“Sadly, immoral individuals have often applied the following 5 step method to ripping off substantial funds from members of our community for years.
- Give a large donation to an institution with a wealthy donor base. Do so magnanimously and genuinely try to help out that institution – showing that it is dear to your heart.
- Come up with a false, but effective sounding business plan or investment strategy, and casually talk about it to wealthy individuals.
- Name drop big company names and or people that have signed on and show false paper work that “proves” the whole scam.
- Take investment money from others and, at the outset, pay a hefty return on profits. Do so from other moneys that you are receiving.
- Give a significant donation to the cause where a well-liked Rabbinic leader stands behind the institution and develop a relationship with him. You will need to use this relationship in order to attempt to influence him or others around him into helping defend you against those people who realize that you have stolen their money. Articles in the Jewish media can be squashed. This will also help you gain more people in which to obtain more money from.The above, is not a cynical view of the world. It is, unfortunately, a scenario that has been repeated numerous times. It is more prevalent than it should be, in this author’s view, because people are almost entirely unaware of a Torah obligation that is incumbent upon all of us.”
PREVENTING PONZI SCHEMERS
Yes, there is a Torah obligation upon all of us to prevent the proliferation of Ponzi schemers and rip-offs within our community. It is called the obligation to be “chas al mammon yisroel” – a fulfillment of the Torah Mitzvah of “v’ahavata larayacha kamocha.”
The Gemorah in Moed Katan 27b tells us that when Jews were burying their dead in the finest clothing, Rabban Gamliel HaZakain arose and declared that enough was enough. The rising pressures, the “keeping up with the Joneses” in how to dress the deceased was causing enormous economic pressure on the living. “It must stop,” declared the rabbi, and the tachrichim, burial shrouds, we now use became the norm.