Monday, January 18, 2010

Same Here Malka B.


Elliot Pasik said...

The comparison to these times to the Holocaust is apt. An external physical destruction versus an internal spiritual destruction. Unless we resist, the fanatics will take over.

Tropper is Troubled said...

The media digs in: The dubious rise and scandalous falls of EJF/Tropper/Kaplan/Guma. 1.

The Jewish blogosphere has been aflame for a while now with the downfall of Tropper. Unfortunately even antisemitic blogs are deriving pleasure from the terrible happenings at the scandal-ridden rotten house of EJF/Tropper/Kaplan/Guma. Not only are Jewish media starting to write about the Tropper sex scandal and it's death blow to EJF, but a variety of other journalists are digging deeper into the story with all its byways and highways of deceit and deception.

It would not be surprising that an enterprising script-writer has already penned the outlines of a future sicko movie or TV series, and that the some Hollywood agents will start getting ideas about "The Tropper Scandal" on the silver screen. Maybe such a movie would be called "Sex, Lies and Conversions" or "Cheatin' Rabbis." Whatever they will call it, it will be interesting. Maybe one of the TV channels will make a dramatized series out of it, or a documentary for sure. But right now the Internet is exploding and can't get enough of the EJF/Tropper/Kaplan/Guma meshugas.

Of course, the frummy-frum papers like the Yated, Modiah, Jewish Press and Mishpacha have not said a word about the EJF/Tropper/Kaplan/Guma scandal, all, except the Yated, have promoted huge paid-for ads and infomercials from the various EJF/Tropper/Kaplan/Guma elements directed by EJF's chief spinmeister Menachem Lubinsky.

So this is a very good time to list and note the headings of some of the best stories about this EJF/Tropper/Kaplan/Guma scandal making the rounds as of January 18, 2010:

Tropper is Troubled said...

The media digs in: The dubious rise and scandalous falls of EJF/Tropper/Kaplan/Guma. 2.

Tablet Magazine's penetrating coverage!

Tale of the Tapes: Orand's dirty phone calls with the man she says is Tropper. Tablet Magazine, Jan 14, 2010: "It’s not clear when Shannon Orand—a mother of two from Houston—began having an alleged sexual relationship with Leib Tropper, the ultra-Orthodox rabbi from the upstate New York enclave of Monsey who was helping her work toward her conversion to Judaism. But last year, when the rabbi encouraged her to engage in phone sex with other men in exchange for money, she says, she began recording their conversations...PHONE SEX...MALE VOICE: How did it feel? When did you come? How were you doing it—from the back? How long did you spend together the first time? How long would you spend together—how many times did he hurt you? Wow. Did he ever, ever, ever hurt you? When he was fucking you I mean—very, very rough with you—did he force you? How long did it take till you came when he forced you? What was he saying when he was doing it to you?...THE VIDEO...LEBA’: There’s a woman who looks very gorgeous to me, she’s very thin. It looks like the woman was an actress, actually, because it was so smooth, it was like so seductive like she’s beckoning and she lays down on her stomach with her legs up and you can see that she’s taken off her robe, very perfect rehearsed, which is interesting you know. And that’s how [inaudible], it could be you, it could be me, it could be Leib, it could be, you know..."

Con Game: How a New York rabbi tried to remake the rules on converting to Judaism, until a sex tape—and a family feud between his wealthy backers—brought him down. Tablet Magazine, Jan 13, 2010.

Converted: When Shannon Orand asked Rabbi Leib Tropper to help her study to become a Jew, he asked for sexual favors in return, she says, Tablet Magazine, Jan 14, 2010.

