Narco money launderer Zalman Zirkind recently got sentenced to 84 months in Otisville prison. Zalman Zirkind laundered drug money with his brother Mark Zirkind AKA Mendy, who got sentenced to 4 years in a Canadian prison back in 2014. Zalman and Mendy recruited Mendy’s teenage son Benzion Zirkind into in the money laundering business. Uncle Zalman and Benzion pleaded guilty to laundering drug money through New York, Hong Kong, Israel, Columbia, Canada and Mexico.
Benzion is now 23 year old. Benzion was just sentenced to a year and a day in Federal prison for his role in the money laundering scheme. Benzion’s lawyer claimed that Benzion had no idea that he was laundering money for his father and his uncle when he was asked to transport huge bags of cash to his co-conspirators. Benzion was a teenager at the time, what did he know?
Benzion recently got married and sports a gray fedora hat, a tweed sports jacket and a ponytail. Benzion submitted a character letter from Rabbi Yisroel Newman AKA “Ask Rabbi Teddy.” Rabbi Teddy stated in his character letter the following: “I met Bentzy in 2018. I live in the religious Jewish community, but I did not grow up in it. As something of an outsider I see both its virtues and its flaws. Bentzy struck me as unusual as he did not play into some of the unhealthy stereotypes which the community sometimes impresses upon young men. He grew his hair long, into a ponytail, in defiance of communal norms, something I understood as a positive expression of his individualism. While many young men in the community are brash and zealous, Bentzy seemed refined and polite.”
Sending Bentzy to jail for less than a year for the sins of his father and uncle doesn’t seem fair. The Feds didn’t even bother to submit a written sentencing recommendation or sentencing memo. The Justice Department didn’t seem very interested in Bentzy’s case.
Benzion will be in COVID quarantined solitary confinement in Otisville for three weeks before he is released into the camp. There are not many Orthodox Jews left in the camp. Some were granted early release by Donald Trump, ie., pot dealer Jon Braun recently got released. The quality of kosher food has dramatically dropped since I was released a few years ago. Zalman will nosh on microwaved potatoes and onions with 77 year old Sheldon Silver, who was denied early release by the Donald.
Benzion’s uncle Zalman has been ordered to turn himself in to Otisville this Friday, ie., February 26th at 10 AM. Zalman tried to get his sentencing delayed until March 1st in order to celebrate Purim, but Judge Cote denied his request. Judge Cote did grant Zalman’s request to visit the Montefiore Cemetery in Queens tomorrow, ie., February 25th, in order to pray at the Ohel, ie., the grave site of the Lubavitcher Rebbe. Zalman will have plenty of free time to pray in Otisville.
Zalman will have to spend Purim, and his first Shabbos, in solitary confinement in Otisville while he is COVID quarantined. The next 84 months will far from festive for uncle Zalmy.
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