Australia’s Rabbi’s Gone Astray – This time Child Sexual Abuse Aside – Financial Crimes and Greed

Feldman takes Triguboff to court

 

Harry Triguboff and Rabbi Pinchus Feldman in happier times.

RABBI Pinchus Feldman, whose organisations have received millions of dollars from Harry Triguboff over the last few decades, took him to court last week.

Triguboff’s company Meriton, which owns Yeshiva’s Flood Street property, contacted Rabbi Feldman and several members of his family to say that their peppercorn leases for offices and the shul within Yeshiva would end and they needed to leave by April 20.

But on April 19 lawyers representing the shul and the Sydney Talmudical College Association (STCA), of which Rabbi Feldman is a director, filed a motion to prevent the eviction.

Last Thursday, the day of the proposed eviction, the court adjourned the matter which meant that Rabbi Feldman would stay past the April 20 deadline.

Rabbi Feldman’s son Yossi, who was at court for the case, told The AJN, “This is our first victory of many over Harry” only seconds after his father was given a one-week reprieve to stay in Flood Street.

The delay that  Yossi claimed was a victory, however, was actually an offer made by Triguboff.

David Austin, who acted on behalf of the Yeshiva Synagogue and STCA, said that Triguboff offered to let Rabbi Feldman and the shul remain until April 28, when the matter is back in court.

“On 28 April if the Court has time, or soon after, the court will decide whether to grant interim injunctions on the merits of our case.

“All we have to show is an arguable case and a balance of convenience.”

Following the hearing, the Yeshiva Synagogue then sent a letter to its community saying it received legal advice that eviction notices “are invalid” and that they are “entitled to remain in the premises”.

“We have requested from Mr Triguboff both formally and informally to rescind the harsh decree however those efforts have unfortunately been unsuccessful,” the letter said.

“We have weighed very carefully all of our options and sought independent rabbinic advice both locally and overseas.

“The conclusion was reached that we have no choice but to defend ourselves in court, as the eviction was slated for today.

“Baruch HaShem due to the court intervention the eviction was avoided today and we are hopeful that will continue.”

https://www.jewishnews.net.au/feldman-takes-triguboff-court/62905

To read the article in its original format click here.

A ‘Diamond in the Rough’ – Diamond JoeGutnick’s Wife

http://www.smh.com.au/business/joseph-gutnick-slams-press-reports-says-wife-is-diamond-20170426-gvtcj8.html

Joseph Gutnick slams press reports, says wife is ‘diamond’

Bankrupt former rich lister ‘Diamond’ Joe Gutnick has taken a swipe at the media after reports regarding his wife’s involvement in his companies following his bankruptcy, saying she is worth “millions” and is a “diamond”.

Mr Gutnick took the stand in the Federal Court on Thursday as public examinations of his bankrupt estate continue. His wife and son were examined earlier in the week.

 

"She is herself a very special gem, a diamond," Joe Gutnick says of his wife.

“She is herself a very special gem, a diamond,” Joe Gutnick says of his wife.

“There were disgusting reports in the newspaper,” he said.

Earlier this week, the court heard that a company linked to the bankrupt mining magnate is paying his wife, Stera Gutnick, $285,000 a year to work “a few hours a day” as a trainee jewellery designer, while her husband earns just $45,000 a year to work full time.

“She’s worth a lot more than some $200,000, possibly millions,” he said.

“She is herself a very special gem, a diamond,” he added.

“The press projected her as if she does nothing and we’re paying her an exorbitant wage. My wage is a separate issue. My concern is how this was presented in the papers,” he said.

Mr Gutnick said after his bankruptcy last year his wife worked three to four hours in the office, attended high level meetings and had research the jewellery industry extensively.

 

Stera Gutnik at the Federal Court this week.

Stera Gutnik at the Federal Court this week. Photo: Jason South

When asked what qualifications Mrs Gutnick had to be running the businesses while Mr Gutnick was bankrupt Mr Gutnick told the court: “She wears a diamond”.

