Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Lack of Ethics

Oldie but goodie -- Appropriate in light of the Madoff scandal!

Lack of Ethics
Rabbi Gregory Marx

"I have a confession to make. I read the newspaper Jewish-style. I look for those articles that are about Jews and things that affect Jews. All events can be interpreted by the question, 'Is it good for the Jews?' 'Economy falters.' Is it good for the Jews? Middle East flare up…Is it good for the Jews? All heroes and criminals are subject to that probing question: are they Jewish and will their behavior influence public opinion about the Jews? ...

Tonight, I want to talk about other types of Jews who are in the news. And it doesn’t make me proud. I read recently that Jews from Israel are the leading importers of Ecstasy into this country. That’s right, the drug lords of New York speak Hebrew. Last summer, New York police seized over one million Ecstasy pills from Israelis David Roash and Israel Ahkenzi. They had a street value of forty million dollars.

Those of us who travel on El Al, are not only with Yeshiva students and Zionists, we are traveling with drug dealers as well. And who are the carriers?

According to the Jerusalem Report, Bobover Chassidim are paid $1500 and a free trip to Europe for carrying up to $500,000 in cash to Amsterdam and returning with a load of Ecstasy.

They travel back to Israel with 30,000 to 40,000 aspirin-sized pills, which are then sent to America, Australia and New Zealand for sale.

Colleagues that I work with have deeply disappointed me. In Florida, an Orthodox colleague of mine is currently in prison, serving a multi-year term for soliciting minors on the Internet. He solicited a 14-year-old boy and was caught establishing a liaison with the youth. In his depravity he decided not to prey on his Bar/Bat Mitzvah students, but went instead to outside youths that he met in Internet chat rooms and subsequently dark parking lots.

We still await the beginning of the retrial for a south Jersey rabbi who is accused of hiring a troubled man in his congregation to bludgeon his wife to death. Then there are the cantors from New York and Harrisburg who are accused of molesting young boys in their own family and beyond.

And of course, a neighboring synagogue suffered for the past year, having discovered that its trusted employee allegedly embezzled over $1.2 million. While the staff was taking pay cuts in order to stem the financial hemorrhage, two employees were allegedly cutting checks to themselves for thousands of dollars a week.

More often than I care to admit, Jews in the news are not making us proud ... Four Chassidim ripped off the government to the tune of millions and millions of dollars by getting federal grants for schools that didn't even exist! And that didn't stop their fellow Chassidim from coming to the defense of their cohorts by claiming they didn't keep any of the money for themselves.

The chief rabbis of the community defended their actions, because it was strengthening the religious efforts of the community against the evils of secularization. What is happening to our community?

Rabbi Elimelech Naiman was given a prison sentence for mail fraud and misappropriation of government funds. He was the deputy director of the Council of Jewish Organizations of Borough Park.

Rabbi Jacob Lustig got 3 years’ probation and a million-dollar fine for skimming more than 2 million dollars from his synagogue's bingo proceeds.

Rabbi Hertz Frankel got nabbed for cheating the government out of six million dollars.

Recently, Rabbi Yizchok Fried was arrested for dealing in drugs. Two Chassidim were jailed for rigging an election in England!

And headlines in the New York Post and Daily News told the world of the arrest of 14 Satmar Chassidim of running a multi-million dollars 'full service fraud factory,' which bilked banks, credit card companies, individuals and the IRS of millions of dollars.

These are just a few from within the Orthodox community!

Not only have Jews in the news sunk to moral lows, but worse still, they have failed to accept responsibility for their moral wrongdoings.

I will never forget officiating at the funeral of a mother of two infants who was stabbed to death by her husband from Monsey, New York. Her two children are too young to remember the events that changed their lives, but when they mature, they will sadly come to understand their loss of innocence, the intrusion of violence and the betrayal of trust that turned their lives upside down. One parent gone, another in jail for the murder. I know that it goes on all around us.

