Arnold Klein was just sentenced to 6 months in Otisville for money laundering. Klein was facing two years if Judge Kenneth Karas followed the Sentencing Guidelines. Klein used his non profit organization to launder hundreds of thousands of dollars. Klein was living in a $2.2 million 10 bedroom house in Monroe when the Feds finally caught up to him in 2019. Klein was earning a 6% commission on monies laundered through his non profit Gemach Keren Hillel account. Klein sold his $2.2 million mansion last year.
Klein’s family was involved in the garment business in Manhattan for many years. Klein’s family used the Strauss accounting firm to do their books for over 40 years. Klein left the garment business after the industry was decimated by foreign imports in the 1980s. Klein continued to use the family bookkeeper Steve Strauss. If you can’t trust the Jewish family accountant, from the garment district, whom can you trust? Steve Strauss ended up working as an informant for the FBI. Obviously Strauss must have got busted for something. Strauss then set up his former friend Arnold Klein. Strauss gave Klein $280K which Klein deposited in his Gemach account. Klein took his 6% fee and returned the remaining money to Strauss over a period of time. Strauss gave the money back to the Feds, who used it to bust other Satmar shmucks.
Klein was facing at 30 months according to the sentencing guidelines. Probation recommended one year. Judge Karas gave Klein 6 months in Otisville. Klein will join very few other Orthodox Jews in Otisville. Otisville isn’t the same since the glory days before COVID19 when the medium was run by Sholom Rubashkin and Sholom Weiss, and the camp was run by Herman “Mshulem” Jacobowitz.
Klein was represented by Attorney Susan R. Necheles, who argued that the losses suffered by the government were only $17K, Klein’s six percent fee, a mere pittance of money, for a Federal crime. Necheles mocked the guidelines numbers: “Mr. Klein’s guidelines numbers, for an offense with little real-world harm, are higher than if he had stolen $150,000 from an old lady.”
Necheles argued that Klein is 71 years old suffers from atrial fibrillation, benign hypertensive cellulitis, absence of left leg, chronic venous insufficiency, fungal dermatitis, hypercholesterolemia, lymphedema, tibialis posterior dysfunction, gout and torn ligaments in his knee. Klein submitted his medical records. I’ve met criminals in Otisville who were far older than Klein, with even worse sounding medical conditions.
Necheles also argued that Klein may get rejected from Otisville, despite the Judge’s recommendation. Not anyone can get into Otisville. Otisville is an exclusive club. Apparently Mr. Klein is not a full American citizen. Klein holds a green card. Green card holders are considered a security risk at Otisville. Klein also has a passport to get into Kiryas Joel. You can’t get into Kiryas Joel without a passport.
Necheles also mentioned that the Bureau of Prisons could report Klein to ICE. Klein was born in Austria in 1950 and then his family moved to Canada. Its not clear if Klein is a citizen of Austria or Canada, or both. I’d rather be deported to Austria or Canada than Mexico. Klein probably got his green card from immigration fraudster Heshy Tishler. I was locked up in Otisville with Tishler.
The Board members of Congregation Yetev Lev D’Satmar of Kiryas Joel wrote a letter in support of their gabbai Arnold Klein. David Ekstein, the President of Yetev Lev mentioned that Yetev Lev has 4,000 members. I heard from inside sources that Klein made more money taking bribes as gabbai than he did as a money launderer. Klein should fit right in at Otisville, I heard that they are looking for a new gabbai.
The Feds trashed the old Satmar in their court filings: “The defendant ran a bustling off-the-books financial operation using a religious institution’s account. On August 4, 2014, the defendant asked the confidential informant (while being recorded) if the CI knew people that had a lot of cash they wanted to get rid of and he could exchange cash for a bank check for whoever needs it in the bank. In the same recording, the defendant made plain that this was how his operation worked: he exchanged checks for cash and vice versa. The defendant operated a business and the confidential informant was one of many clients. He used the cloak of charity and religion to cover his criminal activity.”
Arnold Klein submitted 77 pages of character letters, mostly signed by his large family. Klein had a number of children, who also had children. Numerous letters were signed by members of the Klein family, but one was missing. There was no letter signed by Leon Klein. Leon Klein was busted at the same time as Arnold Klein for the same crime. I guess they were partners in crime. Leon has yet to plead guilty. Is Arnold ratting out Leon? Who is Leon? Leon must be Arnold’s brother. I don’t know these people. Leon should plead guilty at the same time as Arnold, so they can both spend time in Otisville together. They could share bunks and launder prison greens for other inmates and make a few bucks. They won’t make as much as money launderers but if you can’t do the time, don’t do the crime. Moshiach NOW!
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