din of the Special Court Established by the Chief Rabbinate of Israel in the matter of Rabbi Benzion Milecki and South Head Synagogue.

Continue reading

Shelly Silver GUILTY! Conviction Overturned on Technical Grounds

sheldon_silver-300x300

The evidence still shows Shelly Silver is guilty, guilty, guilty

Outrageous: Shelly Silver, one of the worst abusers of the public trust in recent New York history, just got his 2015 conviction tossed on technical grounds.

Prosecutors promise a new trial, but justice has already been delayed far too long here.

A federal appeals court Thursday tossed the former Assembly speaker’s 2015 corruption conviction because a later Supreme Court ruling tweaked the rules for what counts as political corruption.

Yet the same 2nd Circuit of Appeals had just affirmed the bribery conviction of ex-Assemblyman William Boyland Jr. despite similar issues.

And the evidence against Silver proves corruption under the new rules as well as the old.

  • The then-speaker funneled some $500,000 in state grants to a doctor who, in turn, sent patients to Silver’s law firm, Weitz & Luxenberg — which then paid Silver for the referrals.
  • In another scheme, Silver voted to OK tax-exempt financing for a real-estate developer, Glenwood Management, and for favorable rent- and tax-abatement laws. In exchange, Glenwood took some work to the firm of another Silver pal, which in turn paid “fees” to the speaker.

Silver pocketed at least $4 million from these kickbacks.

At trial, his defense boiled down to “everybody does it.” But while the Legislature is indeed profoundly corrupt, that doesn’t make any of it legal.
And certainly not these abuses of power by a man who ruled as speaker for more than two decades.

Yes, the Supreme Court last year tossed the corruption conviction of ex-Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell over too-broad instructions to the jury about what defines “official acts.” But Silver’s case involved far more clear-cut bribes — and more clear-cut abuse of power — than McDonnell’s.

Yet somehow the 2nd Circuit thinks a “rational jury” might not have found Silver guilty if it had been “properly instructed.”

Let’s hope prosecutors move quickly to a new trial. The best medicine for New York’s rampant corruption is swift, harsh punishment for the abusers. And Silver, 73, has already been free for far too long.

Meir Shlomo Kluwgant (Rabbi) – His Lies and Hypocrisy

2nd Nissan 5774 2 April 2014
MEDIA RELEASE
The RCV welcomes the recent apology and retraction issued by Mr Manny Waks for posting false and inaccurate statements about an individual in our community on the Tzedek website and in the social media. Mr Waks has admitted that he believes that this individual was completely innocent of these allegations at all times. The RCV notes with concern that the publication of the defamatory matters over which he has apologised, has true capacity to cause untold harm to individuals, their family members, and to the whole of the community. The RCV would urge Mr Waks and the Board of Tzedek to give serious consideration to his position, as well as the practises that led to the publication of those damaging and defamatory comments. The RCV reiterates its long-held position that victims and individuals with credible information about child sexual abuse should take these matters to the police and other relevant authorities. END Queries to be directed to the Executive Director of the RCV at executive@rcv.org.au Postal Address: C/o 619 St Kilda Rd Melbourne VIC 3004 T: 0425 808 789 E: executive@rcv.org.au W: www.rcv.org.au  Rabbinical Council of Victoria Inc. Reg. No. A0042905Y

The following is taken from the blogpost of Manny Waks. Unfortunately, we were unable to include some of the official documents included in that post. Regardless, we recommend that you read the blog in its original format: http://www.mannywaks.com/blog/the-lies-and-hypocrisy-of-rabbi-meir-shlomo-kluwgant

Australia – South Head Rabbi Will not Compromise, Synagogue to be Liquidated

South-Head-Synagogue-1-992x558

THE AUSTRALIAN JEWISH NEWS: https://www.jewishnews.net.au/south-head-future-decided/66205

South Head future all but decided

A LAST-DITCH attempt to save South Head Synagogue from liquidation appears to be over, much to the disappointment of the entire community.

A group, known as the South Head Synagogue Unity Plan, has “reluctantly concluded that there is nothing further” it can do to bring Rabbi Benzion Milecki and the shule’s board together.

“It appears that the costs and burdens upon the community will almost inevitably cause the South Head Congregation, as we have known it, to be very seriously damaged,” Gary Cohen and Peter Wise, who described themselves as concerned congregants who support a united congregation, said in a joint statement.

