Sholom Rubashkin & Rabbi Balkany

Sholom Rubashkin & Rabbi Balkany

Rubashkin was locked up in the Otisville medium with many child sex offenders.  Otisville medium imprisons about 600 guys convicted of federal crimes.  The Feds began sending many child sex offenders to Otisville in order to reduce violent attacks against these guys who were easy targets at other prisons.  In Otisville the child sex offenders formed gangs to protect themselves from other inmates. I was locked up next door in the low security camp.

The Goat is a child sex offender.  If the Goat is convicted he will end up in a prison in upstate Connecticut that is similar to Otisville, which has child sex offenders locked up in the same facility.  Or the Goat could end up in Niantic prison, where the State sends old guys.  By the time the Goat’s is finally sentenced he will be well into his 80s.  I can’t see old guys attacking the Goat.  The Goat will have plenty of free time to pray and learn Torah.  But the Goat will never find a minyan or kosher food in State prison.  The Goat enjoys being in the national spotlight, so he will probably go on a hunger strike until he gets kosher food.

Rubashkin was in charge of the kosher food for the Jewish inmates in Otisville medium.  The guys in the medium who do not eat kosher food are given small portions of food from the inmates who work in the non-kosher treif kitchen.  The guards supervise inmates working in the kitchen, but the guards cannot always stop the inmates from stealing food and selling it on the side.  When inmates steal food and sell it to other inmates there is less free food to go around for everyone else.  You either buy the food from other inmates or you starve.

In the Otisville camp, we used to see Rubashkin across the barbed wire fence in the medium.  The outdoor area of the medium prison and the camp were separated by large barbed wire fences.  We saw the “chomos” next door, ie., the child molesters jogging around the track, playing handball, or lifting weights.  We didn’t get to see the guys in the J-Unit though.  They lived in a unit on the top of a hill set apart from the rest of the prison. These were high profile guys who ratted out other guys in major cases.  The guards didn’t even know their real names.  It was like witness protection.  We used to call the inmates in the J-Unit the “J-rats.”  Each inmate lived in a private room, the facility was new, the J-Unit looked like condos.  The Feds reward the rats.

I was surprised that Rubashkin did not lose any weight while he was locked up for eight years.  I looked at his old pictures and I think he gained weight over the last eight years.  Rubashkin was a heavy smoker before he went in.  Smoking keeps the pounds off.  In prison you are not allowed to smoke, although plenty of guys sneak in cigarettes and sell them to other inmates.  I remember guys were selling cigarettes for $30 a pack.  Rubashkin had access to all the kosher food that came in from the outside.  There weren’t many Jewish inmates in the medium to fight over the kosher food, so Rubashkin must of had a lot of food at his disposal.  In the camp the Jewish guys were fighting over the kosher food all the time.  Guys who never ate kosher food on the outside all of sudden had a religious awakening and wanted kosher food.  They would eat the kosher food as well as the treif food that was served to the goyim.

The mainstream media can’t figure out why Trump commuted Rubashkin’s sentence.  The talking heads at CNN, FoxNews, CBS, NBC, The New York Times, and the Washington Post cannot even come up with a good theory.  But the reason Rubashkin got a commutation became clear on today’s popular Zev Brenner Jewish radio show, which featured Rubashkin’s advocate and brother-in-law Rabbi Milton Yehoshua Balkany.  On the radio show Balkany launched a vicious attack against Trump’s enemies.

Rabbi Milton Yehoshua Balkany is a long time fundraiser for the Republican party.  He also looks like actor Donald Sutherland.  Balkany went to jail for trying to shake down hedge fund king Steven A. Cohen for 4 million dollars. Cohen was under Federal investigation for insider trading.  Balkany told Cohen that he was close with an inmate at Otisville, a guy named Hayim Regensberg.  Balkany told Cohen that Regensberg was about to rat out Cohen to the Feds.  Balkany demanded $4 million to keep Regensberg quiet.  Cohen ratted out Balkany to the Feds.  The Feds wired up Cohen’s people and sent in undercover agents.

Regensberg was locked up in Otisville for running a multi-million dollar ponzi scheme in which he scammed fellow Jews at the famous OZ synagogue on the Upper West Side, where Regensberg was gabbai.  Balkany never met Regensberg.   Balkany told the undercover agent that Otisville inmate David Schick introduced him to Regensberg.  Balkany never met Schick.

Cohen’s people stonewalled Balkany when he demanded the $4 million.  So Balkany called up the US Attorneys Office and told the Feds that Regensberg wanted to rat out Steven A. Cohen.  Balkany lied to the Feds in order to pressure Cohen to cough up the money. Balkany called Cohen’s people and told them that he spoke with the Feds and that they were closing in.  Cohen told Balkany he would give him a down payment towards the $4 million.  Balkany tried to cash the check.  Insufficient funds.  Balkany was busted.  The jury found him guilty on all counts.