It’s part of the daily news that makes up the larger world. But I’m not talking to the larger world. I’m talking to our community. You’re the only ones who will listen.

We Jews are supposed to be a light unto the nations. We are supposed to define our characters by our behavior. And judging from the past years, we are in terrible shape ...

We are here to remind the world, that deeds not faith redeem the world. If we lose sight of this teaching, if we forget to live like decent people, then we lose the essence of our faith.

We have become irrelevant. The world won’t need Jews anymore.

With all these recent revelations and scandals, it's not so much my concern what God thinks about it, and it is not even my concern what non-Jews think and say about it.

My deepest concern is how our own Jewish children feel about it!

A congregant told me that she swelled with pride when she discovered her elementary school-aged children avidly reading a front-page story in the newspaper. But then she was horrified to learn what article they were reading.

It was the headline about jury selection for a rabbi accused of murdering his wife. Who would have dreamed that a Jewish standard bearer would gain national prominence before children’s eyes in this way? ... So yes, 'Why be Jewish?' is being asked by many. And 'Why marry Jewish?' is being asked by many more. Can I still say because of our moral passion?

Can I still say, that it’s because we Jews have historically taken the ethical high road?

What do I say when our children are bombarded every day with stories of Jews who are corrupt and have sunk to the lowest levels of inhumanity ???


Anonymous said...

The Reform "rabbi" is quick to identify haymishe lowlives as Orthodox but when various molesters and even an adulterous wife killer are from his same Reform stream, he does not mention their affiliation.

Anonymous said...


'Golden Boy' Merkin Said To Have Misled Jewish Investors, Groups

by Gary Rosenblatt
Editor and publisher

Bernard Madoff is not the only trustee of Yeshiva University who resigned in shame last week.

While international attention continues to focus on Madoff, who faces charges for his alleged $50 billion Ponzi scheme, some leaders in the Jewish community, particularly within Modern Orthodox institutions, are expressing shock and anger at the role played by J. Ezra Merkin, a prominent investment guru and philanthropist, who appears to have misled at least some investors.

Merkin stepped down Friday as a Yeshiva trustee who played a primary role in managing the university's endowment funds.

According to several sources close to the institution, about $100 million was invested through Merkin, which ended up in Madoff's fund - without the board's knowledge - and is presumed gone.

Yeshiva's endowment is now about $1.3 billion, down from 1.8 billion last year, due largely to the general collapse of the economy.

"About $100 million of that total is directly attributable to our investment with Ezra," according to one person close to the situation, who along with others interviewed for this article would only speak off the record.

No one is accusing Merkin, who did not respond to an interview request, of prior knowledge that Madoff was operating an alleged fraud. Indeed, Merkin informed investors in his $1.8 billion Ascot Partners fund last Thursday that he was among those who suffered substantial personal losses when it crashed, since all of its dollars were invested with Madoff.

But while he has portrayed himself as a victim, Merkin is being criticized as having misled institutional and personal investors, including those wary of Madoff's secretive and suspiciously successful earnings streak. Several people said that while they were reluctant to invest with Madoff, they trusted Merkin completely, not knowing that he in turn was taking their investment in his Ascot Partners and putting it into Madoff's fund.

"We thought we were investing in Ezra," said one official of a Jewish institution, "and now find out we were invested with Madoff. We feel duped and outraged."

One private investor said that several years ago he asked Merkin directly if his investment in Ascot was going into the Madoff fund and was told it was not.

Another individual investing funds for a local Jewish institution said he was also given misleading information by Merkin about where the funds were going.

The assumption, several sources said, was that Merkin was doing due diligence and diversifying the investments rather than putting them all in one fund, as he did with Ascot.

"This is, in general, an opaque business," said someone familiar with hedge funds, noting that it is not uncommon for monthly reports to investors to simply show performance information without listing the companies invested in.