Prodigal Son: A look at Guma Aguiar, who with his uncle bankrolled a New York rabbi trying to control the standards for conversion to Judaism. Tablet Magazine, Jan 15, 2010: "Guma Aguiar, the 32-year-old multimillionaire who helped precipitate the downfall of the ultra-Orthodox rabbi Leib Tropper, was committed by court order to a mental hospital near Tel Aviv yesterday, according to Israeli news reports. Aguiar and his billionaire uncle, Thomas Kaplan, have bankrolled Tropper’s efforts to gain control of the stringently regulated process of conversion to Judaism—an initiative that came to a halt last month, when tapes surfaced of the rabbi attempting to sexually coerce a prospective convert, Shannon Orand...Yesterday, Aguiar’s family, in the statement released to the press, blamed Aguiar’s mental breakdown on a single factor: the stress caused by the web of civil lawsuits between him and Kaplan, from whom he is now estranged, over the $2.55 billion payout from the 2007 sale of their joint natural-gas exploration venture, Leor Energy. “Mr. Aguiar fell victim to a campaign of invasive surveillance and false accusations that amounted to psychological terrorism,” Aguiar’s family said in the statement. Aguiar’s U.S. attorneys did not return a phone call from Tablet seeking comment. Kaplan’s attorneys declined to comment, citing the pending litigation...

Tropper is Troubled said...

The media digs in: The dubious rise and scandalous falls of EJF/Tropper/Kaplan/Guma. 3.

5 Towns Jewish Times lashes EJF/Tropper/Kaplan/Guma

Both Sides Of The EJF Controversy. 5 Towns Jewish Times, January 14, 2010: "5TJT: One would think that there would be worldwide condemnation against Leib Tropper, the former leader of the EJF, and its organization—yet there is virtually nothing. Why is that?
RD: We are amazed why it is. We unmasked this organization and the chap who ran it. I would not call him rabbi...we found him to be a control freak and a megalomaniac...so disrespectful of rabbanim that there was a unanimous vote of the standing committee to make sure that he and his organization do not enter Europe...We decided en masse that we wanted nothing to do with EJF...We are amazed that the gedolim have not come out against this. We do not understand this at all. I will press and will continue to press very hard to continue to ensure that this organization ceases from its nefarious activities..."


Interview with Conference of European Rabbis: Rav Dunner Speaks Out Against EJF, 5 Towns Jewish Times, January 07, 2010: "...RD: I call upon every single Rav in America to look at themselves in the mirror and say to themselves: “...We therefore say, “EJF goodbye! Close down. We don’t need you.” and say to Tom Kaplan, “Please use your money for education.” - That is my call to them.."

Former EJF Insider Reveals Doubts: Did Gedolim Approve All This?. 5 Towns Jewish Times, January 15, 2010: "...what do we need such an organization that dilutes the very framework of halachah that has guided the Jewish people for the last two thousand years?...I asked Rabbi Jacobs many times who they used as mentors and how he qualified them as good mentors. I never got an answer on that... even though EJF is an organization under the umbrella of Rabbi Tropper's Baal Teshuvah Yeshivah, Kol Yaakov, is conversion really the same thing as kiruv?...There were no qualifying criteria for being a mentor for this organization. Period...they gave the Jewish spouse only an hour a week to learn with someone from Partners in Torah..."

What’s The Story. 5 Towns Jewish Times, January 14, 2010: "...EJF story deals with some of the power brokers of the worldwide Jewish community and the infighting as well as financial disputes within EJF or the Eternal Jewish Family...The EJF story is really several stories, each dealing with highly personal and sensitive issues and one more challenging to cover and report on than the other...We have an obligation to look and even probe beyond the silly superficial aspect of a story..."

Rav Dunner Responds to EJF Attack: No Punches Pulled. 5 Towns Jewish Times, January 11, 2010: "...the ejf to attempt to blacken the name of anyone who criticizes their activities in any way - the pot of gold that the ejf has found is worth $25 million and counting and who wants to lose out on that? but it is clear who the real ganef is in this sad story - it is anyone who associates themselves with this organization whose sole function is to leech as much money as possible out of Mr. Kaplan...they are and always have been goineiv daas habri'os on a giant scale..."

Tropper is Troubled said...

The media digs in: The dubious rise and scandalous falls of EJF/Tropper/Kaplan/Guma. 4.

