A Brooklyn rebbe is facing two years in jail for squirreling away donations to his congregation in a place that the IRS couldn’t locate %u2013 the West Coast.
A federal judge in the Golden State sentenced Naftali Tzvi Weisz, Rebbe of the Spinke, an Orthodox group clustered in Borough Park, to 24 months in jail after he pleaded guilty to tax fraud and money laundering.
Weisz was one of five men accused of taking part in a huge scam where donors would fork over thousands of dollars to the suspects, who said that the money was donated to the congregation.
Instead, the money was circulated to bank accounts in Israel as well as a network of jewelers working in the Los Angeles diamond district, officials said
Once laundered, the money would be refunded to the donors, most of who had already declared the donation on their taxes and were reaping the massive tax deductions they’ve received for “charitable giving.”
Rebbe Weisz will be sent to prison in early 2010, officials said.
One of his assistants, Gabbai Moshe Zigelman, pled guilty in 2008 to conspiracy and has already been sentenced to two years in federal prison, officials said. The remaining men caught in the conspiracy have also pled guilty and are awaiting sentencing.
Yes, you’re in the right place — Brooklyn Paper is the new online home of BrooklynDaily.com.
So bookmark this page, and remember check it throughout the day for the latest stories from your neighborhood — and across this great borough of ours.