Israeli “Resilience Party” Places A Chareidi Woman In A Realistic Slot — Yeshiva World News

Benny Gantz’s Israeli Resilience Party has announced that chareidi attorney Omer Yankelevich, 40, a resident of Beit Shemesh and a social activist, will be slotted in a realistic place on the party’s lineup for 21st Knesset. Read more on Yeshiva World News >

via Israeli “Resilience Party” Places A Chareidi Woman In A Realistic Slot — Yeshiva World News

Advertisements

President Rivlin Rejects Request From Former Convicted Shas Minister Benizri — Yeshiva World News

Former Shas Minister Shlomo Benizri, who was convicted of white-collar crimes, imprisoned and released, has filed a request to have his record expunged. The request, filed with President Reuven Rivlin, has been rejected. Read more on Yeshiva World News >

via President Rivlin Rejects Request From Former Convicted Shas Minister Benizri — Yeshiva World News

Malka Liefer and Deputy Health Minister Yaacov Litzman -allegedly falsifying medical records

.

Deputy minister of Health Yaakov Litzman seen leaving a meeting at the Rabbinate building in Jerusalem on February 14, 2019. Photo by Yonatan Sindel/Flash90

 

https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-israeli-deputy-minister-suspected-of-aiding-accused-pedophile-avoid-extradition-1.6937965

Vos Iz Neias?

Jerusalem – Litzman Accused Of Using Powers To Prevent Extradition Of Malka Leifer

 

 

Jerusalem – Israel’s Deputy Health Minister MK Ya’acov Litzman was questioned Thursday at the National Fraud Investigation Unit in Lahav on suspicion of committing offenses of integrity, following a covert investigation that began several months ago.

The investigation is being conducted under the supervision of the Jerusalem District Attorney’s Office and with the approval of the attorney-general.

Litzman is suspected of obstructing legal proceedings by working to obtain false papers in order to prevent the extradition of Malka Leifer, an ultra-Orthodox pedophile who was arrested in Israel in February 2018. Victorian police fought to bring Leifer back to Australia to face 74 charges of child sexual abuse.

According to reports, Litzman is suspected of trying to obtain psychiatric medical evaluations psychiatric medical evaluations that would prevent her extradition.

His office said that he was “summoned to the police today for an affair related to a public request for help, and he gave his full testimony and answered all the questions as required.”

But Manny Waks, CEO of Kol V’Oz, said, “We have long suspected high-level interference in the Malka Leifer case, and these serious allegations against Israel’s Deputy Health Minister, Rabbi Ya’acov Litzman, confirms the ongoing suspicion many have regarding this case.”

Waks said that while he would view Litzman as innocent until proven guilty, the minister’s “appalling track record speaks for itself,” noting that Litzman defended a recent visit to convicted sex offender Rabbi Eliezer Berland. He said that the minister likewise informed Leifer’s alleged victims in a chance encounter at the Knesset that he does not support them or Leifer’s extradition

To read the article in its entirety click here.

A Platinum Schemer and a Jewelry Show, the Benefits of Privilege and the Opportunities that Await… in Hong Kong

Jona Rechnitz

A TRIP TO HONG KONG FOR A DIAMOND DEALER, WHO JUST HAPPENS TO ALSO BE AN ADMITTED FRAUDSTER AND CON-ARTIST. 

To Our Readers:

We saw this story and found it quite astonishing. Jona Rechnitz has admitted to guilt for numerous crimes, crimes of significant magnitude, for which at least one member of the Platinum family, just got sentenced to 30 months.

He has testified with a level of arrogance fit only for rich, entitled, unrepentant fraudsters, flippantly waiving around the word “truth” as if he knows the significance of its foundation in the English language and jurisprudence. He has been smug, lied, admitted to numerous infractions of morality, ethics and the law and now he asks to be allowed to Hong Kong to attend a jewelry show.

Have we lost our collective minds? Perhaps he wants to ask his friends and accomplices for a “bisel gelt” [a little bit of money] to buy something nice, or to grease the palms of someone who can? He is one of a group of white, privileged criminals running roughshod over the law.

Let’s not forget that his early career started with a position working for LevLeviev’s Africa Israel. Leviev, a diamond magnate in his own right, is unable to travel the world these days as a result of the criminal laws of multiple countries. It is unclear whether Rechnitz and his well-connected family has broken ties. And let’s be reminded that the Israeli justice system is trying to maneuver testimony from that same Leviev regarding a major diamond smuggling endeavor. 

And Judge Hellerstein is being asked by a begging Jona Rechnitz to attend a jewelry show in Hong Kong? And the prosecutor is agreeing on condition that Rechnitz’s wife surrender her passport? Has the prosecutor not thought this through?

