Israel, Money Laundering

Israel: Police Announce Arrests In Money Laundering Operation

Three persons were arrested by Israel Police on Thursday, 8 Iyar as the primary suspects in a money laundering operation, including one chareidi suspect. Police report the operation involved millions of shekels and the suspects are residents of both Jerusalem and Netanya and they are in their thirties.

It appears that they obtained funds from abroad fraudulently and they laundered the money here in Israel. The operation has been going on for a number of years. During the predawn hours of Thursday however, the clandestine investigation went public as police moved in to make the arrests. Armed with search warrants, police carried out searches of their homes at the time of the arrests.

Sheldon Silver to Start Prison Term – Now we Need to Find all of the People who were Complicit in his Crimes



Sheldon Silver should start 12-year prison term at the end of the month, prosecutors argue


In a letter Friday, Federal prosecutors urged a judge to stick to her guns and order former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver to start serving his 12-year prison sentence as scheduled on August 31.

The letter came hours after Silver’s lawyers asked U.S. District Court Judge Valerie Caproni to treat their client just as Dean Skelos was treated in an entirely separate case and allow Silver to remain free pending appeal.

Skelos is the former state Senate majority leader also convicted on corruption charges.

Silver’s lawyers are hoping that Caproni will echo Judge Kimba Wood, who ruled that a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision raised “a substantial question” about whether Skelos’ corruption conviction should be overturned.

Court’s ruling in Virginia bribery case is bad news for N.Y.

The top court decision, which came shortly after the Skelos and Silver verdicts, clarified what constitutes an “official act” of corruption and defense lawyers in both cases contend that the ruling invalidates legal instructions given to their Manhattan juries.

U.S. District Court Judge Valerie Caproni may follow Judge Kimba Wood, who noted that “a substantial question” was raised about the Skelos case.

In their letter to Caproni about Silver, the prosecutors said “contrary to the defendant’s assertion … the jury instructions given by the court in this case were in full accord with the requirements” of the recent Supreme Court decision and if there was any error, “it was harmless in view of the overwhelming and undisputed proof presented at (Silver’s) trial.”


Strange Bedfellows – More on Yeshiva D’Mir and – Shlomo Rechnitz



American Friends of Yeshiva D’Mir was the subject of our previous post. 5227 New Utrecht Avenue and Torah Support Fund and the disappearance (movement, laundering, distribution to investors of $1,882,550) being key to the intigue of this organization.

One of our contributors happened to mention something we missed, found on all things… Wikipedia:

Just as a matter of coincidence/curiosity…one of the “charitable” loans made by Huberfeld to American Friends of Yeshiva Mir has “notable” alumni: per Wikipedia:
Mir Yeshiva (Jerusalem) – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Mir Brachfeld[edit]

The yeshiva has a branch in Modi’in Illit primarily for Israelis, which also includes a kollel. Mir Brachfeld is headed by Rabbi Aryeh Finkel, Rabbi Eliezer Yehuda Finkel’s grandson.

Present Leadership[edit]
Eliezer Yehuda Finkel, Rosh Yeshiva, 2011 – Present; (Nosson Tzvi Finkel’s son)
Yitzchok Ezrachi, Rosh Yeshiva; (Chaim Leib Shmuelevitz’s son-in-law)
Aryeh Finkel, Rosh Yeshiva, Mir Brachfeld 2005 – Present; (Chaim Zev Finkel’s son)
Binyomin Carlebach, Associate Rosh Yeshiva; (Binyomin Beinush Finkel’s son-in-law)
Nachman Levovitz, Associate Rosh Yeshiva; (Binyomin Beinush Finkel’s son-in-law)
Yisroel Glustein, Associate Rosh Yeshiva; (Binyomin Beinush Finkel’s son-in-law)
Aharon Chodosh, Mashgiach Ruchani; (Chaim Zev Finkel’s son-in-law)
Previous Leadership[edit]
Eliezer Yehuda Finkel, Rosh Yeshiva, 1917-1965; (Nosson Tzvi Finkel/The Alter of Slabodka’s son and Eliyahu Boruch Kamai’s son-in-law)
Chaim Leib Shmuelevitz, Rosh Yeshiva, 1941-1979;
Chaim Zev Finkel, Mashgiach; (Eliezer Yehuda Finkel’s son)
Binyomin Beinush Finkel, Rosh Yeshiva, 1979 – 1990; (Eliezer Yehuda Finkel’s son)
Nosson Tzvi Finkel, Rosh Yeshiva, 1990 – 2011; (Binyomin Beinush Finkel’s cousin and son-in-law)
Aryeh Finkel, Mashgiach, ? – 2005; (Chaim Zev Finkel’s son)
Eliyahu Boruch Finkel, Maggid Shiur, ? – 2008; (Eliezer Yehuda Finkel’s grandson)
Rabbi Refoel Shmuelevitz

