Seventeen people have been charged with stealing more than £25 million from a Hardship Fund for Holocaust survivors in need.
Preet Bharara, the US Attorney overseeing the case, said there was evidence of a "culture of fraud" among some employees of the Conference on the Jewish Material Claims Against Germany.
It was revealed that six staff members helped the fraudsters raid the non-profit aid fund by approving false applications for help and convincing residents, including Russian Jewish immigrants to New York, to apply even though they were unqualified for aid.
Born in Lithuania in 1881, Mordecai Kaplan's family moved to the United States when he was eight. He studied at the Jewish Theological Seminary of America and later Columbia University, and was ordained as a rabbi at the age of 21. In 1908 he married Lena Rubin.
But his experience as a rabbi in New York, at Congregation Kehilath Jeshurun, was not a positive one, and in 1909 he almost left the role to work in insurance. He did not leave, but he did remain disillusioned with the Jewish practice around him.
To his followers, he remains a hero, to many; he was a right-wing fanatic with dangerous, even racist views.
Born Martin David Kahane in New York City in 1932, as a teenager he was involved in the right-wing youth movement Betar. He entered rabbinical college and in 1968 set up the Jewish Defence League in Brooklyn.
The organisation was a response to street violence against Jews, and had as its symbol a clenched fist with the words “never again.”
Inscribed on what is perhaps America’s most famous landmark and certainly one of its most treasured, is this: “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me!”
Blaine, whose Russian Jewish mother died of cancer when he was 19, has said he only feels alive when he is near to death. He survived six weeks suspended above the Thames, and as he left his glass cage in 2003, he cried: “This has been one of the most importance experiences of my life.”
More than a quarter of a million Londoners went to see the New York born “endurance specialist” in his time above the water. A few threw golf balls, paint, eggs and even tried to cut off his water supply.