Financial Crimes

Police probing sex offender rabbi who told cancer patient to refuse treatment

November 10, 2019

Rabbi Eliezer Berland shrouds himself with his talit (prayer shawl) at the Magistrates Court in Jerusalem, as he is put on trial for sexual assault charges, November 17, 2016. (Yonatan Sindel/ Flash90)

Elliezer apparently receives messages from god through the tiny television he has strapped to his head.

Police have opened an investigation into convicted sex offender Rabbi Eliezer Berland following an investigative report alleging he told a cancer patient not to accept medical treatment and instead pay him money so that she will live.

After her daughter died as a result of that advice, Nurit Ben Moshe filed a police complaint on Thursday, with her lawyer arguing that Berland’s conduct constituted manslaughter.
“I’m here so no mother will suffer like I suffered and in order that [Berland] will pay for what he did,” Ben Moshe was quoted saying by Channel 13 news as saying outside the police station.

The investigation will focus on trying to get inside information from Berland’s supporters, a tough task since they are a closed circle and tend to be extremely devoted to their leader. Many of them have taken violent action and threatened those who speak against Berland.

The report on Channel 13’s “HaMakor” program last month detailed how Berland instructed Ben Moshe’s daughter to forgo cancer treatment and instead pay him thousands of shekels to pray for her to be cured.

Among his instructions were for her to eat a simple diet including soups made only from orange vegetables, something the report said had a significant negative impact on her health.

After intensive efforts by Ben Moshe, Berland eventually gave the go ahead for her daughter to seek medical help, but by then the cancer was already too advanced to save her.

The investigative report featured extensive hidden camera footage, including of Ben Moshe giving Berland thousands of shekels to pray for her daughter.

Berland has long been known to take “pidyonim” — contributions in exchange for blessings. In late-night visits, and surrounded by dozens of followers, Berland frequently shows up at Israeli hospitals across the country, unattended by staff, to bless the sick, according to footage uploaded by his followers.

In one instance, journalists made up the case of a woman declared brain-dead, with Berland promising to revive her for a NIS 20,000 ($5,700) fee.

Activists who have spoken to The Times of Israel in the past have cited several cases of followers who, they say, have sold their houses or have been plunged into debt for these benedictions, in what they argue is tantamount to extortion by a leader with undue influence over his followers.

The donations — provided by ostensibly consenting adults for a religious service — are not illegal under Israeli law.

Long considered a cult-like leader to thousands of his followers, Berland fled Israel in 2013 amid allegations that he had sexually assaulted several female followers. After evading arrest for three years and slipping through various countries, Berland, 81, was sentenced to 18 months in prison in November 2016 on two counts of indecent acts and one case of assault, as part of a plea deal that included seven months of time served. He was freed just five months later, in part due to ill health.

Since then, he has resumed his activities as the leader of the Shuvu Bonim community, an offshoot of the Bratslav Hasidic sect that has been disavowed by the broader Bratslav dynasty.

Church warden given life sentence for murdering university lecturer

October 18, 2019

Peter Farqhuar and Benjamin Field at their bethrothal ceremony. (PA)

A church warden who murdered a retired lecturer by spiking his food and drinks with poison has been jailed for life.

Benjamin Field, 28, was found guilty last year of killing Peter Farquhar, 69, from Maids Moreton, Buckinghamshire in a sadistic plot to inherit his house and money.

Field was sentenced life imprisonment with a minimum term of 36 years at Oxford Crown Court on Friday by Mr Justice Sweeney.

Prosecutors described Field as a psychopath who posed an “ongoing danger to society” until he was eventually caught.

He admitted to frequently giving Mr Farquhar drugs and spiking his whisky in the hopes that his death would look like an accident.

After Field began targeting Mr Farquhar’s neighbour Ann Moore-Martin, 83, in a similar scheme by writing messages on her mirrors purporting to be from God.

Field admitted starting sexual relationships with both pensioners in an effort to get them to change their wills and accepted he had “psychologically manipulated” them.

He initially denied any involvement in Mr Farquhar’s death in 2015 and Miss Moore-Martin’s death from natural causes in May 2017.

