Haredi Rabbi Sentenced To Year In Slammer For Money Laundering In Solomon Dwek New Jersey Sting
Shmarya Rosenberg • FailedMessiah.com
Rabbi Lavel Schwartz was sentenced today to 12 months and one day in prison for conspiring to launder $200,000 to $400,000 in money that he believed to be the proceeds of illegal activities.
Schwartz, 61, previously pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Joel A. Pisano to a money laundering conspiracy. Judge Pisano imposed the sentence today in Trenton, New Jersey federal court.
Schwartz admitted that beginning in May 2008, he and his brother, Rabbi Mordchai Fish, met with Solomon Dwek.
Fish and Schwartz agreed to launder and conceal Dwek’s money through a series of haredi charities, also known as gemachs, which Fish controlled or to which he had access.
In exchange for this service, Fish and Schwartz took a fee from each transaction of approximately 10%.
Schwartz admitted that Dwek told him before laundering the money that the money was from illegal businesses, including trafficking in counterfeit goods.
Schwartz also admitted assisting Rabbi Fish and Dwek with counting the cash that had been retrieved from a coconspirator, and admitted to encouraging Dwek to engage in more transactions.
Schwartz admitted engaging in approximately 10 money laundering transactions with Dwek even though he knew the sources of Dwek’s money were illegal. As part of these transactions, Fish helped convert between $200,000 and $400,000 in checks into that amount in cash, minus the 10% fee.
In addition to serving 12 months plus one day in federal prison, Schwartz was also sentenced to three years of supervised release that will begin on his release from prison.
[Hat Tip: The Lion.]