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June 01, 2011

Chief Rabbi Sentenced In Money Laundering Scheme

Rabbi Shaul Kassin closeup Rabbi Saul Kassin, the spiritual leader of the nation’s largest Syrian Sephardic community and considered the chief rabbi of all Syrian Jews in North America, was sentenced this morning to two years’ probation and fined more than $36,000 for his role in a scheme to launder millions of dollars through charitable organizations.

 

Syrian rabbi nabbed in N.J. corruption sweep receives two years' probation
MaryAnn Spoto • The Star-Ledger

Rabbi Shaul Kassin closeup TRENTON —
Rabbi Saul Kassin, the spiritual leader of the nation’s largest Syrian Sephardic community, was sentenced this morning to two years’ probation and fined more than $36,000 for his role in a scheme to launder millions of dollars through charitable organizations.

U.S. District Judge Joel Pisano also ordered Kassin, the retired rabbi of Congregation Sharee Zion in Brooklyn, N.Y, to forfeit $367,500 representing the fees he accumulated in 18 months.

Originally charged with money laundering, Kassin, 89, pleaded guilty March 28 to operating an unlicensed money-transmitting business. He said he transmitted between $200,000 and $400,000 through his charity Magen Israel Society between June 2007 and December 2008.

The transactions were arranged by Solomon Dwek as part of the federal government’s massive investigation into public corruption and money laundering activities.

In a 13-minute address to Pisano that included references to the Torah, Kassin asked the judge to redirect the forfeited money to the charity so that it could be distributed to the community.

"The money should be returned to Magen Israel because you are not judging me, you are judging tens of thousands of people who are involved in this project,’" he told Pisano.

Kassin blamed federal investigators for the "many nights I could not sleep.’"

But Pisano and Assistant U.S. Attorney Mark McCarren said Kassin alone was responsible for his sleepless nights.

"At the end of the day, the reason the charity does not have the $367,500 is because of you — and you’re responsible for that and not anybody else," Pisano said.

Kassin said he plans to open a bank account to repay the charity.

He could have faced between 18 and 24 months of incarceration but Pisano said he would not impose a prison sentence because of Kassin’s age.

Pisano imposed the $36,750 fine, which represents 10 percent of the forfeited funds, because Kassin took 10 percent of the funds that were transmitted illegally through his charity.

 

Comments

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death to dwek!

I actually felt bad for him until I saw what he said to the Judge. Yikes.


Its not the Rabbi's fault!

He was born into a Religion that teaches, not to respect the properties and belongings of any Non-Jew ("Einom Bnei Bris").

What should he have told his parents 89 years ago, 'I don't accept your beliefs'?.

ahhhh- what a wonderful kiddush Hashem.-his geersa of chumosh must have somehow left out "mdvar sheker teerchak".

death to dwek!

Posted by: DAVID | June 01, 2011 at 11:32 AM

so you have no problem with the rebbie doing money laundering interesting?

Kassan was doing this a long time before dweck go involved.

Stop apologizing for your leaders crimes.

Maybe you are right in I get solicited by a hooker and pay her. I guess you would say it is not your fault it is the hookers.
Interesting.

It is not my fault a ate treif is was the store owner who said I can have a bit for free.

Is that acceptable to you

If I was Orthodox, I'd be utterly ashamed and embarrassed to let anyone know about it. I would hide my kippa out of shame.

I remember when the catholic sex scandal first broke and all the haredim were saying: "look at the goyim, this is how they behave". Now we know that the ultra-orthodox world is little better, and perhaps even worse.

another delusional rebbie

he is not at fault at all it was the feds that caught him. The money belongs to the charity that he was scamming for,

As I have stated before many frum people do not see genava, scamming , committing fraud as a crime or an avera.

they see it as a mitzvha.

I think he is lucky after whet he said the judge should have given him a few weeks in prison for chuzpha.

again thse frummus are dragging Juduism into the sewer

Oh, they caught me cheating the government. Just become I am a convicted crook, don't take money away from those who benefit from the charity!!!! Boo hoo!!!

How is it that the Orthodox world has lost any sense of the Talmid Chacham and true and inspirational rabbinical leader in one generation. What we see each day in the media is a succession of perp walks by small minded ethically repugnant individuals who have such disregard for their fellow human beings, the world, and Torah values.

"again thse frummus are dragging Juduism into the sewer

Posted by: seymour | June 01, 2011 at 11:52 AM"


You should celebrate it not condemn it,be happy.

Syrians make Chassidim look like amateurs when it comes to cheating and scamming.

