March 29th, 2011
11:03 AM ET

Rabbi pleads guilty to illegally transmitting money

By Katie Silver, CNN

New York (CNN) - A New York religious leader pleaded guilty Monday to operating an illegal money business, officials said.

Rabbi Saul Kassin, 89, the chief rabbi of the Shaare Zion congregation in New York City, was arrested in an FBI-led corruption investigation in 2009.

Kassin admitted in federal court that he accepted bank checks in exchange for checks of a lesser value from a charity he operated and controlled, the U.S. Attorney's Office in New Jersey said.

On Monday, he pleaded guilty Monday to illegal cash transmission - a lesser charge than the original complaint of money laundering, his lawyer Gerald Shargel said.

Prosecutors said Kassin operated an unlicensed money transmitting business in his home from mid-2007 through 2008. Using the bank account he controlled for the Magen Israel Society charitable organization, Kassin accepted checks, deducted a 10% commission and then issued the difference to other organizations, authorities said.

Read the full story here about the rabbi pleading guilty to illegally transmitting money.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Courts • Judaism • New York • United States

soundoff (17 Responses)
  1. Frederica

    Many Christians gave away everything they have, even their blood and life, to save others throughout the world for all their history. As the Lord Jesus so lived and commanded. A truely redemptive species with Truth on Planet Earth.
    Thanks to God. Thanks to sacrificial Christians.

    March 29, 2011 at 10:33 pm |
  2. navykurt

    "reality" forgot to mention that it's us "johnny come lately" christians that are the only thing standing between jews and irradication at the hands of islam.

    March 29, 2011 at 9:00 pm |
  3. Carla

    For everyone it's called MONEY LAUNDERING. When it's a Jewish Rabbi, it's "money transfer".

    March 29, 2011 at 7:46 pm |
  4. rb318

    when are people going to realize that people are people, and people of all faiths or no faith do good and bad things. but when someone who is trusted above others commit crimes, especially against other people and children, the penalty should be worse.

    March 29, 2011 at 5:34 pm |
  5. Dave Cohen

    Enough is enough of this craziness. Society is in big trouble as long as those who are supposed to be doing the leading are not leading by example. Where are people supposed to turn anymore? When the fish stinks it doesn't take long for the fish market to have health department violations. Soon the people will be eating pork sandwiches with milkshakes and marrying goyim.

    March 29, 2011 at 2:26 pm |
  6. SPG

    Rabbis are human like all others. To suggest that this Rabbi would have done better "to turn to Jesus" is either hopelessly naive or plain dumb. People of all faiths do or do not do illegal things based on their value systems, their needs, and their basic moral principles.

    March 29, 2011 at 12:58 pm |
  7. DetRick

    You don't need to launder money if you are getting it legally.
    The Catholic Church has been laundering money for decades.
    This is no different. Hiding crime behind a religious facade is one of the oldest tricks in the book.

    March 29, 2011 at 12:56 pm |
  8. Reality

    Obviously ordination in any religion is not assurance of good behavior !!!!!

    Neither is coronation!!! e.g. Henry VIII, King David.

    Neither is marriage as 50% of those men convicted of pedophilia are married.

    Neither is being elected president of the USA!! e.g. Billy "I did not have se-x with that girl" Clinton, John "Marilyn Monroe" Kennedy"

    Neither is possessing super athletic skill!!! e.g. Tiger "I am so sorry for getting caught" Woods

    Neither is being an atheist or pagan since pedophilia is present in all walks of life

    If someone is guilty of a crime in this litany of "neithers" they should or should have been penalized as the law dictates to include jail terms for pedophiliacs (priests, rabbis, evangelicals, boy scout leaders, married men/women), divorce for adultery (Clinton, Kennedy, Woods), jail terms for obstruction of justice )Clinton, Cardinal Law), jail for embellizing/money laundering (the topic rabbi) and the death penalty or life in prison for murder ("Kings David and Henry VIII).

    March 29, 2011 at 12:48 pm |
  9. HeavenSent

    He needs to turn to Jesus.

    March 29, 2011 at 12:01 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      He is one of God's Chosen People.
      You Christians with your rabble-rousing carpenter are nothing but derivative Johnny Come Latelies.

      March 29, 2011 at 12:04 pm |
    • Frederica

      Doc, the Jews need to trust in Jesus the Messiah just as anyone else in order to be saved; they have a good prophesy regarding them. Israel will be saved through Jesus at the end.

      March 29, 2011 at 10:37 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Doc, how long have you had this dual personality? I was not on-line the 29th or the 30th of March.


      March 31, 2011 at 1:26 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Dual personality?
      Nobody has usurped my moniker as of yet – it's all me. 🙂
      I've been trying to take different approaches... some days I feel irreverant and snarky (like with the rabble rousing carpenter comment).
      Sometimes I try to prove my point with facts derived from scientific study and reference them when I can.
      Because I access this site from my office, my tone often reflects how my work day is going. Bad day = terse Doctor!
      But you can pretty well rest assured that if there's a Heinlein quote under my name, it's the real deal.

      March 31, 2011 at 1:42 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      I am just testing a few people Doc whether I can converse with you instead of you writing responses to the phony that hides behind his/her keyboard pretending to be me. You've been on this blog long enough to know whether you are responding to the real me or the phony. The phony person hiding behind my handle has nothing worthwhile to write, she/he is just causing chaos which they are comfortable with because I told them Jesus truth about them sending their self to the eternal flames and they no longer had the excuse to blame it all on Jesus. It was all their doing. Now they are miffed and stole my handle.


      April 1, 2011 at 3:48 am |
  10. Jcork

    Wow, religious leaders embezzling money AGAIN. Nothing new to see here, folks...

    March 29, 2011 at 11:36 am |
  11. The Bobinator

    Who cares? A Rabbi is a person just like everyone else.

    March 29, 2011 at 11:23 am |
  12. Doc Vestibule

    The good Rabbi should compare notes with Archbishop Paul Marcinkus.
    As an example of inter-faith cooperation, they could figure out how to embezzle money without getting caught.

    March 29, 2011 at 11:16 am |
About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.