Today Balkany went on the air on the popular Jewish radio show of Zev Brenner and ranted against the Democrats, the media and the Federal government.  His speech could have been written by The Donald himself.  Balkany also made sure to reach out to the large and powerful Satmar Hasidic sect, who always vote for Democrats.  Balkany told Brenner:  “I told the Satmar Rebbe, your army was responsible for igniting the fire on every other group that was involved to get this job done.  No, Chabad was not the spearhead.  Even Lakewood was very involved.”

The large Satmar and Skver Hasidic communities in Upstate New York have been loyal supporters of Hillary Clinton when she was a senator in New York and when she ran for President.  These large communities benefit from generous Democratic government benefits and handouts.  They aren’t going to support a stingy Yankee Republican from Upstate New York. President Bill Clinton even commuted the prison sentences of four Skver guys who were locked up for fraud, as payback for their support of Senator Hillary Clinton.

Balkany launched an attack against New York Democratic Senator Charles Schumer.  Schumer refused to sign a letter on behalf of Rubashkin:  “The Jewish community needs to know that Charles Schumer did nothing.  Nancy Pelosi urged the President to do something to get this man out of jail.  Not one Democrat in the house raised their voice against it. Oren Hatch was unbelievable.”

Balkany went after Obama:  “Obama gave out over 1150 pardons and commutations, over 350 of them were in jail. Obama only pardoned Blacks or Puerto Ricans.  No White people.  If you were Jewish forget it.”

Balkany went after fake news and the media:  “$12 million was raised to lobby for Rubashkin, $4 million of the money came in twenty dollar bills, fifty dollar bills, ten dollar bills. Rubashkin forced the City of Postville to build a YMCA for these Christians who were Catholics, it was built for them, the Jewish kids didn’t go to that, despite the fake news in the press who banged away for eight years like he was the villain of the century, and he was not, he was exemplary, he was as honest as can be, yet they came after him with helicopters, attack dogs, you would think that Bin Laden was hiding, they went through every locker of his and every desk, not one ounce of anything was found.”

Balkany didn’t hold back criticism for Rubashkin’s lawyers, or Chabad for that matter:  “In the very beginning there were many meetings, I told them I took out over 40 people from jail, I didn’t do it through the courts, I did it through politics and Washington DC, but they felt strongly that they didn’t want to get politics involved, they wanted to go through the courts, they went through $12 million for attorneys.  I told them they were throwing their money out the window.  Even Aleph Institute (Jewish inmate advocacy organization), never in their history has ever succeeded to pull someone out of jail.  Whenever they reached a roadblock they came to me, I had open access to the White House, the Attorney General, and they all knew it.  I am the one 25 years ago who told the government to give me a camp, give me a minimum sentence, and both have to be within a two hour drive from Brooklyn, so they gave me Otisville, and since that day in 1992, there has never been a day without shacharis, mincha, and maariv.  I sent 1000 seforim to Otisville, and I had built a glatt kosher kitchen.  The people involved with Rubashkin had the best intentions, but they realized, and I asked them every year how much time can I sit back and do nothing, after seven years I said enough is enough, and I met with some old friends, we kicked this into motion, I needed $500 K for my effort, a Lubavitcher handed me the money, who shall remain anonymous, which was completely kosher, completely legal money.  I told them eight years ago he is only going to come out through the Washington process politically.”

Balkany couldn’t stop praising Satmar, at the expense of Chabad:   “Today there is very good feeling between Lubavitch and Satmar, yes there was some very major strife between them at one time, today there is a very good atmosphere.  Satmar Hasidim don’t do anything without the permission of their Rebbe, and the Rebbe wanted their army to help Rubashkin. Satmar was more determined than Lubavitch. Satmar was working more diligently over the last three years.  There was a certain hesitancy in Chabad, they wanted to stay away from scandals, there was some disappointment within the Chabad group. Lubavitch tried to keep away from scandal, if more than anyone they sat in jail in Russia for not telling names to the authorities, they put their lives on the line more than anyone else, but there was a lacking in the thrust and forcefulness for them to come forward.”

Balkany boasted about how he got the Aleph Institute off the ground:  “Aleph was founded by Lipsker.  Four years later in 1992, he called me and said he was at a dead end, and he didn’t know the Senators in Washington, he said we can’t get through.  I said to him, meet me in Washington, I am going to take you into the Justice Department and introduce you to individuals who will open doors for you.  Lipsker is still president today, but they never took anyone out of jail, they can’t point to one person who they took out of jail, and I can point to 40 people I took out of jail, and I say that humbly.”

Balkany boasted about his connections with Guiliani and Trump:  “When Guiliani was mayor he had 52 events, in all 52 dinners, I gave the invocations, and at 40 of them Donald Trump sat next to me, I have known him a long time.  There is a custom of the mayor to go to each borough to thank the borough.  He came to my Bais Yaacov twice.  After he won twice for Mayor, when he came to my school, he brought every deputy mayor, who he didn’t take to the other boroughs.”

Balkany claimed that Jared Kushner had little to do with Rubashkin’s release:   “We had some personal friends of Donald Trump, non-Jews, speak with Trump.  I did not speak with Jared, I didn’t have to speak to Jared, there were people, not Jewish people, not organizations, who had the President’s ear, who gave him the highlights of the case, my only disappointment was I left it to the lawyers about the paperwork and Rubashkin only has a commutation and not a pardon, and he has to report every month, and still on supervised release for three years.”

