Sunday, September 28, 2014

Staten Island Mafia Thug/GOP Congressman "Mikey Suits" Grimm-- The Israeli Connection


2 greedy-obsessed arch criminals claim to be victims

Back in January, we noted that Benjamin Netanyahu was using the Israeli government to cover up for some of Mafia thug Michael Grimm's criminal activities. Grimm, a former FBI agent who went over to the Gambino crime family and then managed to get elected to Congress from-- where else?-- Staten Island, has been indicted a 20 relatively benign counts relative to a long and sordid career in crime. Polls show that voters in the Staten Island and Bay Ridge parts of New York's 11th CD are ready to reelect him a month before his trial is about to begin.

Grimm's hometown paper, The Advance, reported back then that high ranking Israelis were pressuring multimillionaire celebrity Rabbi Yoshiyahu Pinto-- who counts LeBron James, Anthony Weiner, Jay Schottenstein, chairman of the American Eagle Outfitters, p.r. executive Ronn Torossian, and talk show host Donny Deutsch among his followers-- to not cooperate with the FBI investigation into Grimm's illegal campaign fundraising about Pinto congregants. Grimm's partner in crime, Ofer Biton, who worked for Pinto, has already plead guilty to related crimes and is cooperating in the Grimm investigation. This morning, the New York Post reported FBI leaks on the Israeli connection and that in 2011 during a scandal-marred trip to Israel, Grimm described attending "an intimate meeting" with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
A top official in Israel tried to intimidate the rabbi who claims Staten Island Rep. Michael Grimm shook him down for donations, sources familiar with the investigation told The Post.

The FBI is investigating allegations by Orthodox mystic Yoshiyahu Yosef Pinto, who testified against Grimm in 2010.

In 2011, then-Israeli Justice Minister Yaakov Neeman, a follower of the rabbi, visited Pinto at his home in the city of Ashdod in southern Israel and told him that if he continued to cooperate with the FBI, “you’re going to have a disaster in Israel,” a source told The Post. “In Israel they’re going to ruin you.”

“The rabbi started off as a victim and did the right thing by seeking out law enforcement, and now has been victimized once again,” said Arthur Aidala, Pinto’s Manhattan lawyer. He has been joined by famed attorney Alan Dershowitz, who is a follower and longtime friend of the rabbi.

…A year after Neeman’s visit, Pinto, who divides his time between Ashdod and Manhattan, was charged with extortion in Israel. In October 2012, he was placed under house arrest, accused of paying a senior police official in exchange for information on an investigation which involved him and a branch of his charity, Shuva Israel.

Two weeks ago, Pinto struck a deal with Israeli authorities to plead guilty.

Pinto’s supporters say the guilty plea was made under duress when Israeli authorities threatened to press charges against Pinto’s ailing wife.

And they characterized the rabbi’s payments-- several hundred thousand dollars-- to senior police commander Ephraim Bracha as aid to a loyal follower. In fact, Pinto was open about the payments to his FBI handlers who even informed Israeli authorities, said the source.

…A close associate of the rabbi wrote a check for $135,000 to RDT, a consulting firm controlled by Torossian, according to court papers. More money flowed in from other followers. By May 2010, Biton had invested $500,000 in a business venture as a first step to securing a US investor’s visa. Torossian has denied any wrongdoing.

When the demands for money continued, Pinto and his wife reached out to Grimm, a former Marine and FBI agent who had been introduced to the rabbi by Biton. It’s unclear how Biton and Grimm knew each other.

Grimm promised to make the problems with Torossian and ­Biton go away if the rabbi prevailed upon his supporters to donate to Grimm’s first run for Congress in 2010, according to the source.

A large portion of Grimm’s donations for the November 2010 election came from the Orthodox Jewish community. There were accusations that some donations were over the $4,800 limit prescribed by federal campaign-finance rules and were made by foreign nationals, who are prohibited from donating.
It isn't just the New York City (and Staten Island) press that's covering the Grimm-Pinto scandal. Israeli media is following the whole sordid mess as well. Today, right after The Post published its report, Israelis were reading that it was Alan Dershowitz, Pinto's attorney, who had leaked the details of the case. This report claims The Post omitted 2 very key details in its report:
1. Rabbi Yoshiyahu Yosef Pinto's associates allegedly stole millions of dollars in food and other donations earmarked for Holocaust surviviors. It was a criminal investigation into those thefts from the Hazon Yeshaya charity that allegedly promted Pinto to try to bribe senior police officers to get inside details of that investigation.

2. Cops recorded the key bribe-– $100,000 in Swiss francs-– being given. The recipient was wearing a wire. The person who delivered the bribe was Pinto's wife, who served as Pinto's bag man. She tried to commit suicide after she and her husband were arrested shortly after the attempted bribe.

Knowing those key facts makes Pinto a much less likable figure, and makes the spin of much of The Post's reporting ring false-– which is likely why The Post left those facts out.

Who is guilty here? Grimm? Pinto? Biton? Ne'eman? Likely all of them and many more. To present Pinto as a victim is bizarre.

The only true victims in this sordid tale are the hundreds of poor elderly Holocaust survivors who died hungry because of the Hazon Yeshaya embezzlement.

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