Yeshiva University was not the only organization where Merkin played a key role, formally or informally, in managing funds, and it is believed Congregation Kehilath Jeshurun and the Ramaz School of Manhattan were among those that lost substantial funds through investments that ended up with Madoff.

SAR Academy in Riverdale, a Modern Orthodox school, was also affected.

In a letter to parents sent out Sunday night, SAR president Jack Bendheim reported on the school's endowment fund, which had grown to approximately $3.7 million. "Years ago," he wrote, a portion of the endowment -- $1.3 million -- was "invested in Ascot, a manager which, unbeknownst to us, had substantially all of its assets invested with Madoff." Based on allegations, "we are now valuing this investment as zero."

In hindsight, many in the community are now asking how a donor and/or trustee of a nonprofit could be in a position to manage money for the institution, as Merkin did.

"You have to know Ezra to really understand how this could have happened," said one source who has sat on boards with him. "He is brilliant and incredibly well connected in the Jewish and financial community, with a long and incredible success rate in investments. Plus, he can be, at times, charming and considerate - as well as intimidating."

Several people noted that when questioned or challenged about the wisdom of investing heavily in one fund rather than diversifying, "Ezra would ask, 'Why would you reduce your concentration in your best performing fund?'"

Still, there were grumblings. Some of board members at Yeshiva had raised issues of good governance at meetings, unaware of specific problems with Merkin or Madoff. They felt Yeshiva was exposing itself to serious questions about potential conflicts of interest, regardless of who the personalities were. But veteran members resisted, insisting that Merkin was not only respected and trustworthy but "the Golden Boy controlling the Golden Goose," as one person explained.

Ironically, the university was in the process of responding to calls for instituting stricter policies regarding conflict of interest when the news hit of the Madoff fiasco. Procedures that had been discussed for more than a year were scheduled to be put in place next year.

Merkin has served for the last several years as chairman of the investment committee at UJA-Federation of New York. But in part because the federation has a policy prohibiting members of the committee from directing funds, there was no exposure of its funds to Ascot Partners or Madoff.

"There were some on the board who grumbled about us missing out on a solid investment but we weathered the criticism," one insider noted.

Merkin is expected to be off the UJA-Federation board by week's end.

Some have pointed out that Merkin had benefited numerous individuals and nonprofit organizations for many years and deserves gratitude for boosting their levels of income and success. But most of those interviewed expressed more anger than appreciation, and wondered how deep and extensive the impact will be on the Jewish philanthropic community. Everyone said they expect a slew of civil lawsuits.

Anonymous said...

The Merkin angle

By Ami Eden · December 16, 2008

The late businessman and philanthropist Hermann Merkin loved Yeshiva University so much, he endowed a chair that was held for decades by Modern Orthodox spiritual leader Rabbi Joseph Soloveitchik. Now his son, J. Ezra Merkin, the chairman of GMAC Financial Service, has cost the school $100 million.

That's the lead sentence in what might be the most compelling subplot in the Madoff scandal.

Anonymous said...

The FBI has set up a hotline for investors who believe that may have been victims of Madoff's scheme.

That number is (212) 384-2359.

Anonymous said...

We need to raise hell:


