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December 20, 2014 / 28 Kislev, 5775
 
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘fraud’

New York’s Grimm: Indictment Result of ‘Witch Hunt’

Tuesday, April 29th, 2014

The fact that the government was going to indict 44 year-old U.S. Rep. Michael Grimm (R-NY), who represents New York State’s 11th congressional district, which includes parts of Brooklyn and Staten Island, was widely known.

Grimm’s own lawyer acknowledged last week that it was about to happen.

And yesterday, when the 30 count indictment was handed down, Rep. Grimm pleaded not guilty to fraud.

The indictment charges the former Marine, FBI agent and businessman concealed profits from a health food restaurant he ran, and paid employees off the books – some of whom were allegedly in the States illegally –  in order to evade payments of taxes to the Internal Revenue Service.

What’s worse, if true, is that Grimm not only engaged in the evasions, but he lied about it under oath in a lawsuit brought by a former employer of his restaurant.

Grimm characterized the indictment as a “political witch hunt” undertaken against him because he “was an outsider who wasn’t supposed to win.” The witch hunt, he said, is an “effort to assassinate my character and to remove me from office.”

But, both Grimm and his attorneys, Elizabeth Kase and retired Judge John Kase, said they are relieved that the two years of innuendo and “absolutely disgraceful, shameful government leaks” are over, and Grimm and his legal team will be able to fight back.

In talking about the “witch hunt” against him, Grimm said that his “opponents figured I’d run away, that I’d abandon my post, and that my constituents would abandon me.” But the now-indicted congressman said that was not going to happen.

Grimm has stepped down from his position on the Financial Services Committee until resolution of the unfolding legal matters, according to CNN.

There is another legal investigation against Grimm which is still ongoing. That one involves potential campaign finance fraud.

This is Grimm’s official written statement:

The last 24 hours have given me a lot to reflect upon.

Same for the voters in my congressional district.

Here’s what they need to know.

They elected a Marine, with the true grit that comes with it.

And our credo is never retreat from a fire fight, which is why I’ve been able to accomplish so much for our district.

Throughout my career, I have sought to live a public life of honor and integrity. I have also made no bones about the fact that I won’t be bullied, abused or intimidated. I would hope those attributes have made me a more effective advocate for my constituents, working day and night for each and every one of them, regardless of who they vote for.

Let me be clear, these charges are false and I devoutly believe I will be exonerated. This is yet another example of how the system can be corrupted into a vengeful, cynical and partisan persecution with little accountability to the rules of law.

Candidly, there are powerful forces who don’t like me. They don’t like the fact that I am a political outsider. I am not part of their club. They certainly don’t like that I speak my mind or the rough social edges I share with many who have served in our military. I get all of that, but that doesn’t mean they can flout the law, leak unattributed lies and seek to poison public opinion.

There are some in the media who now say I should resign. That would mean I am admitting guilt of something I am not guilty of. That would also mean they don’t know a thing about Marines. They forget that I have faced much more dangerous foes in my career long before I was a Congressman.

I have but one focus now; to redouble my efforts on behalf of the people of my district. There is much work to be done to protect the hardworking families I represent. I will run for reelection by asking voters to judge me on what I have done to represent them, including the many accomplishments like delivering Sandy relief and passing major flood insurance reform since being elected to office.

Let my peers empaneled for the specific purpose of examining this political witch hunt decide how this matter should be properly disposed of.

In the meantime, I’m going back to work.

Israeli Museum Names Hall for US Fugitive Kobi Alexander

Monday, December 30th, 2013

Only in Israel.

The Eretz Israel Museum in Tel Aviv is naming a hall after U.S. fugitive and former Comverse technology CEO Kobi Alexander, who along with his sister donated money for renovating the museum’s Glass Pavilion, now called the Shaula and Kobi Alexander Center.

Alexander, a native of Israel, fled to Namibia in 2006 after being indicted in the United States for fraud and still is wanted by the American government. Nambia has no extradition treaty with the United States.