Notable Alumni[edit]
Nosson Tzvi Finkel
Osher Arieli
Shlomo Yehuda RechnitzNURSINGHOME_0378
Yaakov Luban
Yisrael Mendel Kaplan
Yitzchak Berkovits, Rosh Kollel, Linus HaTzedek: Center for Jewish Values
Ari Goldwag, singer-songwriter
Dovid Meyer
Pesachya Lamm

PANAMA PAPERS – Searching Accounts

You can now search the Panama Papers – the secret accounts of the global rich – yourself

The Washington Post

Some of the information from the Panama Papers, a vast trove of more than 11 million leaked documents that have cast a light into the shadowy world of offshore finance, is now available to the public for the first time. The Washington Post is joining a group of global media organizations in publishing a searchable database of more than 300,000 opaque offshore entities.

The documents come from Mossack Fonseca, a Panama-based law firm with offices around the world. An anonymous source gave the documents to German newspaper Süeddeustche Zeitung, which then recruited the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists to help lead a global investigation into the material.

Over the past month, media organizations around the globe have published articles with information drawn from the papers. The findings have uncovered the offshore holdings of 12 world leaders, more than 128 other politicians, and dozens of tax evaders, drug traffickers, money launderers and other criminals. The revelations have sparked protests, triggered arrests and led to high-profile resignations, including the prime minister of Iceland.

The searchable database below includes nearly 214,000 entities from the Panama Papers spanning 40 years, from 1977 through 2015. Where available, the database reveals the names of the real owners — called the “beneficial owners” — of offshore companies, trusts and foundations. This information is usually kept hidden from the public by the anonymity that offshore structures provide.

The database also includes information on the intermediaries, such as banks and law firms, that were typically the point of contact between Mossack Fonseca and the real owners of offshore companies. The data shows registered addresses for companies and the connections between corporate entities, owners and intermediaries, and allows you to filter by country or jurisdiction.

The database also includes information on more than 100,000 additional offshore entities, which were revealed in another leakof offshore documents covered by ICIJ in 2013.

his searchable database actually contains just a fraction of the material in the Panama Papers; it excludes the company emails, financial transactions, scanned passports, and other raw documents that make up the bulk of the leak. Not every owner of a company in the Panama Papers appears in the public database, ICIJ says, since some of that information is contained only in Mossack Fonseca’s emails and internal documents and cannot be systematically extracted.

ICIJ says it is publishing the database in the public interest. The anonymous leaker who first gave the documents to journalists also described the leak as an effort to fight against inequality and injustice in a manifesto issued last week, which argued that shell companies are used to carry out a wide array of serious crimes.


See also: 

U.S. tightens checks on anonymous companies following Panama Papers release

How the U.S. became one of the world’s biggest tax havens

For U.S. tax cheats, Panama Papers reveal a perilous new world

De Blasio – Mysterious Federal Investigation



LostMessiah, April 11, 2016

as reported by the

Bill de Blasio’s Administration Is Under a Mysterious Federal Investigation

“William K. Rashbun and Al Baker of The New York Times have a deep dive into the ongoing and increasingly complex federal investigation of two fundraisers associated with a non-profit called the Campaign for One New York, which supported the election of New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio in 2013. Investigators are apparently trying to figure out whether those fundraisers, a real estate executive named Jona Rechnitz and a consultant Jeremy Reichberg, obtained favorable treatment from de Blasio’s administration in exchange for monetary support of the Democrat’s campaign. The problem, though, is that….nobody seems to know what prompted the investigation in the first place:

Two of the people briefed on the matter suggested that investigators were trying to determine whether Mr. Rechnitz and Mr. Reichberg benefited from some type of favorable municipal action, or the promise of some action, in exchange for their donations, their fund-raising or some other gesture. But the precise allegations under scrutiny by federal prosecutors in Manhattan and agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation are unclear.
This is just one of the investigation’s many ambiguities. Among the other aspects of the case that remain “unclear,” at least according to the Times, are:

  • “The precise nature” of Reichberg’s consulting business
  • How, exactly, the investigation managed to ensnare “Norman Seabrook, the head of the union that represents city correction officers, and his close friend, Philip Banks III, then the highest-ranking uniformed official in the Police Department”;
  • And “whether the prosecutors and F.B.I. agents working on the case have developed evidence, conclusive or otherwise, of the kind of quid pro quo necessary to prove most corruption crimes in federal court.”