Mondrowitz Extradition Case Thrown Into Limbo

by Hella Winston
Special To The Jewish Week

The latest twist in the long-running extradition case of alleged Brooklyn pedophile Avrohom Mondrowitz has apparently thrown the case into limbo and for the first time in decades raised the specter that Mondrowitz might be tried in Israel.
In what is being seen by some close to the case as an unexpected move, the Israeli Supreme Court last week gave prosecutors representing the state until Dec. 23 to gather additional information on whether Mondrowitz — who was charged with sexual crimes against children in Brooklyn over two decades ago — can be tried in Israel.
Given that a lower court in Israel earlier this year had already deemed Mondrowitz extraditable, observers were optimistic that last week’s final appeal would result in a decision to send
him to Brooklyn to stand trial. Instead, questions raised by the justices have generated concern that this may not happen, though no decision has yet been made.
“[Some of the justices’ questioning] really seemed to come out of left field,” said Michael Lesher, an attorney who represents several Jewish adults who allege that they were molested by Mondrowitz as children. “I’m simply surprised, considering that there was a 40-page, detailed decision written by the lower court which really [went into] all the issues,” Lesher said.
Some of those issues relate to the possible implications of recent changes to the U.S.-Israeli extradition treaty and an Israeli statue providing for the timely prosecution of crimes.
On Dec. 8 Israel’s highest court heard an appeal from attorneys representing Mondrowitz, a former Brooklyn youth counselor who fled to Israel under charges of child sexual abuse and is now in the final stages of extradition proceedings that began with his arrest in Israel in November 2007. A Jerusalem court had deemed Mondrowitz extraditable earlier this year, but he is now challenging that determination in the Supreme Court.
The Mondrowitz saga began almost 25 years ago, when, in 1984, he fled to Israel and was indicted in absentia on four counts of sodomy and eight counts of sexual abuse in the first degree against four non-Jewish children in Brooklyn. (While Jewish children were among Mondrowitz’s alleged victims, they were not part of the grand jury that indicted him and thus not part of this case).
Then-District Attorney Elizabeth Holtzman pursued Mondrowitz’s extradition, but was thwarted in 1985 when Israeli officials informed the United States that extradition would be impossible because sodomy was not included in the Israeli definition of rape and thus, under the existing terms of the U.S.-Israeli extradition agreement, was not an extraditable offense (as was rape).
While federal documents reveal that the U.S. subsequently asked Israel to consider expelling Mondrowitz, no action was taken. Then in 1988, Israel amended its rape law to cover the act of homosexual rape. While a telegram from the American Embassy in Tel Aviv to the State Department in Washington, D.C., noted the change, it is unclear from the record whether Holtzman was ever made aware of it.
In 1993, three years after he was elected Brooklyn district attorney, Charles Hynes approved a decision to end extradition attempts for good. Hynes’ office resubmitted an extradition request in 2007, however, after a change in the treaty between the U.S. and Israel was made that provides for the extradition of suspects who face at least a year in prison, regardless of the offense.
While Lesher and some experts have challenged the notion that extradition would have been impossible prior to the 2007 change in the treaty, this turn of events nonetheless created a sense of optimism about the possibility that Mondrowitz would be returned to Brooklyn to stand trial — until now.
According to a transcript of last week’s Supreme Court hearing, one of the justices asked whether, in light of the fact that the scope of extraditable offenses is broader than under the previous treaty, it is consistent with Mondrowitz’s fundamental rights to extradite him under a treaty that took effect after the crimes in question have been committed.
Further, because Israel has a statute that someone charged with these crimes would have to be brought to trial within 10 years of the alleged offense, questions of timeliness were also raised by the justices. According to Lesher, “the unstated issue that is not clarified here is whether that 10-year limit would apply if the suspect is not returned for trial even after an extradition request is made.”
Lesher believes that neither of these issues should bar Israel from extraditing Mondrowitz. Citing a prior case dealing with the issue of retroactivity and apparently referenced by the lower court, Lesher said, “I think this case law shows very clearly why the retroactive application of an extradition treaty does not raise ex-post facto concerns. ... I am surprised that the issue came up in the hearing.”
The justices also raised the possibility of trying Mondrowitz in Israel and, despite objections by the state’s attorneys citing the logistical difficulty and expense of such a prospect, asked the state to consult on it further.
The attorneys for the state did not return an e-mail seeking comment.
According to documents obtained by Lesher, the issue of trying Mondrowitz in Israel was raised once before, in 1986. An internal Justice Department memo from that year asks, “What sentence is reasonable to expect would be imposed on Mondrowitz were he tried and convicted on our case in Israel?”
The memo then cites Marvin Hankin, senior assistant to the state attorney in Israel, as estimating that Mondrowitz might serve a total of “2-3 years,” noting that “there are very few sodomy cases in Israel.”
An even more pessimistic estimate is found in an embassy cable to the State Department, dated Nov. 3, 1986. “The possibility of bringing the case to trial in Israel has been bandied about. In addition to the usual problems of transportation of witnesses and compatibility of evidentiary standards, however, there apparently is another factor that might weigh against any leap toward this option: under Israeli law, it seems that it would be possible that, even if convicted, Mondrowitz could face as little as 18 months imprisonment,” and even less “with time off for good behavior.”
According to Lesher, under New York law, Mondrowitz could spend “several decades in prison” if convicted of multiple counts of Class B felonies with which he is charged.
A spokesman for Hynes, whose office requested the extradition last year, says the district attorney is “watching the process very carefully and is prepared to deal with the result no matter which way it goes.”
Survivors for Justice, an organization formed by people who were sexually abused as children in Orthodox communities and that counts several alleged Mondrowitz victims among its members, is working with a law firm in Israel to prepare an amicus brief asking the Israeli high court to uphold the lower court’s determination to extradite Mondrowitz.
A spokesman for the group told The Jewish Week that “We believe that after 25 years of justice deferred, Mondrowitz’s victims deserve to see him returned to Brooklyn and tried by the Brooklyn DA, who has on many occasions stated his commitment to see justice done in this case.”