That explains, by the way, why the SY's don't accept converts: they're afraid that a little honesty might corrupt their pristine gene pool.

B'H the rebbe can continue his holy work

Is nohum rosenberg a trustworthy fellow? he is a satmar chassid after all, and as such enthusiastically promotes and supports some things that stand against most of our values. Things like insisting that married women shave off all their hair, maintaining a negative attitude towards the state of israel etc.

can he compartmentalize, or does he let his ideology inform his actions?

Syrians make Chassidim look like amateurs when it comes to cheating and scamming.

SY's of brooklyn and deal n.j. shr'y are terrible alright, their refusal to accept converts is repugnant and reprehensible but nooobody tops the chassidim on the heap of trash.

more on the SY topic.
their convert rejection, is really a kassin creation in the USA, and holds only in brooklyn, deal and buenos aires argentina. As to stealing and money laundering, without a doubt, these are traits and trades perfected by what they describe as Jdub's.

A man of that age with no crinminal history was manipulated by a scam artist who manipulated a bank manager to hand over 25 million in exchange of a piece of paper.Was the PNC branch manager put on trial?
I guess it sounds better to put an old Rabbi on trial.
Did the Rabbi steal a penny for himself?
Did the Rabbi ask the judge to return the money to the charity?
Wasn't Dweck claiming that he had a starving wife & kids & he too is a charity, but the Rabbi should provide for him this way?
Didn't the Rabbi tell him a third request that he must already have enough money & he should go elsewhere?
Look at the transcript it is all there.
This is a travisty of justice, an entrapment of a delusional old ager former Rabbi with a good heart.
What was Dweck's punishment for much bigger crimes than any of his trapped?
Nothing.
I hope that the lawyers for those he entraped start going after the Federal agents who worked with him & get them & Dweck in to the cells they belong.
Mr Ben Dover will frequent Dreck, he was a snitch, and not just on those who worked with him, but went around trapping his close freinds & Rabbis & family members. I guess in Chader he will have a great time, the older he gets there the more action he will see.

Loshon Hora

I see you did not read the transcript if you did you would know that all admitted on tape that they have done this before Kassan thought they where koshering money for counterfeit items and not because needed 10,00 to fed his family

it is all on tape

in addition if the feds had no evidence that kassan was doing this before dwerck any lawyer would have been able to trow out the whole case.

No wonder the frum think they are better since they are just delusional and excuse every crime as a none crime

great if you belive it

Kassin blamed federal investigators for the "many nights I could not sleep.’"

The judge should have revoked his probation and sent him to jail for that chutzpadik comment alone.

As bad as the felon's are, the apolgists are worse.

At least the felon's motivation can be understood to a degree. Money!

The apologist, however, seems only able to cast venom and blame on those criticising the act, with no profit to himself other than to his own ego that he helped blindly protect those he feels kinship with through reilgion, ethnicity, race, or ideology.

To all of the apologists, a hearty "Thank You" for;

The Inquisition
The Salem Witch Trials
The Holocost
The (insert your favorite here) War
Catholic Sex Abuse Coverups
Slavery
The (insert your favorite here) Genocide
Orthodox Sex Abuse Coverups
Firebombing for Praying at the Wrong Place
Abu Garib
McCarthyism

It always amazes me of the inability of a normally rational, and presumably intellegent person to admit that people other than "THEM" do evil things to "US", or that certain behaviours are allowable as long as it's "US" doing it to "THEM".

*"US" is anyone like us, or anyone we like.
"THEM" is anyone not like us, or anyone that we don't like, or doesn't like us.

Syrians make Chassidim look like amateurs when it comes to cheating and scamming.

That explains, by the way, why the SY's don't accept converts: they're afraid that a little honesty might corrupt their pristine gene pool.

Then you will have honest SY's and honest Chossidim.

Need to go to walk my unicorn

Posted by: Deremes | June 01, 2011 at 12:03 PM

you are an idiot I am ashamed as a jew that I so called leaders get caught day after day in criminal activities

moron

I told you I do not belive in the religion that does not translate to hate

maybee kassins kid can sell one of his five BMW's and pay back the charity.

koshering money for counterfeit items and not because needed 10,00 to fed his family

it is all on tape

in addition if the feds had no evidence that kassan was doing this before dwerck any lawyer would have been able to trow out the whole case.