Condemning EJF/Tropper/Kaplan/Guma across the globe:

U.S. rabbi involved in sex scandal led fight against Israel conversions. Haaretz, 24/12/2009: "...Tropper resigned from...Eternal Jewish Family...making the affair another incident in the ongoing crisis in the world of conversion...an alleged case of blackmail has rocked the rabbinic world in Israel and the United States, and also has a complex relationship with...Guma Aguiar...Tropper was testifying at Aguiar's trial on embezzlement charges brought before a Florida court by the businessman's uncle, Thomas Kaplan. As part of a war of slander between the pair, a notice was published in the Haredi newspaper Hamevaser, according to which rabbis close to Aguiar gave up their stringent halakhic demands with regard to his wife...Tropper's associates claim that Orand, the tape and the posters are all connected to this legal dispute. One of the associates told Haaretz that, "Guma Aguiar succeeded in throwing Rabbi Tropper to the trash."

Advocate of Strict Conversions in Sexual Scandal. Forward, January 01, 2010: "...Leib Tropper, a founder of the hard-line conversion group Eternal Jewish Family (EJF), announced that he had stepped down as its leader when allegations surfaced in news outlets that he had engaged in sexual misconduct with a woman while guiding her conversion. Tropper was among those responsible for major policy changes by the Israeli rabbinate that sparked a worldwide tightening of conversion regulations..."

Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word - Rabbi Barry Gelman. Jewish Journal of L.A. December 28, 2009: "...outraged by the recent events related to Rabbi Tropper, who has resigned from his position at EJF...the EJF train wreck will actually get worse if all we continue to hear from the EJF leadership is silence..."

Houston woman in sex scandal undergoes conversion in Israel. Jerusalem Post, Jan 8, 2010: "A woman from Houston who got mixed up in a sex scandal with a prominent haredi rabbi from Monsey, New York, arrived in Israel clandestinely and was converted to Judaism...Shannon Orand, 32, whose new Jewish name is Rachel, received massive media coverage in religious circles in America in recent weeks after it became known that...Leib Tropper, the chairman of the Rabbinic Committee of Eternal Jewish Family, had allegedly forced Orand to conduct phone sex with him and purportedly encouraged her to have sexual relations with other men...Due to the negative media reports Tropper stepped down on December 16 from his position at EJF, announcing, "I have decided to resign my position to pursue a variety of other interests."

The Last Word: The improbable twists of the Aguiar saga. Jerusalem Post, Jan 15, 2010: "...Aguiar attempted to enter the Gaza Strip via the Erez crossing but was turned back by soldiers. There are few people who know the specific details of what happened on Wednesday night, when he was reportedly taken away by police. But it seems Aguiar's family took the decision to force him to undergo psychiatric assessments. He has clearly been under pressure due to recent court cases he has been involved in..."

Tropper is Troubled said...

The media digs in: The dubious rise and scandalous falls of EJF/Tropper/Kaplan/Guma. 5.

Jewish blogosphere unanimously rips into EJF/Tropper/Kaplan/Guma:

Best and longest-standing coverage in-depth of all aspects of the EJF/Tropper/Kaplan/Guma scandal belongs to Rabbi Dr. Daniel Eidensohn on his Daas Torah - Issues of Jewish Identity.

Now there is no escaping the EJF/Tropper/Kaplan/Guma sex scandal and its fallout:

Leib Tropper – finally a frum scandal involving sex Frum Satire, December 20, 2009: "...Tropper...forced a woman whom he was overseeing her conversion to do sexual favors for him...this time there is actual proof and it doesn’t help his case that he resigned his position as the story broke..."

The Eternal Jewish Con of Leib TropperEmes Ve-Emunah, December 21, 2009: "...Tropper...managed to connive and cajole leading rabbinic figures...to come on board and endorse what he was doing...names of those involved with EJF is mind boggling...blame only one man. Leib Tropper...he has a lot to answer for long before we ever get to his sexual misdeeds...What must now be done is to shut down EJF..."

Luke Ford with posts like Powerful M.0. Rabbis Who Administered Shannon Orand’s Conversion To Judaism" Luke Ford, January 17, 2010: "...Orand appeared to have been pressed into doing unseemly things by Rabbi Leib Tropper. He had apparently let her know that the only way she was going to get a legitimate conversion to Judaism was if he said it was legitimate...Tropper amassed an enormous amount of power in the Orthodox world through his Eternal Jewish Family...he had a lot of money backing his organization. He was paying the deficits on several yeshivot including that of Reuven Feinstein..Rosh Yeshiva...of Mesivtha Tifereth Jerusalem, located in Staten Island, New York.” The Eternal Jewish Family has been funding the deficits of Mesivtha Tifereth Jerusalem for about a decade...Reuven Feinstein will not withdraw his support from EJF as long as they are financially supporting his yeshiva..."

