ger chassidic man arrested for what — read further

Gur Hasidic Man Faces Serious Charges In, kidnapping, Drugs Case

Eliezer Vigdarovich, a well-connected and well-known figure in the Gur Hasidic community, is facing an array of serious criminal charges in an affair that some in the district attorney’s office describe as “straight out of a Hollywood script.”

The amended indictment filed on Monday in Jerusalem District Court alleges that for the last few years, Vigdarovich has blackmailed by means of threats, engaged in aggravated assault, fabricated evidence, supplied drugs, kidnapped for the purpose of imprisonment and other serious crimes.

The schemes were orchestrated with the aim of incriminating an innocent couple in order to keep the woman away from her nine children (a goal that has so far been accomplished).

In December 2015, an Israeli couple was arrested at the airport in Boryspil, Ukraine, as they prepared to board a flight home, after a commercial quantity of marijuana, nearly 700 grams, was discovered in their luggage. The man, P., and the woman, H., were arrested and charged with drug possession and attempted drug smuggling.

Their trial is still ongoing in Ukraine.

Immediately after their arrest, suspicions were raised in the Gur community that they had been set up. An indictment was brought against Vigdarovich on Tuesday.

He is alleged to have planted the drugs on the couple in order to trap them outside of Israel and prevent the woman from having contact with her children.

Erez Padan, an assistant Jerusalem district attorney, tweeted: “One of the most difficult and convoluted cases we have dealt with this year culminated in an indictment today. Like a Hollywood script.”

H., a mother of nine, divorced her husband in September 2015. Even after the divorce proceedings were concluded, she and her husband continued to fight in the rabbinical court over custody for some of their nine children. Various people from the Gur community who also wished to sever her connection to the children also became involved.

Following the divorce, H., expressed her desire to marry P., a divorcé who had provided marriage counseling to her and her ex-husband while they were still married.

For a long time, members of the Gur community meddled in the family conflict. According to the indictment, they first pressured H. Then Vigdarovich himself pressured P. to leave H., even paying people to beat him up (one of the two attackers was also named in the charge sheet).

Vigdarovich was allegedly involved in later attempts to get P. and H. to marry, with the thought that it would then be easier to separate her from her children.

In one instance, Vigdarovich flew P. to Switzerland. Two thugs hired by Vigdarovich took him to an apartment, beat him, handcuffed him and threatened to kill him using a fake gun. Vigdarovich came to the apartment and issued P. a series of demands, including ordering him to make sure that H. surrenders custody of her children.

At P.’s request, H. flew to Italy meet him and Vigdarovich in order to discuss the conditions.

After the couple refused his proposal that they remain abroad for a year, Vigdarovich was still able to convince P. to look into a job offer in Uman, Ukraine.

The couple flew there, but when Vigdarovich learned that the job wasn’t going to pan out and they were planning to return, he came up with the plan to plant drugs in their luggage.

“The plot was to plant the drugs so that they would easily discovered during the expected security check at the Boryspil Airport near Kiev, before their return flight to Israel… in order to incriminate them and get them arrested for a long period of time, so they would be unable to return to Israel for many years,” says the indictment.

The plot was carried out with the aid of locals whose identities are unknown to the prosecutors, Chen Bar Shalom and Aviad Dwek.

Vigdarovich was arrested last September.

The indictment states that he gave various false statements under questioning. At one point he signed a state’s witness agreement, promising to obtain recordings and evidence against the people who placed the drugs in H. and P.’s luggage and lead the police to them.

In wake of that agreement, he was released to house arrest, which he took advantage of to “mislead the police detectives and to obstruct the investigation with the intent of… disrupting the investigation, obscuring evidence and avoid having to go to trial for his role in the plot to plant drugs on the couple and get them imprisoned.”

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shomrim gets off easy gets 2 years eight months

MORE ON:
NYPD

 

Two arrested in connection to strangled auto-shop owner
The Shomrim patrol leader who bribed NYPD cops to “expedite” gun permits got a lighter jail sentence than federal prosecutors wanted Thursday — because he has a history of community service.

Judge Sidney Stein sentenced Alex “Shaya” Lichtenstein to 32 months in jail and ordered him to pay a $20,000 fine and undergo alcohol addiction treatment as penance for bribing cops.

Prosecutors wanted him to go away for 4 to 6 years, but the judge cited Lichtenstein’s charitable works in giving him a lower-than-expected sentence.

“Mr. Lichtenstein has led a life of great deeds,” Stein said. “He has also committed a great crime.”