No wonder the frum think they are better since they are just delusional and excuse every crime as a none crime

great if you belive it

Posted by: seymour | June 01, 2011 at 01:14 PM

You read the word counterfeit, he gave brand names, & the Rabbi had no clue to what he meant.
Sho wme the evidence of any other crime, & youthink the judge wouldn't have used it against him.
Let me see you keeping the law 87 years if you live that long.

loshon horo

You read the word counterfeit, he gave brand names, & the Rabbi had no clue to what he meant.

yeah he is an old idiot who does not know what is going on. Is that what you are saying

If he is such a morom how could he lead a congregation.


anyway it was a plea bargain and they always plea to lesser charges.

Let me see you keeping the law 87 years if you live that long.

Posted by: Loshon Hora | June 01, 2011 at 02:07 PM

I am not a spiritual holy leader that people look up to me. And none would make such stupid excuses for me, and claim it really never happened he did nothing wrong and he was doing a mizvha at the time

He is and should know better.


and if caught people like you should just say he is a good man who did a bad thing inst5ead of whitewashing it

seymour,

I didn't say in my comment that you hate Judaism,we went through that before.
But,
You say you don't believe in the religion.
I suppose you don't identify yourself as Jewish.
So how is someone who does not believe, ashamed of what other Jews do?

Its not the Rabbi's fault!

Joe McCarthy's track record was excellent.
If you actually study this, you will see.

The fall of the USSR cleared the way for secret files to be opened, and Senator Joe McCarthy is to be commended posthumously for his work in exposing communists.

This may be uncomfortable for many to recognize given the propoganda we have been fed all these years, but it's true.

You read the word counterfeit, he gave brand names, & the Rabbi had no clue to what he meant.

yeah he is an old idiot who does not know what is going on. Is that what you are saying

If he is such a morom how could he lead a congregation.

anyway it was a plea bargain and they always plea to lesser charges.

Posted by: seymour | June 01, 2011 at 02:34 PM

Which old man knows what Gucci is, let alone a Rabbi? I bet you my dad who is 10 years to his junior ain't got a clue.
Get real sometimes a Rabbi is at the wrong place at the wrong time.

If it looks like a haredi, don't be surprised if it acts like one.

And Kassin telling off the judge like that, shows the sense of entitlement SYs have, just like haredim in the US and in Israel..

The SY community is rotten to the core and so is the fabulously wealthy persian one both in Great Neck and in Los Angeles.

If you think Hassidim are covering up drug problems, gambling and molestation, just hang out among them a bit.

Wow, soon to be ex Congressman Wiener's Wife is HOT! Too bad she's a shiksa...but she is still H-O-T! I predict they won't last much longer. A nerdy scumbag like him shouldn't be able to get such a good looking woman.

Alan, your comment was heartbreaking but was absolutely true. Thank you.

Imagine if Wiener were a Republican. They would be demanding his resignation.

Sorry, I'm a bit off topic today.

I half agree on Senator Joe's efforts. What began as a good cause (with some very good results), escalated a bit too far. Hollywood black lists for simply knowing, or having worked with a suspected or known communist, for example.

I was trying to think of a list of events that were the result of peole turnig a blind eye, or tacitly approving of obvious wrongs at the outset, that lead to them spiraling out of control on their own momentum. I'm sure that others here could give different examples. Some better, some worse, but ultimately, none trivial to men of integrity.

"The money should be returned to Magen Israel because you are not judging me, you are judging tens of thousands of people who are involved in this project,’" he told Pisano.


it really looks like some frum are corrupt even when caught they are stunned for what consider a good deed defrauding the government for their charity.

was it sways like this form the beginning of time or is this a new phenomena

"The money should be returned to Magen Israel because you are not judging me, you are judging tens of thousands of people who are involved in this project,’"

The judge should have given him jail time if for no other reason then to deter the followers of this deranged man who calls himself Rabbi. His refusal to accept the fact that he has been judged and his actions have been found to be reprehensible is reason enough to through the book at him. That he is a pillar of society with many followers makes his crime all the worse. The only cure for such self-righteousness is jail time.

Imagine if Wiener were a Republican. They would be demanding his resignation.

Sorry, I'm a bit off topic today.

Posted by: itchiemayer

the only reason its "off topic" is because he is a libb-if he were a conservative, there would be NO other topic-either on Scotty's blog, or anywhere else in the media-but, he has that magic "D" next to his name, so in a few days, this will be as if it never happened.

I don't get the sentence...2 years probation and 36,000 fine because of his age? Popcorn Martin, a famous hillbilly moonshiner got sentenced to 18 months in club fed in spite of his age and health(he committed suicide before his date to go to prison) for making illegal whiskey(895 liters). Kassin should thank his attorney for this. Actually Kassin should get time and a higher restitution...he knew what he was doing and age,etc should have nothing to do with it.

