Did A Chabadnik Steal Tens of Thousands of Dollars from a Defenseless Old Woman? And Did a Lubavitcher Working for the DA Help Him Escape?

Simon Jacobson of Crown Heights (not the famous Rabbi Simon Jacobson) defrauded an elderly woman out of her life savings. A fellow Chabadnik appears to have used infuence with the DA to get Jacobson off  lightly. Leonard Levitt reports:

Fishy doings in DA’s office

July 20, 1998

More shenanigans from the office of absentee Brooklyn District
  Attorney Joe Hynes, off tilting at windmills as he runs for governor.

On Dec. 8, Det. John Ryan of the New York City Police Department’s
  Special Frauds squad arrested 29-year-old Simon Jacobson – arrest number
. Jacobson was charged with three counts of forgery and grand
  larceny in connection with stealing $24,000 in checks from a Crown Street
  neighbor in Brooklyn. Law enforcement sources say that when he was
  arrested, Jacobson had the checkbook of his landlady, 80-year-old Bessie
  Rosen.

In April, Rosen’s daughter Ethel Pollack and a neighbor, Avrohom
  Wasserman, filed a guardianship application for Rosen in Brooklyn State
  Supreme Court seeking to protect her from Jacobson. In it, Rosen is
  described as lacking "the ability to make responsible financial decisions
  or to pay her bills."

Jacobson, Rosen’s tenant since 1995, had "induced her to give away all
  her resources and income, resulting in her imminent financial ruin,"
  according to the application.

Jacobson had in the past three years looted Rosen’s entire life
  savings of $200,000, the application says. He had also persuaded her to
  re-mortgage her home – in which she had lived for 72 years and had owned
  free and clear – for $191,000. The home is to be repossessed by the
  Norwest bank this week because she can’t repay the loan.

Shortly after Jacobson’s arrest, however, interesting things began

  happening in Hynes’ office. Law enforcement sources say Jacobson’s mother
  telephoned Henna White, Hynes’ $60,000-a-year so-called liaison to
  Brooklyn’s Orthodox Jewish community. To appreciate the significance of
  White’s position, her predecessor Charles Posner, a non-practicing
  prosecutor, was so well-connected to the Orthodox community that in 1996
  Mayor Rudolph Giuliani took the unusual step of appointing Posner to the
  bench to replace a sitting judge.

Jacobson’s case, meanwhile – docket number 97K096-078 – ended up
  assigned to the supposedly elite Rackets Bureau, headed by Dennis
  Hawkins, a Hynes workhorse for two decades.

Jacobson ended up represented by none other than White’s husband,
  Asher, an attorney not listed in the telephone directory. Henna White
  didn’t return phone calls.

On Jan. 15, Jacobson’s case was dismissed before Acting State Supreme
  Court Judge Jerome M. Kay. As the reason, Hawkins cited "lack of
  evidence."

A law enforcement official noted that prosecutors have 45 days from
  arrest to produce evidence for an indictment. "They didn’t wait for the
  45 days before dismissing the case," he said. "They made a conscious
  decision."

Hawkins added that attorney Michael Halberstam, not Asher White,
  represented Jacobson at his dismissal. Halberstam said he could not
  recall how Jacobson became his client.

Hawkins added that Jacobson’s case was dismissed "without prejudice,"
  which means, he said, that Jacobson can be charged again. That’s
  unlikely, as Jacobson has moved to Florida.

Apparently unaware that the DA’s office had dismissed Jacobson’s
  criminal case, Rosen’s guardian petitioners sent a copy of their April
  application to Hynes last week.

After delineating how shortly after moving into Rosen’s home, Jacobson began
  securing $50 loans from her, then convinced her to turn over her checkbook and
  to take out the $191,000 mortgage on her home, the application notes, "The
  Kings County District Attorney’s office has documentation in their files to
  substantiate much or all of the foregoing."

