Rabbi hurt in Cal­i­for­nia syn­a­gogue shoot­ing ad­mits tax fraud

Antelope Valley Press - - NEWS -

SAN DIEGO (AP) — A rabbi who had part of his hand shot off in a deadly at­tack at his South­ern Cal­i­for­nia syn­a­gogue pleaded guilty Tues­day to fed­eral charges of tax and wire fraud, ac­cord­ing to a news­pa­per re­port.

Rabbi Yis­roel Gold­stein, 58, ac­knowl­edged his role in a scheme in which donors made large con­tri­bu­tions to Chabad of Poway but then se­cretly got most of the money back, the San Diego

Union-Tri­bune re­ported. Typ­i­cally the syn­a­gogue would keep a por­tion of the con­tri­bu­tion — per­haps 10% — then fun­nel the re­main­ing 90% back to the donor, the news­pa­per said.

Au­thor­i­ties said the donor could then claim a large char­i­ta­ble con­tri­bu­tion on their taxes, de­spite hav­ing only put out a frac­tion of the claimed amount.

Nei­ther Gold­stein nor his at­tor­neys made any com­ments to a Union-Tri­bune re­porter af­ter the hear­ing in US District Court in San Diego. At least five other peo­ple are ex­pected to plead guilty in con­nec­tion with the case.

The in­ves­ti­ga­tion of Gold­stein started more than 18 months ago. The news­pa­per said au­thor­i­ties served a search war­rant on the syn­a­gogue on Oct. 17, 2018 — al­most six months be­fore a gun­man burst into a Passover ser­vice and opened fire.

One con­gre­gant, Lori Gilbert-Kaye, was killed and three oth­ers were in­jured. Among them was Gold­stein, who lost his right in­dex finger

The rabbi re­ceived an out­pour­ing of sup­port that in­cluded meet­ing Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump at the White House.

In Novem­ber, cit­ing ex­haus­tion, Gold­stein re­tired from the lead­er­ship of Chabad of Poway.

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