Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Making a mockery of religion I

The summer of Jewish/Orthodox fraudsters has been long and depressing. Sadly, it's not quite over yet.

Planet Money has uncovered the court papers from the big New Jersey corruption sting last week, in which five rabbis were amongst 44 people arrested.

Apparently, in meetings taped by an informant,

Bank fraud is repeatedly referred to as a "schnookie" in the charges, which makes it adorable. And since five of the accused are rabbis, they know their way around the ancient codes. "Gemara" may be the second part of the Talmud, but the court papers say that for these guys it also meant a thousand dollars. "I'm bringing 55 gemaras," the informant says, meaning $55,000. The accused would allegedly set up
times to meet by asking when they wanted to "learn together."

No word yet on bail, but I'm guessing they're going to need a lot more than 55 gemaras.

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