Religion & Beliefs

Hasids Busted For Fraud, Blame Game Begins

If you’re not deeply invested with the goings on in smallish Hasidic sects, you may not have heard that the Grand Rabbi of the Boro Park clan of the Spinka Hasidic dynasty, 59-year-old Naftali Zvi Weisz, was arrested in December … Read More

By / January 25, 2008

If you’re not deeply invested with the goings on in smallish Hasidic sects, you may not have heard that the Grand Rabbi of the Boro Park clan of the Spinka Hasidic dynasty, 59-year-old Naftali Zvi Weisz, was arrested in December and charged with defrauding the government out of almost $35 million.

The Hasidic community freaked out in response to this arrest, but not because they’d been had by a rabbi who turned out to be an asshat. Instead, everyone was up in arms trying to figure out who had ratted the Rebbe out. The FBI leaked documents about the investigation on the internet, and an informant called only ‘RK’ was revealed to be the source of much of the damning information (the rest came from the work of Bureua’s Yiddish translation team—no lie). Eventually, Robert Kasirer, a Modern Orthodox businessman in LA was identified as the informant. According to the Forward, Kasirer provided state’s evidence against the Hasidic rebbe in exchange for a lighter sentence on previous fraud charges stemming from his health care business. But who cares who the informant is, really? Thank God we got this fraud off the street, right? Not so much. Because being an informant, a moser, is among the biggest no-nos in the Hasidic community.