Velvel Butman, Shmuel Butman – Father Protecting Son? Defrocked and Deadbeat

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Jewish leader’s son is a ‘deadbeat dad’ who refuses to pay child support

Originally Published in the NYPost April 2, 2010

The son of the head of the city’s powerful Chabad Jewish organization is an unemployed deadbeat dad who refuses to give his wife a divorce or pay child support, court papers reveal.

Velvel Butman — whose father, Shmuel Butman, lights the giant menorah in Manhattan’s Grand Army Plaza, Times Square each year during Hanukkah — has been battling the court, and his own community, since he first refused to give his long-suffering wife a divorce five years ago, documents and sources say.

Velvel, a 49-year-old dad of eight, once worked for his father as an emissary of the Hasidic movement in Westchester County.

But Velvel was booted as a rabbi after a rabbinic court of Chabad Lubavitch ordered him to give his wife a Jewish divorce, called a get, and he refused.

“He strongly believes that a rabbi’s not supposed to get divorced. Yet he’s no longer technically a rabbi because he’s been defrocked,” said a rabbi who feared reprisal if his name were published.

A Brooklyn judge last week held Velvel in contempt for failing since 2013 to pay child support for his children. Six of them still live with his estranged wife, Rachel, who treks from their home in Crown Heights to her job at a day-care facility in Westchester to pay the bills.

Velvel has been on the hook for $2,000 a month in child support for the past four years but has paid only the first two months, court documents show.

Yet instead of working, he has been gallivanting to Israel and Uzbekistan, allegedly telling the court at one point, “I would have needed to get permission from a rabbinic panel if someone of my stature should be seen [working] in a Starbucks.’’

His father, Shmuel Butman, 73, heads New York’s Chabad Lubavitch.

The judge said Velvel has 60 days to pay $78,400 or he’ll be thrown in jail.

His wife is so desperate to be free of him that she even offered to forgive the child-support debt if he would just sign the divorce papers, sources said.

“[Velvel] has publicly stated that he would rather sit in jail than give his wife the money, and would rather sit in jail than give his wife the get,’’ a rabbinical source said.

Velvel lives with his 73-year-old dad.

“[Shmuel] is supporting his son financially, while his son claims that, given his father’s status, it is below his dignity to work here or there,” the source said.

But Rabbi Butman insisted on Sunday that his son has done no wrong.

“I’m his father, and he’s going to pay,” Shmuel Butman said, though he declined to say whether he would be footing the bill.

Velvel did not return a message. His lawyer declined comment.

Rachel Butman’s lawyer, Joel Yacoob, also declined to comment.

For More Information from the NYPost click here.

De Blasio – Not so Pro-Israel After All – or Are His Ultra-Orthodox Block Being Pacified?

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De Blasio isn’t jumping to defend Israel after UN vote

http://nypost.com/2016/12/29/de-blasio-isnt-jumping-to-defend-israel-after-un-vote/

Mayor Bill de Blasio — who has repeatedly cast himself as a fierce defender of Israel — refused Thursday to take a position on the UN resolution condemning the Jewish state for expanding its settlements.

“I don’t really know what I think about the details of the resolution,” the mayor said at an unrelated press conference in Times Square. “What I know is it’s besides the point. The solution has to come from … Israelis and Palestinians. That’s the core of the matter. And right now that’s not happening.”

In past years, de Blasio has said it is his duty to speak out on Israel’s behalf.

“I will work every day … in support of the state of Israel because we know time and again the state of Israel is under attack,” he said at the Queens Jewish Community Council on Aug. 25, 2015.

De Blasio said that because Israel doesn’t have “enough friends,” New York must advocate for it.

 

“We must speak up,” he said. “We have to be one of the places that does.”

The mayor made similar comments the previous year.

“I am the mayor of the city … with the largest Jewish population anywhere on this Earth. By definition, I’ve said it many times, it’s not only normal and natural [to support Israel], I consider it my responsibility to stand up for the state of Israel,” de Blasio said on July 14, 2014.