Falied Messiah, in key posts like Tropper Scandal: Canadian Conversion Dispute Goes Public Failed Messiah from the Canadian Jewish News, January 13, 2010: "...resignation last month of EJF director...Leib Tropper, who reportedly had an improper relationship with a woman he was converting. Audiotapes of his phone conversations with the woman suggestive of sexual relations between himself and her, and possibly other men he knew, were posted on the YouTube website. The six Montreal rabbis who signed the letter, as well as Rabbi Reuben Poupko, believe that this revelation is evidence that EJF is not a credible organization..."

The Dark Side Of The Queens Vaad said...

Pages 4 & 5 of the latest Queens Vaad magazine features an attack written by Queens Vaad President AND OU Group Leader Yoel Schonfeld on "the blogs that claim to be watchdogs for kashrus". In this unspecific reference to R' Yudel Shain, R' Doniel Eidensohn, R' Feivel Mendlowitz and others, who he describes as the minions of "Satan", Schonfeld accuses them of "lies, distortions and lashon hora of the worst order", which he says "boggles" his mind.

This vicious attack piece which is nothing but a smokescreen for those exposing his own shortcomings and cover ups is also full of am haaratzus as will be delineated. This rebuttal was run by ainer fun der choshuve mashgichei ruchni to make sure it is on target.

After fawning over the gadlus of the Queens Vaad and OU for 3+ paragraphs, Schonfeld raises the spectre of the ominous sounding "Dark Side" aka his critics. We also can't help but wonder if Schonfeld is borrowing from Avi Shafran's shtick of making references to popular movies to get his points across, the "Dark Side" made famous by the "Star Wars" saga.

Schonfeld hints that those complaining about bugs in Queens Vaad vegetables are even worse because of onoas devarim against him. This is completely absurd. The Queens Vaad presents themselves to the public as providing a level of supervision that in actuality falls far short. Even if it somehow was onoas devarim to expose this fraud, there is one or two issurei Torah for onoah as opposed to 5 lavin for every single insect on the cheshbon of the public who is duped into trusting them.

Schonfeld brengt a "raayah" that the Neviim in Tanach gave musser to Klal Yisroel for every single issue except kashrus. "Why?" fregt er, because it wasn't as important as other mitzvos he thinks. Is Schonfeld kidding? We see from Chazal and Rishonim-Achronim that Klal Yisroel used to be on a very high madreigah in shmiras kashrus (See the medrashim and Sefer Yalkut Hagershuni on Seder Shmos). This is why the Neviim had no need to give musser about kashrus. Kashrus used to be on individualized level. When it becomes commercialized there is room for abuse. The baal Haflaah, R' Pinchos Halevi Horowitz, was one of the gedolei hador hundreds of years ago when kosher restaurants starting emerging. He wrote that if someone wants to guard his neshomo, he should not eat outside of his house.

Schonfeld moves on to the Chazal on Yom Hadin Hagadol if you were koveya ittim Latorah and were osek with emunah. In another one of his "gothcha!" moments he seizes that kashrus is not one of the questions from the Beis Din shel Maalah. How ridiculous! First of all the din is on everything and the meforshim only ask why 3 specific questions come first. But ha gufah, the Queens Vaad & OU should look in the mirror about being osek with emunah.

Schonfeld comes back at the end to give another big round of shkoyech to the "magnificent" job being done by the Queens Vaad & OU. He claims that he & his chevrah are shining light on his dark critics. Nice try deflecting where the blame lurks. The last sentence quotes Rav Breuer zl that "glatt yosher" is an imperative which he veiter uses as a taynah against his critics. Ain hachi nami Rabbi Schonfeld. Kshot atzmecha techilah.

Anonymous said...

