December 21, 2009
Spinka Rabbi sentenced to two years [BACKGROUND INFO]
The head of an Orthodox Jewish group was handed a two-year prison sentence today in Los Angeles for his part in what prosecutors said was a decade-long tax fraud and money laundering scheme.
The 61-year-old rabbi, Naftali Tzi Weisz, pleaded guilty last August to criminal conspiracy charges before U.S. District Judge John F. Walter.
“I’m embarrassed beyond words,’’ Weisz told the judge. “My remorse is deep and heartfelt.’‘
Prosecutors said Weisz and other sect members helped donors avoid paying federal income taxes by having them make contributions to charitable groups run by Spinka, a Brooklyn, N.Y.-based Orthodox Jewish group led by the rabbi.
An assistant, Gabbai Moshe Zigelman, 62, pleaded guilty last year to conspiracy and was also sentenced to a two-year federal prison term.
Read the full story at NBCLosAngeles.com.
Rabbi Moshe Zigelman sentenced to 24 months
Rabbi Moshe Zigelman, one of two co-conspirators who pleaded guilty last June in a tax fraud and money-laundering scheme, was sentenced in federal district court Monday to 24 months in prison.
The decade-long scam was set up to fund four charities and a school for the Spinka sect, an ultra-Orthodox group that originated in 19th century Romania and has adherents in Israel, Europe and Brooklyn.