Balkany claimed that he knew about the pardon weeks ago:  “When you are told there is a pardon, you need to immediately get out of jail, the warden called him in and he thought he was being punished for something, I had warned him weeks ago to send your seforim, as when you are told that you are leaving you won’t have time to remove anything.  He was writing 10,000 emails a week to yeshivas who were studying his emails because they were lessons in emunah and bitachim.  He was a walking mussar sefer.”

Balkany said that inmates spit at Rubashkin and called him a dirty Jew:  “In the camp you don’t have the walls and the chains.  Because he had a 27 year sentence, he was placed in an ugly place in Otisville, he was not in the camp that I arranged 25 years ago and they have been going to mikveh every Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur without fail for 40 inmates, he was on the inside with people spitting in his face ‘dirty Jew’ and drug dealers.  I told him a few weeks before to send home his seforim.  He went to the Warden’s office with his tallis and tefillin and an hour later he was on his way home.”

Balkany took a swipe at former Senator Joseph Lieberman:  “I was opposed to Lubavitch having Lieberman as a guest speaker, a guest of honor, I was much closer to Lieberman than Lubavitch, he was never at their houses, he used to come to my house constantly.  When Leiberman was senator he rarely did a favor for a Yid.  He was the first to sign, along with Robert Bird, a member of the KKK, against Pollard getting out.  As a Senator on Jewish issues he was a big zero.”  I know a Lubavitch professor at UNH who would not agree with this assessment.

Balkany continued his rant against the Democrats and praised the Donald:  “Rubashkin is a hero.  We hoped he would be let out earlier, but the Democrats and the press have been after him every day, criticizing and lying, LYING about him, literally lying, they come up with a lie then they have to make an account of the lie.  Trump is wonderful for Jews and for Israel and for America he is wonderful. Since the new tax bill was signed by Trump two days ago, 15 corporations have given out thousand dollar bonuses and increased employee minimum pay.  He has been doing a magnificent job but he has been under siege and attack, the Democrats and the liberals are looking to go after his family, they want nothing more these liberals, they want nothing more to find something on Jared, to do something bad, to indict, in the midst of all this there had to be reasonable expectation as to timing for Rubashkin.”

Balkany took a stab at Attorney General Sessions, putting Sessions on notice that he is an employee at will:  “Sessions was against Rubashkin going out when he was a Senator, the most outspoken of all Republicans, but he works for the President, he works at the good will of the President, and he can be asked to leave at any time.”

Balkany ended his grandstanding with the following: “People were very happy with the President, thousands of emails went out to thank him, its only the bitter guys who can’t see a guy with a beard and a yarmukle succeed, where was their protests when Obama was letting every second drug dealer and drug kingpin out, the real criminals of society?”

During the radio show Balkany said that sentencing Judge Reade was an Anti-Semite.  Balkany said that her two ex-husbands told one of Rubashkin’s non-Jewish lawyers that she was an Anti-Semite.  He didn’t identify the lawyer.  The ex-husbands never publicly said that Reade was an anti-Semite.

Balkany was locked up with a foot doctor who I knew in Otisville.  All this podiatrist could talk about was trying to get a date with Balkany’s daughters.  I don’t think they would be interested in this broke foot doctor.  The Balkany family lived the high life.  At the criminal trial Balkany’s daughters “paraded in wearing short skirts paired with designer shoes: suede Prada peep-toes and racy black patent-leather Yves Saint Laurent platforms.”  Sounds like the attractive daughters of Alex Schleider, who used to frequently visit in Otisville when I was locked up.  My son even exchanged phone numbers with one of the girls in the visiting room.  Nothing ever came of it.  I wasn’t a big enough criminal for my son to marry into the Schleider family. Schleider was part of the $200 million ponzi scheme orchestrated by Lakewood mastermind Eli Weinstein.  Weinstein got sentenced to 22 years in jail by a New Jersey Judge.  Rubashkin got sentenced to 27 years by a hanging Iowa judge.  Rubaskin’s fraud totaled $25 million.

The Justice Department cannot figure out a fair way on how to sentence guys convicted of financial crime, such as Schleider, Weinstein, Rubashkin and Balkany.  Balkany never made a dime from trying to scam Steven Cohen.  Balkany’s scheme was dead before it even began, and yet he was locked up for almost five years.  It’s like locking someone up for stupidity.  If investors are stupid enough to give a guy like Weinstein and Schleider hundreds of millions of dollars, they deserve to lose their money.  I was locked up with Schleider for almost a year.  I wouldn’t give that guy a wooden nickel.

Prison doesn’t deter others from committing financial fraud.  There will always be bank fraud as long as banks look the other way at fraudulent loan applications in order to be competitive and not lose the loan.  Swiss banks have serviced Nazis, drug dealers, money launderers and criminals for many years. The banks never get locked up.  Some criminals are too big to fail, too big to jail.  The Feds should focus on preventing crime before it occurs.  The people who should be locked up are the ones who are clear and present dangers to public health and safety, such as the Goat.

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