The Real Deal New York

Father-in-law drops civil money laundering suit against Rabbi Pinto

September 16, 2011 03:13PM

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Civil charges brought against Rabbi Yoshiyahu Yosef Pinto by his father-in-law, Argentine Chief Rabbi Shlomo Ben Hamo, were dropped “to preserve domestic tranquility,” Ha’aretz reported.

Ben Hamo had accused Pinto of using him in a money laundering scheme, where Ben Hamo opened a bank account under his name for Pinto in Argentina and had to act as the guarantor for a pair of $1.15 million apartments Pinto bought in an upscale Israeli complex. The saga went to court when the developers of the apartments sued Ben Hamo for not paying for Pinto’s apartments.

Under the agreement to drop charges, Pinto will pay the developers the balance of what’s owed on the apartment, about $930,000, and Ben Hamo will transfer $700,000 from the bank account in Argentina to Pinto.

“The fact that Ben Hamo, via his lawyer, announced that he was retracting his false claims of money laundering and other accusations proves to all of us that our rabbi is the very symbol of honesty and propriety,” said one person close to Pinto. The Rabbi himself did not comment on the dropped charges. [Ha'aretz]

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