Apr 9, 2011
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New Jersey Rabbi used religious charity to launder nearly $1 million
"...an underground money transfer network that stretched from Brooklyn
all the way to Israel."
"Also arrested was a man charged with brokering the sale of a human
Rabbi Fish "...would not use the word cash, but instead referred to
laundered money as 'gemoras,' a reference to part of the Talmud..."
Orthodox rabbi pleads guilty to using religious charities to hide $1M
for Solomon Dwek
By Ted Sherman | The Star-Ledger (New Jersey) | April 9, 2011
Rabbi Mordchai Fish, left, admitted Friday that he let FBI informant
Solomon Dwek, right, use his charities to channel $900,000 in illegal
Of all those targeted in what became the biggest FBI sting operation in
New Jersey history, Mordchai Fish was among the most secretive.
He changed cell phones constantly. He spoke in code, using Talmudic
references to set up meetings to exchange cash. He constantly worried
aloud about electronic bugs and had cash couriers all over Borough Park.
On Friday, the tearful, 58-year-old Orthodox rabbi from Brooklyn pleaded
guilty in federal court to a money laundering scheme that used religious
charities to hide nearly $1 million in funds he thought had come out of
a massive bank fraud and a counterfeit designer handbag operation.
Fish was one of 44 people initially charged in the widespread sting,
which came to light in July 2009 with the arrests of three mayors, two
legislators, five rabbis and dozens of public officials and candidates
for office. Also arrested was a man charged with brokering the sale of a
At the center of it all was failed Monmouth County developer Solomon
Dwek, an informer who entered into a cooperation deal with federal
prosecutors after he was arrested for trying to pass $50 million in bad
checks at a bank drive-through window.
With the politicians, Dwek posed as a corrupt developer by the name of
David Esenbach, who gave out FedEx envelopes stuffed with cash to anyone
who would help expedite a series of phony real estate deals concocted by
the FBI. More than a dozen have already pleaded guilty to corruption
Separately, using his own identity, Dwek arranged to launder millions of
dollars in a series of tax scams using religious charities — a scheme in
which money was given to charitable funds and religious schools, and
then kicked back in cash, minus a 10 percent cut.
Dwek, in setting up Fish and others, repeatedly told them that he was
looking to pull cash out of his bankrupt real estate empire and from a
"schnookie" bank deal gone bad. Later, he claimed he had profits he was
trying to hide coming out of a counterfeit, high-end designer handbag
Last week, another rabbi caught in the same sting, Saul Kassin, the
89-year-old spiritual leader of the nation's largest Syrian Sephardic
Jewish congregation, pleaded guilty to one count of operating an
unlicensed money-transmitting business.
In court Friday (April 8) before U.S. District Judge Joel A. Pisano in
Trenton, Fish, who broke down repeatedly, pleaded guilty to an
information charging him with money laundering conspiracy.
Fish admitted that he began meeting with Dwek in early 2008, and agreed
to a series of transactions that were funneled through several community
charities known as "gmachs," which Fish controlled.
Prosecutors said the checks were deposited into bank accounts held in
the names of the charities, and Fish would subsequently arrange to make
cash available through an underground money transfer network that
stretched from Brooklyn all the way to Israel.
According to criminal complaints filed in the case, Fish was among the
most furtive of those caught on surveillance video. He would constantly
change cell phones and speak in an amalgam of English, Yiddish and
Hebrew, to set up meetings.
The transcripts show he would not use the word cash, but instead
referred to laundered money as "gemoras," a reference to part of the
Talmud — the collection of Jewish law and tradition that explains the
Five Books of Moses.
Among the transcripts included a recording of Fish and Dwek together in
a car on their way to pick up cash in Brooklyn. As they drove, Dwek
would mention the cross streets to which they were headed. "I'm nervous
now," Fish was heard on the surveillance tape. "Don't even say the
street in this car."
Dwek, who was wired for sound and video with a hidden miniature camera,
assured Fish there was nothing to worry about. He had the car swept, he
"Swept, shmept," replied Fish.
He told the judge Friday he engaged in approximately 15 money laundering
transactions with Dwek, helping convert approximately $900,000 in checks
into more than $800,000 in cash, after receiving his cut.
Fish's attorney, Michael Bachner of New York, said it was a difficult
day for his client. "After due consideration with his family and loved
ones, Rabbi Fish decided that it was proper and right to acknowledge his
behavior," said Bachner. "He is looking forward to putting this matter
behind him so that he can continue to engage himself in the work he has
always dedicated himself to, which is the care of troubled youth in the
Fish is scheduled to be sentenced July 28, when he faces a maximum of 20
years in prison and a $250,000 fine, although under federal sentencing
guidelines is likely to be exposed to anywhere between 33 months to as
much as five years. In addition, Fish agreed to forfeit approximately
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In a New Statesman article, law professor John Dugard ,who was a Judge on The International Court of Justice as well as being Special Raporteur for United Nations Commission on Human Rights, summarises the Goldstone apology saga : 'there are no new facts that could possibly have led Richard Goldstone to change his mind about the UN-backed investigation into Israel and the conflict in Gaza.'
While Goldstone claimed that the Israeli investigations produced some results also recognised by a follow-up UN committee report chaired by Judge Mary McGowan Davis, Dugard stresses that the McGowan Davis report was actually very critical of the Israeli investigations, finding them to be "lacking in impartiality, promptness and transparency."
According to the McGowan Davis report, the Israeli 'probe' has resulted in "two convictions; one for theft of a credit card, resulting in a sentence of seven months' imprisonment, and another for using a Palestinian child as a human shield, which resulted in a suspended sentence of three months."
Dugard is clearly bewildered by Goldstone's latest zigzag: "Richard Goldstone is a former judge and he knows fully well that a fact-finding report by four persons cannot be changed by the subsequent reflections of a single member of the committee." What made Goldstone change his mind "remains a closely guarded secret," says Dugard.
United against everyone.
Learn about Israeli xenophobia
From: Carolyn <email@example.com>
Date: April 8, 2011 10:08:38 PM
Czechoslovak and British Concepts of a
Rudolf F Pueschel, PhD
Dr. Pueschel was born in the Sudetenland and lives in California. He's been involved in the issue of justice and truth for the Sudenten Germans for a number of years. The paper is attached.