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Rabbi in Dwek Probe Sentenced for Money Laundering Conspiracy

Another defendant in the 2009 federal corruption probe centered on failed Deal real-estate tycoon Solomon Dwek heads to prison.

The Scales of Justice
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In Trenton today, Rabbi Mordchai Fish, 59, of Brooklyn, was sentenced to 46 months in prison for conspiring to launder about $900,000 that he believed was criminally-generated. He had previously pleaded guilty, according to the office of U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman.

The rabbi admitted funnelling money supplied by Dwek through charities with which he was associated, starting in 2008.

Fish told the court that he hid the cash by instructing Dwek to write checks to several charities that cater to poverty-stricken people, handing the checks to a co-conspirator for deposit, and using an underground network to move the money.

The rabbi estimated that he converted about $900,000 in 15 transactions into $800,000 cash, taking the rest for himself.

Among those identified by prosecutors as supplying the funds are David S. Golhirsh, Naftoly Weber, Avrohom Y. Polack, Binyamin Spira and Yoely Gertner.

Several rabbis were arrested along with more than 40 New Jersey elected and appointed officials during 2009’s Operation Bid Rig. Some have gone to prison, some await sentencing and some are still fighting charges.

Only one, former Assemblyman Lou Manzo, has used his exoneration to launch a counter-offensive against Governor Christie. Manzo contends that the roundup was orchestrated to boost Christie’s chances for election. Christie had been New Jersey’s U.S. Attorney prior to leading the state.

Fish was ordered to surrender by August 14, forfeit $90,000 and undergo three years of supervised release after completing his term.

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