Thursday, July 24, 2014

Charges of Fraudulent Fundraising for Jewish Religious and Charitable Organizations Settled In Civil Judgment

As reported by Courthouse News Service, New York's attorney general yesterday anounced the entry of a civil judgment settling charges in a charity fraud case against Yaakov Weingarten and his wife Rivka who raised funds for some 19 Jewish religious organizations and Israeli medical charities.  Eight of the charities existed in name only.  Weingarten siphoned off large amounts of the funds raised and used them for personal purposes.  In May, Weingarten pleaded guilty to tax fraud and paid $90,685 in restitution to New York state tax authorities. He was also sentenced to 5 years probation during which he is barred from any fundraising activity. In yesterday's civil judgment,  Weingarten and his wife were ordered to pay over $522,000. Of that, $360,000 will go to two legitimate Israeli charities that carry out the kind of medical services that Weingarten  purported to be raising funds to support. The order also permanently shuts down Weingarten's charitable operations.