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July 24, 2014

N.Y. Rabbi to Pay $522,000 for Fake Charity Solicitations

A Brooklyn rabbi and his wife accused of collecting donations for a network of phony charities will pay restitution of more than half a million dollars under an agreement with New York State's attorney general, The Jewish Daily Forward writes.

The pact settles a June 2013 state lawsuit against Yaakov and Rivka Weingarten over solicitations for charities ostensibly serving needy Israelis. Pleading guilty in May to a criminal charge of felony tax fraud, Mr. Weingarten admitted in court filings that eight of the groups for which he claimed to be raising money "did not exist."

Under the settlement signed Wednesday in Kings County Supreme Court, $360,000 of the $522,000 restitution order will go via the UJA-Federation of New York to two Israeli charities that do work of the sort the Weingartens told donors they were supporting.