Henna White is the DA’s liaison to the Orthodox community. She deals with domestic violence cases, and "unofficially with other cases of abuse. She is widely perceived to be part of the problem, not part of the solution. Her actions in this case would seem to confirm that.

[Hat tip: Dr. R-F.]

UPDATE: Jacobson pleaded guilty in 2000. But there’s a catch:

Charity at Home. As with its relationship with the Brooklyn
  district attorney’s office, the ways of Brooklyn’s Orthodox Jewish community
  are sometimes unfathomable. Take the case of our old friend Simon Jacobson.

Your Humble Servant first reported in July, 1998, that Jacobson had passed
  $20,000 worth of bad checks, defrauded the city’s welfare bureau of $56,000
  and swindled an 80-year-old widow out of her $300,000 home but that DA Joe Hynes
  declined to indict. At the time, Hynes was running for governor and needed the
  support of the Orthodox Jewish community.

Indeed, Jacobson’s attorney then was Asher White, whose wife, Henna, served
  as Hynes’s $60,000-a-year liaison to the Orthodox community.

Now, due to renewed efforts of the Police Department’s Special Frauds Squad-in
  particular Sgt. Sean McCafferty and Det. John Ryan-Jacobson has pleaded guilty
  to all of the above and is to be sentenced Friday in State Supreme Court in
  Brooklyn. In return for 6 months in jail, he has agreed to make full restitution.

Now here’s where things become interesting. Jacobson’s $25,000 bail and the
  bulk of his restitution are being paid by an Orthodox Jewish charity, Keren
  Aniyim, of 1314 Avenue J in Brooklyn,which according to its latest filing with
  the attorney general, raised $1,733,725 in contributions in 1998.

A person whose wife works as a volunteer for the charity in his Brooklyn advertising
  office at that address says that "special donors" were approached
  to help Jacobson. But why would a charity seek funds for an admitted swindler?
  Its directors-Abraham Diamond, Jack Weinman, Hirsch Wulliger and Saul Perlstein,
  all of Brooklyn-couldn’t be reached for comment.

UPDATE 2: A friend of the late Charles Posner writes to dispute Levitt’s characterization of Posner:

The late Charles Posner, a man I personally knew, was an upstanding straight-as-an-arrow, Modern Orthodox Jew who for many years served as deputy district attorney (the highest possible prosecutor position under the DA himself) under Charles Hynes. He maintained that position until he was appointed to the bench.

Charles Posner was a man who in his professional life showed absolutely no favoritism for his fellow Jews, and stood firmly by his honorable principles. He had no tolerance for dishonesty or crookedness.

His long, outstanding career and dedication as deputy district attorney, more than qualified him for criminal court judgeship. As the first (and only?) criminal court judge that happened to be Orthodox, he ruled the bench with an iron fist, continuously risking his own life for the sake of the public, locking up the lowest criminal element (drug dealers, murderers, rapists, etc.) making the streets of NYC safe.

When he passed away, without warning, several years ago he left behind a wonderful wife, children and grandchildren – all fine examples of accomplished and observant Jews.

Advertisements

17 Comments

Filed under Chabad Theology, Crime

17 responses to “Did A Chabadnik Steal Tens of Thousands of Dollars from a Defenseless Old Woman? And Did a Lubavitcher Working for the DA Help Him Escape?

  1. Anonymous

    Wrong Jacobson. This is his cousin.

  2. Anonymous

    I agree with #1. Simon Jacobson, the author of many books and articles is a fine man. He is also much older than 29.

  3. I think both are frauds and deceitful, but only one broke secular law. The other is morally corrupt, and far from a “fine man.”

  4. Anonymous

    For the sake of accuracy and honesty, you should change your post. Simon Jacobson the swindler is not a rabbi. Otherwise you are defaming Rabbi Jacobson the author.

  5. Oxymoron

    I find the inaction of you removing this post to be totaly against the issues you preach about. You constantly discuss fraud, deceit and other fine traits you find in todays religious community. You found an article that you thought was a smoking gun; however, you were wrong. admit your mistake and remove it.

