Sunday, February 21, 2010

R' Balkany arrested for extortion



Rabbi Milton Balkany, the director of a Brooklyn Jewish day school, was on the phone last month with a proposition for a man he had never met, the president of a giant Connecticut hedge fund, SAC Capital Advisors, The New York Times’s Alan Feuer reports.

The matter required tact. The rabbi, who often counsels Jewish inmates, had recently met a prisoner at the Otisville Federal Correctional Institution, a prison in Orange County, N.Y., who had told him that the hedge fund had been trading on illegal information. Rabbi Balkany was calling now, the government contends, to make a deal: $4 million for two religious schools in Brooklyn — one of them his own — in exchange for the prisoner’s silence. [...]


  1. Will the Yated & Matzav start shnorring for Balkany like they do for his brother in law Rubashkin?

    Balkany is facing 28 years in prison plus at least $350,000 in fines.

  2. Not a word about Tropper but quick to throw a Lubav like Balkany under the bus.,0,4569202.story

    The ultra-Orthodox community has come under scrutiny for its use of government funds to support its religious schools and institutions.

    "They're always looking for some angle," Samuel Heilman, a City University of New York sociology professor who has studied the ultra-Orthodox. "In the boom times it was easier to find that."

    Rabbi David Zwiebel, head of Agudath Israel of America, an influential ultra-Orthodox organization, said the arrest would cause further problems for a community that has been reeling since the arrests of the New Jersey rabbis last year.

    "There was a point in time when one of the greatest assets that we had when dealing with issues out there was a general sense that this was a community of integrity," said Zwiebel, who deals with elected officials on behalf of his community.

    "When that reputation gets tarnished, it certainly makes my job harder."

  3. Which Torah Vodaas board members are in involved in the extortion?

    One of the already convicted criminals on the Torah Vodaas board is a financial supporter of both Margulies and Rabbi Belsky. He was the one who put up the money for the bogus bittul kiddushin that the gedolim came out against and is fighting the faction on the board that no longer wants Rabbi Belsky in the yeshiva.

    This fellow was arrested by Federal Postal Police in the 1970s for running a massive mail order fraud, along with his shutef who today is a prominent columnist for the Jewish Press and the director of a beis din. The NY Times reported that as they were being raided, they were in the middle of shredding all kinds of evidence.

  4. Not a good year for the RubashkinsFebruary 21, 2010 at 2:38 PM

    Sholom in solitary confinement

    Tatty Aron & brother Heshy on trial

    Brother Moishe jailed again, this time for arson & EPA violations

    Nephew Sholom jailed for covering up the arson

    Nephew Shmuely arrested on a weapons charge

    Sister in Florida said to be under investigation

    Son in law Yaakov Weiss convicted of pedophilia in the mikva

    Brother in law Milton Balkany arrested for blackmail, extortion & fraud

    Cousin Shaya Boymelgreen in trouble with the FDIC

    2/19/10 9:57 AM

    The 8th Circuit Court of Appeals declined to act on a bail release petitions from Sholom Rubashkin, former day-to-day manager at a now defunct Iowa meatpacking company who was convicted on numerous charges of financial fraud last fall.

  5. There is a corrupt politician in Paris by the name of Patrick Balkany who is close to Sarkozy. Among his other accomplishments, he was caught using government money for private expenses.

  6. I have heard that Balkany is not a true Lubav but married Rubashkin's sister al tenai that he send his kids to Lubavitcher yeshivos. Balkany is a Hungarian name as any geography maven can tell you.

  7. The Courthouse news link is broken.

    I wonder how long it will be before communal organizations start referring to the government as 'antisemitic'.

    Then, we can expect heterim for the behavior.

    Plus ca change, pluc ca reste la meme.


  9. Before all these things befell the Rubashkins, they were at the height of their power and corruption.

    They had hijacked the Crown Heights beis din and kicked out the choshuva dayan Rav Yaakov Schwey because he did not cowtow to them.

  10. Confluence of eventsFebruary 21, 2010 at 4:11 PM

    There is a very ugly story where the Rubashkin people cross paths with the people who started the Martin Grossman bilbul.

    Two Lubavitchers working at Rubashkin's plant, went on crime spree in Iowa. They actually committed armed robberies and at one convenience store, they shot a woman in her spine leaving her paralyzed for life.

    One perp was left to rot in prison. Lubavitch didn't care much about him as he was just some unconnected BT. But because the other perp Pinny Lew was from a meyuchosdik family, the Rubashkin clan and Aleph Institute pulled out all the stops. They somehow worked out a deal that he was not even sent to prison but released to the custody of the Morristown yeshiva.