“It will now likely enter a new phase and we are saddened by this, but compromise for the greater good from all parties has not been forthcoming. No one should take any pride or satisfaction in this outcome.”

The AJN can exclusively reveal that in response to the rabbi’s offer last week, the secure creditors made an offer of more than $1 million and agreed to organise a tribute to the rabbi in the synagogue, on the condition that the rabbi had no control over the future of the shule.

The AJN can also reveal that in the report to creditors, the administrator wrote that he considered the rabbi as a director because of his heavy involvement in discussions, decisions and board meetings.

Wise and Cohen said that they have not taken sides, and praised both sides for trying to find a middle ground, but said that the task is too great.

“A lot of water had already flowed under the bridge and the parties have not, until this point in time, been able to bring themselves to accept the terms that each other was insisting upon.

“We have reluctantly concluded that there is nothing further that we can reasonably do to bring the parties together.”

The AJN understands that the shule’s doors could be closed today (Thursday) by administrator Anthony Elkerton because the money required to keep the shule open has not been forthcoming.

Shule president James Hochroth told The AJN that tomorrow (Friday) the creditors will vote on the future of the synagogue.

“The secured creditors intend to vote in line with the recommendation by the administrator, to wind up the company, at the meeting for creditors this Friday.”

Hochroth said the creditors have no choice because there is no prospect of the shule thriving again in the current circumstances.

He said however, that despite the closure of the shule, the congregation has not disbanded. “Most South Head regular attendees are now going to a second minyan – it is not a breakaway, it is the congregation.

“There were 80 men and 25 women on Friday night and then Saturday morning the same again, but with children.”

In contrast, the numbers at South Head Synagogue have been reported to The AJN to be between 12-30 people.

Sheldon Silver Corruption Conviction Overturned – Opening the door for more corruption…

sheldonsilverontrialjpg

 

Sheldon Silver’s corruption conviction overturned, documents show

A federal appeals court on Thursday overturned ex-Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver’s corruption conviction, according to court documents.

In March federal prosecutors in the Silver case faced sharp questioning the appeals panel, which was worried about whether the conviction could survive a new U.S. Supreme Court decision narrowing the scope of “official acts” that can be the subject of a bribe.

“You went to trial on the theory that anything Sheldon Silver did in connection with his role as speaker was an official act,” said Judge William Sessions. “That’s something totally different from what’s now the government action required. How do you know the jury would have made the same decision?”

The arguments provided a first glimpse of how the 2nd U.S. Circuit of Appeals in Manhattan would interpret the high court’s 2016 ruling in a case involving former Virginia Gov. Robert McDonnell, which held prosecutors must show an actual exercise of government power, not just a meeting or phone call.

It drew an overflow crowd, including prosecution and defense lawyers prepping to argue the same issues on the conviction of former Senate leader Dean Skelos, as well as U.S. District Judge Kimba Wood, who presided at Skelos’ trial, and new Acting U.S. Attorney Joon Kim.

Silver was convicted in 2015 of sponsoring grants and doing other favors for an asbestos doctor who referred patients to the Speaker’s law firm, and also collecting legal referral fees from real estate developers whose legislation he supported. The Democrat was sentenced to 12 years in prison, but has remained free while appealing.

Steve Molo, Silver’s lawyer, said the former Speaker deserved a new trial because the evidence included both actual exercises of government power and lesser favors — like meeting with real estate donors and job references for the doctor’s children.

U.S. District Judge Valerie Caproni’s instructions gave jurors the latitude to convict on either, he argued. “It was inconsistent with what the law is now,” Molo said.

But prosecutor Andrew Goldstein contended that the case involved actual legislative acts, not just the constituent courtesies the Supreme Court said were insufficient in McDonnell’s case.

“This case involved far more than meetings and introductions and nothing more,” he said. “ engaged in official decision-making to benefit the people who were paying him.”

When the judges cited lesser favors which prosecutors had also argued were official acts, Goldstein said they were all part of a larger “scheme,” and were elevated by Silver’s power and clout.

But Judge Richard Wesley objected to that claim. “Then any powerful person who wants you to do something is committing a crime?” he said. “Is every invitation to a fundraiser a crime?”

Please see the article in its original format on Newsday by clicking here.