North Miami beach coverup

emails have gone out over the past weeks saying rabbis are covering up for eishes ish (Shmeltzer )

that the kolel is honoring a drug user and seeller who pays his salary with a marbitz torah award. It is also alleged that this person gave someone who died in the community succos drugs.

what are the rabbis doing about this why is the kolel silent when a member who had an affair is learning there

why why why the coverup

that the rabbonim are not willing to listen to a man that has evidence that his wife had an affair with a member of miami dade hatzalo (prized member) they are claiming loshon hora

what is wrongwith the rabbis there

why does shmeltzer allow a man who is on drugs to be honored

Anonymous said...

4:22 PM - Because $$$$ determines the halacha everywhere. Kesef Kasher Kulam.

Anonymous said...


You Goin' Down Tropper!

Eternal Jewish Fraudster - Leib Tropper

Preys on the weak, naive and vulnerable - Beware of this thief !

Anonymous said...

for the right amount you can name the nmb kolel and pay shmeltzers salary

for 105 k plus expenses you can name the kole and get an honoree
you can also deal drugs abd your brother can have affairs
lets have a contest
what should the north miami beachkolel be named

1. ahavas noshim kolel of north miami beach

2 rodef kesef oihev samim of north miami beach
3. who cares close the place down

4 coverup is our specialty kolel

answer quicly time is running out

Torah Madua said...


Who knew that YU's Cardozo law school is named after such a scummy family of intermarried Sefardim that was part & parcel of Tamanny Hall corruption who helped Boss Tweed steal millions of dollars?

Sholom Rubashkin said...


My son in law has the right idea. After you make a big chilul Hashem, whip out the sefer Tehillim in front of the media cameras to put on a tzaddikel act.

Berish Berger said...


A British property tycoon claims to be one of the principal victims of an alleged $200 million fraud targeting Orthodox Jews.

Berish Berger, one of Britain’s biggest post-war private landlords, along with about a dozen, mostly Jewish, plaintiffs, is suing Eliyahu Weinstein of Lakewood, New Jersey.

They claim that Weinstein, 35, tricked them into investing in a string of dubious property deals.

Mr Berger, worth an estimated £35 million according to the latest Sunday Times Rich List, says Mr Weinstein
swindled him out of £22 million.

In court papers filed in Pennsylvania, Mr Berger’s lawyers say that Mr Weinstein and his associates “specifically targeted the insular Orthodox community in their search for victims”.

The papers claim that as a wealthy Orthodox man, Mr Berger “presented an attractive target”.

The continue: “In the Orthodox Jewish community from which Berger comes, successful business relationships are founded upon trust and confidence; a businessman’s word is his bond; and a reputation for integrity is greatly respected. Weinstein… knew these facts and exploited them… to defraud Berger.”

Mr Berger claims that he was tricked into investing in two parcels of land in Philadelphia from which Mr Weinstein profited.

Court papers allege that Mr Weinstein knew that land bought for a skyscraper project would plummet in value because of a 125ft “air rights” restriction imposed by Philadelphia City Council.

The papers also claim that Mr Weinstein falsely suggested that a second parcel of land could easily be flipped to another buyer, and that he had falsified cheques and other documents to prove it.

Now Mr Weinstein has launched a counter-claim, alleging that Mr Berger breached his fiduciary duty.

Court papers filed on his behalf claim that Mr Berger refused to hire his own counsel for the property deals and that he wanted an oral agreement “for tax reasons”.

John Farahi said...


The tight-knit Iranian-American Jewish community in Southern California is coming to terms with what could be its own mini-Madoff scandal.

The Securities and Exchange Commission has charged John Farahi, a popular Persian-language radio host and financier, along with his wife and an employee, with defrauding $20 million from members of the Iranian-American community, using the funds to make risky financial bets and to build a luxurious mansion in Beverly Hills.

Mr. Farahi made large contributions to many Jewish charities, and his wife was a former executive board member of the Iranian-American Jewish Federation.

The scandal follows the collapse of the real estate investment firm Namco, run by the prominent Jewish Iranian-American financier Ezri Namvar. Mr. Namvar used his and his family’s strong reputation in the community to collect millions of dollars from Iranian-American Jews in order to finance his real estate ventures. The company filed for bankruptcy in late 2008 as the property market in Southern California fell apart, sending the community into shock. More than 40 creditors are seeking some $420 million in connection with the failed business venture.

Arthur said...

