Thursday, July 23, 2015

Aish HaTorah case: In defense of Yaakov Fetman

An unnamed attorney familiar with the case who supports Yaakov Fetman asked me to post the following  points and documents.  [SEE previous post with Aish HaTorah documents]
It is very important is to state that R' Belsky Siruv against Aish has NOTHING to do with Yaakov Fetman's case... Aish is just trying to besmirch Fetman so people will not read that the Siruv is against them for a case brought by someone else all together.

Furthermore he states that Rav Dovid Cohen was never a part of any proceedings with Shmuel Lefkowitz and in fact stated that he HAS NO BAIS DIN and never sat to Bais Din of three dayanim!

Finally I am shocked that people 'trash' R' Belsky - I think its really incredible and unbelievable and shows the depths Aish could sink to. I for one would like to make a 'Mechaa' for this chillul HaShem.
With regards to the allegations against Jacob Fetman, an attorney familiar with the case points out that Justice Demarest in her decision to confirm Rabbi Cohen's award of $20,000,000 (twenty million dollars), made it clear that she did not review the merits of the case - her focus was to confirm or reject this award. As it is the public policy in NY state to uphold arbitration awards and because of the fact that there were no transcripts of the arbitration sessions (4 sessions totaling 140 minutes) she had no choice but to confirm the award - despite her reservations about Fetman's allegations of the many violations of his Due Process. For example, in court it was acknowledged that a forensic report, which R' Cohen bases his award on, was never provided to Fetman and in fact, once the judge ordered Aish to produce it (April 25, 2015 - almost 18 months after the award was issued), it was found to be dated AFTER the last session and on the date of the AWARD. Clearly, there was no chance for Fetman to dispute any of its 'findings'.

It is note worthy that a criminal complaint which was alleged by Aish against Jacob Fetman is still pending in Brooklyn Supreme court for the alleged theft of $236,000 over five years - Mr. Fetman plead Not Guilty to this allegation and a trial is pending.
While Aish is a wonderful organization, with a very important mission, in court papers it was alleged by Fetman that executive compensation was substantially under reported and disguised as activities. Rabbi Greenman's compensation over 2012 reported as (aish 990 filing) $101,409 taxable income and an additional $94,000 non taxable income was in fact almost double that. David Markowitz's taxable compensation of $62,500 with an additional $50,000 non taxable compensation was in fact about $150,000. 2013 reported income for Rabbi Greenman was $118,310 taxable and combined compensation (with non taxable compensation) $216,929. Aish chose not to divulge any other executive compensation.

If the allegation against Fetman is correct - Aish NY, an organization with an internal budget of about $3 million dollars annually could have not "noticed" that $1.2 million annually was being stolen from it?? Why is it that Aish will not submit to examination of the 'forensic report' - what was the rush to issue an award when an attorney intervened on behalf of Fetman?

See attached Justice Demarest's decision that Aish must produce the 'forensic report' to Fetman - when it was acknowledged that Fetman never received it. The award was issued 12/17/2013 - This decision by the court is 4/25/2015.

See the attached DA statement - Aish NY used Fetman and Merkaz the Center as a funnel to transfer monies from Project Inspire to Aish NY. Hundreds of thousand of dollars were transferred this way.

Lastly, see Dan Stein's (Fetman's original attorney and now the Chief of the Criminal Division at the US attorney General's Office NY Western District) letter to R' Cohen right after the award was issued and another letter to Mel Zachter, a noted accountant who agreed to examine the 'forensic report' but Aish never agreed.

This case is about blackmail.

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