Field denied murdering Mr Farquhar and said he could have died from taking his usual dose of flurazepam and drinking whisky but was convicted by the jury.

The Baptist minister’s son pleaded guilty to defrauding Miss Moore-Martin of £4,000 to buy a car and £27,000 for a dialysis machine.

Field had undergone a “betrothal” ceremony with gay Mr Farquhar while also having a string of girlfriends, and was in a sexual relationship with Miss Moore-Martin, who was 57 years his senior.

Prosecutors said Field had a “profound fascination in controlling and manipulating and humiliating and killing” and alleged he had plotted his crimes with his friend, failed magician Martyn Smith, 32.

He had also drawn up a “100 clients” list, including his parents, grandparents and brother, which the prosecution said were future targets.

Pennsylvania priest stole nearly $100,000 in church donations to pay men he met on Grindr for sex acts

August 22, 2019

Reverend Joseph McLoone, of St. Joseph's Catholic Church in Downingtown, allegedly funneled donations made by parishioners to fund his sleazy habit for at least six years
  • Rev Joseph McLoone, of St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Downingtown, allegedly funneled donations made by parishioners to fund his habit for six years
  • On Wednesday, investigators revealed that he opened a secret TD Bank account in 2011 and deposited $98,405 until he was finally investigated in 2018
  • The priest allegedly withdrew roughly $46,000 in cash some of which he spent paying men for sex – including $1,200 to an inmate in a correctional facility
  • He admitted using some of the funds for ‘personal relationships’ with other men

A crooked priest stole nearly $100,000 in church donations to pay men he met on Grindr to perform sex acts on him, prosecutors have alleged.

Reverend Joseph McLoone, of St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Downingtown, allegedly funneled donations made by parishioners to fund his sleazy habit for at least six years.

On Wednesday, investigators revealed he opened a secret TD Bank checking account in 2011 and deposited $98,405, which he then used to pay for his illicit activities as well as to pay off his credit card debts.

The disgraced priest allegedly withdrew roughly $46,000 in cash from the undisclosed account in Ocean City, New Jersey, where he owns a beach house.

He admitted using some of the funds for ‘personal relationships’ with men, including $1,200 to an inmate in a New York correctional facility, court files states.

McLoone told investigators that Miller lived in New York City and that he met the inmate via Grindr for a sexual relationship, the complaint shows.

Fired Officer Says Christian Beliefs Prohibit Him From Training Women

August 9, 2019

Image result for Manuel Torres discrimination

Uber-Christian cop claims that he is the victim of discrimination because he’s not allowed to discriminate against women. Ironic, huh?

A North Carolina man fired as a sheriff’s deputy after refusing to train a new female officer because of her gender alleges in a lawsuit he is a victim of religious discrimination.

Manuel Torres, an evangelical Christian and former Lee County sheriff’s deputy, asserts that his faith prohibits him from being alone with women who aren’t his wife ― which he said is exactly what would happen if he agreed to train a female deputy.
The 51-year-old is suing the Lee County’s Sheriff Office, claiming he was fired for asking to be exempt from training the woman.
The 51-year-old is suing the Lee County’s Sheriff Office, claiming he was fired for asking to be exempt from training the woman.

The suit, filed in federal court in North Carolina on July 31, also names as defendants two other small towns Torres says subsequently denied him a job because of his religious beliefs about interacting with women. He seeks more than 300,000 in damages, as well as reinstatement by the sheriff’s office.

California priest is busted for stealing more than $97,000 in parish donations after he got into a car crash and cops discovered security bags stuffed with money in his vehicle

July 24, 2019

California priest Father Oscar Diaz stole over $97,000 in parish donations during his 25-year career serving seven churches in the state. He was busted when he got into a car crash in June and cops made the shocking discovery of the money in his car
  • California priest Father Oscar Diaz got into a car crash on June 19 and was found with nearly $20,000 of parish donations stuffed in six security bags
  • Responding officers were shocked to find the stash of money
  • When asked about the sum, Diaz claimed that it was his salary 
  • A further investigation revealed he had a whopping stash of $77,000 in cash that he had allegedly took from the various parishes where he served
  • Diaz served as a priest for the last 25 years and had connections to at least seven churches in California
  • In a press release the diocese said that the amount Diaz stole was in excess of $95,000 and the diocese will repay the amount in full   
  • No criminal charges have been filed and Father Diaz has been suspended from priestly ministry

A California priest’s not-so-saintly secret of stealing thousands of dollars from his parishes was exposed when he got into a car crash and police officers found him with six security bags stuffed with nearly $20,000 in parish donations.

