A Brooklyn rabbi was charged on Thursday with trying to extort a Connecticut hedge fund.
According to the Wall Street Journal, prosecutors say Rabbi Milton Balkany contacted the unnamed hedge fund recently and asked for $4 million dollars in exchange for keeping a prison inmate, the rabbi’s “spiritual advisee,” quiet about defamatory inside information charges.
Balkany is already famous for being charged with defrauding the U.S. Government of $700,000 in 2003. Charges were later dropped.
A report from the Village Voice in 2003 says Balkany was kind of famous before that, too. He at least once gave prayers to open the U.S. Senate and the House of Representatives.
The rabbi allegedly tried to make a deal which would entail him keeping the information mum, and the hedge fund making $2 million donations to two Brooklyn schools, the Bais Yaakov school (turns out Balkany is the dean) and another school.