Editor’s note: We received this note from a reputable source:
It’s impossible to convey my dismay at reading this scandalous report impugning Rabbi Aryeh Greenes.
My sense of Aryeh Greenes is of a 100% trustworthy and honest person; a man of stainless and incorruptible integrity. Throughout the years of our acquaintance I have never had the slightest feeling that there is some price, some honor or preferment that would induce him to bend his moral compass, break a law or tell a lie.
I knew him in Los Angeles, where I watched him do acts of extraordinary professional courtesy without the expectation of kudos or reward. It’s those kindnesses a person does when no one is there to pay him compliments or wonder out loud at his greatness which exemplify the real champion. I’ve seen him stand up to powerful rabbinic bullies and call them out on their perversion of justice. He is fearless.
It will take something significantly more substantial than an FBI indictment to make me believe anything bad about this man. Seriously.
There’s an old joke about Jews in the diaspora who, during Mussaf, alter the classical line to say, “Because of our sin we were exiled to our homeland.” In one such case, the FBI is presuming that two Jewish men from Los Angeles, Aviv Mizrahi, 53, and Aryeh Greenes, 58, who were indicted on a $33 million bank fraud, have fled to Israel, CBS News reported.
On Thursday, a federal grand jury in LA indicted the two on 34 counts, including making false statements on loan applications and bank fraud.
According to the FBI website, Mizrahi operated and controlled several electronic wholesaling businesses in which he allegedly held millions in receivables and assets. Financial institutions entered into loan agreements with his companies because those companies granted a security interest in their inventory and accounts receivables. Mizrahi and Greenes, the CFO of New Electronic and Tech Club, allegedly submitted fraudulent documents to lending institutions to obtain or increase loans – including accounts receivable summaries, tax returns, borrowing base certificates and financial statements.
Over a four year period, both men allegedly obtained a $28 million line of credit from United Commercial Bank, a $3 million line of credit from TomatoBank, and $5 million line of credit from Security Pacific Bank.
Mizrahi allegedly made false statements to obtain loans or increase existing loans for his companies, including displaying inflated company assets, sales and accounts receivable information which he knew were worth significantly less than the amounts he represented on documents submitted to the financial institutions. Most of the purported inventory and accounts receivables of Mizrahi’s companies did not exist and some of the accounts payable were non-existent as well. The companies’ inventory was auctioned off, but only a small amount of the loans were recovered.
Security Pacific Bank and United Commercial Bank have failed and were placed into the hands of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). The bank failures cost the FDIC losses in excess of $1 billion.
So there were probably more lines of credit…
After fleeing to Israel, Mizrahi legally changed his name to “Aviv Shoham Schwartz.” Both men are U.S. citizens.
Mizrahi faces a maximum statutory sentence of 1,020 years in federal prison if convicted. Greenes faces a maximum statutory sentence of 330 years in federal prison if convicted.
Some people are just luckier than others.
The charges in the indictment result from a joint investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation-Office of the Inspector General.
About the Author: Yori Yanover has been a working journalist since age 17, before he enlisted and worked for Ba'Machane Nachal. Since then he has worked for Israel Shelanu, the US supplement of Yedioth, JCN18.com, USAJewish.com, Lubavitch News Service, Arutz 7 (as DJ on the high seas), and the Grand Street News. He has published Dancing and Crying, a colorful and intimate portrait of the last two years in the life of the late Lubavitch Rebbe, (in Hebrew), and two fun books in English: The Cabalist's Daughter: A Novel of Practical Messianic Redemption, and How Would God REALLY Vote.
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