The exchange for Rechnitz’s wife’s passport is but a joke, a circus stunt. Both Jona Rechnitz and his wife likely carry numerous passports and the surrender is thus insignificant. Moreover, the ideal guarantee that Rechnitz would return from the Hong Kong jewelry show without a new bank vault of difficult to trace assets would be to freeze all of his bank accounts while he is gone… and perhaps those of his family and all of their closest friends and associates. 

Judge Hellerstein, you got the Murray Huberfeld verdict right, please think about what is really going on here. You are being asked to help a very wealthy, entitled, dishonest and connected man get just a little bit wealthier. He has committed crimes. He should not be rewarded for his willingness to testify on behalf of the government when few can discern if his testimony was lies, truth or some combination of the two. 

Corrupt de Blasio donor begs judge to let him attend Hong Kong jewelry show

A Mayor de Blasio donor who is out on $500,000 bail pending his sentencing for bribing cops wants a judge to allow him to travel to Hong Kong for a jewelry show later this month, according to new court documents.

Jona Rechnitz — a government cooperator who testified at two corruption trials — is asking Manhattan federal Judge Alvin Hellerstein to allow him to travel for nine days starting Feb. 25 “to attend an international jewelry show” for business, lawyer Alan Levine wrote in a letter to Hellerstein.

During testimony, Rechnitz said he currently works in real estate and jewelry.

Prosecutors agreed to the request as long as Rechnitz’s wife turns over her passport.

To read the article in its entirety, click here.

 

District Judge Alvin K. Hellerstein Got It Right, Those Who Think Otherwise Are Missing the Point

Murray Huberfeld in November 2017 outside federal court

Murray Huberfeld in November 2017 outside federal court in lower Manhattan. Photo Credit: Charles Eckert

Dear Reader:

We believe, in no uncertain terms, that District Judge Alvin K. Hellerstein, got it very right to the extent of his available sentencing capacity when he sentenced Platinum founder Murray Huberfeld to 30 months and $19M.

Judge Hellerstein understood the magnitude of the crime that Huberfeld perpetrated on the COBA members. He was clearly aligned with he notion that you cannot punish the bribed without punishing the person or people who orchestrated the scheme underlying that bribe. And Platinum Partners in all its glory was a scheme. Hellerstein recognized that Huberfeld’s “conduct was not only corrupt and criminal, but led to the loss of millions of dollars of union retirement benefits,” Manhattan U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman said.

According to the article in the Daily News

Prosecutors considered Huberfeld, who was the briber, less culpable than Seabrook, the bribe-taker. Assistant U.S. Attorney Martin Bell noted that Seabrook had deceived the correction officers he represented.

“(Huberfeld) didn’t know the correction officers. They didn’t know him. He had no responsibility to them,” Bell said.

Huberfeld attorney Henry Mazurek insisted that his client had not known that Platinum was doomed at the time he paid the bribe. Rather, Huberfeld had sought out COBA — using crooked Mayor de Blasio donor Jona Rechnitz as an intermediary — to boost his own status within the hedge fund.

For Assistant US Attorney, Martin Bell, to agree with Huberfeld’s attorneys is ridiculous. With all due respect it shows a fundamental lack of understanding of our financial system, a lack of clarity with regard to Huberfeld’s long history of trampling on our legal and financial system and a lack of disregard for the victims of Platinum’s fraud. US Attorney Martin Bell should be celebrating the work he did that led to Judge Hellerstein’s rulings, rather than giving impetus for a litany of appeals on the part of Marty Huberfeld. 

We applaud Judge Hellerstein’s comments with regard both to Huberfeld’s attorneys’ statements and if in agreement the statements of Bell when, as the Daily News states:

But Hellerstein called that argument “nonsense.” He held Seabrook, Rechnitz and Huberfeld jointly liable for the loss of the investment.

Hellerstein’s assessment of the absurdity of this argument speaks volumes.

Under legal regulatory guidelines a person who pedals an investment has a fiduciary duty to the investor, whether they know that investor or not. For a contrary argument to have even been raised highlights a lack of understanding of the SEC and the protections put in place to safeguard investments.

Were COBA to have been an ERISA fund, the fiduciary duty would have been greater. These were the livelihoods of people at stake, their futures and those of their children and grandchildren we placed at risk. And Murray Huberfeld knew it the moment he solicited the investment and bribed Norman Seabrook to transfer funds. The COBA investments and the fiduciary duty of Platinum’s partners and Norman Seabrook are the very foundation of investment policy. And they are no less legally bound.

The bribery and fraud underlying the loss of those investments was criminal. It lacked moral boundaries, put the foundation of the US financial system at risk and raises questions regarding the safeguards in place for investors.

Assistant US Attorney Martin Bell’s comments, if not taken out of context in the various new articles, increases the magnitude of the risks that Huberfeld and those like him pose to investors, if appropriate punishments are not levied.

