Justice Department, Individual States and Barr’s Recusal from the Case

1 Justice Department, 2 Views on Sex Charges Against Epstein

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — There is only one Justice Department, but two of its largest U.S. attorneys’ offices came to vastly different conclusions about what to do with financier Jeffrey Epstein over allegations he sexually molested dozens of underage girls.

Eleven years ago, Miami U.S. Attorney Alexander Acosta — now President Donald Trump’s labor secretary — approved an extraordinary secret agreement in which Epstein pleaded guilty to lesser state charges rather than face much tougher federal prosecution on charges he sexually abused underage girls at his homes in Florida and New York from 2002 through 2005.

On Monday, Manhattan U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman announced the indictment of Epstein, 66, on sex trafficking and conspiracy charges stemming from at least some of the same conduct that was covered in the agreement over a decade ago. Epstein, who served 13 months after his 2008 Florida plea deal, is now looking at 45 years behind bars if convicted in New York.

Epstein pleaded not guilty Monday to the new charges and is being held until a bail hearing next week. Prosecutors want him detained until the case is resolved, contending he is a flight risk because of his extraordinary wealth.

It’s highly unusual for one federal prosecutor to pass on an indictment only to have another located elsewhere to determine otherwise, defense attorneys say. And Epstein’s lawyers argued Monday that the previous deal more than covers the new charges brought, and therefore their client cannot be prosecuted. But federal prosecutors in New York said the deal made in Miami does not apply to them.

“A 10-year-old prosecution like this one by a different district is extremely rare and dangerous, even if the previous plea agreement is later viewed as a really bad one,” said David O. Markus, a prominent Miami defense attorney not involved in the case. “We have one federal government, and defendants and their lawyers should be able to trust that a deal is a deal.”

The allegations are that abuse occurred in both Palm Beach, Florida, and New York, but that has been publicly known for years, though authorities say there are some crimes specific to New York.

But at a Monday court hearing, Epstein attorney Reid Weingarten dismissed the idea that the new indictment would reveal anything new: “This is ancient stuff. This is essentially a redo. “

The non-prosecution agreement notes that Epstein “seeks to resolve globally” the entire case against him. There is some debate about that.

Berman credited what he called “investigative journalism” — certainly referring to a series last fall on the Epstein case by the Miami Herald — for providing his office with an avenue to take on the case. He also said the agreement signed by South Florida prosecutors and Epstein does not apply in New York.

“Too often adults in our society have turned a blind eye to the type of criminal behavior alleged here. We have seen the excuses,” said William Sweeney, head of the FBI’s New York field office.

The current head of the Justice Department, William Barr, declined to comment and said he has recused himself from the case because he once worked for a law firm that once represented Epstein. He didn’t name the firm.

Under the 2008 agreement, Epstein pleaded guilty to state prostitution-related charges and was allowed to go to his office during the day while he served his sentence. He also registered as a sex offender and agreed to pay millions of dollars to dozens of his victims.

But he didn’t have to face a federal indictment in Florida that would have meant a much longer prison sentence, possibly even life.

Acosta has defended the deal as appropriate under the circumstances. He also has noted how his prosecutors persisted in securing a conviction despite tremendous pressure from the defense, which included high-profile attorneys such as Kenneth Starr, Alan Dershowitz and Roy Black. They all have denied wrongdoing.

“One member of the defense team warned me that the office’s excess zeal in forcing a good man to serve time in jail might be the subject of a book if we continued,” Acosta wrote in a letter he made public after the non-prosecution agreement finally was revealed in a civil case. “Defense counsel investigated individual prosecutors and their families.”

To continue reading click here.



Philip Esforme, Odetta Baracha and Arnaldo Carmouze…. Being Old in Miami…

Thanks to our contributor… August 1, 2016

$1 Billion Health Care Fraud Took Advantage Of Medicare In Florida, Agents Say : The Two-Way : NPR

$1 Billion Health Care Fraud Took Advantage Of Medicare In Florida, Agents Say

The Justice Department calls it the largest criminal health care fraud case ever brought against individual suspects: Three people are accused of orchestrating a massive fraud involving a number of Miami-based health care providers.

