Rabbi scam leads to tough jail sentences
Police and security services employees who obtained their diplomas from Rabbi Meir Rosenthal became eligible for wage bonuses of between $530 and $1,060 a month.
As a result the government paid out hundreds of million of additional shekels to the civil servants.
Rosenthal was yesterday sentenced by the Jerusalem District Court to seven years in prison and a $135,000 fine for handing out more than 1,000 bogus ordinations to soldiers, police officers and intelligence officials from 1993 to 2008.
Those who received the ordinations paid Rosenthal approximately $540,000 in bribes.An accomplice to the crime, Rabbi Yitzchak Ochana, received a 10-month prison term. Ochana was the personal assistant to former Sephardic Chief Rabbi Eliyahu Bakshi-Doron, who is being tried separately for the offence.
Rosenthal and Ochana, as well as Meir Roimi and Aharon Gutsdiner, were convicted of aggravated fraud in the case in April. Gutsdiner and Roimi also received prison sentences.
Judge Amnon Cohen wrote in his decision:
We should not forget that he granted certificates that ordained someone to the rabbinate and gave the title of rabbi to people who were secular and did not observe Shabbat. In these deeds, he deviated cardinally from the norms of behavior expected of a public servant.
Hat tip: John Dowdle.