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September 16, 2014 / 21 Elul, 5774
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US Court Rejects Rabbi Milton Balkany’s Appeal from Prison

The US Second Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously rejected Rabbi Milton Balkany’s claim that jurors should have been allowed to consider if he was entrapped, saying “Balkany failed to present any evidence that the government ‘induced’ him to commit the crimes charged,” Bloomberg reports.

The NY Post reports Balkany, 65, is currently serving four years in a federal prison in Miami for trying to shake down billionaire Steve Cohen’s hedge fund with allegations of inside trading, as a means of raising $4 million in donations to the Bais Yaakov girls school.

The ruling says “As the government notes, the evidence with respect to the extortion, wire fraud and blackmail counts established that it was Balkany who made the first unsolicited call to SAC (Capital Advisers), claiming that he had damaging information that Cohen had engaged in insider trading which he urgently wanted to share.”

The ruling continues: “As the government notes, the evidence with respect to the extortion, wire fraud and blackmail counts established that it was Balkany who made the first unsolicited call to SAC (Capital Advisers), claiming that he had damaging information that Cohen had engaged in insider trading which he urgently wanted to share.”

Bloomberg reports that the unsigned decision by Judges Amalya Kearse, John Walker Jr. and Gerard Lynch also shot down Balkany’s argument that he was convicted of making a false statement through a “perjury trap” set by the feds, noting that “Balkany was under no obligation to speak to the federal investigator to whom he lied.”

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