Wife of Israeli celebrity rabbi attempts suicide as police question him

JERUSALEM (JTA) — The wife of Israeli kabbalist Rabbi Yoshiyahu Yosef Pinto tried to commit suicide as her husband was being questioned by police.

The rabbi’s wife, Rivka, was rushed to a Tel Aviv hospital on Sunday after reportedly overdosing on pills, Israel Radio reported. The questioning of Pinto was suspended on Sunday after three hours.

The couple were arrested and released to home detention late last week after allegedly attempting to bribe a police officer to get information about an investigation into alleged money laundering by the couple.

A former aide to Pinto, Ofer Biton, was jailed last month in the United States over immigration violations. U.S. officials reportedly have been scrutinizing Biton’s fundraising activities for a U.S. congressman, Rep. Michael Grimm (R-N.Y.).

Biton had a falling-out with Pinto, whose supporters have accused Biton of embezzling funds from Pinto’s organizations.
 

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