Fraud

Cash-launder Syrian rabbi comes clean in court

By Ellen Tumposky, March 31, 2011

An elderly and prominent Syrian rabbi from Brooklyn has pleaded guilty to laundering tens of thousands of dollars through a religious charity.

Saul Kassin, 89, rabbi of Congregation Sharee Zion in Brooklyn, the largest Syrian Sephardic synagogue in the US, confessed his crime to a federal court earlier this week.

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Tchenguiz property firms in administration after SFO raid

By Jennifer Lipman, March 15, 2011

Four firms in Vincent Tchenguiz’s property company have gone into administration less than a week after the tycoon was arrested in a Serious Fraud Office (SFO) raid.

Thousands of jobs in the Peverel group, the UK’s biggest property management company, could be at risk after the board said it could not honour £125 million debts.

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Tchenguiz brothers arrested in Icelandic bank probe

By Jennifer Lipman, March 9, 2011

The Iranian Jewish property entrepreneurs Robert and Vincent Tchenguiz were among nine people arrested today in connection with the collapse of Icelandic banking giant Kaupthing.

Robert and Vincent Tchenguiz were arrested early this morning and are being questioned by police in central London.

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Baker fails in bid for dough

February 17, 2011

A North London kosher bakery which was gutted by fire three years ago has failed in a High Court bid to make insurers meet the £400,000 loss.

Mr Justice Blair ruled that Sharon's Bakery (Europe) had used a "fraudulent means or device" to support its insurance claim after its Tottenham warehouse collapsed in flames in June 2008.

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Fake Guggenheims tried to defraud ex-president

February 10, 2011

They may have called themselves "Guggenheim". But when it came to the art of the steal, the three supposed multi-millionaires were quickly spotted as likely fakes.

David Birnbaum, Vladimir Zuravel and Catarina Pietra Toumei appeared in federal court this week accused of posing as members or associates of the Guggenheim family to swindle investors out of millions of dollars.

Their targets appear to have included presidents George Bush and George W Bush, the Iraqi Ministry of Oil and Coca-Cola Company executives.

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Fake rabbi stole £3m by posing as dead

By Paul Berger, January 20, 2011

A Chicago man posing as a rabbi attempted to steal £34 million by filing fraudulent tax returns using the identities of dead people and prison inmates.

Marvin Berkowitz, 64, pleaded guilty to tax fraud in a Chicago court on Friday.

He faces up to 25 years in prison when he is sentenced in June.

Berkowitz and his accomplices, who included family members, scoured online records for the names and social security numbers of the dead and of prisoners.

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Rony Fuchs fraud trial breach of international law

By Jennifer Lipman, January 12, 2011

An Israeli businessman is on trial in Tbilisi in a fraud case which a high-profile British lawyer has called a breach of Georgia's obligations under the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR).

Human rights lawyer Geoffrey Robertson QC, who is working on the case, said: "In its pursuit of Rony Fuchs, Georgia has acted in a manner contrary to [its] obligations under international law.”

In March 2010 Mr Fuchs and his business partner won a £62 million payout from the Georgian government for a breached agreement on the construction of an oil pipeline.

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Bernard Madoff's son Mark found dead in suicide

By Jennifer Lipman, December 13, 2010

The eldest son of disgraced fraudster Bernard Madoff has been found dead after committing suicide at his New York home.

Mark Madoff, who was 46, was found hanged on Saturday. The New York City medical examiner has ruled his death a suicide.

After his father was arrested in 2008, Mr Madoff claimed not to have known anything about the multi-million dollar Ponzi scheme.

However criminal investigators have continued to explore the possibility that he and other family members, including younger brother Andrew, were involved.

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Fraudster Bernard Madoff's diamonds, rolex auctioned

By Jennifer Lipman, November 15, 2010

The worldly possessions of disgraced fraudster Bernard Madoff have been auctioned in New York for hundreds of thousand of pounds.

One bidder paid £342,000 for the engagement ring Madoff bought for his wife Ruth, while another buyer bought his vintage Rolex for £42,000.

More than 400 items were up for auction, including his monogrammed boxer shorts, slippers and socks, as well as Ruth Madoff’s diamond earrings and a broken leather foot stall which went for £2,000.

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Egyptian Jewish leader not guilty of fraud

By Jennifer Lipman, November 2, 2010

The head of Egypt’s Jewish community has escaped prison after winning an appeal against a fraud conviction.

Carmen Weinstein was found not guilty of defrauding a businessman out of more than £320,000 by an appeals court in Cairo.

In July Ms Weinstein, 82, was sentenced to three years in prison for selling a property which she did not own. She was alleged to have taken money from an investor for the purchase but not given him the deeds to the building.

She denied the charges and said that the documents supplied as evidence were false.

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