The three facing charges are all from Florida’s Miami-Dade County; they include Philip Esformes, 47, owner of more than 30 Miami-area nursing and assisted living facilities; hospital administrator Odette Barcha, 49; and physician assistant Arnaldo Carmouze, 56, the Justice Department says.

“Medicare fraud has infected every facet of our health care system,” U.S. Attorney Wifredo Ferrer said as indictments against the three were announced Friday.

The indictments accuse Esformes of leading “a complex and profitable health care fraud scheme that resulted in staggering losses — in excess of $1 billion,” said Special Agent in Charge George L. Piro of the FBI’s Miami field office.

Investigators say Esformes used his access to thousands of Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries to perpetrate a fraud:

“Many of these beneficiaries did not qualify for skilled nursing home care or for placement in an assisted living facility; however, Esformes and his co-conspirators nevertheless admitted them to Esformes Network facilities where the beneficiaries received medically unnecessary services that were billed to Medicare and Medicaid.”

More money was in play, investigators say, in the form of kickbacks Esformes and his co-conspirators received in return for “steering beneficiaries to other health care providers — including community mental health centers and home health care providers — who also performed medically unnecessary treatments that were billed to Medicare and Medicaid.”

To read the article in its entirety click here.



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Comment by Yossi on “The Accidental Murderer”

A wee bit more Esformes fraud: Health Care Fraud James Desnick, Dr Morris Esformes Philip Esfo…

Satmar Hasidim Drown??… Commenters’ Posts

no lifeguard florida.1

Yitzchak Rosenberg and a Beach in Miami – A Tale of Two Cities, the Satmar, former Mob connections, Diamonds and Drowning – Part II

Were the Men Dressed or Were they Naked? Were they Swimming or…. Sometimes What is Said by the Commenters is Far more Telling than What is Reported by the Press

May 20, 2016

Aside from a segment of the ultra-Orthodox/Orthodox Jewish community, many of whom believe as they are instructed, reasonable minds have questions about what happened on the beach in Miami. The entire story simply does not add up. The dark and disreputable history of Yitzchak Rosenberg (zl) and the prone-to-unfortunate-events diamond dealing Chaim Parnes (zl) make the incident on that secluded and unguarded beach that day all the more dubious.    

We point to the obvious: the “victims had been swimming in an unguarded section of the beach that was marked as off-limits to bathers, adding that strong currents had been observed in the ocean.” There are conflicting events regarding “A fifth individual with the group [who] was also taken to the hospital later with symptoms possibly related to the stress of the incident….” What does “possibly related” mean?

Newspaper reports cited in our article yesterday suggest that there was a third swimmer who was in the hospital following the rescue. Does this mean that a fourth person went to the hospital later that day?

There has been continued speculation regarding whether or not the men were pulled out of the water naked or scantily clad. There have been whispers but no official press reports, not even a hint of a report, and the silence on this is deafening. One commenter  to an article posted in Vos Iz Neias on May 17, 2016 may have unwittingly answered that question.

Please note, while the commenters’ names are publicly available on the Voz Iz Neias site [and likely will be removed following publication of this article], out of respect for their anonymity, we removed commenters’ names where they did not call themselves “anonymous.” We fully understand the wrath of the community in which many commenters likely live (we assume most to this article are frum) and we are all too aware of those who want to silence any voice.


———– Says:

Reply to #5  Hide Quote
mr613 Says:

זאָל ניט אידן דורך די ברעג

Baruch Dayan HaEmet. There is always an opportunity to judge favorably and always a good opportunity to be quiet and not say a beep. This beach was deserted except for the Yidden. It’s obvious that was being used as a mikveh and that there was no pritzut or this would have not happened. Next time you want to judge bite your tongue. HaSh-m is the true judge and only he knows why this tzadikim were taken.

We had always assumed that these men were naked when they were pulled out of the water. The comment above left little uncertainty as to whether or not the men were clothed, the “mikveh”. The mikveh is a ritual bath intended to cleanse the body and soul. It is required not only that the person be naked, but clean, well groomed and that no hairs or other particles get in the way of the water touching the skin.