Father Oscar Diaz of Resurrection Parish in Santa Rosa got into a car accident on June 19 in which he suffered a hip injury. As cops came to his aid they discovered a dizzying $18,305 in stolen parish collections in his car.

But that was just the tip of the iceberg.

A further investigation revealed he had a whopping stash of $77,000 in cash that he had allegedly taken from the various parishes where he served, according to CBS.

When asked about the sum, Diaz claimed that it was his salary.

Diaz served as a priest for the last 25 years and had connections to at least seven churches in California including Our Lady Queen of Peace Parish, Clearlake; Queen of the Rosary Mission, Lucerne; Saint Mary Immaculate Parish, Lakeport; Saint Peter Mission, Kelseyville; Saint Mary of the Angels Parish, Ukiah; Saint Elizabeth Seton Mission; and Philo and Saint Francis Mission, Hopland.

In a press release the diocese said that the amount Diaz stole was in excess of $95,000.

However it’s not clear if he’ll face any criminal charges.

‘This money was associated with Resurrection Parish in Santa Rosa where Father Oscar was pastor,’ Bishop Robert F. Vasa said in a diocese news release. ‘After an initial investigation and several interviews, the police determined that the protocols surrounding collection accounting would make it difficult to arrive at sufficient proof of theft to pursue criminal prosecution,’ he added.

‘There is also evidence that money was stolen in a variety of ways from each of the Parishes where he had served as pastor.

US pastor runs network giving 50,000 Ugandans bleach-based ‘miracle cure’

May 18, 2019

រូបភាពពាក់ព័ន្ធ

An American pastor from New Jersey backed by a British former clairvoyant is running a network that gives up to 50,000 Ugandans a “miracle cure” made from industrial bleach, claiming drinking the toxic fluid eradicates cancer, HIV/Aids, malaria and most other diseases.

The network, led by pastor Robert Baldwin and part-funded by Sam Little from Arlesey in Bedfordshire, is one of the most extensive efforts yet to distribute the “miracle cure” known as MMS, or “miracle mineral solution”. The Guardian has learned that poor Ugandans, including infants as young as 14 months old, are being given chlorine dioxide, a product that has no known health benefit and can be extremely dangerous.

Baldwin, 52, is importing bulk shipments of the components of MMS, sodium chlorite and citric acid, into Uganda from China. The two chemicals are mixed to produce chlorine dioxide, a powerful bleach used in the textile industry.

The American pastor has “trained” about 1,200 clerics in Uganda on administering the “miracle cure” and each in turn uses it to treat about 50 congregants, usually after Sunday service. As an inducement, Baldwin is offering smartphones to those clerics who are especially “committed” to spreading the bleach cure.

Baldwin operates under a ministry he founded called Global Healing. The “church” advertises itself as “using the power of Almighty God … to greatly reduce the loss of life” in Africa.

Yet in a phone conversation with Fiona O’Leary, a campaigner against quack medicine who spoke to him while posing as a freelance journalist, Baldwin said he distributed the bleach through churches to “stay under the radar”.

“We don’t want to draw any attention,” he said during the call, a recording of which has been heard by the Guardian. “When you draw attention to MMS you run the risk of getting in trouble with the government or drug companies. You have to do it low key. That’s why I set it up through the church.”

He added that as a further precaution he uses euphemisms on Facebook, where he raises money through online donations. “I don’t call it MMS, I call it ‘healing water’, to protect myself. They are very sophisticated. Facebook has algorithms that can recognize ‘MMS’.”

