Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Head of New York City Charity Accused of (and Admits to, Sort of) Stealing Millions From the Charity

What Kind of Person Does Such a Thing?  - Oh, a Greedy Entitled Member of the Wealthy Class

In New York City one of the best known and most effective charities is the Metropolitan New York Council on Jewish Poverty.  Until he just quit, the head of the Met Council as it is know, a one William P. Rapfogel apparently stole millions from the group.

Michael Appleton for The New York Times
William E. Rapfogel, 58, after his arrest on Tuesday on charges of looting the Metropolitan New York Council on Jewish Poverty for two decades.

He received envelope after envelope, stuffed with skimmed cash kickbacks, according to a criminal complaint filed on Tuesday. Also cited were a $27,000 check written to a contractor working on his apartment, roughly $100,000 to help his son buy a home, and a campaign finance scheme that manipulated the city’s matching-funds formula, fraudulently increasing campaign contributions to favored city politicians who provided government grants to his organization.

Over two decades at the nonprofit Metropolitan New York Council on Jewish Poverty, Mr. Rapfogel and two confederates stole more than $5 million, much of it taxpayer money, said the complaint, which detailed the schemes and charged Mr. Rapfogel with grand larceny, money laundering and other crimes.

And yes, normally everyone should wait for a trial and its outcome before concluding guilt or innocence, but in this case it seems the defendant is admitting guilt.

Mr. Rapfogel acknowledged unspecified wrongdoing when the charitable organization, known widely as Met Council, uncovered the financial improprieties and fired him last month. He issued a statement saying, “I deeply regret the mistakes I have made that led to my departure.”

A remarkable part of the story is this incredible statement from his attorney.

After the hearing, Mr. Rapfogel declined to speak to reporters outside the courtroom. But his lawyer, Paul L. Shechtman, said: “Mr. Rapfogel hopes for a fair resolution of this case and will continue to make amends to Met Council. It’s a sad day, but happily people who know Willie well are still in his corner.”

Well if anyone who knows this cretin is still in corner, hopefully it is because they are beating the crap (metaphorically speaking of course, we wish no physical harm to Mr. Rapfogel) out of him.  In fact if Mr. Rapfogel needs to raise funds to pay back what he has stolen, auctioning off the opportunity to confront and verbally abuse this man would surely raise millions. 

It will be interesting to see what punishment is meted out to this wealthy, highly connected person.  It’s not like he stole the money because he was hungry.

Mr. Rapfogel, who was compensated more than $400,000 a year as the organization’s chief executive, surrendered early on Tuesday morning at the First Precinct station house in Lower Manhattan, where he was fingerprinted and photographed. 

Oh, and yes, his wife pleads ignorance.

Mr. Rapfogel’s wife, Judy, has since the 1970s served as chief of staff to Sheldon Silver, the speaker of the State Assembly. Under Mr. Silver, the Assembly has in some years provided $1 million in grants to the Met Council, and he has attended the charity’s fund-raising events. Since 2000, Century and people identified elsewhere as its employees have donated $13,000 to Mr. Silver or committees he controls.

Michael Whyland, a spokesman for Mr. Silver, said that Ms. Rapfogel was not aware of the money that was said to have been stashed in her homes or of the improprieties that prosecutors have accused her husband of committing. Her employment status with the speaker’s office has not changed, he said.

No, of course she didn’t know.  And for everyone who believes she didn’t know we have this bridge in Brooklyn for sale.

Haven’t we Jewish people suffered enough?  Enough already, enough.

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