    770 later sent Lew to be shaliach at a North Carolina university campus but was forced to kick him out after he was arrested for a sexual crime.

    The goyim in Iowa have never forgotten what Lew did to that innocent woman and how Lubavitch covered up for Lew. Rubashkin did nothing for the woman, not even give her a free hamburger.


    Interesting how Balkany had no problem shaking down a hedge fund manager who is a Yid, Steve Cohen.

    Steve Cohen is nonetheless in a lot of trouble, with his ex-wife massering on him

    And several ex-employees already arrested or under investigation

    We are just waiting to find out who at Torah Vodaas was involved


    “He sells access,” said an officer at a national Orthodox Jewish group who spoke on the condition of anonymity because, as he put it, he was “afraid of getting into a fight with Rabbi Balkany.”

    “He plays right up to the edge and sometimes he falls over,” the officer said. “His base of power is that he’s feared, he’s respected and he’s very, very good at what he does. There are lots of people out there who take money and don’t deliver. He takes money and delivers.”


    The 5 Towns Jewish Times did a great job tackling the Martin Grossman issue but do everything to cover up for the Rubashkin family, most recently, this silly piece where they refuse to name Balkany.

  14. Obviously it is a work of an antisemitic government who has for Orthodox Jews.

    Where do I send the pidyon shevuyim money ?

  15. It becomes harder and harder to have any reaction to these sorts of events. What is the use of fuming furiously. The oiylem seems to accept these people and the leaders who will support him. The comments on the Frum NY Jewish news sites are largely statements about Balkany's goodness. They argue that such a person could not have committed such a crime. But underlying it I sense that they feel the activity was justified. It seems is alright to become a fraudster and extortionist as long as you are funneling enough money into the kehilla.

    I used to believe that the problem was one of people not knowing. Now I believe that the problem is that people don't really care. In effect, much of the oiylem are comfortable with looking away at violations of lo tignoif especially if it is done by a baal tzedakka. There is no such heter for working on Shabbos.

  16. What is the Dass Torah's opinion why we are having so many scandals nowadays?
    Also, what is your opinion of having basically learn in Kollel, without having the means to support themselves?
    I am more then happy to help my children learn, and I have promised full support, but I can not find a suitable date for my daughter. I even promised large sums to shadchannim, but so far, nothing.I am trying to figure out what's going on , any comments are welcome.

  17. as a lakewooder I cant help but be totally bewildered by a year of rabbinic scandal that seems to never end. is there any honest rabbi left?

  18. >The comments on the Frum NY Jewish news sites are largely statements about Balkany's goodness. They argue that such a person could not have committed such a crime. But underlying it I sense that they feel the activity was justified. It seems is alright to become a fraudster and extortionist as long as you are funneling enough money into the kehilla.<

    That really hit the nail on the head. And it's very scary, as it means that the rot is much deeper than many of us first imagined. In fact, what's the use of even bringing these scandals to light (which I fully support), if its only going to fall on deaf ears.

  19. Pinny Lew's accomplice was not the first BT that Chabad left to rot in jail.

    There was also the guy arrested 20 years ago in Lakewood for trying to kidnap a bochur in the yeshiva that got engaged to a girl he was obsessed with. 770 told the yeshiva they want nothing to do with him and he should be handed over to Ocean County prosecutors.

    This leads me to suspect that Lubavitch picks & chooses who to defend based on money & politics.

    Someone on death row becomes a popular cause among Liberal secular Jews who are a fundraising target.

  20. Dov, In reply to my earlier comment you said:

    "What's the use of even bringing these scandals to light (which I fully support), if its only going to fall on deaf ears."

    I think saying there is problem is a first step. Sadly, it will take people awhile to absorb the fact that not responding to this rot is getting very costly. At some point the rosh chodesh request for "parnassah without shame." will be understood, and the necessary changes will happen. But alas I suspect there will be a lot of pain in getting there. We did not descend into this pit in a blink of an eye. It will take a long time to repair things. Alas it will also take the courage to move outside the arbah ammos of comfort when the shakranim won't budge. Many of them are shameless and have limitless chutapah. They will not easily.

  21. Yerachmiel:

    here's what a friend of mine says:

    >>Unless a matter effects my family I try not to read or listen to these matters. Call it selfish I guess. This artice has nothing to do with me so I wouldn't read it. However. I did look for on the inetrnet for people who lived near me that might have issues.
    I know you you like to seek the truth in people and communtiy like a modern day "Pinchus" but I am not holding on your level I am just trying to support family and watch my health. its nice to know their a people out there fighting for the turth like your self.



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