Mr. Seabrook, Will It Ever Be More Clear Who Has Pull in New York? A Losing Appeal

Former jails union boss Norman Seabrook loses appeal in bribery case

Disgraced jails union boss Norman Seabrook is going to jail.

The former leader of the Correction Officers’ Benevolent Association lost an appeal Tuesday of his conviction for accepting a $60,000 bribe in exchange for a $20 million investment of members’ money in a doomed hedge fund.

Seabrook had been out on bail while he fought the case. The decision means it is highly likely he will have to begin serving his sentence of four years and 10 months.

His appeal had hinged on his belief at the time he made the investment that it would get good returns for correction officers. He said details of the loss suffered as a result of the hedge fund, Platinum Partners, going bankrupt prejudiced his right to a fair trial.

The 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals rejected those arguments. Seabrook, the three-judge panel noted, had suppressed warnings from a union lawyer that the investment was risky.

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Opinion Piece – Orthodox Yeshivas, Substantially Similar Education and NYS


Don’t let ultra-Orthodox Yeshivas get away with this: A judge must rule for the state as it seeks to ensure basic educational equivalence in non-public schools

As early as Friday, a judge may decide whether or not the New York State Education Department can proceed to enforce new guidelines for religious and private schools. These guidelines are designed to make sure that private schools are meeting the legal requirement to provide an education that’s “substantially equivalent” to public schools. Sounds reasonable, right? Not to the unholy trinity of yeshivas, Catholic schools and inexplicably some elite private schools, like Brearley and Packer Collegiate, which are suing to prevent any oversight whatsoever.

Until recently, New York State did not enforce its own education standards. And while many private and Catholic schools pride themselves on providing a high quality education that’s even superior to public schools, the consequences have been devastating for students in Hasidic and ultra-Orthodox yeshivas.

In 2015, our group, Young Advocates for Fair Education (Yaffed), filed a complaint with New York City alleging educational neglect in hundreds of Hasidic yeshivas. That neglect has deprived approximately thousands of ultra-Orthodox and Hasidic children of a basic education. In our experience, on average a Hasidic boy receives just 90 minutes of secular instruction in elementary and middle school and no secular instruction at all in high school. The results are damning. The Hasidic neighborhoods in New York State are among the poorest in the state and even the country.


The city has been pathetically slow to act, and so the state stepped up to revise its guidelines in an attempt to clarify them for local authorities tasked with determining and enforcing the substantial equivalency standard. On Nov. 20, 2018, State Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia released the revised guidelines, which triggered vitriolic opposition from Hasidic yeshivas and their supporters.

The guidelines do not differ significantly from previous versions. They require the teaching of the basics, such as English, math, science and social studies.


Catholic and other non-public schools would easily pass any substantial equivalency test, but instead they’ve rallied to the defense of the ultra-Orthodox Yeshivas, which make no secret of the fact that they haven’t and won’t provide their students with a full secular education.


It’s mind-boggling, because most of the non-Yeshiva schools would barely face any scrutiny at all. Registered high schools go through a more rigorous review by the state in order to be eligible for Regents diplomas, so they would be exempt from an additional substantial equivalency review. Accredited schools, including the majority of private schools, would be subject to only a cursory review, as the district’s substantial equivalency review will take the accreditation determination into consideration. But some Yeshivas, the worst offenders no less, are fighting to remain completely independent from government scrutiny, even as they receive millions in federal, state and local subsidies. Some Hasidic Yeshivas’ budgets are covered two-thirds by government funding, and only one third from tuition.


Even a full review can hardly be considered intrusive. Superintendents or their designees must visit all non-public schools once within the next two to three years and once every five years thereafter. As part of that visit, local officials would look at the instruction being done in the schools and would also collect documentation that demonstrates adherence to the guidelines.

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A Shell Game and American Express – the $260K Swindle

Six men busted for swiping $270G from American Express through defunct Brooklyn shell company

Six men stole $270,000 from American Express through an elaborate scam using a Brooklyn shell company, prosecutors said Thursday.

Five of the accused rip-off artists were arraigned and pleaded not guilty to grand larceny charges in Manhattan Supreme Court.