 

FOR FURTHER READING:

Conviction of former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver overturned

http://abc7ny.com/news/conviction-of-former-assembly-speaker-sheldon-silver-overturned/2212539/

Sheldon Silver’s corruption conviction is overturned

Cheesy Canadian Company Gets Fined for Unkosher Behavior

cheese-banner

 

Food company busted for selling phony ‘kosher’ cheese to kids

 

A Canadian food company was ordered to pay more than $19,000 for selling cheese falsely labeled kosher to Jewish youth campers, authorities said Monday.

Creation Foods Company in Woodbridge, Ontario pleaded guilty in provincial court and was hit with the penalty of $25,000 Canadian, or $19,417 in US dollars, according to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.

The incident — called a “spiritual poisoning” by a key Canadian kosher administrator — is believed to be the first case involving phony kosher food ever brought to provincial court.

“We’re very pleased and gratified that the Canadian justice system was diligent in prosecuting this crime,” Richard Rabkin, managing director of kosher certifying agency the Kashruth Council of Canada (COR), told The Post on Monday.

“It was a milestone, a first and we hope the last.”

The phony kosher cheese was delivered to two camps in northern Ontario in summer 2015, according to COR.

“The Canadian Food Inspection Agency’s investigation determined that the company sold a non-kosher food product to two Jewish youth camps, by means of a forged kosher certificate,” according to a CFIA statement.

“The cheese sold to both camps did not meet the requirements of the kashruth.”

Reps for Creation Foods did not return messages seeking their comments on Monday.

The two camps involved were sent loads of mozzarella and cheddar. The mozzarella had proper COR certification but the cheddar did not.

And when camp officials asked for proof, that’s when the fake letters of kosher authenticity were used, Rabkin said.

It’s unclear whether campers actually ate the non-kosher cheddar.

Even if that cheese were physically safe, it was a moral affront to sell it to Jewish customers knowing it wasn’t kosher, according to Rabkin — calling it a “spiritual poisoning.”

The key in making kosher cheese comes from enzyme used to coagulate milk into cheese.

To read the remainder of the article in the NYPost click here.

A Platinum Exchange with the SEC – Civil Enforcement Case v. Criminal Case

Platinum Will Get SEC Docs While Criminal Case Advances

Law360, New York (July 10, 2017, 2:42 PM EDT) — A New York federal judge paused a civil enforcement case against the hedge fund Platinum Partners on Friday at the request of prosecutors while a related criminal case goes forward, rejecting complaints by several defendants that they would be deprived of the chance to learn about the government’s case against them.

As often happens, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s case against Platinum and executives accused of playing a role in a scheme to inflate the value of its investments was stayed for a criminal prosecution. All but two of the defendants asked for discovery to continue anyway, but U.S. District Judge Dora Irizarry said even limited document exchanges would threaten the defendants’ right against self-incrimination.

Besides, the judge’s order said, federal prosecutors have committed to turning over materials they get from the SEC, which will allow the defendants to prepare for the civil case during the criminal case. So far, she noted, government lawyers said they’ve turned over 13.5 million documents, with more to come.

“In effect, the only discovery that will not be had in this civil matter is ‘testimonial’ type discovery, such as depositions, as proposed by [several of the] defendants,” the judge wrote. “Opposing defendants can hardly be heard to complain that they will be deprived of discovery in this civil matter.”

The pending decision was mentioned briefly at a hearing Friday where the main item was the judge’s decision to sack the SEC’s receiver, Bart Schwartz of Guidepost Solutions LLC, after concluding that he improperly transferred millions from an escrow account to fund an investment the feds called “risky.”

In the underlying case, prosecutors and the government litigators accuse Platinum of covering up a liquidity crisis at one of its investment funds and lying to lenders to Black Elk Energy Offshore Operations LLC, a drilling company it owned, about the company’s health. Managers hid the hedge fund’s troubles until it filed for bankruptcy last year.

Kevin O’Brien of Ford O’Brien LLP, whose client Joseph Sanfilippo was a chief financial officer at one of Platinum’s funds, said Monday that the order was good news. Even though the case was stayed, he said, it was in some sense “only partial” because the defendants would still receive SEC documents.

……. To obtain the document from it’s original forum see http://www.law360.com

The case is Securities and Exchange Commission v. Platinum Management NY LLC et al., case number 1:16-cv-06848, in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York.