Anonymous said...

Let's really turn up the heat so that Charlie Hynes will have one of his "emergencies" whenever he suspects UOJ agents are around.

Paul Mendlowitz said...


I read the transcript on Mondrowitz --- one judge ha$ been gotten to, two of them seem inclined to extradite him. It's not certain what will happen --- but IMO - the chances are no better than 50/50.

Anonymous said...

Then we need to tip the scales a bit.

Anonymous said...

What give$ UOJ the idea that $omeone could have gotten to the judge?

He make$ it $ound a$ if Israeli official$ have been known to take bribe$ or $omething.

Anonymous said...

Who is the Supreme Court judge?

Vee have vays of putting an unwanted public spotlight on him.

Paul Mendlowitz said...

The I$raeli ju$tice $y$tem is non-existent --- and politics reigns supreme there (and here).

The DOJ here is exasperated but has perhaps run out of time under AG Mukasey.

We'll know sooner rather than later. Everything that is possible to be done to get that Mondrowitz animal here --- is being done. I promise!

Anonymous said...

Maybe some are correct in their suspicions that Obama's pick for Attorney General wouldn't want a poor child rapist like Mondrowitz to be mistreated in the horrible US prison system.


Holder's political views are broadly in line with Obama's. Holder favors closing the controversial Guantanamo Bay detention camp.[21] He is opposed to the Bush Administration's implementation of the Patriot Act, saying it is "bad ultimately for law enforcement and will cost us the support of the American people."[22][23] He has been critical of US torture policy and the NSA warrantless surveillance program, accusing the Bush administration of a "disrespect for the rule of law... [that is] not only wrong, it is destructive in our struggle against terrorism."[24]

On December 1, 2008, Obama announced that Holder would be his nominee for Attorney General.[25][26] If the Senate confirms him, he will be the first African-American Attorney General.

Anonymous said...

I wonder if DOJ would prosecute if Mondrowitz was kidnapped and brought back here.

Anonymous said...


Everyone on UOJ is a big mouth critic.

What could you guys possibly have against Eric Holder?

Anonymous said...

Israel is having elections soon.

Do you think the new Prime Minister would lean towards giving Monstrowitz a pass?

Can the Gerrorists determine the outcome of a national election like they did in Jerusalem?

Anonymous said...


Who knew the Israeli Supremes were partners in ensuring no cover up gets uncovered?

Anonymous said...


This blog is read by highly educated Wall St types.

You wouldn't believe all the gutter anti-Semitic comments made here by the readers.