Mr Gutnick also raised his plans to take defamation action over the stories.

He denied ever discussing with his wife any plans to put assets out of reach of creditors in the event he went bankrupt.

On Monday, lawyers for the bankruptcy trustees challenged Mrs Gutnick, and suggested the shuffling of directorships and her taking on the debt was part of a “broader plan to protect Joseph against bankruptcy”‘.

Philip Crutchfield QC, who was  asking questions of Mr Gutnick on behalf of two major creditors to the former magnate’s bankrupt estates, the Indian Farmers Fertiliser Cooperative (IFFCO) and Kisan International Trading, told the court that on Monday Mrs Gutnick said her husband had discussed structuring his affairs to protect assets “in some fashion”.

Mr Gutnick said his discussions with Mrs Gutnick regarding his assets related to her desire that the couple invest in safer assets like real estate rather than speculative mining stocks.

He denied ever hiding assets from creditors.

“Over the years I ‘ve just followed the advice of my accountants and my lawyers about how my affairs have been put into place,” Mr Gutnick said.

Mr Gutnick entered bankruptcy last year after losing a court battle with his former business partner IFFCO and Kisan over a $54 million personal debt. His company Legend International Holdings owes IFFCO a further $15 million. With interest, IFFCO is owed a total of $73 million. Legend is now in liquidation.

As revealed by Fairfax Media last year, Mr Gutnick’s statement shows he owes his creditors $275 million and has only has assets of $16,087 in savings and a host of shareholdings that are valued at zero.

Some of Mr Gutnick’s debts are to relatives, including a $30.7 million debt to his wife Stera and more than $116 million in debts to three companies run by family members.

The examination continues.

Evil in Oz – Rabbi Chaim Tsvi Groner – Chabad Flippant Response

South Head – Where has all the money gone?

https://www.jewishnews.net.au/south-head-voluntary-administration-rabbi-terminated/63008

South Head in voluntary administration, rabbi terminated

JOSHUA LEVI

SOUTH Head Synagogue’s board has appointed a voluntary administrator, Rabbi Benzion Milecki’s contract has been terminated and three members have loaned the shul $500,000 to ensure the bank can’t sell the property.

Shul president James Hochroth informed members on Thursday night that the administrator has terminated Rabbi Milecki, who has been South Head’s rabbi for more than 30 years in Sydney.

“Rabbi Milecki was one of the highest paid rabbis in Australia – terminating him will save a great deal of money.  We will go without a rabbi for a period and expect the costs of a new rabbi to be more modest,” Hochroth said.

“Rabbi Milecki may decide to challenge in court the actions of the Administrator, which if successful would increase the costs of the Administration and delay its finalisation.”

According Hochroth’s letter, the situation between the rabbi and board completely disintegrated.

Hochroth told members “in the interests of full transparency, but with considerable regret” that Rabbi Milecki terminated the board, administrator and IT consultant’s access to ShulCloud, which controls newsletters, accounts functions and various databases.

A day after Rabbi Milecki allegedly locked the board out, he wrote an email to members using the software.

“Should you notice my absence from an edition of eNews, or should it contain material that does not fit the mission statement, please know that it has not come from me,” he wrote.

“At any time, should you wish to communicate with me, please do not reply to this email. To ensure that I receive your email please write to rabbi@me.com.”

The board contacted the software provider in New York to restore access but when Rabbi Milecki then contacted them again, the company shut down the system until the board and rabbi could reach an agreement.

“We still do not have use of our computer system,” Hochroth said.

“The administrator will be advising ShulCloud of his appointment and the termination of the Rabbi and request that the suspension be lifted.

“As you will appreciate, it is apparent from the above that the relationship between the Rabbi and the Board has irretrievably broken down.”

The greatest risk for the shul of going into voluntary administration is that the bank could call in the mortgage on the property.

“This potentially puts our property at risk of being sold up or falling into the control of persons unknown who may have differing objectives to those of the majority of members,” Hochroth wrote.

