SCHEDULING ORDER as to Shimon Rosenfeld: The parties shall appear for a Guilty Plea via Video Remote on May 20, 2021 at 11:00 am. A link has been sent to all parties. Non party participants may dial into the conference at 11:00 a.m. on May 20, 2021, by dialing 1-650-479-3207 and entering pinn 160 000 0489. Ordered by Judge Kiyo A. Matsumoto on 5/6/2021. (Williams-Jackson, Sandra) (Entered: 05/06/2021)Attachments area
Almost as disturbing as the theft committed by an allegedly religious man stealing from his underpaid employees in a nursing home; is the “justification” used to manipulate the mercy of others, namely, a poor education. This excuse for bad behavior creates quite a conundrum.
The State of New York (and likely others to follow) has taken a laissez faire attitude about Yeshiva education, namely that parents should be permitted to choose if to educate (or deny education for) their children. If a Yeshiva educated child comes out with an extraordinary knowledge of Jewish law, little or no ability to properly speak English, little or no future prospects (except perhaps fraud – as Stern illustrates) New York deems this acceptable. Now, it would seem, that same disenfranchisement (educational neglect) is being used to justify and perhaps escape accountability for frauds committed by poorly educated but “observant” Jews.
Something is very wrong with this picture. Either Yesivah children must be educated in civics subjects (oh… and right versus wrong) or they must be held fully accountable when that inadequate education leads to a life of fraud, theft, money laundering, and the list… grows and grows. The Yeshiva community really should not be able to eat their rugalach and have it to.
A former Connecticut nursing home owner will spend the next 2 1/2 years in prison for stealing more than $4 million from staff members’ pension and health plans.
Chaim Stern, 72, of Flushing, NY, was sentenced to 30 months in prison for embezzlement and tax offenses, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Connecticut announced this week. His prison time will be followed by three years of supervised release.
Because of Stern, the facilities failed to pay employment taxes and pay its shares of employment taxes between January 2017 and March 2018. Stern’s crimes resulted in a total tax loss of about $4.3 million.McKnights, to continue reading click here.
We applaud the decision on the part of the Department of Justice, which has announced that it intends to pursue the prosecution of the final 6 counts against Philip Esformes. The jurors failed to reach a conviction in April of 2019. The remaining counts were for “paying and receiving kickbacks, money laundering, bribery and obstruction of justice. A conviction on these counts would be a modicum of justice for the elderly and their families. While Esformes claims to be “spending most of his days studying with rabbis, working, reconnecting with his children, and taking care of his father…” In our opinion, there is no manner of decency Esformes can show that would compensate the hundreds of victims (and their families) of his crimes.
Donald Trump’s commutation of Esformes’ sentence was a deplorable act, in and of itself. The elderly and their families deserved better from their President at the time and they deserve justice now.
May 4—Concerned that a convicted healthcare mogul freed by then-President Donald Trump might flee the country, Justice Department prosecutors urged a federal judge Tuesday to confine Philip Esformes to his South Florida home with an electronic ankle monitor and impose a $10.5 million bond to ensure his appearance for a new trial.
But their request was effectively rebuffed, at least for now.
U.S. District Judge Robert Scola instead granted a request by Esformes’ defense team to postpone the government’s bond proposal until mid-August, when it will be taken up again.
Justice Department prosecutors recently said they will pursue unresolved charges from Esformes’ healthcare fraud trial in 2019, when a federal jury deadlocked on the main conspiracy charge and five other offenses but found him guilty of 20 corruption-related counts. Scola sentenced Esformes to 20 years in prison and ordered him to pay $5.3 million in restitution to the taxpayer-funded Medicare program and a $38 million forfeiture fine.
“The trust that he broke was of epic proportions,” Allan Medina, the lead prosecutor in the $1 billion healthcare fraud case against Esformes, said at Tuesday’s hearing.insurancenewsnet.com continue reading click here.
ADDITIONAL READING:Continue reading
Shimon Rosenfeld is accused of using millions from real estate investors, including for a Crown Heights project, for his own trading.
BROOKLYN, NY — A Brooklyn attorney who scammed real estate investors out of millions of dollars has been charged with wire fraud, prosecutors announced.
Shimon Rosenfeld, 59, was arrested Wednesday after a federal investigation into his years-long scheme, which included at least $4 million “investments” in properties in Crown Heights, Greenpoint and in Philadelphia, Pa., according to court documents.