Baldwin, who trained as a student nurse and is understood to have no other medical expertise, said he chose Uganda because it was a poor country with weak regulation. Speaking from New Jersey, where he is based, he told O’Leary: “America and Europe have much stricter laws so you are not as free to treat people because it is so controlled by the FDA. That’s why I work in developing countries.”

He added: “Those people in poor countries they don’t have the options that we have in the richer countries – they are much more open to receiving the blessings that God has given them.”

Asked how babies and children were treated with MMS, he said the dose was reduced by half. “Little tiny infants can take a small amount, they will spit it out. It causes no harm – they just get diarrhea.”

The Guardian contacted Baldwin by phone in New Jersey and asked the pastor to explain his work in Uganda. He said: “We use natural healing therapies to help people – that’s something Christians do.”

Then he said: “I don’t think it’s a good idea to be talking to the media right now.”

Asked what doses of bleach he was using in Africa, he abruptly ended the call.

Pope during Easter vigil: Reject the ‘glitter of wealth’

April 22, 2019

Could anything be more ironic? The pope, the master of bling, telling people to reject glitter. We here at fuckthepope.com are laughing our collective asses off.

Image result for vatican gold

“Sin seduces; it promises things easy and quick, prosperity and success, but leaves behind only solitude and death,” the pope said.

Minister at secretive North Carolina church is sentenced to 34 months prison for running unemployment fraud scheme dubbed ‘God’s plan’

April 21, 2019

Word of Faith Fellowship minister Kent Covington has been sentenced to 34 months prison for implementing an unemployment fraud scheme at two of his businesses. He is pictured arriving at court Thursday

Kent Covington – ‘God’s plan’ is to break the law
  • Word of Faith Fellowship minister Kent Covington has been sentenced to 34 months in prison for his role in a fraud scheme 
  • Covington pretended to lay off workers at his businesses and had them collect unemployment benefits to replace paying actual salaries
  • Prosecutors say many of Covington’s employees were Word of Faith Fellowship members and he used his position in the church to force them to comply
  • The scheme resulted in more than $250,000 in fraudulent claims being made between November 2008 and March 2013 

A minister at the secretive Word of Faith Fellowship in North Carolina has been sentenced to 34 months in prison for his role in a fraud scheme that was dubbed ‘God’s plan’. 

In 2008, Kent Covington laid off workers at his struggling manufacturing business so that they could collect unemployment benefits. 

However, the employees continued to work at the company and their unemployment checks replaced their actual salaries. 

At Covington’s sentencing on Thursday, U.S. District Judge Martin Reidinger said that the minister had shown a ‘cynical disregard to the law’ and that his actions ‘undermined the entire unemployment security structure of the state’.

Around 150 of his friends, family and members of his church attended his sentencing, according to WLOS. 

Prosecutors say Covington and his employee, Dianne McKinny, later put the scheme into place at another of his companies – a stone fabrication business by the name of  Integrity Marble & Granite. 

It resulted in more than $250,000 in fraudulent claims made between November 2008 and March 2013, according to the original indictment in the case.

Word of Faith Fellowship leader, Jane Whaley, was named in a court document as someone who ‘promoted’ the scheme.

Convicted sex offender rabbi claims he can revive the dead – for $5,400 fee

March 24, 2019

Men gather to pray during a demonstration in support of Eliezer Berland outside the court in Lod, Central Israel on July 26, 2016. (Avi Dishi/Flash90)

Sex convict rabbi Eliezer Berland promises he can revive people who were officially declared brain dead, if family members pony up some NIS 20,000 ($5,400), according to a television report on Thursday that exposed the working of the miracles-for-cash services offered by the shadowy leader of the Shuvu Bonim community.

Berland has long been known to offer “pidyonim,” or kabbalistic benedictions, to the ill, whereby they receive a blessing after donating money. In late-night visits, and surrounded by dozens of followers, Berland frequently shows up at Israeli hospitals across the country, unattended by staff, to bless the sick, according to footage uploaded by his followers.

Israeli journalists from Channel 12 news, seeking to unearth how it works and after encountering victims of Berland’s scheme, invented the case of a 35-year-old woman, “Yael,” who was declared brain dead.