“Three members of the shul – Curtis Mann, Rodney Naumburger and myself  – have each loaned $500,000 to pay out and replace the bank to alleviate this major risk to our property and kehillah.

“The terms of this new loan are no less favourable than those of our current bank facility.  The primary benefit of this new loan is that its lenders have every desire and intention to see the shule and kehillah continue and flourish which is not necessarily the case with a major commercial bank.”

Hochroth said the decision to call in a voluntary administrator was a “last resort” to protect the company from further financial loss and then to attempt to bring the shul back to financial viability.

In a second letter to members on Thursday, Anthony Elkerton, who was appointed as voluntary administrator, explained to members that during the administration period he is personally liable for debts incurred by the synagogue.

“For this reason following a review of the Synagogue’s financial position and projected cash flows that I made the decision to terminate the employment of Rabbi Milecki,” Elkerton wrote.

“I formed the view that the costs of employing the Rabbi are such that cash flow would be negative during the administration period and I would be assuming a potential personal liability.”

Trade – Securities Fraud, Prison Sentence

jesse

NYPOST – http://nypost.com/2017/04/26/ex-jefferies-trader-jesse-litvak-gets-2-years-in-prison-again/

Ex-Jefferies trader Jesse Litvak gets 2 years in prison – again

NEW HAVEN, Conn. — There will be no stay in “Broker Raton” for this bond trader.

After four years and two trials, Jesse Litvak, a former Jefferies bond trader, was sentenced to two years in prison for lying about the price of bonds and ripping off clients — the same punishment he received nearly three years earlier for the same crimes.

In addition to the time behind bars, Connecticut federal judge Janet C. Hall imposed three years of probation and a $2 million fine, which was heftier than the $1.75 million fine he got when originally convicted.

The sentence came at the end of a four-and-a-half-hour court hearing that was hotly contested by Litvak’s team of lawyers. This time around, Litvak wanted 8 months of house arrest at his home in Boca Raton, Fla. — a town so chock full of traders it’s gotten the nickname “Broker Raton.”

Prosecutors, however, wanted to put Litvak in federal prison until 2028. In the end, it was Litvak’s own actions that did him in, Judge Hall said.

“Your victims would not have paid you what they paid you had they known the truth,” she said near the end of the marathon sentencing. “You did this to make more money.”

Litvak, 42, was at the center of a closely-watched Wall Street drama over lying to customers about the price of mortgage-backed securities — and one of the few traders to ever get caught.

His conviction and sentence is likely to have a ripple effect and lead to charges against other traders, and even whole banks, who were involved in the same practice.

The investment bank bigwig was once a rising star at Jefferies, generating major profits for an investment bank that has a notoriously rough-and-tumble culture.

But the boost came at too high a price: In 2013, Litvak was arrested on charges of making $2.25 million in illegal profit between 2009 and 2011 by puffing up the price of bonds he was selling — and ripping off investors in the process.

One of the most damning pieces of evidence against the trader to have come out during the January trial was a chat transcript that Litvak edited to make it look like one customer had paid more for bonds.

He then sent that faked conversation to a second trader at Invesco—in order to get that person to pay the higher price.

Litvak’s lawyer Dane Butswinkas, claimed during in January that the tactics were unsavory — he compared his client to a “used car salesman” — but that they weren’t illegal. Litvak’s clients included large, sophisticated investors like AllianceBernstein, which has nearly $500 billion in assets under management.

That argument ultimately failed to persuade a jury, and he was found guilty of a single count of securities fraud.

In deciding the guidelines to sentence Litvak, Judge Hall considered about $6.3 million worth of fraud over 76 transactions, all but one of which he wasn’t convicted on.

This isn’t the first time that Litvak has faced a prison sentence.

In 2014, the trader was originally found guilty of ten counts of securities fraud in the same 100-year old courthouse, and was sentenced to two years behind bars.

