Friday, June 10, 2016

A major Jewish philanthropist has been arrested and charged with paying kickbacks to the president of New York City’s corrections officers’ union

Federal agents arrested 55-year-old Murray Huberfeld, a financier who has donated millions of dollars to Jewish charities, in Manhattan. Huberfeld has been charged with fraud for a kickback he paid to labor union president Norman Seabrook, who was also arrested and charged. According to U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara, Huberfeld in 2014 paid Seabrook $60,000 in cash in exchange for Seabrook investing $20 million from his union’s pension fund in Huberfeld’s hedge fund, Centurion Credit Management. “As alleged, Norman Seabrook and Murray Huberfeld engaged in a straightforward and explicit bribery scheme,” Bharara said. For a Ferragamo bag stuffed with $60,000 in cash, Seabrook sold himself and his duty to safeguard the retirement funds of his fellow correction officers. Huberfeld — who has homes in Manhattan and Long Island — is through his family foundation a major donor to Chabad synagogues around the world and to haredi Orthodox yeshivas and other organizations in the New York area and Israel. He also serves on the board of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, a California-based group that opposes anti-Semitism. Huberfeld was convicted of fraud in 1993 for having someone else take a broker license exam while posing as him and settled a civil complaint brought by the Securities and Exchange Commission in 1998. Huberfeld’s private foundation gives over a million dollars a year to Jewish organizations, including $1.476 million in 2014, according to tax forms.

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