    P.S the Simon in this article is far from a Rabbi

  6. No. It clearly is NOT that man.

    As for removing the post, why? Henna White’s husband should not have taken the case and should have been reprimanded by the NY Bar for doing so.

    Is Simon Jacobson a rabbi? As far as I know, he went to yeshiva and graduated. And the Rebbe, as you surely know, made a grewat efort to have all bochrim get “smicha.” Watered down and near-wothless for the most part, but still smicha. The the Rebbe used the argument that the “majority of rabbis oppose” Oslo, etc.

  7. gross

    To appreciate the significance of White’s position, her predecessor Charles Posner, a non-practicing prosecutor, was so well-connected to the Orthodox community that in 1996 Mayor Rudolph Giuliani took the unusual step of appointing Posner to the bench to replace a sitting judge.

    Shmarya,

    Complete bullshit. Levitt doesn’t know what the hell he’s talking about. I love you but you’re really scraping the bottom of the barrel here with this eight-year-old, worthless article.

    The late Charles Posner, a man I personally knew, was an upstanding straight-as-an-arrow, Modern Orthodox Jew who for many years served as deputy district attorney (the highest possible prosecutor position under the DA himself) under Charles Hynes. He maintained that position until he was appointed to the bench.

    Charles Posner was a man who in his professional life showed absolutely no favoritism for his fellow Jews, and stood firmly by his honorable principles. He had no tolerance for dishonesty or crookedness.

    His long, outstanding career and dedication as deputy district attorney, more than qualified him for criminal court judgeship. As the first (and only?) criminal court judge that happened to be Orthodox, he ruled the bench with an iron fist, continuously risking his own life for the sake of the public, locking up the lowest criminal element (drug dealers, murderers, rapists, etc.) making the streets of NYC safe.

    When he passed away, without warning, several years ago he left behind a wonderful wife, children and grandchildren – all fine examples of accomplished and observant Jews.

  8. avrohom

    you are a fraud corrupt liar. stop taking yourself so seriously. you put a name of someone who is known as a Rabbi and smear and efame for no reason and when MANY A POINT OUT TO YOU THAT THIS IS NOT THE SAME PERSON YOU PERSIST.
    \
    YOU ARE AN EVIL FAKE MAN. YOU ACCOMPLISHED NOTHING IN YOUR LIFE YOU PIGGY SOUL.

    TAKE OUT HE NAME RABBI IF YOU WANT TO REGAIN A SHRED ON HONESTY, YOU SLEAZY LIAR AND PIECE OF DUNG.

  9. beentheredonethat

    Come on shmarya be a big boy…You can admit you made a mistake.. this simon jacobson never graduated anything, can hardly read hebrew, or english, and was into scams from the time he was 10. he was involved in numerous schemes just a rotton apple…this is not Rabbi Simon Jaobson and you owe the rabbi an apology.
    you can do it…

  10. B”H
    Thank you for finally changing the headline.

  11. And thank you for suggesting it in such a clear and forxceful way. When you’re right, Ariel, you’re right. And you were righ about this one. Thanks again.

  12. confused

    How are they related?

  13. confused

    is he the son of Rabbi Sholom Jacobson?

  14. concerned

    Hm, how about ‘Did a Jew steal tens of thousands of…’
    No, eh? Bitter man.

  15. Anonymous

    It’s good that you post stories that are six years old. Out of 3 million frum yidden you post any dirt that you can find (and today there are no secrets). You do the math. 99.999999999999999999% of frum yidden are fine citizens. You may choose to waddle in that .00000000000000001%.

  16. Dr Fred

    As to the above post ( and I wish it were true), let’s propose a test. Stop any ordinary Jew in NYC and ask ther following.”Do you agree with the following;Try to do business with a Chassidic or ultra-Orthodox Jew whenever you can because they are super honest?”. When the laughter stops,write down their answer.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s