The Eretz Israel Museum said it asked Alexander for a donation, and Globes reported that museum director Ilan Cohen said, “I welcome the connection with the Alexander family that has donated to the museum over the years. His father Tzvi Alexander donated his important and rare stamp collection to the museum.”

As for naming a hall after a fugitive,  he stated, “There are no criteria for naming buildings for people.”

The Eretz Israel Museum is one of the largest in the country and includes exhibits of archeology, ethnography, stamps, folklore, Judaica, traditional crafts, popular art, cultural history, and local identity.

An archaeological site dating back more 3,000 years is in the center of the museum.

Court Orders New Elections in Beit Shemesh

Thursday, December 26th, 2013

The Jewish Home party won its day in court on Thursday with an administration court ruling that the October 22 elections for the Beit Shemesh mayor and city council are invalid because of suspected fraud. The court ordered a new vote.

Jewish Home mayoral candidate lost the election by 956 votes to Shas party incumbent Mayor Moshe Abutbul.

Shortly before the voting, police raid several homes and found identification cards that were in the hands of impersonators, and investigators said there is evidence of widespread fraud and suspicion of possible organized crime behind the forgeries.

Amazingly, Mayor Abutbul’s attorney told the court that, sure, there were some forgeries, but “you have to prove that all of the votes [separating Abutbul and Cohen] were invalid in order to cancel the elections. This is simple math. The police raided several homes and caught 120 identification cards, 36 of which were used to vote illegally. These are the facts, and the rest is speculation.”

Nice try, but no go, said the court. It is not just speculation; it is evidence that the foul play“went to the roots of the elections,” the court’s judges wrote in their ruling. It noted that “public trust collapsed.”

Shas is not known for clean politics. Neither is the Likud, but Shas’ problem is that it gets caught more often. It does not have the finesse of the Ashkenazi elite to be crooked and get away with it.

Just ask Aryeh Deri, who has returned to head the party after time ran out on his not being able to hold public office by virtue of his conviction and prison sentence for bribery, which politicians, religious and secular, think is not illegal if is a mitzvah.

Thursday’s decision was victory for the Jewish Home party, which already tastes an electoral victory in the re-run of the votes. A date has not yet been announced, but Beit Shemesh residents are anxious to vote again.

The city has been severely divided over religion. A radical Haredi cult has made life miserable for many national religious families. Many secular residents are furious over the increasing Haredi influence, let alone the radicals who want separate sidewalks for men and women.

A relatively large number of Americans live in Beit Shemesh, located a few miles west of Jerusalem. One of them is Dov Lipman, who now is a Knesset Member for the Yesh Atid party.

Haredi Voters in Beit Shemesh Admit They Gave ID Cards to Others

Friday, December 13th, 2013

Several Haredi residents in Beit Shemesh have confessed to police investigators that they gave the identification cards to others to vote in their place, Israel radio reported.

On Election Day, police confiscated approximately 200 identification cards and disguises. Attorney General Yehudah Weinstein appealed to the courts to violate the recent elections in Beit Shemesh, and he judges asked for more proof.  The identification card fraud pointed to an “intentional and systematic attempt to alter the election’s results,” Weinstein told the court.

The false voters disguised themselves while in a nearby apartment so they would not be recognized and then arrived at polling stations.

If a new election is held, the Jewish Home party is expecting their candidate, Eli Cohen, will win. Shas incumbent Mayor Moshe Abutbul beat Cohen by only 956 votes.

Former Followers of ‘Kabbalah Centre’ Sue for Fraud

Thursday, December 5th, 2013

The controversial Los Angeles-based Kabbalah Centre is being sued for over $1 million by former followers in two lawsuits alleging fraud and misuse of funds.

Both suits were filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court and claim that the Centre pressured the plaintiffs “to give money until it hurts,” in order to receive “the light” from its leaders, Karen Berg and her adult sons Yehuda and Michael.

Carolyn Cohen, a San Diego real estate broker, said that she and one of her companies lost some $810,000 to the Centre, which, she claimed, “engages in a pattern and practice of raising funds … for the purpose of enriching itself.”

San Diego business owners Randi and Charles Wax, the other plaintiffs, alleged losses of $326,000.

