Hedge fund money manager Murray Huberfeld founded Platinum Partners hedge fund. Murray is a big man in the Orthodox Jewish community in the Five Towns, both figuratively and literally. Big men in the Jewish community hang out in the same circles. Murray crossed paths with big time New York political wheeler dealer Jona Rechnitz. Murray and Jona conspired to bribe New York City union boss Norm Seabrook. They paid Norm $60K to steer union investments to Murray’s hedge fund.
Jona was high on the Fed’s radar. Jona was a big donor to Mayor DeBlasio. Jona has been bribing New York cops and politicians for years. The Feds eventually made Jona an offer he couldn’t refuse. The Feds asked Jona if he wanted a job working for Uncle Sam. Jona’s new name would be Special Agent Jona RATnitz. The Feds had Jona train under special agent Shlomo Dwek. Dwek ratted out the fellow Sephardic Jewish community in Deal, NJ. Jona would be ratting out fellow Ashkanzi Jews living in Brooklyn and the Five Towns.
Why would Murray Huberfeld get in bed with Ratnitz? Ratnitz is a young flashy pampered Jew from California who bribed cops with hookers. Ratnitz parents are very wealthy. Huberfeld is an old Yid from old New York. Huberfeld’s parents are Holocaust survivors. Huberfeld went to night school at Brooklyn College while he worked days at his father’s fast food joint Kosher Delight. Ratnitz occasionally studied at Yeshiva University. The rest of the time he was making bets on sports events.
After graduating Brooklyn College Huberfeld got out of the fast food business and went into high finance. He got licensed by the SEC and started an investment fund. Huberfeld had someone else take the SEC exam for him. Over the years the SEC sanctioned Huberfeld for breaking the rules.
Over the years Huberfeld was very successful in finance. Huberfeld donated tens of millions of dollars to Jewish causes, including Yeshiva University. At the time of sentencing Huberfeld was worth $100 million. Why would a man who is worth $100 million conspire with Ratnitz to bribe shvarzte Seabrook $60K?
Seabrook steered union investments to Huberfeld’s hedge fund. Huberfeld’s hedge fund was on a losing streak and had dismal returns. Seabrook’s prison guard union invested $20 million in retirement funds with Huberfeld. Huberfeld charged the union $1 million in fees. The hedge fund went bankruptcy and lost $19 million of the union’s retirement money. Huberfeld will be very popular with the prison guards in Otisville.
Huberfeld hired Donald Trump Jr.’s attorney Alan Futerfas. Why didn’t Murray hire Ben Braffman, the attorney of choice for rich and powerful Jewish white collar criminals? Braffman must have been too busy defending Harvey Weinstein, who ended up firing Braffman.
Attorney Futerfas submitted “over 150 letters in his support and approximately 20 minutes of video testimonials from some of his closest family members and friends and beneficiaries of his good works. We added the video testimonials so the Court could hear and see directly from some of the people who felt more comfortable speaking about their feelings towards Mr. Huberfeld.” Unheard of! Nobody submits videotape testimonials to the sentencing judge. Its bad enough the judge has to read hundreds of canned character letters. Now the judge must watch YouTube videos of Auntie Sarah defending her nephew, at the taxpayers expense?
Huberfeld’s attorneys submitted the most ridiculous defense I have ever read. This is what they argued to Judge Hellerstein: “Murray Huberfeld took the action he did because of personal insecurity, not greed. He was a proud man whose position at Platinum continued to diminish over time. Mr. Huberfeld wanted to stay relevant in the eyes of his younger, analytical, and more sophisticated partners there. By 2014, Mr. Huberfeld was becoming a dinosaur at the very fund he established. He was an old-school lender who found himself surrounded by “quant-jocks”- people who analyzed coefficients and statistical spreads. The way Mr. Huberfeld had known to manage a lending fund was no longer relevant in the new millennium. Mr. Huberfeld’s only contribution to Platinum by 2014 was occasionally finding new investors, and he wanted to show his partners that he still mattered. That desire to stay relevant at his own fund led to these events. He desired to show his colleagues and partners that Murray Huberfeld was still someone to turn to, even if only as a salesman to the fund. He wanted to remain “the man” even if his time had passed.”
The first mistake the lawyers for Huberfeld made is one of spelling. The proper spelling of “the man” is “DA MAN.” Old man Huberfeld from the Five Towns committed crime because he wanted to be “DA MAN.” What does it take to become DA MAN in the Five Towns? A new Rolex? A cleaning lady? A new Lexus? Huberfeld was worth $100 million yet he felt like small latkes in the Five Towns.
