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Jailhouse Bar Mitzvah Rabbi Pleads Not Guilty to Charges of Housing Fraud

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Rabbi Leib Glanz pled not guilty to charges of housing fraud this past Thursday.
Rabbi Leib Glanz pled not guilty to charges of housing fraud this past Thursday.

Rabbi Leib Glanz pled not guilty to charges of housing fraud this past Thursday.

The New York rabbi who gained notoriety when, while serving as a chaplain, he organized a lavish bar mitzvah for an inmate’s son pled not guilty last Thursday to charges of housing fraud.
Rabbi Leib Glanz made headlines in 2009 when, while serving as a New York City prison chaplain, he helped arrange a lavish bar mitzvah celebration for the son of inmate Tuvia Stern (a “Chasidic” financial scammer who lived some twenty years as a fugitive before being extradited from the UK) inside the Manhattan Detention Complex’s gymnasium. According to reports, prison authorities allowed a kosher caterer to be brought in for the event, and guests of the party were allowed to hold on to their cell phones. The certified kosher repast also featured metal flatware and knives, two additional devices atypically allowed in a prison setting. Glanz denied the allegations, but the embarrassing incident led to both his resignation and that of Peter Curcio, the Chief of Corrections at the time.
In September 2011, Glanz stooped even further, as both he and his brother were indicted on charges of mishandling Section 8 benefits—government subsidies allotted to low-income tenants. According to local media, Leib and his brother, Menashe, conspired to defraud the government of approximately $220,000 in federal funds. Rose Gill Hearn, the Commissioner of New York City’s Department of Investigation, dubbed the scam “the largest individual case of tenant fraud” she and her colleagues had ever investigated.
According to local media, Glanz executed his scheme by signing a housing contract on behalf of the United Talmudical Academy and approving a duplex under Menashe’s name. Menashe lived in a home nearby, and Leib illegally occupied the apartment without paying the monthly rate of $1,675 that was his due. His deception was enabled by his clout within the greater Satmar Chassidic community and his former employment at the UTA, the flagship Satmar school system in New York.
At the court proceeding on Thursday, the brothers kept quiet and spoke only to declare their innocence. The prosecutor Justin Anderson attested to the wealth of materials, from bank statements to employment records, soon to be released to the defense. “We’re going to take a look at the documents and figure out the right way to go forward,” said Charles Stillman, Menashe’s lawyer.

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