Thursday, July 23, 2009

Mordchai Fish is Brooklyn Rabbi Arrested for Money Laundering

Mordchai Fish is a Brooklyn Rabbi arrested in an FBI sting operation. Mordchai Fish, 56, a Rabbi at Brooklyn's Congregation Sheves Achim synagogue, was arrested and charged with money laundering, along with his brother, Rabbi Albert (Lavel) Schwartz 57, and Rabbi Saul Kassin 87, both also of Brooklyn. According to NBCMiami, the two brothers were caught on tape having this conversation (taken from court transcripts):

I had 25 million from [the bank] – 20 million – that schnookie deal. I gave 20 million to [another bank]. I, I took five million. I sent it offshore..” said the witness, who was reputedly also involved in a counterfeit handbag racket, according to the court papers.
Others from Brooklyn charged and arrested with money laundering are Levi Deutsch 37, Yolie Gertner 30, David S. Goldhirsh 30, Binyomin Spira, 28, Abe Pollack 40, From Brooklyn charged and arrested with money laundering and illegal money transmitting are Schmulik Cohen, 35, Yeshayahu Ehrental, 65, and Arye Weiss, 34. A New Jersey Rabbi, Levy-Izhak (Issac) Rosenbaum, was arrested and charged with Human Organ Trafficking in the same FBI operation, according to the report linked above:

Defendant Issac Rosenbaum, meanwhile, was caught up in a shady organ procurement program, where an undercover FBI agent and the cooperating witness pretended to need a human liver for the undercover’s sick uncle, the feds charge.

“Let me explain this to you,” said Rosenbaum on February 26, 2008 according to the court documents. “It’s illegal to buy [ a liver]. It’s illegal to sell.They are going to investigate him [the donor] not you, not your uncle. He’s going to speak to a social worker and a psychologist to find out why he is doing it… and it is our job to prepare him.”

The cost would be $160,000 for the liver donation – 50 percent up front – but Rosenbaum repeatedly made it clear, according to court papers, “It's illegal to buy or sell organs. .. . So you cannot buy it. What you do is, you're giving a compensation for the time . . . whatever–-he's not working. You can't even mention.”
Documents show the following penalties may apply (detail of charges (view as .pdf) :
For the charge of conspiring to commit money laundering, the maximum statutory penalties are 20 years in Federal prison and a maximum statutory fine of $250,000. For the charge of conspiring to conduct an illegal money transmitting business, the maximum statutory penalties are 5 years in Federal prison and a maximum statutory fine of $250,000. For the charge of conspiring to transport human organs, the maximum statutory penalties are 5 years in Federal prison and a maximum statutory fine of $250,000.
Possibly related: Isaac Rosenbaum is Rabbi Arrested for Organ Trafficking Peter Cammarano is Hoboken Mayor Arrested Dennis Elwell is Secaucus NJ Mayor Arrested Solomon Dwek is FBI Witness in Money Laundering Sting Leona Beldini is Deputy Mayor of Jersey City Arrested

©2007-2012copyrightMaggie M. Thornton