C"mon cut the Haacham some slack , he is old what pleasure do you get from seeing him in jail. His reputation is gone , let him have his freedom.
Let him live out his years in peace.

>>>"The money should be returned to Magen Israel because you are not judging me, you are judging tens of thousands of people who are involved in this project,’"<<<

Magen Israel is a charitable fund. It would seem morally the government should fine individual responsible for violating the law , and from that point on the fund should be directed by law abiding person whose reputation is untainted by wrongdoing. But for them to confiscate - loot the money that was donated for the poor, widows orphrans etc. seems wrong even if legal. Such laws should be changed. And if indeed the judge would have the authority to order the return the money to the charity it was taken from by the feds he should have done it.

Prison isn't about someone getting pleasure. It's exactly the opposite. The point of prison is to instill the fear of sever discomfort, loss of freedom, and public shame to anyone contemplating comitting a crime.

What the sentance here equates to is a "Nice try, but give back what you may have put in your pocket, and we'll make it a no-harm no-foul sentance with just a bit of probation for being careless enough to get caught."

פרשת 'דיל' • השופט קבע: הרב קצין לא יכנס לכלא
הקהילה החלאבית נושמת לרווחה למשמע פסק הדין שנגזר על הרב הישיש • בית המשפט בניו-ג'רזי הסתפק במאסר על תנאי וקנס • ומי בחר לתקוף את ה-FBI?

http://www.bhol.co.il/Article.aspx?id=28283

he is a good man who did a bad thing.

Contrary to LH's suggestion that anyone living to the age of 87 will likely commit a felony, I suspect that most folks will not skim 36,000 bucks from a charity scam

Someone here mentioned a "transcript" of the "tape"? Where does one obtain such a transcript? There is a book "The Jersey Sting" about the whole Dwek thing, and in an interview one of the authors mentioned that they were unable to obtain the Kassin tape, and by omission, implying there was no transcript. Did I understand that wrong?

The only source I have for what was (allegedly) on the tape are the few quotations given in the indictment. I think it is self-evident to anyone reading the indictment that starting from paragraph 9 (which is the first time that R. Kassin appears in person and thus the starting point for any evidence from R. Kassin himself) the indictment is sloppy to the point where parts are even incoherent. So here is an example. Because of paragraphs 1 to 8 in the indictment I know what to expect the following to mean. But, seeing as R. Kassin was not personally presentfor paragraphs 1 to 8, what would anyone make of the following alleged quote by Dwek. paragraph 9:

"it’s a partnerships that I have, uh, but I don’t want, you know, because of the bankruptcy, I don’t want anyone to know. This way it goes to the, to that guy. This way there’s no problems with anything. No, I did a few times with Coconspirator Nahum with you before,you know."

As if Dwek actually used the phrase "Coconspirator Nahum" while talking to R. Kassin, right? In any case what is illegal here? "I don't want anyone to know"? To know what? That this "is because of bankruptcy"? He never actually spells it out at that point.

Further, I have found no sentence where R. Kassin acknowledges he understands anything of this. On the contrary, count how many times R. Kassin asks such things as to what is his (Dwek's) business and why he (Dwek) needs Kassin at all. He asks these over and over and over again. Why does someone ask the same questions from the same person (sometimes even within the same indictment paragraph) over and over again? Did he understand what Dwek was saying (if so, why as again)? Did he even properly hear whay Dwek was saying? Here is a quotation from AP from what, apaprently, the reporter personally witnessed:

"The 89-year-old Kassin appeared frail and hard-of-hearing, with a long, flowing white beard and yarmulke. He was given a court-issued hearing aid device and appeared confused by the proceedings at times, repeatedly asking U.S. District Court Judge Joel Pisano if he could explain to him his side of things. "

George:
The only thing you have convinced me of is that Kassin did not, and does not know right from wrong.

to: state of disgust

I would ask you to do me one favour and detail what statement(s) in my post did that and what reasoning you used to arrive at your conclusion.

ALL YOU NEED TO SAY IS THAT RABBI KASSIN DID NOT TAKE A CENT FOR HIMSELF. CASE CLOSED. ALL OF THOSE WHO BADMOUTH HIM IN THESE COMMENTS SHOULD BE ASHAMED OF THEMSELVES. WHAT "CRIMINAL" STEALS MONEY TO SIMPLY GIVE IT TOO THE POOR? DWECK MANIPULATED AN OLD MAN WHO WAS NOT PROFICIENT IN MONETARY MATTERS TO ACCEPT HIS DEAL SO THAT DWECK CAN MAKE A DEAL WITH THE FBI.

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