Rabbi Takes A Sabbatical To Jail

Money Laundering, by Flickr user "Images_Of_Money", licensed via Creative Commons.Rabbi Mordchai Fish, of Brooklyn, New York, has been sentenced to 46 months in prison for laundering nearly a million dollars.  In early 2008, Fish accepted checks to charities in New York and New Jersey from admitted Ponzi schemer and FBI informant Solomon Dwek.  The charities, including Boyoner Gemilas Chesed, Beth Pinchas, and Levovous, are called “gemachs”, groups intended to give money to people in need.  Instead, the cash went straight back to Dwek, freshly laundered, with Fish keeping a nice 10% commission for himself in the process.  Too bad Dwek was wired up and handing Fish bait money provided by the FBI.  Over two years, Fish and Dwek, with the latter informing all the while, laundered more than $900,000, a crime punishable by a maximum 20 years in prison and fines up to $200,000.  Fish swam by the recommended 57-month sentence from Judge Joel Pisano, receiving a lower sentence because of his work in the Orthodox community.

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