A Manhattan appeals court later tossed the jury’s verdict tossed when it came to light that evidence favorable to his defense shouldn’t have been excluded.

His behavior between trials ended up hurting his chance for leniency. Not only had he been caught sending text messages decrying “dumb juries” and declaring “victory,” but in 2015 he filed a suit against AllianceBernstein trader Michael Canter, who testified against him.

Judge Hall said that that suit in particular may have affected Canter’s demeanor on the stand, since during the second trial he was less enthusiastic and animated.

https://wordpress.com/post/lostmessiahdotcom.wordpress.com/31462

Is Desecrating the Shabbat Okay if it Allows the Haredim to Celebrate?

http://ch7.io/c41y

 

Originally Posted on FrumWatch: https://www.facebook.com/frumwatch/
http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/228632

Haredim are not disciplined, they do what they want’

Northern police rabbi says haredi community can’t have it both ways, haredi community forces police to desecrate Shabbat against their will.

Israel Police North Division Rabbi Anshel Friedman on Wednesday morning spoke about the recent complaints about how Israel Police are preparing for the upcoming Lag Baomer celebrations.

Thousands of police officers will be expected to desecrate Shabbat in order to prepare for the influx of thousands of Israelis and tourists who will come to Meron on Saturday night and Sunday.

Lag Baomer is the anniversary of Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai’s passing. Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai, also known by his initials as “Rashbi” is believed to be the author of the Zohar.

“You want the police to keep Shabbat?” Rabbi Friedman said. “The haredi community is not disciplined, and it does what it wants. For instance, on Friday afternoon, about 10-15 minutes after Shabbat starts, cars carrying haredim travel up the mountain – and the police have to be there to stop it.”

In an interview with the Kol Barama Radio, Rabbi Friedman said the police have “no interest” in working on Shabbat, and in fact want the police officers to rest on Shabbat.

“Until the haredi community, and other religious communities, decide they will not arrive in Meron before Sunday morning, the Israel Police will be forced to desecrate Shabbat in order to be on the scene when they are needed,” he said.

http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/228632

Jona Rechnitz: Loan Shark? Diamond Dealer? Lucky Gambler? Real Estate Mogul? Shoshana by any other name…

 

jona rechnitz_crop_exact

NYPost: http://nypost.com/2017/04/26/key-witness-in-nypd-corruption-probe-was-an-alleged-loan-shark/

Key witness in NYPD corruption probe was an alleged ‘loan shark’’

The government’s key witness in multiple corruption probes was a part-time “loan shark” who made money doling out predatory loans, court documents alleged on Tuesday.

Jona Rechnitz — the government’s witness against two NYPD cops accused of taking bribes — “was nothing more than a loan shark” when it came to his business dealings with Hamlet Peralta, the former owner of a Harlem eatery that was popular with cops, Peralta’s lawyer said.

Peralta, the former owner of the Hudson River Cafe, stands accused of running a $12 million Ponzi scheme tied to an allegedly fictitious wholesale liquor business.

Peralta’s lawyer, Cesar de Castro, made the allegations against Rechnitz as part of a legal tug-of-war with feds about what evidence can be introduced at Peralta’s upcoming May trial.

The government wants to call as witnesses victims of Peralta’s alleged scheme who were recruited by Rechnitz — and who learned of the scheme through Rechnitz.

De Castro has objected, arguing that statements made by Rechnitz cannot be offered as the truth because he was engaged in his own loan-sharking scheme.

“Evidence at trial will show that (Rechnitz) was not Mr. Peralta’s agent but the architect of his own scheme in order to bleed Mr. Peralta dry,” de Castro said.

Rechnitz’s lawyer, Alan Levine, declined to comment.

Rechnitz, a real estate investor, is also the government’s key witness in the upcoming bribery trial of Norman Seabrook, former head of NYC’s correction officers’ union.

 

http://nypost.com/2017/04/26/key-witness-in-nypd-corruption-probe-was-an-alleged-loan-shark/