City Hall press secretary Eric Phillips later issued a statement, saying:

“Mayor de Blasio said clearly that the U.N.’s role in the peace process has never been helpful. Like many at home and abroad, the Mayor also acknowledged that the ultimate consequences of the U.N.’s resolution cannot be predicted and that the effect of the U.S.’s abstention is unclear. What is clear is that the U.N.’s anti-Israel positioning in the Middle

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Kushner Family – A Platinum Valued Connection – Have You been Paying Attention????

 

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[Originally reported in the New York Post on September 12, 2016]

Family of Trump’s son-in-law linked to hedge fund probe

The troubled New York hedge fund that is plaguing the city prison guards’ union has also ensnared the family of Donald Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner, The Post has learned.

Hedge fund firm Platinum Partners, which is being investigated by Brooklyn federal prosecutors, was short on cash and desperately borrowing money in the days leading up to the June arrest of one of its co-founders, documents shows.

Among the people it turned to for cash were Marisa and Richard Stadtmauer, the aunt and uncle of Jared Kushner, according to a document from Platinum’s court-appointed liquidator, a copy of which was obtained by The Post. Kushner is married to Trump daughter Ivanka.

On May 27, Marisa Stadtmauer loaned Platinum $4.1 million, the liquidator said. It got another $6.4 million from Richard Stadtmauer, the brother of Kushner’s mother, Seryl, and former vice chairman of family’s real estate empire, Kushner Companies.

Platinum, which is headquartered in Manhattan, also received a $2.3-million loan from the National Society for Hebrew Day Schools the same day it borrowed money from the Stadtmauers, the document said.

Rabbi Zvi Bloom, executive director of the national educational organization, did not return a request for comment.

Shortly after the loans were made, Platinum’s co-founder and Stadtmauer’s pal, Murray Huberfeld, was arrested and charged with bribing Norman Seabrook, the head of the NYC prison guards’ union for a $20 million investment.

Seabrook was also arrested and relieved of his post as head of the Corrections Officers’ Benevolent Association.

Stadtmauer didn’t return requests for comment about the money, which was revealed in a court document filed by liquidation firm RHSW Caribbean, which has taken over Platinum’s flagship fund at the direction of a judge in the Cayman Islands, where the fund is registered.

His chances of being repaid are looking slim.

At the time of the loan, the flagship fund — which makes up the bulk of Platinum’s $1.3 billion in assets — had just $68,530 in cash.

The cash pile has since grown to $881,976, RHSW said. Still, it’s not enough to make a dent to the $365 million Platinum ‘s flagship fund owes Wall Street traders and other lenders, RHSW said.

Stadtmauer and Huberfeld’s ties go back more than a decade as investors in NorCrown Bank, a Livingston, N.J., bank controlled by Kushner’s dad Charles.

 

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To the Latino Community – Stay Put, Hold Your Ground. Steinmetz is a Breed of His Own

Landlord trying to ‘rid the building’ of Latino residents: suit

Longtime Latino residents of South Williamsburg claim their Hasidic landlord is trying to harass them out of their apartment building — and out of their once diverse neighborhood.

Cindy Sanchez, Sara Oyola and Kathleen Santiago are now the only Latino residents in their Lee Avenue building, on their block, “and beyond,” they claim.

The rent-stabilized residents are suing landlord Naftali Steinmetz in Brooklyn federal court, saying their apartments are dangerously rundown.

Steinmetz has made their lives “unpleasant and untenable — the ultimate goal being to rid the building of all non-Hasidic Jewish tenants,” they charge.

Lee Avenue was once a melting pot, but over the years the neighborhood has become the heart of Hasidic Williamsburg.

Sanchez, Oyola and Santiago say they are shunned by their newer neighbors.

Steinmetz bought their building in 2006. Ever since, its Latino tenants have endured “years of neglect, fights in Brooklyn Housing Court for repairs, and incessant harassment to take buyout offers,” the suit says.

The three plaintiffs say they endured two winters without heat and their floors are warped and “visibly dangerous.”

