Sunday, July 19, 2020

California rabbi engaged in years of fraud, and was coincidentally invited to visit Trump while under federal investigation

LATimes:

The 58-year-old rabbi — who gained international notoriety after a April 27, 2019, shooting attack on Chabad of Poway synagogue that killed congregant Lori Gilbert-Kaye and injured three others, including Goldstein — admitted to years of illegal schemes involving taxes, government programs, real estate and public and private grant programs.

The court records illustrate in detail a spectrum of frauds that are staggering in their amount, scope and duration.

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The charges cover a period from 2010-18 but prosecutors said he had been engaged in fraud as far back as the 1980s.

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U.S. Attorney Robert Brewer said Tuesday that his office has already decided not to seek a prison term for Goldstein, citing his cooperation with an ongoing investigation that has led to five others pleading guilty and as many as 20 more under investigation, and his conduct in the wake of the attack.

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After the shooting, he called for tolerance, love and forgiveness in numerous appearances and speeches. He was invited to the White House, met President Trump, and hosted the vice president at the Poway synagogue.

At the time, however, he was under investigation by the federal government and had agreed to cooperate with a probe into years, perhaps decades, of serial frauds he allegedly had orchestrated. That information became public for the first time Tuesday.