In other words: Nobody has any idea what’s going on. Anything could happen. Stay tuned!


Read Further:

New York Times, April 10, 2016

Federal Prosecutors Cast a Wider Net in New York City Inquiry

The Daily News, April 9, 2016

FBI and U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara’s NYPD corruption probe turns focus to de Blasio fund-raisers Jeremy Reichberg and Jona Rechnitz

The Real Deal, April 8, 2016

Jona Rechnitz now the focus of NYPD corruption prove: report

Rechnitz, Reichberg, Peralta -Mayor de Blasio… Too blasé?

NYPost picture

Just the Beginning…

LostMessiah, April 10, 2016:

While Rechnitz and Reichberg are being investigated and there have been no arrests, we are basing our opinions on articles and our own investigations into the activities of these men. It is our opinion that the simple fact that R&R have left their own personal fingerprint, or those of their business endeavors, on every aspect of the web of corruption and scandal in NYC right now says a lot. We also do not believe it ends there. We believe that it carries all the way to the top, and the “abrupt” resignation of New York’s top cop is the icing on the cake. However, whether or not that cake was baked by R&R remains to be seen. We are posting our comments along the way hoping that the connections can be filled in by our readers.

As to Jeremy Reichberg, the New York Daily News is reporting that he used high ranking officials to protect his nephew from assault charges. The report states that his nephew was allegedly a member of a street gang. High ranking officials within the 66th Precinct repeatedly  ignored crimes allegedly reported and committed by that nephew. As a prominent member of the ultra-Orthodox community, it would not be unlikely that he also paid NYPD officers to look the other way in a fair number of sex crimes, though that piece remains to be seen.

As to Hamlet Peralta, we do not feel that R&R were duped. Rather, we believe that their investment was intended for the purpose of assisting Peralta in entertaining some of the top cops who fancied his Hudson River Cafe, which hosted many of them. We believe that the three kept the highest ranking officials to the lowest ranking officials wined, dined and properly reimbursed for favors within the ultra-Orthodox community and within their wealthy circles. Further, JSR Capital L.L.C. owns buildings in Manhattan and Brooklyn. One of the investors in Peralta’s scheme allegedly was a high ranking member of the zoning board. Hamlet Peralta managed and may have owned buildings in Georgia, from where he was arrested. We are being told by former tenants and employees of his that he covered up instances of black mold and other health violations by painting over them or ignoring them. We are being told by confidential sources that he treated his tenants brutally and that everything for him was about money. 


Jona Rechnitz/Jeremy Reichberg:

Served on Mayor de Blasio’s Inaugural Committee

$9,900.00 – combined donation

$35,000.00  – Fundraiser

$50,000.00 – Campaign One

$40,000.00 – Contributions

$102,300.00 – To Democrats in the Senate [(Agudath Israel America) lawmakers ignoring Hassidic crimes, photographs) – How many Democrats are supporting causes helping ultra-Orthodox – Meziza b’Pehde Blasio’s Allure -no Forgetting Friends]

[LostMessiah – Rechnitz is represented by Marc S. Harris, a Los Angeles attorney. Harris is highly credentialed . We do find it odd, however, that Rechnitz’s attorney is from California (where his cousin currently lives). All of the firm’s attorneys are in California, as are all of its offices. We are not certain if his attorney is licensed in the State of New York as the website gives no indication that he has NY credentials. And, of course, there are highly credentialed attorneys in New York, Connecticut, New Jersey, Massachusetts. So, why California? See Harris’ credentials: Formerly Assistant U.S. Attorney, United States Attorney’s Office, Central District of California; Deputy Chief, Public Corruption and Government Fraud, United States Attorney’s Office]

Jeremy Reichberg:

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(AP File 2015)

D’Amico Abruptly Steps Down

We have received this article from different sources about 10 times today and we really don’t know what to make of it. From where we sit, it is clear that Cuomo panders to the Bloc. It is further clear to us that decisions regarding education funding and state laws have a Bloc sensitive lean to them. There is also no doubt in our minds that Preet Bharara should be looking as closely at Governor Cuomo as he is at New York City’s police department. What is not quite clear, as of this moment, is why this abrupt resignation occurred. New York’s top state cop, Joseph A. D’Amico is in enough of a pickle to tender his resignation. Whether that pickle is sour, half-sour or dill remains to be seen. It is likely not of the kosher variety.

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