Steinmetz didn’t return messages.

The Satmar and de-Blasio…. A Match Made of?

 

 

FBI grills de Blasio’s Satmar pals in fundraising probe

Federal investigators are questioning leaders in Williamsburg’s Hasidic community in their expanding inquiry into Mayor de Blasio’s fund-raising practices, multiple sources told The Post.

Rabbi and political fund-raiser Moishe Indig was questioned by FBI agents on Wednesday. Indig referred them to his attorney but agents seized one of his cellphones, the sources said.

“They told him, ‘It’s all about Bill,’ and they want more information from him,” said one source close to Indig, a de Blasio ally.

“They have an interest in Moishe because they’re digging into de Blasio’s fund-raising tactics and they want to know what favors they [Hasidic community members] are getting back from the mayor,” the source added.

Indig did not return calls seeking comment.

Agents visited Rabbi David Niederman on Thursday, but Niederman referred them to his lawyers, two sources said. Niederman told The Post federal agents did not visit him.

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Federal authorities on Thursday arrested Williamsburg political operative Yitzchok “Isaac” Sofer on charges he lied about his income to obtain $30,000 in food stamps.

The FBI interviewed Sofer two weeks ago about mayoral fund-raising and influence peddling, but he refused to rat on his friends at City Hall, the sources said. The sources believe the FBI brought the food-stamp charge to squeeze information from him.

“They know Sofer is a progressive Hasidic Jew who is friendly with all these guys in the administration including [top de Blasio aides] Avi Fink and Emma Wolfe,” a City Hall source said. “People in the community come to him to fix their problems and he has amassed his influence.”

Indig, Niederman and Sofer are influential leaders in the Satmar community, one of the city’s largest Hasidic sects. De Blasio ­aggressively courted the Satmars in his 2013 mayoral campaign.

It was Indig who convinced leaders of the Satmars’ Aroni faction to shift their support from Christine Quinn to de Blasio two weeks before the contentious 2013 Democratic primary, sources said.

Sofer said at the time that de Blasio’s support for private religious schools was a main reason for the endorsement.

Sofer and Indig were the hosts of an Oct. 3, 2013, fund-raising event for de Blasio, according to the mayor’s campaign Web site.

Indig, who landed on de Blasio’s “Worst Landlords” list back when the mayor was public advocate, has attended at least two meetings at City Hall with Niederman and other religious leaders, according to the mayor’s official schedule.

But Indig has never registered as a lobbyist despite advocating on issues important to the Orthodox community, sources said.

“Developers go to Indig with issues with their properties, hoping to get permits expedited or rezonings approved by the city,” said one Williamsburg source. “People hire him privately to get things done.”

Sofer, 39, works in government relations for the Central United Talmudical Academy, which is tied to the Aroni faction. The yeshiva’s lobbyist, Capalino+Company, pressed Fink and other City Hall officials in early 2015 to open a universal-pre-K program at the site.

The FBI raided the academy’s offices in March, possibly as part of a probe into the use of federal school-lunch funds, reports said.

CUTA spokesman Michael Tobman called Sofer’s arrest a “personal matter having nothing to do with the larger community or its institutions.” Sofer did not return a message seeking comment.

 

To see the article in its entirety click here.

66th Precinct – What’s the Going Rate for a Corrupt Cop?

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Lt. Michael Andreano Joins the Ranks of those Alleged to be in Bed with the Epidemic of Corruption within the Ultra Orthodox Community of Borough Park and Beyond…

 

NYPD lieutenant stripped of badge, gun over ties to bribery scheme

http://nypost.com/2016/10/24/nypd-lieutenant-stripped-of-badge-gun-over-ties-to-bribery-scheme/

A high-ranking Brooklyn cop has been stripped of his badge and gun over ties to a key figure in an alleged $1 million NYPD bribery scheme, The Post has learned.

Lt. Michael Andreano of the 66th Precinct in Boro Park was put on desk duty as part of the wide-ranging corruption probe that has already resulted in pending charges against three NYPD bosses, sources said.

