Rabbi Pinto admits to bribing Israeli police officer: report

Advisor to several major NYC real estate players takes plea deal, faces a year in prison

TRD New York /
Sep.September 17, 2014 10:00 AM

Rabbi Yoshiyahu Yosef Pinto — adviser to some of New York City’s major real estate players — has reportedly accepted a plea bargain in a bribery case being prosecuted in Israel. Under the agreement, Pinto will admit to bribing a senior Israeli police officer in 2012 to gain access to his police file.

The Associated Press reported that Israeli prosecutors are seeking a one-year sentence for the rabbi.

Pinto, as previously reported, allegedly offered Brigadier General Ephraim Bracha, the chief of the Police Investigation Division, $200,000 to find out about the probe into Pinto’s suspected money laundering. Ofer Biton, one of the rabbi’s former aides, was arrested in August 2012.

Pinto has ties to major players in the real estate industry, including Keller Williams NYC’s Ilan Bracha, developer Haim Binstock and Sapir Organization’s Zina Sapir.

One of Israel’s wealthiest rabbis, Pinto was arrested in Israel in October 2012 on the bribery charge, as well the alleged money laundering scheme. The money laundering investigation involved charges that one of the rabbi’s aides embezzled donations to one of Pinto’s charity organizations. [AP] — Claire Moses

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