|Top left - One of the accused awaiting extradition in Israel|
Well my worst fears seem to have come true. It appears that one of the accused scammers is a religious Jew. That can be seen from the black Yarmulke he is wearing in a widely published photograph that appeared in the Wall Street Journal.
What this fellow allegedly did along with his a few of his friends was breathtaking in scope if one listens to the prosecutors charges. Just to review here is an excerpt of what I wrote just a couple of days ago:
It was reported all over the media yesterday that 3 Jews (2 Israelis and one American) were caught in what is being called the largest ever theft of customer data from a financial institution. There three crooks allegedly hacked the website of JP Morgan Chase and other companies and stole hundreds of millions of dollars. From the Times of Israel:
Prosecutors said the three had been working together since 2007 and that their crimes include artificially inflating stock prices, an illegal bitcoin exchange, operating online casinos and creating at least 75 shell companies around the world.
“By any measure, the data breaches at these firms were breathtaking in scope and in size,” U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said at a news conference.
According to Reuters, Tuesday’s charges are the first tied to the JP Morgan attack, which compromised information in 83 million customer accounts and was the largest theft of customer data from an American financial institution.
The fact that Jews were once again caught in high financial crimes is bad enough. How many ‘Bernie Madoffs’ do we need? But when ‘Bernie Madoff’ is wearing a Yarmulke, the Chilul HaShem becomes enormous.
I have often been accused of spreading Lashon Hara about a religious Jew by publishing bad news about him. Let us not hang out our dirty laundry. Besides in America, one is presumed innocent until proven guilty. More than once I was told that the only reason a reader even knew about a given case of religious Jews committing financial fraud - was because I published it. In fact when I was sent this picture by someone who said he got it from the Wall Street Journal he added that perhaps I shouldn’t publish it as it would leverage the antisemites of the world.
My answer to him was quite simple. If it's in the Wall Street Journal, the antisemites don't me to leverage anything. And it isn’t Lashon Hara if the millions of people that read the Wall Street Journal (many of whom are religious Jews) published it.
The damage is done. Not by me. And not even by the Wall Street Journal. The damage was done by the greedy narcissistic sociopaths that could not care less who they hurt or how many people.
The damage by this ‘religious’ Jew to the Jewish people is incalculable. A religious Jew that used his God given intelligence to enrich himself regardless of who he hurt in the process. Who knows what kind of people invested because they thought a reputable firm was suggesting a ’buy’ on a penny stock? It could have been retirees on fixed incomes investing a large portion of their life savings. Elderly people are the most vulnerable to these kinds of scams.
It was bad enough when Bernie Madoff did it. But when a Frum Jew does something like this, well... if he's guilty, I hope they throw the book at him. Lessons need to be learned. If we can’t instill ethics in all of our young, maybe the fear of long term jail sentences will. I feel sorry for his family, but they have only him to blame. If I were his wife I would seek a divorce with full custody of the children - and never see him again.
How sad it is when someone learns to be observant of the Mitzvos enough to wear a Kipa in pubic but has absolutely no problem hurting millions of people financially just so he can enrich himself! This is not Judaism. But this fellow thinks it is, apparently.
And there better not be any appeals from the holy rollers about Pidyan Shvuyim because that will be even more condemnable. It will increase the Chilul HaShem to major proportions if recognizably Frum Jews - or worse organizations that are lead by prominent Orthodox rabbis - have pity on a criminal just because he's ‘Frum’!
Now that it is out in public. a public condemnation is in order. As a religious Jew, I feel obligated to shout it from the rooftops. It may not counter the Chilul HaShem completely, but at least those who read these words will know that Orthodox Judaism completely rejects this behavior and indeed those of us who practice it and try to live by all of its principles - are disgusted by it!