They contacted Berland’s aide Natan, who was initially circumspect, saying he would have to check as it was a case of brain death. “If it wasn’t brain death, I would promise you that he would revive her,” he tells them, tacitly acknowledging the irreversible loss of all cognitive functioning.

But getting back to them after consulting with Berland, Natan says his mentor is confident he can do it. It would cost NIS 20,000, he says, vowing that the woman will be brought back to life. “At least once a week, the rabbi revives the dead in all sorts of ways in the hospital,” the Berland aide reassures them.

After they balk at the price, Natan puts Berland on the line.

“Bring NIS 20,000 within an hour, at 1 a.m. I’ll be at Rambam [medical center in Haifa],” the rabbi tells them.

“Wait, but Rabbi Berland, the doctors said she’s brain dead,” interjects Channel 12 reporter Yoav Even.

“The rabbi knows this,” replies Natan the aide.

“Yes, I can revive her. I’ve already revived people who were brain dead, who were totally paralyzed, people with cancer… against which they didn’t stand a chance,” Berland says, adding that he performed “total miracles, total miracles.”

“If you bring me NIS 20,000, she’ll wake up. There will be a miracle. Her brain will start to work, you’ll see her brain starting to work,” said Berland.

Natan later updated the journalists that Berland would offer the blessing remotely after the money was transferred, and wouldn’t show up at the hospital.

In a statement to the TV station, associates of Berland insisted that his religious services do not cost money.

“There is a matter of pledging money to charity during a time of suffering. The rabbi himself blesses and prays and doesn’t deal with money at all. If the money comes, it’s immediately distributed to the needy,” a statement from his associates said.

“We are witness to hundreds and thousands of stories of people who were saved by the blessings of the rabbi, which are supernatural,” the statement added.

Activists who have spoken to The Times of Israel in the past have cited several cases of followers who, they say, have sold their houses or have been plunged into debt for these benedictions, in what they argue is tantamount to extortion by a cult-like leader with undue influence over his followers.

The donations — provided by ostensibly consenting adults for a religious service — are not illegal under Israeli law.

In a recording recently obtained by The Times of Israel, which is punctuated by derisive laughter by his followers, Berland boasted of exploiting a woman who donated tens of thousands of dollars.

Long considered a cult-like leader to thousands of his followers, Berland fled Israel in 2013 amid allegations that he had sexually assaulted several female followers. After evading arrest for three years and slipping through various countries, Berland, 81, was sentenced to 18 months in prison in November 2016 on two counts of indecent acts and one case of assault, as part of a plea deal that included seven months of time served. He was freed just five months later, in part due to ill health.

He can raise the dead but can’t cure his own health problems. Hmmm.

Since then, he has resumed his activities as the leader of the Shuvu Bonim community, an offshoot of the Bratslav Hasidic sect that has been disavowed by the broader Bratslav dynasty.

Church Manager Stole $1.2 Million For Family Trips, Personal Expenses

February 22, 2019

He is also accused of having an astoundingly ugly wife.

David and Connie Reiter of South Park, Pennsylvania, have both been charged in the alleged theft of church funds.

A Pennsylvania church administrator stole $1.2 million from his religious community and used the money for family theme park vacations and other personal expenses, authorities say.

David Reiter, a 50-year-old business manager and occasional keyboardist for Westminster Presbyterian Church in Upper St. Clair, faces felony charges including theft, forgery, conspiracy and receiving stolen property, according to a criminal complaint obtained by HuffPost.

His wife, 44-year-old Connie Reiter, faces charges of conspiracy and receiving stolen property.

David Reiter, of South Park, was hired as Westminster Presbyterian Church’s financial administrator in 2001 and stayed in that role for about 17 years. He is accused of skimming money from the church’s funds between 2011 and 2018, according to the Allegheny County district attorney’s office.

During that time, Reiter was apparently an active member of the church ― playing keyboard for contemporary worship services and leading staff in worship during Christmas, Westminster’s senior pastor, Rev. Jim Gilchrist, told CBS affiliate KDKA on Tuesday.