Rosenfeld told at least four investors that he would put their money into real estate projects, but instead ended up using the money for his own trades out of a brokerage account, prosecutors said. He is charged with wire fraud and could face 20 years in prison if convicted.
“Through this alleged scheme, Rosenfeld abused his position as an attorney and betrayed his victims’ trust for his own selfish gain,” stated Acting United States Attorney Seth DuCharme. Those who commit fraud, including lawyers, must be brought to justice, and this Office will continue to work tenaciously to ensure integrity in the practice of law.”To continue reading, click here.
Our theory is that someone in Trump’s government or advisory group is in the process of going into business with Philip Esformes and the commuted sentence helps to facilitate that. Just a theory…
Suffice it to say, we have no other statement than that this is a disgraceful decision. It is everything wrong with the Presidential pardon power and a shining example of Trump’s failures as a human being, setting aside his failures as President. Yes. Some would disagree.
It is hard, however, to make a case for commuting the sentence of Esformes, though some have done it and we question their judgement. It would be like setting Bernie Madoff free. That, at this point, would come as no surprise.
Esformes spent years perfecting the craft of defrauding the healthcare industry and patients in nursing homes paid the price. He is a godless creature of habit and no amount of prayer in our view diminishes the harm he caused to vulnerable people and the healthcare industry at large. This opinion is yet another condemnation of the lack of nursing care oversight in the United States.
We submit that Trump should spend a few months in one of Esformes’ worst homes and see what he thinks afterwards. It could be almost like “Undercover Boss.” Trump would be forced to allow no one to know he is the President and get treated like other patients. If only…
Philip Esformes – Today, President Trump commuted the term of imprisonment of Philip Esformes, while leaving the remaining aspects of his sentence, including supervised release and restitution, intact. This commutation is supported by former Attorneys General Edwin Meese and Michael Mukasey, as well as former Deputy Attorney General Larry Thompson. In addition, former Attorneys General Edwin Meese, John Ashcroft, and Alberto Gonzalez, as well as other notable legal figures such as Ken Starr, have filed in support of his appeal challenging his conviction on the basis of prosecutorial misconduct related to violating attorney-client privilege.
While in prison, Mr. Esformes, who is 52, has been devoted to prayer and repentance and is in declining health.To read the article in its entirety in Yeshiva World News, click here.
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This opinion piece is being posted with full permission of the Author, Rabbi Yossi N. Minor edits and formatting changes have been made from the original which can be found on Facebook, here.
One of the most troubling aspects of today’s ultra-Orthodox community is the systemic fraud perpetuated by so-called frumme Yidden. This fraud, aka geneivishe shtick, comes in many varieties and flavors, but the common denominator is that it’s all illegal. The most prevalent of these frauds are those perpetrated against government social welfare programs.To the extent that there is welfare abuse within the hareidi community, one may ask, what makes it systemic? The answer is simple: the various Hareidi community councils (BP, CH, Willie, etc.) actively encourage and assist community members to sign up for every welfare program available. Now, it is true that many of these individuals were eligible for the programs at the time they signed up, but as their income grows, they become ineligible. However, once a hareidi individual with little secular education is dependent on government welfare, he will be reluctant to give up welfare benefits.And this is precisely the Hareidi communities’ game plan from day one. In other words, the community consciously regards the government’s social safety net — food stamps, medicaid, wic, section 8, etc. — as part of their budget, not as a last resort for a few struggling individuals. Every year, hundreds of Hareidim get married with the intention beforehand of relying on government welfare to make ends meet. The Crown Heights Community Council and the various other Hareidi community councils in NYC were established with the purpose, among others, of filling out welfare forms for community members. Thus, to use yeshiva language, welfare for Hareidim is not a believed, but rather a lechatchillah.An integral part of the welfare fraud and abuse within the Hareidi community is the wide-spread phenomena of working off the books, or under the table. Without working off the books, families’ income may increase over time to the point of risking losing welfare benefits. This is the reason that most, if not all, yeshiva teachers, rebbes, and administrators work either completely off the books or half on and half off. By working off the books, the Hareidi community also ensures that their taxes will be lower than otherwise – or that they’ll pay no taxes at all. In short, as the Talmud teaches, aveirah goreret aveirah, a transgression brings another transgression in its wake.
This is how Hareidi welfare fraud leads to tax fraud.