We make no conclusions regarding the laws and the issue of “pritzut” or prohibition. What we are pointing to here is simply that the commenter (#5) must have known the men were naked or it would not have been so “obvious” that they were taking a ritual bath. Their nudity is something we have believed, but has been kept from the public. Commenter #5 may have confirmed our suspicions.

If he or she is right, then perhaps their nudity would not seem so suspicious, perhaps. The anonymous person (#19) who responds changes all that.

Anonymous Says:

 #37 – Reply to #19  Hide Quote
———- Says:

Baruch Dayan HaEmet. There is always an opportunity to judge favorably and always a good opportunity to be quiet and not say a beep. This beach was deserted except for the Yidden. It’s obvious that was being used as a mikveh and that there was no pritzut or this would have not happened. Next time you want to judge bite your tongue. HaSh-m is the true judge and only he knows why this tzadikim were taken.

They went swimming. There are a number of men’s mikvahs in Miami. Including one at Kereister Shtiebel

Anonymous (#19), in his reply to the previous poster’s comments, raises questions about the “obvious” conclusion of the mikveh because of the proximity to other mikehs. There are many nearby mikvehs. He does not dispute whether or not they were clothed, which would have contradicted a conclusion of a ritual bath. His knowledge of the nearby mikvehs (a/k/a mikvahs) leads one to the conclusion that he is also a member of the frum community. It would seem #19 knows more than what is being reported, but may or may not be phased by it.

Anonymous Says:

# 47 – Reply to #19  Hide Quote
———- Says:

Baruch Dayan HaEmet. There is always an opportunity to judge favorably and always a good opportunity to be quiet and not say a beep. This beach was deserted except for the Yidden. It’s obvious that was being used as a mikveh and that there was no pritzut or this would have not happened. Next time you want to judge bite your tongue. HaSh-m is the true judge and only he knows why this tzadikim were taken.

Why was it “used as a ‘mikveh?’ A deserted beach & ocean is good for swimming…good exercise and enjoy the beauty of HaShem. Todah

We are assuming that this anonymous poster is a different person than the previous one (though he could be the same). We also believe him or her to be a member of the frum community from the use of “HaShem” which translates directly to “The Name” but is the term used generally by the frum community as a reference to G-d.

Again we turn back to the question of whether or not these men were clothed and actually what they were doing on a deserted beach at the ocean without a lifeguard on duty and in perilous conditions, as marked on the beach. The fact that this beach was deserted and that there was no lifeguard on duty and the conditions of the water made this beach unsuitable for swimming, which is noted in Voz Iz Neias article itself:

“Haulover is known to have strong currents,” said Benitez.  “We do have a lot of near drownings in the Haulover inlet area, which is about a quarter of a mile away.”

The fact that the area was deserted today is what likely appealed to the group in the first place, but Benitez warned that swimming without supervision in the area is highly discouraged.

“We emphasize the importance of swimming only at guarded areas of the beach where lifeguards are present,” said Benitez.

__________  (#62) Says:

This is very strange. I always admired how the chasidim are able to achieve kevurah on the same day as you misa. Yet here it is taking an unusually long time to get the bodies released. There was no foul play. What is going on?

Kevurah means burial. Under strict Jewish law, and generally followed by all Jews, a body is supposed to be buried within 24 to 48 hours following death.

We actually find it troubling that there appears to have been no autopsy done, or at least the reports have been silent on this subject. Burial sans autopsy is not uncommon within the Jewish community, particularly among the ultra-Orthodox community for religious reasons beyond the timing of the burial. We thought the body was released far too quickly. To the contrary, however, #62 above seems to think it strange that the body was not released more quickly.

We have to wonder whether perhaps the medical examiner did conduct an autopsy (albeit quickly). Were that to have occurred, then we are plausably not the only ones who suspect that this was not a case of some beach-goers carried away in riptides. If an autopsy did not occur then we are left no less suspicious about whether or not drowning was actually the “cause of death” though we are certain the official death certificate is likely going to read that way.

LM Assistance Requested: The photographs are from the Voz Iz Neias article. If anyone can identify the people in the photographs (and those in the article), we would be curious to know who they are.

