William E. Rapfogel – the Modern Orthodox former CEO of the Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty, the New York City Jewish community’s anti-poverty arm – is expected to plead guilty tomorrow in a Manhattan state court.
William E. Rapfogel, left, and Rabbi David Cohen, right
Report: Rapfogel To Plead Guilty Tomorrow
Shmarya Rosenberg • FailedMessiah.com
William E. Rapfogel – the Modern Orthodox former CEO of the Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty, the New York City Jewish community’s anti-poverty arm – is expected to plead guilty tomorrow in a Manhattan state court, the New York Daily News reported tonight.
Rapfogel and a gang of co-conspirators – including haredi Rabbi David Cohen, also a former Met Council CEO and on-staff consultant who is also reportedly planning on pleading guilty tomorrow – allegedly stole at least $7 million from the anti-poverty nonprofit. The used a small portion of the stolen money to support New York politicians they sought to influence and kept the rest – millions of dollars – for themselves.
Rapfogel’s plea deal with the state Attorney General's Office will reportedly see him serve only 3 to 10 years in prison and pay about $3 million in restitution – all of it raised from friends in New York’s Modern Orthodox community.
Rapfogel was originally charged with grand larceny, money laundering, criminal tax fraud, conspiracy, falsifying business records, and offering a false instrument for filing.
The state AG’s office and Rapfogel’s attorney both reportedly refused to comment on the pending plea deals.
As FailedMessiah.com was the first to report, the Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty has fired at least five key mid-level staffers over the past several weeks due to the inability to pay their salaries and, despite claims to the contrary, cut back its Passover food programs and other services in the aftermath of Rapfogel’s thefts’ exposure.
The nonprofit’s board – many members of which are among the city’s wealthiest Jews – was criticized by state regulators for lax oversight and mismanagement as a result of the Rapfogel scandal and the organization’s government funding was cut off for a period of weeks while safeguards were put in place to prevent further thefts.
So far, none of these board members have been indicted.