“You participated in corrupting the New York City police department,” he told Lichtenstein, who cried when he did not receive the probation sentence he was hoping for.

Lichtenstein was found guilty in April of paying favors to officers in the Licensing Division for quick pistol permits that he he then sold to members of the Borough Park ultra-orthodox community for as much as $18,000 a pop.

He also admitted to offering a whistle-blowing cop $6,000 per permit to keep his mouth shut and help with the scheme.

Lichtenstein may have gotten off easy for his previous good deeds, but the conviction has decimated his standing in the community, Lichtenstein said.

“I have destroyed my life and I have hurt the people who mean the most to me,” he said, including his wife, his children and grandchildren. “I was respected in the community. People came to me for help. All of that has ended.”
Feds find ‘questionable’ audio recordings made by convicted Shomrim leader
Investigators recovered a trove of audio tapes Lichtenstein made while he cut deals with cops — recordings meant to ensure the oft-drunk Lichtenstein could recall specific details in the deals, sources say.

Lichtenstein admitted his addiction in court on Thursday.

“I drank from waking up and going to sleep and often in the middle of the night,” he told the judge.

Prosecutors say the recordings connect Lichtenstein to a separate investigation into a high-ranking NYPD official who allegedly traded favors with two of Mayor de Blasio’s financial backers.

According to tapes, Lichtenstein met with NYPD Deputy Inspector James Grant, who stands accused of accepting bribes from big-time de Blasio donors Jeremy Reichberg and Jona Rechnitz in exchange for preferential treatment.

City and federal prosecutors declined on Thursday to charge de Blasio or his aides in the scandal.

Lichtenstein, who admitted to two counts of bribery during a November plea deal, said he will not be cooperate with investigators.

crown heights largest girls school doesn’t pay teachers Rebbe would be appalled and disgusted

Once Again, Beis Rivkah Teachers Mull Strike

Once Again: The parents of students in Beth Rivkah elementary school today received an email from the principals notifying them that second term report cards will not be distributed since the teachers have not been paid in over a month.

This latest email comes after many rumors and whispers over the last few months that once again teachers in Crown Heights’ largest girls’ school are not being paid.

Though not uncommon, this time is the first such occurrence since the announcement of a new board forming in the school and taking upon themselves the responsibility of “all back salaries being paid up ASAP” as well as “future paychecks being paid in a timely fashion”.

The board announced the hiring of a new educational consultant along with a fundraiser to help them meet those goals.

Immediately following the board’s announcement, a matching funds campaign was launched and 1 million dollars were successfully raised. That did not stop teachers from going on a strike, shutting down the school the following year after Pesach vacation, and then once again not returning to school following the summer break.

School remained closed until September 14, when the salary woes were announced as resolved.

Now once again the same financial problems seem to persist, with teachers and principals withholding the second period report cards. They further indicate that a strike is possible as well.

“Although we have reached the end of the marking period, with most of the paperwork completed, and second term report cards should be distributed, presently this will not be possible,” the email reads, adding, “We hope this matter will be resolved in a timely fashion so that we can avoid any sort of work interruption.”

CrownHeights.info reached out to members of the schools board, as well as the administration, but has not received any comment as of the publication of this article.

Email to parents from Beth Rivkah:

March, ’17
אדר, תשע”ז

Dear Parents,

We are very grateful to our teachers who come to school on a daily basis enthused to teach your daughters. However, they are still owed seven outstanding payrolls from last year and they are owed three payrolls from this year. Our teachers returned to school in September with the guarantee that this situation would be rectified.

Although we have reached the end of the marking period with most of the paperwork completed and second term report cards should be distributed, presently this will not be possible.

We hope this matter will be resolved in a timely fashion so that we can avoid any sort of work interruption.

Thank you for your patience and support.

Mrs. Altein
Mrs. Feldman
Mrs. Jacobson
Mrs. Brawer

An earlier version of this article incorrectly identified as the high school as the division which sent out the letter, when in fact it was the elementary division. The article has been corrected to reflect this.

sad news BD”E Adam Krief passes away

Adam Krief, Jewish father of 3 whose bone marrow search inspired celebrities, dies

March 14, 2017 4:23pm

Adam Krief, with his wife, Lia, had a rare form of blood cancer that proved to be fatal. (Facebook)
(JTA) — Adam Krief, a Jewish cancer patient whose search for a bone marrow donor captured the attention of social media and celebrities including Kim Kardashian, Mayim Bialik and Jason Biggs, has died.

