Israeli Soldiers Clashing with the Ultra-Orthodox – Casting the First Stone?

Israeli soldiers violently clash with ultra-Orthodox

Hundreds of ultra-Orthodox Jews clashed with Israeli police Sunday when an anti-military demonstration grew violent.

Members of the ultra-Orthodox Eda Haredit group were protesting a recent court ruling that compels them to serve in the Israeli Defense Force. They began to block traffic and resisted riot cops’ efforts to disperse them, according to officials.

“Eight rioters who used violence against police were arrested,” a police statement said in Hebrew, according to The Associated Press. “They lay down in the road, shouting slogans against the police, some of them threw stones at police.”

The court decision, reached last week, struck down a law exempting ultra-Orthodox men from military service if they are engaged in religious study.

Typically, men over 18 must serve two years and eight months in the IDF, and adult women must serve two years.

Religious hardliners argue Judaism forbids a Jewish state — and thus a military — under certain conditions. Others claim that time in the service will expose men to colorful language and detract from their religious studies.

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

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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

More Couples Arrested for Welfare Fraud in Lakewood

http://nypost.com/2017/07/06/welfare-scam-deepens-as-six-more-couples-are-arrested/

Welfare ‘scam’ deepens as six more couples are arrested

Six more couples were busted for alleged welfare fraud in Lakewood, NJ, officials said Thursday, adding to a growing list of suspected cheats from that shore town.

FBI agents and investigators with the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office’s Economic Crimes Unit knocked on doors at about 6 a.m. on Thursday, handing over charging documents and court dates for them to appear between now and Tuesday.

The most recently arrested are accused to scoring nearly $400,000 in elaborate schemes to get Medicaid, food and home energy benefits when they weren’t eligible for them.

“The nature of the criminal events investigated and basic charges allege that the defendants misrepresented their income, declaring amounts that were low enough to receive the program’s benefits, when in fact their income was too high to qualify,” according to a statement from Ocean County prosecutors.

“The investigations revealed that the defendants received income from numerous sources that they failed to disclose on required program applications.”

Ocean County prosecutors charged 14 Lakewood residents last week, accusing them bilking taxpayers of more than $2 million.

The 12 newly named defendants were:

  • Eliezer and Elkie Sorotzkin, 33 and 31, were accused of wrongfully collecting $74,960 in Medicaid funds between January 2011 and December 2013.
  • Samuel and Esther Serhofer, 45 and 44, allegedly pocketed $72,685 in Medicaid between January 2009 to December 2013.
  • Yisroel and Rachel Merkin, 37 and 34, are suspected of improperly taking home $70,557,51 in Medicaid, food and home energy benefits between January 2011 and December 2014.
  • Jerome Menchel, 33, and Mottel Friedman, 30, were accused of wrongly scoring $63,839 in Medicaid and food benefits between January 2011 and July 2014.
  • Tzvi and Estee Braun, 35 and 34, were busted for allegedly ripping off $62,746.74 in Medicaid, food and children’s medical benefits between January 2009 and December 2013.
  • Moche and Nechama Hirschmann, 30 and 27, are suspected of wrongfully collecting $53,418.39 in Medicaid and food benefits between January 2011 and December 2015.

A rep for the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office declined to say if the defendants know each other or worked in concert.

Jona Rechnitz – Diamonds, a Taly, a Nissen, $80K/month and a Ponzi Scheme…

 

Star witness vs. NYPD cops in new ‘Ponzi’ link

The government’s star witness in public corruption cases involving two NYPD cops and a city union official may have been involved in criminal activity — including extortion — while he was cooperating with the feds, The Post has learned.

Explosive new court documents accuse Jona Rechnitz — a Bill de Blasio donor and the fed’s key witness against two NYPD cops and ex-union official Norman Seabrook — of threatening “to go to the feds” over a scheme he was wrapped up in unless one of his wealthy friends got paid.

If proven true, “the game is over,” said a lawyer involved in one of Rechnitz’s bribery probes.

“Even if it’s legitimate monies owed — if you make a threat then that’s extortion,” this person said.

It could also force the government to rip up Rechnitz’s cooperation agreement, putting their cases in jeopardy, sources said.

According to recently unsealed NY state court documents, Rechnitz was a recruiter for a $70 million Ponzi scheme involving Jason Nissen, a former math teacher busted last week and charged by Manhattan federal prosecutors with duping investors of his wholesale ticket business.

It’s unclear whether Rechnitz knew Nissen’s ticket selling business was an alleged sham. But the court documents, filed by Diamond wholesaler Taly USA Holdings, show that he may have kept his concerns hidden from the government in hopes that one of his pals would get paid.

“Jona’s the one who told me he would go to the Feds if Weinberger doesn’t get paid,” Nissen told Taly executive Yaron Turgeman in a secretly recorded conversation from May 7th, referring to hedge fund manager Michael Weinberger.

Nissen doesn’t say when the threat was made, but sources said Nissen only started having trouble paying Rechnitz’s investor pals after Rechnitz pleaded guilty last June to conspiring to bribe public officials.

A spokeswoman for the Manhattan US Attorney’s Office declined to comment.

A lawyer for Rechnitz also declined to comment.

Meanwhile, lawyers for defendants in the bribery probes — who include ex-NYPD cops James Grant and Michael Harrington — are gearing up to demand evidence from the Nissen case be turned to help them vet whether Rechnitz broke any laws or violated the terms of his cooperation agreement.