LI hedge fund founder gets 30 months in prison in bribery case

A hedge fund founder from Lawrence who was part of a scheme to bribe the leader of New York City’s correction officers union to invest $20 million in his firm was sentenced to 30 months in prison Tuesday, officials said. His attorney vowed to appeal the term.

Murray Huberfeld, 57, who founded Platinum Partners hedge fund, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Alvin K. Hellerstein in connection with the transfer of $60,000 that prosecutors said was used to bribe Norman Seabrook, the former president of the Correction Officers Benevolent Association, to invest tens of millions in Platinum.

In all, the union lost $19 million of its $20 million investment with Platinum. As much as $15 million was from a retirement benefits program funded by the City of New York that invests money for correction officers’ retirements.

Huberfeld pleaded guilty in May to wire fraud conspiracy. Specifically, he pleaded to conspiring with Jona Rechnitz, a real estate businessman and star government witness in several federal corruption trials, to cause Huberfeld’s hedge fund to pay $60,000 to Rechnitz’s company by falsely representing that the money was payment for courtside tickets to eight New York Knicks basketball games.

Prosecutors said that money was really intended for Seabrook, a payment for making the investment of the union’s funds. Rechnitz had testified in Seabrook’s trial that he delivered $60,000 in cash to Seabrook in a Salvatore Ferragamo bag in 2014 after the union’s funds were invested with Platinum.

“Not content with being a successful businessman, Murray Huberfeld sought to grow his fund through fraud and deception, playing a critical role in a pernicious kickback scheme,” said Manhattan U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman in a statement. “His conduct was not only corrupt and criminal, but led to the loss of millions of dollars of union retirement benefits. The sentence imposed today reflects the magnitude of his crimes and untold pain his conduct caused to others.”

To read the article in its entirety click here.

A Not-Quite-Platinum Result – Huberfeld Sentenced to 30 Months and $19M

hfldancmnt
Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of New York

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Hedge Fund Founder Sentenced To 30 Months In Connection With Bribery Of Former Correction Officers Union Leader

Geoffrey S. Berman, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced today that MURRAY HUBERFELD was sentenced to 30 months in prison for his role in a scheme to submit false paperwork to Platinum Partners (“Platinum”), a hedge fund founded by HUBERFELD, in order to facilitate a bribe to Norman Seabrook, the former president of the nation’s largest municipal correction officers union.  HUBERFELD previously pled guilty to conspiring to commit wire fraud and thereby causing Platinum to fund a $60,000 bribe payment to Seabrook, which HUBERFELD intentionally concealed by falsely documenting the payment as one for courtside tickets to New York Knicks basketball games.  As a result of the bribe, Seabrook caused the investment of millions of dollars of union funds into Platinum. Today’s sentence was imposed by U.S. District Judge Alvin K. Hellerstein.

Manhattan U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman said:  “Not content with being a successful businessman, Murray Huberfeld sought to grow his fund through fraud and deception, playing a critical role in a pernicious kickback scheme.  His conduct was not only corrupt and criminal, but led to the loss of millions of dollars of union retirement benefits.  The sentence imposed today reflects the magnitude of his crimes and untold pain his conduct caused to others.”

According to the Superseding Information, Superseding Indictment, Indictment, and Complaint filed in this case, other public filings, statements made during the plea proceeding, and evidence and testimony presented at trial proceedings in the fall of 2017 and the summer of 2018:

HUBERFELD was a founder of Platinum, a hedge fund that he had founded and continued to control unofficially even after his formal affiliation with the fund had ceased.  In late 2013, HUBERFELD and Jona Rechnitz, an acquaintance and real estate businessman, sought to attract public and institutional investors to the fund.  In late 2013, Rechnitz told HUBERFELD that a contact of his – Norman Seabrook president of the Correction Officers’ Benevolent Association (“COBA” or the “Union”) – would likely invest COBA money in Platinum if HUBERFELD were willing to pay Seabrook money.  Over the next few months, Seabrook caused COBA to invest approximately $20 million of its funds into Platinum, including $15 million from a retirement benefits program funded by the City of New York that invests money for correction officers’ retirements.

In or around December 2014, arrangements were made to pay Seabrook for the millions of dollars the Union had invested over the course of that year.  Rechnitz paid Seabrook $60,000 in cash, delivered to Seabrook in a men’s luxury handbag.  HUBERFELD and Rechnitz arranged for Platinum’s management company to receive a fraudulent invoice for $60,000 – generated by Rechnitz – that, on its face, billed Platinum for seven pairs of courtside tickets to New York Knick games given to Platinum by Rechnitz, who owned Knicks season tickets.  In truth, and as HUBERFELD knew, the reason given to Platinum was false, and no Knicks tickets had changed hands.  The real purpose of the payment was to reimburse Rechnitz, who had paid Seabrook for his efforts in securing COBA’s investments.  Three days later, Platinum issued Rechnitz a $60,000 check.  Over the next few months, Rechnitz, HUBERFELD, and Jeremy Reichberg, another co-conspirator, continued to work together to lobby Seabrook for more money.  However, after a lawsuit filed by a former COBA board member referred to the Platinum investments, and the U.S. Attorney’s Office grand jury investigation resulted in subpoenas to Platinum and COBA in May 2015, no further investments were made.  Ultimately, Platinum collapsed, and COBA lost $19 million of its investment.

