Sunday, 19 April 2015
Last updated 15 hours ago
Nov 11 2010 | 2:15am ET
A Brooklyn rabbi has been convicted of trying to extort $4 million from SAC Capital Advisors founder Steven Cohen.
A jury took just five hours to convict Milton Balkany of extortion, blackmail, making false statements and wire fraud. He faces up to 20 years in prison when he is sentenced on Feb. 18.
According to prosecutors, Balkany warned SAC that an inmate he was counseling claimed that he had information implicating SAC in insider trading of six securities in 2004 and 2005. He allegedly promised the hedge fund giant the inmate’s silence in exchange for a pair of $2 million donations to two Orthodox Jewish schools, including Brooklyn’s Bais Yaakov, where Balkany served as dean.
After going to the authorities, SAC played along, delivering the checks to Balkany. Unfortunately for the rabbi, the Feds were recording everything and arrested him the day he tried to deposit the hedge fund checks.
“We are obviously disappointed by the verdict, but confident that the court will ultimately recognize a lot of the good that Rabbi Balkany has done throughout his life,” the rabbi’s lawyer, Benjamin Brafman, said. Brafman is also no doubt disappointed that the jury did not buy his argument that his client should not be punished for “a stupid plan” and “using bad judgment.”
Balkany remains free on bail until his sentencing.
Mar 20 2015 | 12:45pm ET
StreetWise Partners, a non-profit organization that works with low-income individuals to help them overcome employment barriers, raised over $275,000 at the 2015 Raising the Ante Charity Poker Tournament and Casino Event last Wednesday evening at Capitale. Here are some photos from the event. Read more…