Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Met Council's Rapfogel said to have kept $1 million out of $5 million stolen; gave $100,000 to help a son buy home

The charges against former charity macher William Rapfogel are so serious that it makes you wonder if he'll make a deal and bring down any associates, such as longtime friend Sheldon Silver, the Assembly Speaker, for which his wife Judy is chief of staff.

And maybe he'll explain why one campaign contribution from his alleged associates went to an opponent of Forest City Ratner foe Letitia James.

Helping out a son

The New York Times reports today, Former Chief of Jewish Charity Stole Money Early and Often, Prosecutors Say:
Shortly after William E. Rapfogel became the leader of one of New York City’s most influential social service organizations in 1992, prosecutors say, he began to steal.
He received envelope after envelope, stuffed with skimmed cash kickbacks, according to a criminal complaint filed on Tuesday. Also cited were a $27,000 check written to a contractor working on his apartment, roughly $100,000 to help his son buy a home, and a campaign finance scheme that manipulated the city’s matching-funds formula, fraudulently increasing campaign contributions to favored city politicians who provided government grants to his organization.
Over two decades at the nonprofit Metropolitan New York Council on Jewish Poverty, Mr. Rapfogel and two confederates stole more than $5 million, much of it taxpayer money, said the complaint, which detailed the schemes and charged Mr. Rapfogel with grand larceny, money laundering and other crimes.
Some of the money went to the co-conspirators, who were not named in the complaint; some of it was directed to politicians and political organizations. Mr. Rapfogel, a man whose deeds and connections made his name almost synonymous with the city’s Jewish philanthropic causes, was accused of keeping more than $1 million for himself.
The cash-stuffed envelopes clearly added up. Investigators found $400,000 squirreled away in his Lower East Side apartment — a sizable chunk in his closet — and in his home in Monticello, N.Y., according to the complaint and a person briefed on the matter.
....He did not enter a plea and waived his right to a speedy trial, a move suggesting that he was or would be involved in plea negotiations.
(Emphasis added)

The complaint does not specify which son Rapfogel helped. Nor would the Attorney General's office offer any information beyond the complaint. According to this June 2011 profile of Rapfogel and his wife Judy, the couple has three sons, one of whom was a college student at the time.

One of the other two sons is Michael Rapfogel, who works on government relations for Forest City Ratner.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous12:04 PM

    I believe that the $100,000 was to help buy a house in Far Rockaway for his middle son (not for Michael, who is the oldest, or for the youngest, who was in college in 2011).