A roundup of news and tidbits in the ongoing scandal involving charges of money laundering against prominent rabbis in the Syrian Jewish community:
- Money came from Israel: The Asbury Park Press explains how the rabbis in New York and New Jersey allegedly received their cash from Israeli sources. "To start the money laundering, Dwek handed over checks — often made out to charities run by the religious leaders — and said they were proceeds of his illegal activities, sources and court papers indicate. Three of the rabbis had connections to cash sources in Israel, and for a fee, those men in Israel made money available through ‘cash houses’ run out of Brooklyn homes, offices and a bakery, according to court documents."
- Asking Israel to help: The Jerusalem Post reports that an unnamed law enforcement source says that "the Israeli police will likely receive a request from the FBI to assist in the investigation of an enormous money-laundering ring that allegedly involved Orthodox charities operating in the US and Israel."
- Saying no to Dwek: Arutz Sheva reports that Rabbi David Yosef, the son of Shas spiritual leader and former Sephardic Chief Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, resisted an attempt by an American businessman to suck him into a money laundering operation that eventually led to the arrest of dozens of people in New York and New Jersey.
- What would Barbara Walters say?: David Rothkopf writes "Dwek, (pronounced in much the same way Barbara Walters would pronounce "dreck" which is the Yiddish word for shit), is now somewhere in the witness protection system… There is something irresistible about this particularly tale. It’s the bastard short story of Mario Puzo and Philip Roth (with a hint of Damon Runyon by way of Sholom Aleichem) and who can object to that."
- Dwek the canary: A N.J. blogger says that "Solomon Dwek’s triumphant return to the spotlight last week was another reminder of the economy’s fall from grace. Dwek, identified as the informant behind the FBI’s arrest of political and religious leaders, first made his mark as, what one banking analyst said, the canary in the coal mine."
- Is N.J. worse than Chicago?: Chicago-Sun Times reporter tells the Garden State to "back off."