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

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

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

Should there not be a sense of outrage?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

To continue reading in Crains, click here.

 

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