Rabbi Pinto breaks silence on bribery charges

September 12, 2013 03:49PM

Rabbi Yoshiyahu Pinto, a spiritual adviser to many of the New York City real estate industry’s movers and shakers, spoke out for the first time about the money laundering and attempted bribery charges he faces.

The rabbi spoke with Israel’s 2 News in an exclusive interview.

Pinto allegedly offered $200,000 to an Israeli chief of police, who was investigating him for money laundering. The exchange, Pinto said, was about “helping a friend.”

“There is a misunderstanding of what happened,” he told 2 News in Hebrew, which The Real Deal translated. “It is prohibited to bribe. It is a very serious offense in the Torah.”

Not only is bribery prohibited, the rabbi told 2 News, “it is prohibited to tell a person to accept something that will hasten making justice.”

Asked why, in that case, someone would press charges against him, the rabbi declined to comment. [2 News]Julie Strickland