Monday, January 02, 2017

Israeli Former Chief Rabbi Reaches Plea Deal In Bribery Case

Times of Israel reported last week that Israel's former Ashkenazi chief rabbi Yona Metzger has reached a plea deal with Israeli prosecutors.  He will plead guilty to fraud, theft, conspiracy, breach of trust, money laundering, tax offenses and accepting bribes, in exchange for a reduced jail sentence.  Metzger was charged with receiving NIS 10 million ($2.6M (US) at current exchange rates) in bribes, and keeping NIS 7 million for himself. As previously reported, the bribes came, among others, from wealthy businessmen seeking to convert to Judaism, and for other services he performed in his role as Chief Rabbi. Many of the bribes came in the form of donations to non-profit organizations tied to Metzger.