One year out: Obama's fall
What went wrong? A year ago, he was king of the world. Now President Barack Obama's approval rating, according to CBS, has dropped to 46 percent - and his disapproval rating is the highest ever recorded by Gallup at the beginning of an (elected) president's second year.
US President Barack Obama.

A year ago, he was leader of a liberal ascendancy that would last 40 years (James Carville). A year ago, conservatism was dead (Sam Tanenhaus).

Now the race to fill Ted Kennedy's Senate seat in bluest of blue Massachusetts is surprisingly close, with a virtually unknown state senator bursting on the scene by turning the election into a mini-referendum on Obama and his agenda, most particularly health care reform.

A year ago, Obama was the most charismatic politician on earth. Today the thrill is gone, the doubts growing - even among erstwhile believers.

Liberals try to attribute Obama's political decline to matters of style. He's too cool, detached, uninvolved. He's not tough, angry or aggressive enough with opponents. He's contracted out too much of his agenda to Congress.

These stylistic and tactical complaints may be true, but they miss the major point: The reason for today's vast discontent, presaged by spontaneous national Tea Party opposition, is not that Obama is too cool or compliant but that he's too left.

It's not about style; it's about substance. About which Obama has been admirably candid. This out-of-nowhere, least-known of presidents dropped the veil most dramatically in the single most important political event of 2009, his February 24 first address to Congress. With remarkable political honesty and courage, Obama unveiled the most radical (in American terms) ideological agenda since the New Deal: the fundamental restructuring of three pillars of American society - health care, education and energy.

THEN BEGAN the descent - when, more amazingly still, Obama devoted himself to turning these statist visions into legislative reality. First energy, with cap-and-trade, an unprecedented federal intrusion into American industry and commerce. It got through the House, with its Democratic majority and Supreme Soviet-style rules. But it will never get out of the Senate.

Then, the keystone: a health care revolution in which the federal government will regulate in crushing detail one-sixth of the US economy.

By turning companies into utilities, their every significant move dictated by him. By essentially abolishing medical underwriting (actuarially based risk assessment) and replacing it with government fiat, Obamacare turns the health insurance vernment regulators. The public option was a sideshow. As many on the right have long been arguing, and as the more astute on the left (such as The New Yorker's James Surowiecki) understand, Obamacare is government health care by proxy, single-payer through a facade of nominally "private" insurers.

Arthur said...

Part Two
At first, health care reform was sustained politically by Obama's own popularity. But then gravity took hold, and Obamacare's profound unpopularity dragged him down with it. After 29 speeches and a fortune in squandered political capital, it still will not sell.

The health care drive is the most important reason Obama has sunk to 46 percent. But this reflects something larger. In the end, what matters is not the persona but the agenda. In a country where politics is fought between the 40-yard lines, Obama has insisted on pushing hard for the 30.

And the American people - disorganized and unled but nonetheless agitated and mobilized - have put up a stout defense somewhere just left of midfield.

Ideas matter. Legislative proposals matter. Slick campaigns and dazzling speeches can work for a while, but the magic always wears off.

It's inherently risky for any charismatic politician to legislate. To act is to choose and to choose is to disappoint the expectations of many who had poured their hopes into the empty vessel - of which candidate Obama was the greatest representative in recent American political history.

Obama did not just act, however. He acted ideologically. To his credit, Obama didn't just come to Washington to be someone. Like Ronald Reagan, he came to Washington to do something - to introduce a powerful social democratic stream into America's deeply and historically individualist polity.

Perhaps Obama thought he'd been sent to the White House to do just that. If so, he vastly over-read his mandate. His own electoral success - twinned with handy victories and large majorities in both houses of Congress - was a referendum on his predecessor's governance and the post-Lehman financial collapse. It was not an endorsement of European-style social democracy.

Hence the resistance. Hence the fall. The system may not always work, but it does take its revenge

Tzvi Erez said...

Details reported on UOJ before they hit the newspapers.


The family of a man allegedly involved in a $27-million Ponzi scheme that involved investors in Toronto's Jewish community received death threats that prompted a commercial court judge to censor documents for security reasons.

The first incident occurred on March 25, when two shots were fired into the home of Mr. Erez's step-sister Hila Meisels. None of the 10 people reportedly in the house were injured during the incident, but sources say Mr. Erez's two children were staying in the residence at the time. The home on St. Germaine Avenue in Toronto has since been sold. The family has not responded to requests for comment.

