Sunday, September 25, 2011

A rabbi who admitted operating an illegal money-remitting business that transferred thousands of dollars in checks to government witness Solomon Dwek has been sentenced to one year of probation

Edmond Nahum, 58, who served as cantor and assistant rabbi for the Synagogue of Deal, was given no fine by U.S. District Judge Joel A. Pisano, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Nahum’s lawyer, Justin P. Walder of Roseland, described Nahum as a naive man, a Talmudic scholar who was victimized by Dwek, whom he considered a close family friend. In June 2011, Nahum pleaded guilty in federal court to operating the illegal business using the bank accounts of the Deal Kupot and Ahavat Haim Vachesed — a pair of Monmouth County charitable organizations he controlled. Nahum worked with Saul Kassin, chief rabbi of Congregation Sharee Zion in Brooklyn, who pleaded guilty in March 2011 to one count of unauthorized money transmitting and was given two years of unsupervised probation at his sentencing. When he entered his guilty plea, Nahum also agreed to forfeit the $175,381 seized from the Deal Kupot bank account during the July 23, 2009 FBI raid that netted five rabbis and dozens of other public officials and political operatives on federal corruption and money-laundering charges. Kassin, 89, who lives in Brooklyn but had spent summers in Deal, is the spiritual leader of the 75,000-member Syrian Jewish community in Brooklyn and Deal. Nahum admitted that from June 2007 through December 2008, he transferred thousands of dollars in checks to Dwek, whom he later learned was cooperating with the FBI. Dwek’s father, Rabbi Isaac Dwek, was one of more than 60 people who wrote a letter to the court on Nahum’s behalf, Walder said. Isaac Dwek, who served as the spiritual leader at the Synagogue of Deal, brought Nahum to this country from Israel.

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