Ex-Met Council CFO sentenced to prison in scam


NEW YORK (JTA) — The former chief financial officer of New York’s Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty was sentenced to four months in prison for his role in a $9 million kickback scheme.

The sentence of Herbert Friedman, 80, was announced Tuesday in a news release from the New York State attorney general’s office.

Friedman had pleaded guilty last month in New York County Supreme Court, admitting he received approximately $250,000 from the two-decade-long scheme stealing from the Met Council, a Jewish social service organization.

Three other defendants — former Met Council CEOs David Cohen and William Rapfogel, along with the organization’s insurance provider, Joseph Ross — also have pleaded guilty and are awaiting sentencing.

In the news release, Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s office said the sentence took into account Friedman’s “age and medical condition, his cooperation with the investigation and his payment of more than $250,000 in restitution to offset the severe financial loss to Met Council.”

The thefts, in which the Met Council paid inflated premiums for insurance coverage, began in 1992 and was devised by Cohen and Ross of the Century Coverage Corp., according to the attorney general.

“The conspirators in this case abused their positions of trust to help steal millions of dollars from a taxpayer-funded charitable organization — one dedicated to serving some of New York City’s poorest and most vulnerable residents,” Schneiderman said in a statement.

His office and the state comptroller are continuing to investigate the case.

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