They are accused of filtering fraudulent transactions through a bogus corporation called 92K Blvd. between November 2013 and January 2014.

Defendants Yehuda Tyrnauer, 29, Naftali Safern, 30, Moshe Pomerantsev, 22, Bezalel Mermelstein, 40, and Samuel Berkovits, 50, allegedly used personal credit cards to initiate transactions with 92K Blvd.-affiliated accounts.

Israel Fischer, 62, owned the AmEx merchant account linked to the fake company, prosecutors said.

After making purchases for electronics and other goods, the crew requested refunds from AmEx but the credit giant could not recover the funds they had issued to the cardholders because 92K Blvd. was actually defunct and there were insufficient funds in the account, the Manhattan DA said


Defendants Yehuda Tyrnauer, 29, Naftali Safern, 30, Moshe Pomerantsev, 22, Bezalel Mermelstein, 40, and Samuel Berkovits, 50, allegedly used personal credit cards to initiate transactions with 92K Blvd.-affiliated accounts.

See the article in its original format in the New York Daily News

Feast on McDonald Avenue in Midwood, District Manager Barry Spitzer and Peralta’s Booze Business II, Community Board 12

Photos: Brooklyn Community Board 12 Holds First Annual Awards Dinner, Hosted by Community Board 12 Chairman Yidel Perlstein (JDN)Barry Spitzer and the Peralta Connection – Community Board 12


LostMessiah, April 12, 2015

In our initial article entitled “Feast on McDonald Avenue in Midwood, District Manager Barry Spitzer and Peralta’s Booze Business” we reported in part using information from A Daily News Article published on April 7th entitled: FBI investigation into NYPD corruption focuses on off-the-books banquet for Midwood cops

When referring to the Daily News article, we did not focus on Community Board 12 and their potential involvement with any corruption directly. It was not on our radar. However, we have since been provided information by an anonymous source and are providing an update as follows:

With regard to the inner workings of Community Board 12 and the de Blasio Administration, we have been told:

(1). Barry Spitzer, the District Manager who said on the record that he has absolute discretion in spending the Board funds, is a former deputy chief of staff to Councilman David Greenfied [corrected].

(2) Greenfield orchestrated a coup by putting in his chairperson Yodel Perlstein and his District Manager Barry Spitzer. The opinion of our source and apparently shared by members of the community, is that Greenfield  threw out the previous District Manager and chair so that he would have greater political clout.

(3) Yeruchim Silber, Vice Chair of Brooklyn Community Board 12, was on the staff of Mayor Deblasio.

(4) Pinny Ringel is Deblasio’s liaison to the Orthodox Jewish community.

(5) Controller Stringer paid the invoices clearly showing a private party.

pinny ringel

The picture is taken from the Twitter photos of March 21st  Pinny Ringel.


Going back to the original Daily News article, please see as follows and click, here.

The 2014 banquet organized by Community Board 12 in honor of police in Brooklyn’s 66th Precinct featured heaping helpings of baked ziti, chicken parmesan, barbecue ribs, veggies and salad that could serve 370 people.


The feast on McDonald Ave. in Midwood cost $2,960 in taxpayer money, records from Bassett Caterers on Ave. X show.

A lawyer and former member of the board, Aaron Tyk, who says the FBI questioned him about the party, said the expense was never approved by the board and that it was kept secret by District Manager Barry Spitzer.

Tyk alleges in letters to the city Department of Investigation and the Controller’s office that he was wrongly booted from the board after complaining about the secret feast. A lawsuit stemming from the dispute was dismissed.

“Something like this, a private party, is unprecedented and problematic,” Tyk said, adding the FBI had contacted him, not vice versa.

Spitzer, the board’s district manager, insisted the party was properly paid for and held on June 11, 2014, to honor the precinct’s cops on medal day, as well as other public servants.

“I signed off on the expenses the same way I do on all of the board’s expenses. Our board’s normal procedure does not include a requirement of documentation of approval by the board on any expense,” Spitzer told the Daily News.

The FBI inquiry revolves around businessmen who allegedly sought to curry favor with high-ranking police brass, including Philip Banks, a former Chief of Department.