According to Nissen, Rechnitz was a paid recruiter for the alleged scheme, earning him up to $8 million in recent years, including payments of roughly $80,000 a month on Rechnitz’s credit card bills.

“We are confident that most, if not all of the misappropriated monies will be recovered,” said Christopher Milito, lawyer for Taly USA Holdings.

To see the article in its entirety click here.

Le Pen, Diamonds, Lev Leviev, Berel Lazar, New York

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https://miningawareness.wordpress.com/2017/05/05/le-pens-trump-tower-italian-fundraiser-tied-to-lega-nord-russia-are-diamonds-le-pens-best-friend/

Le Pen’s Trump Tower Italian Fundraiser Tied to Lega Nord-Russia; Are Diamonds Le Pen’s Best Friend?

 

Will France get an anti-American president, Marine Le Pen, who doesn’t even know that New York City is located there? Does she think that Trump Tower is in Montreal? “Vive le Quebec Libre! Vive le Canada Français et vive la France!” said De Gaulle on July 24, 1967 in Montreal: http://youtu.be/rGm6imM-7AI

And are diamonds Le Pen’s best friend, as once sang by another bleached blond? In “Gentlemen Prefer Blonds“-“Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friends“, Marilyn Monroe sang that the French may be willing to die for love, but that she prefers diamonds. Link: http://youtu.be/g__ANxxwKIk And, love won’t pay for Marine Le Pen’s campaign, it seems. The French connection would’t do. She needed an Italian connection in Trump Tower.

Enter her Italian “fixer”, George “Guido” Lombardi, apparently Giorgio Guido Lombardi, who migrated from Italy to the US in the 1970s. Lombardi states in an interview at the beginning of the BBC Panorama documentary “Marine Le Pen: Who’s Funding France’s Far Right” ( http://youtu.be/0ClNpJYuqdE ) that there were people at the cocktail-fundraiser, which he held for Marine Le Pen in Trump Tower, who could have contributed a million dollars “without blinking an eye“. Was one of them the “King of Diamonds?

According to the New York Post, long-time friend of Putin “Israeli diamond dealer Lev Leviev was the mysterious businessman hustled through the shut-down Lincoln Tunnel on behalf of a [New York Mayor] Bill de Blasio fundraiser.http://nypost.com/2016/06/21/bribed-cops-shut-down-lincoln-tunnel-lane-for-king-of-diamonds Did he help Marine Le Pen too?

According to the New York Times, “The political operative she [Marine Le Pen] went to meet at Trump Tower, George G. Lombardi, is a businessman who has made a career as a liaison between two right-wing Italian political parties — the Northern League and Forza Italia — and like-minded people in the United States. He has also worked with the National Front since 2012…” Pictures of Lombardi with former Senate majority leader Bob Dole, and former NY Republican Senator Alfonse D’Amato, as well as a younger Trump, are found on one of his web sites, they say: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/13/world/europe/marine-le-pen-trump.html. Recall: https://miningawareness.wordpress.com/2017/03/23/russian-oligarch-deripaska-tied-to-manafort-also-has-past-links-to-bob-dole/

In a more recent interview with the New York Times, Lombardi says that he was born in Geneva and moved to Rome, as a child, and that it was the 1968 protests, and popularity of communism at his university, that made him leave for America. He says that he started out in the jewelry business, then turned to real estate. He married the apparently older widow of real estate magnate Frank Lahainer, who already lived in Trump Tower, and was originally from Trieste, Italy, as was Frank Lahainer. Trieste faces Venice, on the Adriatic. See: “A Trump Tower Neighbor Is the Point Man for Europe’s Populists“. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/14/world/europe/trump-tower-neighbor-europe-populists-orban-wilders-le-pen.html (Did the New York Times confuse Geneva with Genoa (Genova), or was he born in Switzerland?)

Although it was apparently bought by Frank Lahainer, the 25 carat diamond, mentioned in the 2002 Washington Post article, called up a memory about the sell-off of huge diamonds by Russia in the 1990s, after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Lev Leviev is believed to have helped liquidate these assets. Lev Leviev is also reportedly behind Putin’s Milan born Rabbi Berel Lazar (Lombardi’s dual compatriot: American-Italian)

Isn’t it bizarre that Putin’s official Rabbi Lazar was born in Milan, in Lombardy Italy, and ordained Rabbi in New York City? Lazar is a member of the Chabad Ludavitch sect, who have their own book, which is not used by mainstream Judaism. Lazar is reported as having both American and Russian citizenship and his wife as having American citizenship. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Berel_Lazar They presumably have Israeli citizenship too. And, while Lazar has recently been quoted as saying that, if Le Pen wins, France’s Jews will have to leave France, we don’t know if he is playing at Briar Rabbit, nor if he thinks that a bad thing. (See JTA .org: “Russian chief rabbi says Jews should leave France if Marine Le Pen elected“, April 22, 2017) Lazar may want to bring the Jewish diaspora to Israel for the arrival of the Messiah. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chabad_messianism#Anticipation Another Putin friend-Russian Oligarch-Chabad supporter, Roman Abramovich, is currently building a new house in Israel. And, building lots of housing for the diaspora would be big business for real estate magnates. This could include Trump’s sons and son-in-law.

Continue reading

Trade – Securities Fraud, Prison Sentence

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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

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

 

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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/