Andreano is suspected of having improper dealings with Alex “Shaya” Lichtenstein, a leader of the Boro Park “Shomrim” patrol who in April was busted on bribery and conspiracy charges involving pistol permits, sources said.

“This guy was tight with Shaya and would go out of his way to accommodate him,” a source said.

Andreano served as a community-affairs sergeant in the 66th Precinct before getting promoted to lieutenant in 2015 and transferred to the 60 Precinct in West Brighton.

He was transferred back to the 66th after “a month or two,” sources said, and put in charge of Special Operations there.

Andreano’s return was announced at a Community Council meeting in September 2015, according to the KensingtonBK blog.

Lichtenstein was allegedly recorded offering a whistleblowing cop $6,000 a pop to “expedite” approval of pistol permits for members of Brooklyn’s Orthodox Jewish community.

During that conversation, Lichtenstein used a calculator to show that 150 permits would be worth $900,000, according to the feds.

He also allegedly bragged that he had already scored 150 permits for clients who paid him up to $18,000 each for the service but said he had lost his connection in the NYPD’s License Division.

Earlier this month, a prosecutor revealed there had been “continuous discussions” for Lichtenstein to strike a plea deal, and a judge gave both sides until Nov. 3 to come to terms or proceed with the case.

The cop who secretly recorded Lichtenstein, former License Division member David Ochetal, secretly pleaded guilty and agreed to cooperate with authorities after admitting that he had accepted “lunch money” from Lichtenstein.

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Future Top Cop – In Bed with the Borough Park Corrupt – Community Board 12

Ringel and Community Board 12

Community Board 12, Yidel Perlstein… Bringing our Old Friends Back to the Forefront…

 

Community leader boasted about snagging favor from future top cop

http://nypost.com/2016/10/24/nypd-lieutenant-stripped-of-badge-gun-over-ties-to-bribery-scheme/

A Borough Park community leader bragged on a taped phone call how he pulled some strings to get future top cop James O’Neill to transfer a friendly lieutenant back to the neighborhood, The Post has learned.

Community Board 12 Chairman Yidel Perlstein wanted Michael Andreano returned to Borough Park’s 66th Precinct from the 60th in Brighton Beach, where the cop had been shipped following his promotion.

Perlstein, speaking in Yiddish, describes in the secretly recorded conversation how he approached NYPD Assistant Chief Steven Powers at a September 2015 breakfast meeting in Williamsburg and asked that Andreano be moved.

Perlstein claims that he offered Powers dinner at a local kosher steakhouse to grease the wheels for the personnel move, with Powers then talking to O’Neill, who was the NYPD’s chief of department at the time and happened to be at the meeting.

“I told Powers, ‘I will take you out to The Loft for supper,’ ” Perlstein says on the recording.

“So I told Powers, go over to O’Neill, to tell him to make an exception, to have Andreano back. So Powers and others went over to O’Neill and made the request to O’Neill and O’Neill said, ‘No problem, permission granted,’ with a big smile on his face.

“And [Andreano] was already the next day at work,” he adds.

The phone call was taped by a community activist who shared an excerpt with The Post. New York law permits people to secretly record conversations in which they take part.

Captains-union President Roy Richter said the commanding officer of the 66th put in a request to retain Andreano as soon as he was promoted — though he did not return until after the September meeting.

On Monday, The Post exclusively reported that Andreano had been stripped of his badge and gun over his ties to Alex “Shaya” Lichtenstein, a leader of Borough Park’s “Shomrim” safety patrol.

Lichtenstein was busted by the feds in April on charges he offered nearly $1 million in bribes to score pistol permits from the NYPD’s License Division for clients who paid him up to $18,000 a pop.

Andreano’s transfer back to the 66th was highly unusual, because protocol dictates that cops get moved following a promotion to avoid animosity from former colleagues and to prevent corruption, a high-ranking NYPD official said.

To read the NYPost article in its entirety click here.