Anonymous said...


Grand theft arrest

Donald J. Pinter, 44, 4710 St. Croix Lane, No. 225, North Naples, was arrested Wednesday at home. Pinter, a Kohl’s employee, was charged with stealing items from the store valued at $2,086.13.

Anonymous said...


Obama Calls for Blagojevich to Resign

The governor's attorney, Sheldon Sorosky, said Tuesday he didn't know of any immediate plans for him to resign. Blagojevich believes he didn't do anything wrong and asked Illinois residents to have faith in him, Sorosky said, according to the AP.

"I suppose we will have to go to trial," he said.

"It's outrageous," Beth Pinter, who lives a block away from the embattled governor, told Reuters. "He should resign, but he won't because he's a sociopath ... I don't want him in my neighborhood because he's a crook."

Anonymous said...


The city's continuing war on porn shops has claimed gay and bisexual men as victims as nearly 50 of them have been arrested on questionable prostitution charges in seven Manhattan porn shops over the past four years.

And in lawsuits brought against six of those businesses, the city has cited those prostitution arrests as the primary justification for trying to shut those shops down.

"It seems as though there is a pattern of arresting innocent men in an effort to try and close these places down," said Robert Pinter, a 52-year-old massage therapist who was among 12 men arrested this year in Blue Door Video on First Avenue in the East Village. "It's extremely troubling that the police have so little regard for the gay citizens of New York that they use them as pawns to try and close these porn shops down."

Paul Mendlowitz said...

Seriously - the man is a delusional mentally unstable lunatic!

Paulson: Big Financial Institutions Stable
12/16/08 - 06:37 PM EST

The Associated Press
WASHINGTON -- Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson said Tuesday that he does not expect any more major financial institutions to fail during the current credit crisis.

Paulson also said he has no current plans to ask Congress to make the second half of the $700 billion financial rescue fund available before the Bush administration leaves office on Jan. 20. But he added that the administration was prepared to move quickly, if necessary, to tap the extra resources.

In an interview on CNBC, Paulson said he believes the actions taken by financial authorities in the U.S. and other countries will allow all the systemically important institutions to remain viable.

The administration has obligated almost all of the first $350 billion in the financial rescue package approved by Congress on Oct. 3. There had been speculation that the Bush administration would ask for approval to begin using the second $350 billion in the bailout bill before leaving office.

Paulson said Tuesday he believed the government had a "lot of firepower" at its disposal currently, including the rescue program and multibillion-dollar loan programs being used by the Federal Reserve and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. to stabilize the banking system.

For that reason, he said he did not see a need to request authorization from Congress to tap the second half of the rescue package, but he left the door open to making such a request if situations changed.

"I think if we have shown anything, we have shown that we know how to respond quickly to situations that come up," Paulson said. "I am focused on it, but I think we have got what we need now."

Anonymous said...


Zeke Pinter, James Perkins and Jeremy Osmotherly are accused of breaking into the Fort Robinson Maintenance Shop and riding stables and throwing items taken in the alleged burglary into Grebel Pond in an effort to conceal or dispose of evidence.

All three are being held in the Dawes County Jail on a 10 percent of $50,000 bond.

Anonymous said...


LAUSANNE, Switzerland — The Court of Arbitration of Sport banned Austrian cross-country skier Juergen Pinter from the sport for four years on Friday for his part in a doping scandal at the Turin Olympics.

The court upheld an appeal filed by the International Olympic Committee and the World Anti-Doping Agency against a decision by skiing's governing body to clear Pinter of allegations resulting from a police search at the 2006 games.

A CAS panel of three lawyers found the skier "guilty of complicity in an anti-doping rule violation by other athletes."

The ban was backdated to the time of the Games and will run through the end of February 2010.

The IOC had already banned the 29-year-old Pinter and five other Austrian athletes for life from the Olympics. He challenged that decision at CAS, world sport's highest appeal body, but lost the case.