The Two Largely Unnamed Men – the two who were either not swimming or were not carried away by riptides but are finally named…

Miami, FL – Official: Area Where 2 New York Haredi Residents Drowned Is Unguarded Beach Known For Strong Currents


Miami, FL – A well known real estate developer and renowned member of the Satmar community was one of two who died this morning in the Atlantic Ocean in North Miami Beach.

Yitzchak Rosenberg, owner of Certified Lumber in Williamsburg and owner and developer of several properties in Williamsburg, was pronounced dead on the scene after a riptide unexpectedly swept the group out into the ocean.

The second man was identified as Chaim Parnes, a diamond dealer who was robbed of $35,000 worth of merchandise, pistol whipped and had his tires slashed on a Thanksgiving 2015 visit to North Miami, according to Miami’s Local 10 News.  At the time, Parnes said he was grateful to have survived the encounter.

“If (you) take away life, (it) doesn’t come back,” Parnes said. “So I’m thankful for God. Today’s Thanksgiving. I’m giving up big time for God that I’m alive.”

The two were among a group of five visitors from Kiryas Joel and Brooklyn who were at Haulover Beach on 140th and Collins Avenue.  There were no lifeguards present in the area where the men were swimming, with signs posted warning beachgoers to swim only in guarded areas and warning of the dangers of rip currents, according to Erika Benitez, public information officer for Miami Dade Fire and Rescue.

“There is a lifeguard tower there but there was no lifeguard on duty,” Benitez told VIN News.  “We can only man so many towers and the no swimming signs were posted.”

Benitez said that a call came in at approximately 11:15 AM, advising of as many as four people possibly in the water.  By the time lifeguards reached the area, Aron Wurzberger and Yitzchok Englander, both of Kiryas Joel, had already managed to get out of the water.  A fifth member of the group also emerged from the water unharmed.

To read the entire article click here.

To see a video on the events that transpired on that beach and the funeral that followed see below.

News channel 12 video of funeral: https://youtu.be/vV3BQv6mX2g

Satmar Hasidic Rabbi Drowns?… In Florida



Yitzchak Rosenberg and a Beach in Miami – A Tale of Two Cities, the Satmar, former Mob connections, Diamonds and Drowning – Part I

May 19, 2016

The entire report [tale] of the five Satmar men on a nude [or scantily clad] beach exercising together is difficult if not impossible to believe, particularly since one of the men had a long history of financial shenanigans and mob connections going back to the early 1990’s and the other was a diamond dealer, who only months earlier had been beaten and robbed of $35,000 worth of diamonds. The former (described as a “philanthropist”) should likely have been in jail rather than out on beaches and the the latter either had terrible luck, lousy karma or was lucky he lasted this long. That remains to be determined.

The newspapers are reporting that there were 5 men altogether who were sunbathing [or canoodling] on a beach [perhaps a nude beach] in Miami. Of those, three of the men were “pulled to sea by rip currents off of Miami Beach’s Haulover Beach on Tuesday morning, just north of the nude section [or at the nude section and it is being kept quiet].

The reports are stating that two of the men died, Yitzchak (a/k/a Isaac a/k/a Yitzchok) Rosenberg (zl) and Chaim Parnes (zl), both of whom it would appear were taken from the water naked [or barely clad]. One man,  Aaron Wercberger is still recovering in a hospital in Miami. The details regarding the other two men, who were not in the water at the time are a bit cloudy [or are even less shady].

It is reported that the group were in South Florida with their wives for vaction and the “men went to the beach to exercise and chose the spot because it was secluded and they could swim and comply with Orthodox Judaism’s “modesty laws.”” Whether or not their dress complied with those laws is a big question mark.

So where does that leave us?

We know for certain [at least we think so] that the five men were Satmar Hasidim, some from Borough Park and some from Kiryas Joel. The men may or may not have been clothed, may or may not have been sunbathing [fraternizing] on a nude beach supposedly just north of where they were taken out of the water; and they may or may not have been on vacation with their families. We also know that they may or may not have drowned [because of rip currents]. You see where this is going…

Yizchak Rosenberg, z.l.