“Everybody trusted him,” Gilchrist said.

Reiter allegedly falsified church accounts and created fake audit reports to cover his thefts. The complaint states that he charged about $220,000 in personal expenses on the church’s credit card and also made smaller unauthorized payroll transfers from church accounts to his personal accounts over the years.

The church funds were reportedly used to pay for vacations to Walt Disney World, Hershey Park and Cedar Point. Other expenses allegedly included Pittsburgh Pirates baseball tickets, music lessons for the Reiters’ children, restaurant bills, pet care, medical expenses, groceries, vehicle repairs and scrapbooking supplies.

Westminster Presbyterian Church’s board became suspicious in November when it attempted to perform a financial audit and was repeatedly told by Reiter that the auditor wasn’t available for a face-to-face interview. Reiter later gave a board member a cellphone number for the auditor but the person on the other end of the line was actually Reiter using a prepaid cellphone purchased with church funds, according to the complaint.

Reiter later confessed to Gilchrist that he had stolen money from the church, telling the pastor he did it “to make things better at home,” the complaint states.

“There was a tremendous amount of forethought and deception in this, which is all the more sad and just a sense of betrayal,” Gilchrist told KDKA.

The couple made an initial court appearance on Tuesday but didn’t enter pleas, The Associated Press reported. It’s unclear if they have retained attorneys.

Connie Reiter posted bail but her husband remains in jail, a district attorney’s spokesman told HuffPost on Thursday.

A preliminary hearing is set for Feb. 28.

Pope Francis assailes the “insatiable greed” of today’s consumerism

December 25, 2018

 

លទ្ធផល​រូបភាព​សម្រាប់ vatican righes

This coming from the head of perhaps the richest and most rapacious organization in the world; One swimming in gold, cash and art.

The pope gets our ‘hypocrite of the year’ award. Again.

 

Pope Francis assailed the “insatiable greed” of today’s consumerism at the Vatican and pilgrims crowded into the church at the traditional site of Jesus’s birth in Bethlehem on Tuesday as Christmas celebrations began worldwide.

Thousands attended mass on Monday night at the Vatican’s Saint Peter’s Basilica, where Pope Francis, the head of the world’s 1.3 billion Catholics, offered his Christmas homily.

“An insatiable greed marks all human history, even today, when, paradoxically, a few dine luxuriantly while all too many go without the daily bread needed to survive,” the 82-year-old pope said as he drank 120 year old scotch from his solid gold chalice.  

Two nuns admit embezzling $500,000 and spending it on gambling sprees in Las Vegas

December, 2018

 

លទ្ធផល​រូបភាព​សម្រាប់ Mary Kreuper and Lana Chang,

Mary Kreuper and Lana Chang, thieves

 

Two nuns have admitted embezzling about $500,000 (£400,000) and spending it on gambling in Las Vegas.

Sisters Mary Kreuper and Lana Chang, who worked at St James’ Catholic School in the city of Torrance, California, stole the money from school funds and gambled with it in casinos.

The nuns, said to be best friends, took money from an account used for tuition fees and donations, and were caught during a routine audit.
They had previously avoided detection by depositing cheques made out to the school into their own separate bank account.

The sisters, who have just retired, have expressed remorse for their actions, and although the police have been informed, the school is not bringing criminal charges against them. Because, hey, to the Catholic Church $500,000 is peanuts.

Sister Mary was the principal of the school for 29 years, while Sister Lana was a teacher there for about 20 years.
It is thought they spent the stolen money over a period of at least 10 years on gambling and travel.

In a statement, the Sisters of St Joseph of Carondelet, the pair’s order, said: “The Sisters have confirmed the misappropriation of funds and have co-operated in the investigation.

“Our community is concerned and saddened by this situation and regret any injury to our long relationship with the families of the school.”

In a letter to parishioners, the monsignor of the church, Michael Meyers, wrote: “Sister Mary Margaret and Sister Lana have expressed to me and asked that I convey to you, the deep remorse they each feel for their actions and ask for your forgiveness and prayers.”

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