Anonymous said...

By the time the FBI is finished with the heimish owned commercial real estate/mortgage industry in Chicago, Pinter will look like petty thief.

Anonymous said...

The parsha this week discusses the great test that Yosef Hatzadik was placed into with his master's wife. The Torah describes the repeated attempts to convince Yosef to sin with the wife of Potiphar. Rashi explains that on the day of the fateful encounter, he was ready to give in to temptation, when the face of his father appeared to him. Upon seeing the face of his father, he reconcidered and did not go all the way.

If the great sin of adultery can be overcome with the realization that "Daddy won't be proud of me", surely minor sins can be overcome. Besides for teaching another parent's child, the greatest responsibility is managing another persons money. The Mishnah in Avos says "The money of your friend should be more precious than your own money". How can a teacher even contemplate harming a child? How can a money manager fall into the temptation of financial mismanagement?

Where has our chinuch system broken down? How have our rabbonim become so focused on the outer trappings of Yiddishkeit, and ignore the basics?

The facts speak for themselves, chinuch is a business. The principals are the CEO's, the board are the directors of the company, and the students are the common stock holders. When looking out for the interest of the school/business, the primary attention is given to the needs of the CEO, then the directors take their chunk, and the students end up with valueless stock.

No yiras shamayim, ahavas Hashem or respect for your fellow Jew can be given over in school's like these. This is the root cause, why Jews of all types are in the news. When they are about to commit a crime, what image will come to them to keep them from sinning? They see how their leaders treated them as common stockholders, giving them valueless commodities, and they fall into temptation.

Klal Yisroel needs fearless leaders who will discuss right and wrong. Leaders not afraid by delusional people who think they are "Special Assets" in the community. Leaders who are willing to admit when they jumped hastily to false conclusions and correct their mistake, than to stand on cerimony that daas Torah trumps all else.

Once we have this in place, can our Orthodox Jewry move forward. Until then, we can expect more scandal, negative publicity, mortgage fraud, and other crimes against humanity perpetrated by members of the frum world.

The choice is ours.

Anonymous said...

Who are the ganovim in Chicago?

Anonymous said...


find someone in Chicago who ISN'T a goniv.

Anonymous said...

This presents a serious problem for both kosher consumers and the OU.

Even if Rubashkin meat was somehow slaughtered & processed in a kosher manner, it is forbidden to derive benefit from stolen merchandise.

This is a clear halacha that only the OU would try to wiggle out of with weasel explanations.


POSTVILLE, Iowa -- Livestock sellers and poultry growers have more than $6 million in claims pending against Agriprocessors under the Packers and Stockyards Act, according to documents filed in U.S. Bankruptcy Court.

Agriprocessors filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Nov. 4.

A letter from Eric Paul, an attorney with the Office of General Counsel, USDA, identified $6.08 million in livestock and poultry grower trust and bond claims against the Postville packer. The letter was filed by attorneys for First Bank Business Capital as an exhibit in support of a motion to change the venue of the bankruptcy case from New York to Iowa.

Paul's Dec. 4 letter, sent to Joseph Sarachek, bankruptcy trustee, and David Eskew, assistant U.S. attorney, said the packer trust and bond claims filed by livestock sellers should be released shortly by the deputy administrator of the Packers and Stockyards Program. He said USDA analysis of the poultry can't be completed until auditors gain access to poultry records at the Postville plant.

Forty-thre claims by 25 livestock producers and businesses are filed against the packer bond and 41 claims by 24 producers and businesses filed against the packer trust. The claims were filed by producers and businesses in Iowa, Illinois, Minnesota, South Dakota and Wisconsin.

The largest amount in livestock claims, $582,915, was filed by Kalona Sales Barn, Kalona. The second highest was $521,598 filed by Central Livestock Association, Inc., of South St. Paul, Minn. That was followed by $345,371 in claims filed by Leon Farrow/J & L Farms, Ledyard. Waverly Sales Company of Waverly, filed $194,006 in claims and Equity Cooperative Livestock Sales Association of Baraboo, Wis., filed claims of $186,913.

