YOU READ IT HERE FIRST: A go-between in a money-laundering scam involving Solomon Dwek, the crook-turned-government informant who helped authorities pull off New Jersey’s largest public-corruption bust ever, was sentenced to 18 months in federal prison today.
Levi Deutsch, an Israeli citizen born in Brooklyn, said he was introduced to Dwek by Rabbi Mordchai Fish, 59, also of Brooklyn, and agreed to launder and conceal $200,000 of Dwek’s money for a 10 percent fee that he and Fish split.
Fish pleaded guilty last year. He is scheduled to be sentenced June 18.
In addition to the prison term, U.S. District Judge Joel A. Pisano sentenced the 35-year-old Deutsch today to three years of supervised release and ordered him to forfeit $25,000.
Deutsch agreed to launder and conceal Dwek’s funds through a charity, also known as a “gemach,” to which Deutsch had access.
Deutsch admitted that Dwek informed him, prior to laundering the funds, that they were the proceeds of Dwek’s illegal business in trafficking counterfeit designer handbags.
What Deutsch didn’t know was that the entire scheme was an FBI sting, with Dwek wearing a wire.
In order to hide the source of the money, Fish or Deutsch directed Dwek to make the checks payable to the gemach known as Boyoner Gemilas Chesed (BGC) – purportedly dedicated to providing charitable donations to needy individuals.
Two times in May 2009, Deutsch said, Dwek provided checks made payable to BGC for $100,000 each, federal prosecutors said. Each time, Dwek retrieved $90,000 or more from an unlicense money transmitting business based in Spring Valley and operated from an apartment and bakery in Brooklyn.
Deutsch also admitted instructing Dwek to use coded language over the telephone when discussing money laundering transactions.
“Few financial crimes offend our sensibilities like those that hide illegal activities behind the curtain of charity,” U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman said.
Fishman credited special agents of the FBI and IRS for building the intricate case, handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Mark McCarren of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Special Prosecutions Division in Newark.
Fish and Deutsch were among 44 people charged in the wake of a July 23, 2009 federal sweep, made possible by Dwek’s portrayal of a crooked developer — one he was suited to, given that he‘d been convicted of embezzling tens of millions of dollars.
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YOU READ IT HERE FIRST: Another Brooklyn rabbi admitted his role in laundering money for Solomon Dwek, the crook-turned-government informant who helped authorities pull off New Jersey’s largest public-corruption bust ever.
YOU READ IT HERE FIRST: A rabbi this morning admitted his role in laundering money through the charitable bank accounts for Solomon Dwek, the crook-turned-government informant who helped authorities pull off New Jersey’s largest public-corruption bust ever.
The 89-year-old chief rabbi of Congregation Sharee Zion in Brooklyn admitted today that he laundered money — and took a cut — through the bank account of the Magen Israel Society charitable organization for Solomon Dwek, the crook-turned-government informant responsible for New Jersey’s largest public-corruption bust ever.