Newark, NJ - Brooklyn Rabbi In Dwek Case Faces Up To 20 Yrs After Pleading Guilty
Newark, NJ - An Orthodox Rabbi and principal rabbi of a charity organization ‘Gemach’ in Brooklyn, N.Y., admitted today to conspiring to launder approximately $900,000 he believed was criminal proceeds, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.
The Rabbi 58, of Brooklyn, N.Y., pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Joel A. Pisano to an Information charging him with money laundering conspiracy.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in Trenton federal court:
The Rabbi admitted that beginning in early 2008, he met with Solomon Dwek, an individual he now knows was a cooperating witness with the United States. For a fee of approximately 10 percent, the Rabbi agreed to launder and conceal Dwek’s funds through a series of purported charities, also known as “gemachs,” which the Rabbi controlled or to which he had access. the Rabbi admitted that prior to laundering Dwek’s funds, Dwek repeatedly told him the money was the proceeds of illegal activity – including bank fraud, trafficking in counterfeit goods, and bankruptcy fraud.
In order to hide the source of the money, the Rabbi directed Dwek to make the checks payable to several gemachs which were purportedly dedicated to providing charitable donations to needy individuals. Once Dwek gave him the checks, the Rabbi passed them to a coconspirator who deposited them into bank accounts held in the names of the purported charities. the Rabbi would then arrange to make cash available through an underground money transfer network.
The Rabbi admitted that he engaged in approximately 15 money laundering transactions with Dwek, helping to convert approximately $900,000 in checks into more than $800,000 in cash, keeping a cut.
The charge to which the Rabbi pleaded guilty carries a maximum statutory penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. In addition, the Rabbi agreed to forfeit approximately $90,000 by the date of sentencing, scheduled for July 28, 2011.
“Money laundering in the post-9/11 era is treated very severely and people convicted on such charges face steep penalties,” according to Josh Margolin, co-author of the new book The Jersey Sting: A true story of corrupt pols, money laundering rabbis, black market kidneys and the informant who brought it all down.
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