At sentencing Huberfeld used the Jew card every chance he got. His lawyers argued to 85 year old Jewish Judge Hellerstein, “Murray’s parents are both Holocaust survivors. Both lost most of their families. Philip and Rae met in Germany and married in 1953. Alarmed by the continued presence of Nazi collaborators in German society, they soon decided to immigrate to the United States, settling in Borough Park. Murray’s faith, and his acute knowledge of and relationship to the Holocaust and the history of the Jewish people has informed every aspect of his life. It underlies his charitable works which focus on (but are not limited to) Jewish families and institutions, and it drives his sense of empathy for the hardships of others. Murray’s religious beliefs are also relevant to his Murray’s faith, and his acute knowledge and acceptance of responsibility for the offense conduct in this case. As part of the process of repentance, or teshuva, he has given a series of speeches to the Orthodox community entitled Dina D’Malchuta Dina, Hebrew for “the law of the land is the law,” in which he acknowledges that his actions violated not only the laws of this country, but also strict religious teachings. Murray counsels others in his community that to ignore secular law is an offense against God.”
Murray’s lawyers went to extremes to dispel any doubt in the Judge’s mind that because Murray is a devout Orthodox Jew he must hate Arabs, Muslims, shvartzes, and most other goyim. Murray’s lawyers argued to Judge Hellerstein: “Former employees of Kosher Delight speak of Murray’s kindness, work ethic, and respect for all faiths. Younus Ali, who immigrated to the United States from Bangladesh in 1983, found his first job at the Kosher Delight on Broadway. He remained there for thirty years. He describes Murray and Philip as “all friends like a big family” and writes of how Murray allowed time for his daily Muslim prayers: “The workers at KD were from all religions. Murray is good to us all and shows us kindness and respect.” When Younus did not have enough money to pay his monthly expenses, Murray paid him extra.”
Murray’s lawyers couldn’t stop pandering to Judge Hellerstein. They argued, “Murray Huberfeld is a changed man. Many of his friends and acquaintances have observed this. They write that the “spring in his step has gone” and that he “stands with a bowed head over what he brought about.” An old friend writes that he has “been through the crucible of public humiliation” and is “truly humbled.” A rabbi who had counseled him writes that he is “totally humiliated” from what he has done. The rabbi notes that this is felt acutely because Murray believes he has brought “our faith into disrepute” and has “poured out his heart during prayers, beseeching G-d for forgiveness.”
Murray believes his crime brought “disrepute” to the Jews. Please! Murray isn’t the first Jew to commit a crime and he won’t be the last. Murray has been breaking the rules for years. He should have admitted that he screwed up. His religion, prayers, rabbis, charitable donations, concern for Muslims, and the Holocaust have nothing to do with his crimes. This guy is an embarrassment to fellow Jews, and it has nothing to do with the crime he committed.
Murray spoke before Judge Hellerstein and begged for mercy. He had tears in his eyes. There is nothing worse than a criminal crying in front of a Federal Judge. Talk about pathetic. This never happens in State court with guys charged with drug dealing or crimes of robbery, rape or violence. I represented countless criminals in State court. If any guy dared cry in front of a Judge he would be beaten silly in lock up by fellow inmates and the guards. I would have given him a smack right in front of the sentencing judge.
Judge Alvin Hellerstein spent a lot of time listening to Huberfeld and his attorneys. Too much taxpayers time was wasted on this reprobate. In the end Hellerstein scolded Huberfeld. He brought up Huberfeld’s prior troubles with the SEC. He told Huberfeld that he should have known better. Huberfeld was on prior notice. Hellerstein didn’t buy Huberfeld’s defense that he didn’t grasp the level of risk at the hedge fund or realize that the hedge fund was going under. Hellerstein said this defense was “nonsense.” Hellerstein said that only an idiot would put retirement money in a risky hedge fund.
Judge Hellerstein sentenced Huberfeld to 30 months in Club Otisville. The US Attorney was only looking for a year. Hellerstein thought that Huberfeld caused too much damage to union members retirement money to only get a year. The shvartze Seabrook got 58 months, less than what the US Attorney was looking for. Judge Hellerstein cut the shvartze a break and hammered his fellow tribe member. The Jew card backfired on Huberfeld. Huberfeld convinced Hellerstein that religious Jews should be held to a higher standard. A higher standard means a higher sentence. Huberfeld and Seabrook are both out on appeal. They won’t be going to Otisville anytime soon.
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