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Ex-Met Council chief William Rapfogel to plead guilty in financial scam

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William Rapfogel, then the head of the Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty, at the social service agency's annual legislative breakfast, June 2008. (Metropolitan Council)

William Rapfogel, then the head of the Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty, at the social service agency’s annual legislative breakfast, June 2008. (Metropolitan Council)

(JTA) — William Rapfogel, the ousted leader of the Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty in New York, reportedly will plead guilty for his role in a scheme to steal more than $7 million from the social service agency.

Rapfogel, who had served as CEO and president of the Met Council from 1992 until he was fired last August, was scheduled to enter a guilty plea in New York state Supreme Court in Manhattan on Wednesday.

David Cohen, Rapfogel’s predecessor at the council, also is scheduled to plead guilty for his role in the scam, according to The New York Times, citing people familiar with the case.

Rapfogel has agreed to pay substantial restitution, the newspaper reported, citing unnamed sources. The plea agreement is confidential.

He was fired after financial irregularities were discovered in an investigation initiated by the Met Council’s board of directors. New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and the state comptroller’s office then opened a probe.

Rapfogel was arrested in September and charged with grand larceny and money laundering.

“I deeply regret the mistakes I have made that led to my departure from the organization,” he said following his ouster by the social service agency.

Rapfogel allegedly inflated the Met Council’s health insurance payments by several hundred thousand dollars a year and then split the proceeds with politicians who supplied grants to the agency. An annual breakfast he hosted drew many influential political figures.

The Met Council provides employment services, crisis intervention, emergency food and other programs for poor Jewish households.

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