Krief, a father of three from Los Angeles, died Tuesday, a family friend confirmed to JTA. He was 32.

Krief was diagnosed with primary myelofibrosis, a rare form of blood cancer that is likely fatal if a stem cell transplant match is not found. To find an HLA, or gene complex match for Krief — something more difficult to track down than a blood type match — drives were held around the world, including in North America, Israel, France and Mexico.

Kardashian posted about Krief on Facebook in September, saying he was a friend of a friend.

A bone-marrow donor was found last December – seven matches were found, in fact, through the donor drives organized for him.

“This is what cloud 9 looks like … I’m so grateful to let you all know that a donor has been found,” Krief wrote at the time, sharing a video with two of his children.

The Hope 4 Adam Facebook page on March 8 called for a Worldwide Unity Shabbat for March 11 and March 18 for the recovery of Krief, asking followers to “Help us bring about a miracle.”

On Monday, the Eretz Kabbalah Facebook page of the Los Angeles-based Eretz Cultural Center posted a call for followers to recite Tehillim, or psalms, on behalf of Krief.

“After a long search for a bone-marrow match to save his life, he finally received one. However, after some complications, he is said to only have a few hours to live,” the post said.

Krief is survived by his wife, Lia, and his young children.

ramapo’s mess from fm

Preserve Ramapo writes:

Monsey Controls Planning and Zoning Boards in Ramapo
St. Lawrence Appointees Kept Anonymous

May 3, 2013 – The names of the seven members of the Ramapo Planning and Zoning Boards do not appear anywhere on the Town’s website. Clarkstown, Orangetown, Stony Point—they list their boards. You might ask the Supervisor [i.e., Christopher St. Lawrence]. After all, he appointed the members to terms as long as seven years. More important though is the question why does one sector which has the most irresponsible and out-of-control development have control over the planning and zoning for all of Ramapo?

Since St. Lawrence has chosen to keep the names out of site on his website, we will start with the members and then look at the various liabilities for giving Monsey majority control on these two panels.

Town of Ramapo Planning Board
Town of Ramapo Zoning Board of Appeals

Most of the villages in the Town of Ramapo don’t have a voice on either of these boards. These include Airmont, Chestnut Ridge, Hillburn, New Hempstead, Montebello, Sloatsburg, Suffern, and Wesley Hills. On the other hand, Monsey has a better than 70% majority/super majority voice on planning and zoning decisions that affect all the villages throughout the town. Spring Valley has a presence, although it’s a 2 against 5 on both boards. And keep in mind, Spring Valley is hardly a model for reasonable, or even legitimate development. The federal agents at the present time are still sorting through housing records in Spring Valley to make a final list of charges for the Mayor, Deputy Mayor, the Monsey developer, and whomever else catches their attention.…

Ramapo Tax Exempt Properties by Municipality annotated

read about a jewish nursing home in new york joel landau has no shame

THE REAL DEAL

Allure demands lender pay $40M for Brooklyn nursing home

Joel Landau’s firm and Sabre Group are fighting over terms of loan default

By Kathryn Brenzel

The Allure Group fired back against a lawsuit filed by its lender on a Brooklyn nursing home, claiming that the financial firm should pay $40 million for the property.

Allure, headed by Joel Landau, claims that the Sabre Group must pay $40 million for 270 Nostrand Avenue and an additional $6 million because the sale of the property didn’t close on time, according to documents filed in state Supreme Court. Allure, one of the developers at the center of the Rivington House scandal, maintains that “the express and unambiguous provisions” of the mortgage it received from Sabre require the Midtown firm to pay $40 million for the property.

A spokesperson for Sabre would only say that Allure has “been in default for quite some time and that’s why we’re pursuing our claims.”

Sabre sued Allure in December, accusing the company of failing to repay a $20 million loan it provided to acquire the Brooklyn nursing home. Allure purchased CABS Nursing Home in Bedford-Stuyvesant in 2015 for $15.5 million. Sabre claims that, under the terms of the mortgage, it can purchase the nursing home for $25 million because Allure defaulted.

But Allure alleges that because the property was vacant and had no pending litigation at the time that Sabr tried to act on its purchase right, the lender is on the hook for higher purchasing price. The landlord also claims that a liquidated damages provision in the mortgage requires Sabr to put $6 million toward the outstanding balance on its loan, since the financial firm failed to acquire the property after Allure repeatedly scheduled closing dates.

Landau declined to comment.

