Israel’s Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein today told former Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi Yona Metzger that he will be indicted for pocketing a$1.8 million bribe, subject to a hearing. Weinstein has adopted the recommendations of the State Prosecutor.
Rabbi Metzger is suspected of many offenses including taking bribes, fraud, breach of trust, aggravated fraud, theft, conspiracy to commit a crime, money laundering and tax offenses, and all while taking advantage of his exalted status.
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Rabbi Metzger allegedly received an estimated $2.56 million in bribes, of which he put $1.8 million in his own pocket.
It is suspected that in most cases he used his chauffeur Haim Eisenshtat to collect money, and he received a significant share of the money.
In many cases, Rabbi Metzger allegedly received money in order to assist people to convert to Judaism. For example, in 2011 Rabbi Metzger allegedly helped a Russian businessman to have his son and daughter converted. Rabbi Metzger referred the businessman to a rabbi abroad who it is suspected of receiving $180, 000 and Rabbi Metzger allegedly received another $180, 000.
Rabbi Metzger also allegedly pocketed part of hundreds of thousands of dollars in donations he solicited for various NGOs.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news – www.globes-online.com