Rosenberg’s demise in Miami  does not begin and end with the possibility that he drowned unclothed, uncharacteristic of Hasidic Jews, north of a clothing optional beach (also uncharacteristic of Hasidic Jews). He and Miami go way back…

“Yitzchak Rosenberg, 67, was the president of Congregation Yetev Lev D’Satmar, the central religious organization in Brooklyn of the followers of the Kiryas Joel, New York-based Grand Rabbi Aaron Teitelbaum, and a founder of the sect’s yeshiva system in Brooklyn. Rosenberg was also a major Brooklyn real estate developer and the owner of a building supply wholesaler.”


“Rosenberg founded Certified Lumber, his building supply business, with his brother, Abraham Rosenberg. According to the real estate website The Real Deal, Rosenberg and his brother owned more than 40 Brooklyn buildings. His development projects included a proposed condo on the East River called Rose Plaza, which was granted a controversial zoning swap in 2011. In 2015, the Real Deal reported that the site was on the market for $250 million.”


On April 30, 1998 it was reported that:

“A New York investor, two lawyers and six business associates were charged Wednesday by a federal grand jury with $300 million in fraudulent deals that collapsed an Orlando-based insurance company.
A 93-count indictment accused Shalom Weiss [who is currently in jail serving an 845 year term – LM], former owner of the defunct Studio 54 nightclub in Manhattan, and others with swindling National Heritage Life Insurance Co. and parent LifeCo Investment Group before regulators shut down the insurer in 1994.
The charges follow recent guilty pleas by former company general counsel Michael Blutrich, investorLyle Pfeffer and former Chief Operating Officer Patrick Smythe to charges of racketeering, fraud and money-laundering. All are cooperating with prosecutors.
“This is the most recent in a series of criminal charges filed against those responsible for looting NHLIC and bringing about its collapse,” said U.S. Attorney Charles Wilson of Tampa.
Weiss, 44, of Monsey, N.Y., was charged in 76 counts with racketeering, conspiracy and assorted fraud, theft and money-laundering charges. He also was charged with making false statements to federal investigators and obstructing justice by producing false documents to the grand jury.
Also named in racketeering charges were Weiss’ lawyer, Jan Schneiderman, 40, of Flushing, N.Y.; attorney Richard Herman, 41, of White Plains, N.Y.; Keith Pound, 45, of Flossmoor, Ill.; Yaakov Stark, 34, of Miami Beach; Isack Rosenberg, 49, of Brooklyn, N.Y.; Nadine Allen, 58, and her husband, Robert Gorski, 62, both of Crystal Lake, Ill.
Richard Langer, 51, of Olive Bridge, N.Y., and several New York and Illinois companies alleged to be controlled by Weiss and other suspects were charged in mail fraud, wire fraud, theft and money-laundering counts.
All will be summoned to appear before a U.S. magistrate in Orlando. Each faces prison terms of up to 34 years.
Weiss and Herman were charged last July with participating in a $47 million fraud with Blutrich, Pfeffer and Smythe. But for strategic reasons, prosecutors dropped charges against the two in December after the others began cooperating.
The New York Post has reported that Blutrich and Pfeffer, New York men affiliated with Scores topless club in Manhattan, are key witnesses involving cash payoffs to mob boss John Gotti Jr. and are entering the federal witness protection program.”

On October 30, 1999 it was reported that Yitzchak Rosenberg was one of six people (another being his brother Abraham) charged “with stealing millions of dollars from National Heritage Life Insurance Co., in the largest insurance fraud in the nation’s history.”


On February 9, 2000, it was reported that Yitzchak Rosenberg was then “one of a dozen people who were convicted of stealing $400 million from the insurer through a series of complicated schemes.” “Originally facing 20 years in prison, he was sentenced Monday to two years’ probation and a $10,000 fine.”


“[Abraham] Rosenberg [Yitzchak’s brother] admitted he submitted two false documents, one sworn and one not sworn, to a federal bankruptcy court in New York in 1992, claiming National Heritage was a $4.3 million creditor in his companies, Certified Lumber and Boro Park Inc.”


“By making those false statements, National Heritage became the largest single unsecured creditor in the case, which placed it in a position to control Rosenberg’s plan of repayment.” Continue reading