Brooklyn Rabbi Convicted of Extortion


(JTA) — An Orthodox rabbi from Brooklyn was convicted in federal court of extortion.

Rabbi Milton Balkany, the director of a Jewish day school, was found guilty Wednesday by a jury in U.S. District Court in Manhattan of extortion, blackmail, wire fraud and making false statements.

Balkany, 64, was convicted of trying to extort a $4 million donation to his school, Bais Yaakov of Midwood, from billionaire Steven Cohen’s SAC Capital, using damaging information he obtained from an inmate at a federal prison where he served as a spiritual adviser.

Balkany will remain under house arrest until his sentencing on February 18. He could face 20 years in prison.

The rabbi has been active in fundraising for Republican politicians and has lobbied in Washington for several causes.