In September, the school administration of the Posluns branch of Associated Hebrew School (AHS), received a threatening communication related to a family under criminal investigation, according to reports in the Jewish Tribune. The school announced that it had beefed up security, and sent an email to parents assuring them that all necessary measures had been taken, including instructing the family under investigation not to send their children to school.

UOJ gets results said...


A Framingham man with a taste for Las Vegas casinos was arrested yesterday and charged with fraud for allegedly bilking investors out of as much as $29 million in a Ponzi-like scheme that has overtones of the Bernard Madoff scandal.

Richard Elkinson, 76, was arrested by FBI agents in Mississippi and charged with mail fraud in an alleged scam that regulators described as an “affinity’’ scheme, in which investors are recruited through their social networks. As in the Madoff case, many of Elkinson’s alleged victims appear to have been older Jewish investors with country club ties. Regulators said many knew each other through the Belmont Country Club.

Prosecutors said Elkinson gave investors promissory notes bearing interest rates of up to 13 percent to fund a purported business that helped supply uniforms to governments and large organizations. The alleged scheme began to unravel last spring, officials said, when he did not make a scheduled interest payment on the promissory notes.

In December, investors complained to Massachusetts Secretary of State William F. Galvin, the state’s top securities regulator. He contacted federal investigators, concerned that Elkinson might have left the state and money could move offshore.

“This is a pretty good-size Ponzi scheme,’’ Galvin said last night of the alleged operation.

In a typical Ponzi scheme, clients’ funds are never actually invested, but rather are doled out as fake profits to other investors to create the appearance of a real business. It is unclear from government documents whether Elkinson’s company, Northeast Sales, ever conducted the promised uniform sales.

Federal officials declined to say how they found Elkinson in Mississippi, but an affidavit in the case said the FBI had first tracked him to the Wynn Las Vegas hotel on Dec. 22.

The affidavit, filed by FBI special agent Leo Fila, said Elkinson had conducted $3.7 million worth of individual transactions over $10,000 with casinos since 1998, such as exchanging money for chips. Elkinson allegedly told a business acquaintance he had $25,000 lines of credit at three Vegas casinos, according to the affidavit.

Anonymous said...


When FBI agents tracked down Framingham resident Richard Elkinson to arrest him on charges of allegedly running a $29 million Ponzi scheme, they found him at a casino in Mississippi and loaded with money, authorities said yesterday.

Meanwhile, Massachusetts Secretary of State William F. Galvin, who received the initial complaints from Elkinson’s investors and notified federal authorities, filed a civil case yesterday against a Newton financial advisory firm whose clients had invested with Elkinson.

Galvin said the firm, RossFialkow Capital Partners, and its principals, Jay Fialkow and Jeffrey Ross, acted as unregistered brokers. He sought a court order to block them from conducting such activities.

Anonymous said...

Tropper is denying everything to his talmidim. The talmidim refuse to listen to the tapes and they believe him 100%. Pretty unbelievable.

Anonymous said...

5. Something Schmelz here.
6. rodefim yeladim k'tanim.

British Agudah Fresser said...


A businessman is suing British Airways over a policy that bans male passengers from sitting next to children they don't know - even if the child's parents are on the same flight.

Mirko Fischer has accused the airline of branding all men as potential sex offenders and says innocent travellers are being publicly humiliated.

In line with the policy, BA cabin crew patrol the aisles before take-off checking that youngsters travelling on their own or in a different row from their parents are not next to a male stranger.
If they find a man next to a child or teenager they will ask him to move to a different seat. The aircraft will not take off unless the passenger obeys.

Old Torah Vodaas said...

Does UOJ know anything about this? The latest report on Tropper in Tablet magazine says Tropper's first financial backer was Louis Septimus. Was this with money stolen from YTV? And does this prove that Tropper is a liar when he claims backing from R' Yaakov ztl?

Captain Kirk wannabe( Trekie) said...

The Trouble with Troppers...

Tropper is Troubled really, really needs to write a book/screenplay. Aside from the historical importance, the sheer entertainment value of such a crazy story!