Rabbi Who Tried To Extort SAC Gets Four Years

Feb 22 2011 | 11:26am ET

The Brooklyn rabbi who promised SAC Capital Advisors the silence of a prison inmate in exchange for a bribe will be an inmate himself.

Milton Balkany was sentenced to four years in prison last week, three months after he was convicted of trying to extort $4 million from the hedge fund giant. Balkany told SAC that a prisoner he was counseling had evidence that SAC committed insider-trading in 2004 and 2005, but would keep quiet if founder Steven Cohen made a pair of $2 million donations to Orthodox Jewish schools, including the one where Balkany served as dean.

Instead of paying up, however, Cohen went to the authorities, and SAC took part in a sting to nab Balkany, who was convicted of extortion, blackmail, making false states and wire fraud. Balkany's trial turned up no evidence of the alleged insider-trading.

Balkany had faced up to nine years in prison under sentencing guidelines. U.S. District Judge Denise Cote imposed a lower sentence due to the 64-year-old father of 13's "lifetime of good works," despite his lack of remorse for his crimes.

"The defendant has never come to terms with any of his criminal violations of the law," Cote said, reacting to an interview Balkany gave saying he was being punished for his good deeds.

"Just because you lead a charitable institution doesn't give you a pass to commit extortion and fraud," she said.

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