There are 17 poultry grower claims. The highest trust claim was $2.02 million filed by John Burger/Burger Turkey Farms, Jasper, Ind. Lyle Opheim/Four County Ag of Postville filed a claim for $660,614. Dietrick Enterprises of Cedar Falls, filed a claim for $384,802. The fourth-largest claim was filed by Dan Byl of Maurice for $64,241. The fifth-largest claim was from Ross Enterprises/Brad Helberg of Winona, Minn., for $54,357.

Paul said that in 1976 after a lot of livestock producers ended up with nothing in the bankruptcy of a packing plant, Congress amended the Packers and Stockyards Act so that the inventory, receivables and proceeds derived from purchased livestock are assets that belong to unpaid sellers. The packer trust assets aren't even the property of the debtors' estate. The livestock producers come before secured lenders if they file a valid claim. A poultry trust was established in 1987 to protect poultry growers.

The procedure for paying claims is determined by the bankruptcy court judge, Paul said.

In an application to extend the order authorizing financing from First Bank Business Capital, Sarachek said he has worked closely with the USDA to quantify and reconcile valid trust claims asserted under the Packers and Stockyard Act. The $6 million in claims is considerably higher than Agriprocessors had previously reported, Sarachek said, and he hopes to eliminate ineligible claims after further discussion with USDA.

Anonymous said...

The good news is that because ranchers / farmers get paid first according to Federal law, there will be no equity left for Rubashkin to retake Agri through his various front groups. Another suspicious group from Florida with a criminal background made an offer this past week to buy the business.

Anonymous said...

AP – Bernard L. Madoff, chairman of Madoff Investment Securities is seen on his Manhattan trading floor in … NEW YORK – The judge in the Bernard Madoff fraud case has set new conditions for his bail, including a curfew and ankle-monitoring bracelet for the disgraced investor.

Madoff (MAY-doff) remains free on bail, with his wife and brother serving as co-signers for his bail package. A hearing had been scheduled for Wednesday in which Madoff was required to find two additional co-signers to vouch for him.

But with the scandal swirling around Madoff, he was unable to find co-signers. So the judge modified the bail package, and gave lawyers until next Monday to come up with additional paperwork.

Madoff was arrested on charges that he carried out what prosecutors say he called a $50 billion Ponzi scheme that has left people in ruin around the globe.

Anonymous said...

What connection is there between Rubashkin and former Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack?

Obama just nominated him less than 5 minutes ago for Agriculture Secretary.

Anonymous said...

Vilsack sounds like another sad sack who shares Obama & Eric Holder philosophies.

Maybe they will let the Rubashkins regain control of Agri.

In July 2005, Vilsack signed an executive order allowing all felons who had served their sentences to vote again. Iowa law previously held that convicted felons are permanently disenfranchized

"Governor Vilsack has broken new ground in recognizing that voting is a civil right for everyone," said Monifa Bandele, national field director for Right to Vote, a campaign to end felon disenfranchisement. "This move will be particularly meaningful for African Americans who make up only 2 percent of Iowa's population but are nearly 25 percent of the state's disenfranchised citizens."

Anonymous said...

The "disenfranchisement" line has always been one of the biggest Liberal crocks.

What it translates to is Blacks undeniably commit a disproportionate percentage of crimes, but because they are therefore the highest number of inmates per capita when paying the price, that is somehow "racism".

Anonymous said...

Federal investigators are tightening the vise on Eric Swanson, the goyishe ex-SEC official married to Shana Madoff.

Swanson was in charge of floor trader investigations at the NYSE and brought major criminal charges that benifited Uncle Bernie who was then NASDAQ Chairman.

There are probably other conflicts of interest that Wall St figures will be bringing to the attention of the FBI.