In December, the city admitted that it did not have a legal case against Allure, despite Mayor Bill de Blasio’s promise to sue the company for flipping 45 Rivington Street. Allure made $72 million when it sold the property to Slate Property Group. In April, New York state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman issued subpoenas after Allure filed demolition plans for the Nostrand property, with the intention of replacing it with a seven-story, 241-unit rental building.

The nursing home filed a lawsuit against Allure in December claiming the company marketed itself as a nursing home business while bidding for the property and instead forced residents out. The lawsuit also notes that the property flip may have led to the deaths of a few nursing home residents, who they say were forced out.

lakewood od victim was abused from FM

Lakewood Drug OD Was Abuse Victim
Did molestation drive Shua Finkelstein to overdose?

Shua Finkelstein wrote this not long before his death last week:

Shua Finkelstein small There is thing called child molestation that we have all heard of we all know it happens in different places we all know maybe priests or that creepy uncle.

Let me tell you a little about this thing and first hand what it can do to a kid. A frum child is molested he knows nothing about tummah and kedusha all he knows is that he was violated that his body is a toy thats what gets engraved into his brain not that he is a person worthy of respect but that he is an object a tool. This kid grows up he knows nothing of sex all he knows is that he is dirty and that his rabbis say sex is bad he doesn’t understand he thinks he is bad any mussar shmooz he hears it directly at him and this innocent kid begins to believe of himself as a bad person.

Nobody likes being bad he will look for a place with no expectations of him a place were he can be free to fit in a world where everybody is bad….Chances are he will either convince himself this is the normal and pass it in to another innocent child or he will resort to rebelling to prove to himself he is as bad as he thinks he is……Often he will find drugs to take him away to give him an escape from his horrible reality….That being said…

Did you ever notice a support our troops symbol on the back of somebody’s car? do you know what that represents? that means that thousands of miles there are people no different then yourself fighting a war and that we support them that gives them the morals they need to keep doing what they must do in order to protect us.

I dont expect to see “save our kids” on the back of all of our cars but is it too much to ask that each and everyone of us do our part???I will not mention names but there was one play group accused cased closed and dealt with. thats a start but that should send a chill down your spine theses are kids we are talking about…. there is another play group that is still open after over 5 cases have been brought against it!!!!! do you love your kids???? theses are the same kids that some vaad in lakewood will put in ad in the paper to protect from cellphone texting or god forbid a concert but did you see an ad saying

Guard your kids!!!!?DO research!!!!! If your in doubt dont send them there!

A play group that has had 5 allegations against it is still open????? Of course its there parnasah we are so worried about…

Maybe i should fill you in on some facts there is a jewish rehab whose name i will not mention that deals with kids whose lives are in danger i spoke to the intake administrator there about the cliental from Lakewood and i was told 99.% of all kids from lakewood Yes lakewood our holy town who doesn’t allow text messaging were molested in this town!!!!! and that is what led to there addiction! now some facts of this rehab which has a high success rate 50% dont stay clean and out of all the jewish kids there that leave and relapse there is an average of 3 jewish souls that die a year!!! Murdered by you and me and all of us unwilling to take a stand against these pe druople in our community the rabbis are scared to do anything? its political?? how dare they say that?? this is life and death we are killing kids over here we are condemning them to a life of misery of lonely depression and god forbid of passing on this horrible sickness.

IT IS YOUR DUTY as a Jew, As a Human to find these people in our community and no longer let them live among us!!!! ‘Oy le rosha Oy le schayno’ I think over here we are all the reshoim if we sit back and do nothing!! and if you dare say you are worried that people in play groups will lose there jobs there is some math you may want to do. a rehab a 6 month program to give a molested kid a chance $5,000 per months totals $30,000 now this place on average has 20 kids per six months thats $60,000 do you want me to count in the average fee of therapy $150-per hour????? or maybe you want the numbers i got from the local funeral homes?????? WAKE UP!!!!!! Ask yourself honestly is it that you are truly concerned about this just isn’t your place or do you just not know what to do? I think trying to be worried about innocent money just went the window….

This cannot be hidden any more!!!!! you know something speak up!!! have you been thru this??? share your story, help create support groups Help publicize this letter share your story…. If you are an offender seek help it can be done your amends will not be easy but it can be done.

You can make one fatal mistake and that is to try and hide and think you will get passed by come out help fix the wrong before you will no longer have that chance EVER.
If we all get together as a town to help weed this community it can be done with minimal damage. Anybody innocent who may receive slight setbacks because of this consider it your part in saving a life. ASHRECHA

Frum world may have a real issue with section 8 in new york

Cuts from the Trump administration could deliver a major blow to the city’s affordable housing, officials warned Wednesday.