Banks, who a source has said received a subpoena more than a year ago, once served as second in command of Patrol Borough Brooklyn South, which includes the 66th Precinct.



So, Mayor de Blasio Do you Speak…Yiddish?




LostMessiah, April 10, 2016

The New York Post is reporting that this morning on Meet the Press with Chuck Todd, Mayor de Blasio said he did not know anything about an investigation. Huh?

Over the past week there have been hundreds of stories in papers from New York to California, from New Hampshire to Israel regarding, amongst other things, campaign contributions he received from Jona Rechnitz and Jeremy Reichberg, both of whom have been linked to a cash-for-favors relationship between them and the New York Police Department. Four New York City police department high ranking officers have resigned; and Mayor de Blasio is going to say he knows nothing? Does he not read? Perhaps he think that he can see Russia from his back window? Where is Tina Fey when you need her? Or has he gotten to the point where he thinks that those around him are blundering idiots? 

So, did Mayor de Blasio say he was going to return funds, or not? 

Did Mayor de Blasio know that his officers had been either removed of their badges and shields or administratively transferred, or not?

Does he even know Rechnitz and Reichberg, who were part of his Inaugural Committee, or not? 

If he says, “No.” to any of these questions, perhaps he is simply monumentally incompetent. One way or the other, we do not think that he should remain mayor.

Our last thought…Perhaps Mayor de Blazio only speaks Yiddish?

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60 Days for 4 Youth Victims, 24 Sex Felonies & 52 Misdemeanors

60 Days for 4 Youth Victims, 24 Sex Felonies & 52 Misdemeanors

In an article on Frum Follies by Yerachmiel Lopin, Lopin quotes an article from The New York Daily News.

We have reprinted it here., February 29, 2016

DailyNews Yoel Malik

60 Days for 4 Youth Victims, 24 Sex Felonies & 52 Misdemeanors

The New York Daily News, reported: “EXCLUSIVE: Brooklyn rabbi charged with teen sex assault gets 60 days in jail; DA ripped for offering light plea deal.”

While Rabbi Yoel Malik pled guilty to a single misdemeanor count of Sexual Misconduct, Oral/Anal Conduct (NYS PL 130.20.02) his charge sheet included another 52 misdemeanor counts and 24 felony counts of sex crimes with minors which the record shows the DA and the defendant agreed to have covered by the single misdemeanor plea. There were additional felony and misdemeanor charges that were dropped.

I get plea deal bargaining. They spare the victims the ordeal of a trial, save prosecution resources, and eliminate the risk of an acquittal. But an average of 2 days per felony sex crime? That was no deal; it was a giveaway, a travesty. The victims and justice were bamboozled and the public was endangered.

The DA defends this disgraceful trade of less than one day in jail per charge because the victims were “extremely reluctant to testify publicly.” Mind you, the DA doesn’t even say they refused. The DA may be exaggerating, though it is doubtlessly true they were reluctant and the DA knows why. The ultra orthodox community harasses and intimidates victims of sex crimes committed by orthodox Jews. The intimidation is extreme. They are just like the Mafia,  street gangs, and drug cartels.

The DA should seek every possible opportunity to prosecute victim intimidation. The word should go out in the orthodox world: “Try to intimidate a victim and you will pay.” But to date, Brooklyn DA Kenneth Thompson has never initiated the prosecution of an orthodox Jew who tried to intimidate a victim. Thompson and his head of sex crimes, ADA Gregory, are silent partners of the orthodox intimidators. But it is worse than that. Even when they have willing witnesses, they run the other way.

Meilech Schnitzler threw bleach into the face of anti abuse activist, Rabbi Nuchem Rosenberg. But for the quick response of an Hispanic bystander who doused him with water, this Hasidic crusader could have been blinded.  The rabbi was totally willing to testify. There were other witnesses on the street from outside the community. Thompson’s response was  a no- jail plea bargain.

DA Kenneth Thomson has entered into an unholy compact with the ultra orthodox community. The DA does the least he possibly can when it comes to those who rape and molest orthodox children (unless they are gentiles) and they in turn will support him when he seeks reelection or election to a higher office. Shame on all of them.