Seabrook was convicted of honest services fraud and conspiracy on August 18, 2018, after a 10-day trial in Manhattan federal court.  On February 8, 2019, Judge Hellerstein sentenced Seabrook to 58 months in prison and ordered him to pay restitution in the amount of $19 million.

On January 2, 2019, Reichberg was found guilty of honest services fraud, conspiracy, and obstruction of justice in connection with a separate scheme in which he and Rechnitz provided gifts and benefits to a number of high-level officers of the New York City Police Department (“NYPD”) in exchange for official police action for themselves and their associates.  He is due to be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Gregory H. Woods on April 4, 2019.

*                *                *

In addition to the prison term, HUBERFELD, 58, of Lawrence, New York, was sentenced to three years of supervised release, and ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $19 million.

Mr. Berman praised the investigative work of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the NYPD Internal Affairs Division.

This case is being handled by the Office’s Public Corruption Unit.  Assistant United States Attorneys Martin S. Bell, Russell Capone, and Lara Pomerantz are in charge of the prosecution.

Topic(s):
Public Corruption
Press Release Number:
19-036

FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION SEE BELOW:

Hedge Fund Founder Sentenced To 30 Months In Connection With Bribery Of Former Correction Officers Union Leader

 

A Home… A House of Worship… A “Charity”? Lakewood, NJ Tax Exemptions, John Oliver Where are You?

RISE UP OCEAN COUNTY:

PROBLEM WITH TAX EXEMPT PROPERTIES AND THE DESTRUCTION OF SCHOOL DISTRICTS

Given that one of the main issues that our county faces is the growing number of tax-exempt properties, this screenshot came across our desks this morning. Toms River seems to be following in other town’s footsteps. 

1191 Hickory Street is a known place of worship. The residents know this, and the township knows this. Every Friday night to Sunday there are no less than 15-20 cars in the driveway and street during this time (and with a conservative average of 2 people per car that makes 30-40 people staying at this house EVERY single weekend). Also, several times during the week, we are told that they see dozens of individuals walking, driving, parking, getting out of the commuter van, and going into and out of this place of worship. Residents have called to complain about the dangerous conditions driving in this area with people walking in the middle of the streets, cars parked over the white lines, and the fact that 3-4 dozen people utilize this house as a motel/hotel every weekend. All of the resident’s concerns about this property, once again have fallen on deaf ears. As one resident has told us this morning, this is something they have become accustom to.

Based on their assessed value and other properties of similar assessed values, 1191 Hickory Street should be paying upwards of $16,500-$17,000 a year in property taxes. However, the state and the town have approved this property at 1191 Hickory Street, as a Church/Charitable. Which means at this moment, this property owner has a reduced tax bill. This is a 6 bedroom/3 bath house in North Dover with an assessed value of $755,500 and now after the most recent reduction this property currently will pay only $11,836.20 (based on last and this coming quarter’s amounts X 4) (so far), a reduction from the $16,500 – $17,000 they should be paying. But keep in mind chances are they will follow in the footsteps of 2302 Tapestry Court, another known place of worship, which originally had a similar reduction only to be fully tax exempt a short period of time later. This means this homeowner (2302 Tapestry Court) currently pays absolutely nothing in property taxes for an assessed value of a home and property of $646,400. This is due in part to the procedures within the state of New Jersey AND Toms River Township. While both blame the other, they are both to blame for allowing this.

The major problem we see with this type of recklessness is the tax-exempt properties of this magnitude, will further destroy an already deeply indebted Toms River School system with this loss of property tax revenue. This is only the second house of worship in this area to have a reduction or complete exemption, which we are sure that there are many to come. 

Since Lakewood seems to be the town with the most tax revenue/school/ bussing issues we looked further into the tax-exempt properties. What we found will be discussed in length at a future date but just to give you an insight to what we found, one organization has roughly $107,000,000 in assessed value property in Lakewood alone, of which $98,000,000 (approx.) is tax exempt. Based on the tax calculation description on http://www.lakewoodnj.gov/department/tax-collector, that is an approximate loss of tax revenue of $2,261,840 a year to the township of Lakewood for this ONE organization and its’ properties. 

So we leave you with this question, is it ok that these homes are given tax exemptions for organizations that are not even domiciled in this state, let alone this county?