The head of the city Department of Housing and Preservation — which receives a whopping 86% of its funds from federal grants — said that it will see at least $20 million vanish from rental assistance programs affecting 39,000 New Yorkers.

That’s on top of more than $75 million in cuts the New York City Housing Authority is expecting — and before Trump has even released his initial budget, which the city fears will further gut housing services.

“There will likely be tough choices ahead to make,” testified HPD Commissioner Maria Torres-Springer at a City Council hearing.

Trump calls tax leak ‘fake news’ even though White House confirms
HPD, which builds and preserves affordable housing and enforces building code violations, expects $635 million in federal aid in 2018, including $489 million in rental subsidies like Section 8.

NYC PAPERS OUT. Social media use restricted to low res file max 184 x 128 pixels and 72 dpi
The NYCHA is bracing for over $75 million in federal funding cuts, which could gut housing services.
Another $135 million comes from the federal Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program, which helps pay for repairs and inspections at city buildings.

President Trump will propose eliminating the entire $3 billion CDBG program in a budget draft to be released Thursday, the New York Times reported.

City housing officials, citing uncertainty in Washington, provided no details about which services could wind up on the chopping block — instead vowing to keep fighting the cuts.

De Blasio expects worst for city’s budget from slash-happy Trump
NYCHA chair Shola Olatoye warned earlier this week that federal cuts could lead the city to stop repairs after 4:30 p.m. and reduce Section 8 vouchers.

President Trump will propose eliminating the entire Community Development Block Grant, which totals $3 billion and helps pay for repairs and inspections at city buildings.
Mayor de Blasio’s affordable housing plan to build or preserve 200,000 units in 10 years is mostly funded in the city budget, but federal cuts could indirectly slow that process down by creating problems elsewhere, a housing advocate said.

“The city will try to patch the holes, but the money has to come from somewhere,” said Benjamin Dulchin, executive director of the Association for Neighborhood and Housing Development.

He added: “Everyone is really scared, because it’s going to be ugly.”

is the DA covering up for Shomrim family member

BY
RICH SCHAPIRO
CHRISTINA CARREGA
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Wednesday, March 15, 2017, 5:56 PM
The lawyer for a black Brooklyn man who was beaten in a racially-charged attack is accusing prosecutors of refusing to indict one of the assailants because of his family’s political ties.

Five Hasidic men were charged in the brutal assault of Taj Patterson, who was jumped four years ago while walking down a Williamsburg block.

But with the last defendant slated to be sentenced Thursday, Patterson’s lawyer is calling on the Brooklyn district attorney’s office to charge a man identified at trial as one of Patterson’s attackers.

“One token felony conviction does not placate Taj and his family, when one of the primary assailants remains protected for corrupt, political, and frankly, racial reasons,” Patterson’s civil attorney Andrew Stoll told the Daily News.

Sentencing postponed for Hasidic man who attacked gay black man
Stoll was referring to Yoelli “Joel” Itzkowitz, whose brother Yanky is the politically-connected coordinator of the Williamsburg Shomrim volunteer security patrol.
Mayer Herskovic, 24, has been convicted of participating in a racially charged beating of a black college student. (JESSE WARD/FOR NEW YORK DAILY NEWS)
Two people who testified at the trial of suspect Mayer Herskovic — a witness to the assault and an NYPD detective who reviewed surveillance video — identified Itzkowitz as one of Patterson’s attackers.

Yet authorities never questioned Yoelli Itzkowitz, who is a member of the Shomrim along with some of the other men charged with attacking Patterson.

“One witness and an NYPD Detective have already identified Itzkowitz in court under oath. Two defendants copped out, can be subpoenaed, and can no longer plead the fifth,” Stoll said.

Hasidic men blow off suits for alleged beating of gay black man
Calls to Yoelli Itzkowitz were not immediately returned.
The Dec. 2013 assault left Patterson, now 25, blind in his right eye.

Herskovic, who is awaiting sentencing, is facing up to 15 years behind bars for his role in the attack.

Stall has written two letters to the DA’s office calling for the arrest of Itzkowitz. Neither was returned.

Mayer Herskovic gets two more months of freedom
A spokesman from the prosecutor’s office declined to comment on the investigations and refused to say whether Itzkowitz was or is considered a suspect.

“We can only conclude that this DA’s office remains unwilling to grant equal access to justice to all Brooklyn communities,” said Stoll.