In both cases, the plaintiffs said they were told that the donations were earmarked for a new Kabbalah Centre building in San Diego and for a children’s charity, but they said the new Centre was never built and the charity abruptly ceased operation.

The late Rabbi Phillip Berg established the initial Kabbalah facility in Jerusalem and the first American operation in New York in 1965. Since 1984, the Centre’s worldwide operations, with 50 branches, have been headquartered in Los Angeles.

The Berg family has received worldwide publicity by attracting such Hollywood followers as Madonna, Britney Spears, Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher.

Over the past years, the Centre also has attracted numerous lawsuits in the United States and Britain, and the U.S. Internal Revenue Service launched a tax evasion investigation in 2010. The outcome is still pending.

Traditional rabbinical authorities repeatedly have denounced the Centre’s teachings and methods as a perversion of the Kabbalah’s profound mysticism. In Israel, one synagogue told The Jewish Press that after a Christian Zionist organization donated a set of Berg’s version of the Zohar, the local rabbi ordered that the books be buried so that they would never be read.

They were not burned despite his suspect interpretations because the set includes original text of the holy Zohar.

Attorney General May Appeal to Court for New Elections in Beit Shemesh

Monday, November 25th, 2013

The smell of election fraud in Beit Shemesh is beginning to stink so much that residents may get a chance to flush the sewage and vote a second time for a mayor, perhaps without phony voters.

Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein is considering an appeal to the courts to order new municipal elections in the city in the wake of deepening suspicions by police investigators of widespread fraud among Haredi backers of incumbent Mayor Moshe Abutbul.

The Justice Ministry told Israel Radio, which reported on Weinstein’s concerns Monday, that the attorney general is following the police probe and will issue a decision in several days concerning an appeal to the courts. A court order to cancel elections and hold a re-run is rare but not without precedent.

The recent election was bitterly fought between Jewish Home candidate Eli Cohen and Mayor Abutbul, backed by the Shas party. Abutbul won a narrow victory, winning 51.9 percent of the vote while Cohen won 46.1 percent.

Jewish Home hollered ”foul” and raised questions whether Abutbul’s voters really were the same people who cast the ballots.

A police raid on two homes before the elections last month uncovered 250 false identification cards that people intended to use to cast extra ballots.

Eight people were arrested, and police found several hats in the homes, indicating that people had intended to change their appearance to represent people who were not in the city at the time of the voting.  Supporters for Jewish Home candidate Cohen also accused Shas activists of throwing out some ballots that had been cast in favor of Cohen.

Police investigators have discovered that the alleged fraud ran far and deep, and Israel Radio said there are suspicions that many more people were involved.

Beit Shemesh has been deeply divided over the past several years between local secular and national religious communities on one side and Haredi and extreme Haredi groups on the other.

The bitterness in the city has caught brought unwanted international attention to Beit Shemesh, which has a large number of Americana and British immigrants.

Violence and hate attacks reached the point where one Haredi man spat on a young girl, daughter of American olim, who eventual left the city.

Niso Shacham Quitting Police Following Sexual Assault Indictment

Friday, October 18th, 2013

The former police commander for the Jerusalem district, Niso Shacham, told Police Commission Yochanan Danino that he will be quitting the police force. If he didn’t quit,, it was expected that he would have been fired in the coming weeks.

An indictment was filed against Shacham a few days ago, for sexual harassment of his subordinates, indecent assault, fraud and breach of trust, following an investigation and charges against him that began last year.

Shacham had relations with at least eight significantly younger and lower ranking female police officers. He was indicted for indecent acts on 2 officers, and sexual harassment of a third.

Shacham first came into the general public’s eye eight years ago, after he was caught on video, vulgarly giving orders to his policeman to use excessive force on the non-violent, unarmed civilians who had gathered in Kfar Maimom to protest the upcoming expulsion from Gush Katif.

He was not punished then for his actions, and was eventually promoted to be the Jerusalem Police Commander.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/niso-shacham-quitting-police-following-sexual-assault-indictment/2013/10/18/

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