One might assume that welfare fraud would be more likely to be committed by the 40% of Hareidim who live below the poverty line. But Hareidi fraud is not confined to the poor alone. On the contrary, as you climb up the food chain, the fraud only gets larger and more pernicious.
Rubashkin from Crown Heights and Samet from Kiryas Joel are perhaps the most colorful and well-known criminal defendants within the Hareidi community. However, the minyan at the Otisville Correctional Facility is large and ever-changing as new members join and old members leave .This is not to say there is no fraud within the Modern Orthodox Jewish community.
The implosion of Platinum Partners — the shady hedge fund run by Murray Huberfeld and Mark Nordlicht — is one example of fraudulent activity perpetrated by members of the MO community. Overall, though, MO fraud is not a community organized activity. An MO council to help individuals apply for welfare does not exist in Teaneck. The same cannot be said for the Hareidi community, where the fraud is wide-spread and systemic and where many members are semi-literate at best in English.
One may ask, how can systemic fraud be so prevalent in ultra-Orthodox communities? Aren’t they meant to be the ones upholding the Torah, which directly forbids stealing?
The answer is rather straightforward: stealing from the government, ie. gentiles, is not considered stealing. The logic behind this notion goes something like this: the Talmud rules that one need not return the lost object of a gentile or excess money paid for goods by mistake. Welfare benefits are akin to a lost object or excess money – and thus need not be returned. This is where racism also comes into play. Hareidim claim that welfare fraud is pervasive among other minority communities, so why shouldn’t we also get money from the government? At least we’re using it for Torah and Mitzvot!
It’s only a matter of time before the government wakes up and realizes the systemic nature of welfare fraud within Hareidi enclaves. When that time comes, which it will eventually, Hareidi society will have to begin preparing its youth for the real world. Until then, the fraud continues.
By: Rabbi Yossi N.
“Two Magen David Adom volunteers were caught on camera conducting black market corona tests for hundreds of shekel. According to a special report that appeared on Ynet news website, who conducted an undercover investigation, the volunteers are running a network of black market tests.
One of the volunteers who was caught on camera, a “high-ranking” volunteer in MDA’s Jerusalem branch, planned an “anonymous” Coronavirus test, that was carried out by a second volunteer. The volunteer who did the testing arrived in a dark vehicle and was not wearing any protective suit, in spite of the danger of being infected by the person who was getting tested. The test was done in exchange for hundreds of shekel.
In a separate incident, the high-ranking volunteer arrived to a woman, also a Ynet reporter who pretended to be a single mother, and conducted a test, without charging her this time. According to the sticker on the test, the test itself came from the “drive-thru” testing station in Jerusalem, and the MDA volunteer submitted the test into the results of the drive-thru under a different person’s insurance.
According to what reporters uncovered the system works as follows: Those wanting to be tested anonymously (so they can avoid going into quarantine or for other personal reasons) contact the high-ranking volunteer, and the price is set over the phone, as are the time and place of the test. The tester goes to the car of the person being tested without wearing any protective gear, and takes the cash, somewhere between 800-1,200 NIS according to the Ynet report. The tester swabs the person getting tested using MDA equipment, and promises that the results will be received in a number of hours.
It seems that the test gets transferred to the drive-thru testing center in Jerusalem, and from there gets sent to the laboratories. However, there is no proof that the samples get passed to the labs or that the answers received are accurate. According to the camera footage collected by Ynet, the high-ranking volunteer sent two different volunteers to do the tests, thus it is clear that this is bigger than a one-person operation.
One of the reporters was told by the MDA volunteer who came to test him and arrived on an MDA medicycle, “You are not the first person I’m testing. We do these kinds of tests all day long, from morning until nightfall. Regarding the results, you have to talk to the high-ranking volunteer. I just do the work. You have nothing to worry about. The lab that runs the test is in Ramallah, thus, the information never even gets to the Health Ministry. We only deal with people who don’t want others to know.”
According to the footage collected from the first Ynet reporter, these black market tests aren’t unique and occur all the time. Someone in MDA is abusing their power and connections to the testing centers for their own personal profit. Additionally, it is unclear whether the results given are accurate, thus allowing for the possibility that people sick with the disease are being told that they can roam free in the population.
If the tests are being sent to the drive-thru facility and processed that way, then the high-ranking official is stealing money from the HMOs who pay for each of the tests being conducted there and is taking the slot of someone else who needs the test.”
To continue reading in Yeshiva World News click here.