Jewish philanthropist and former hedge fund manager gets 7 months in case of bribery in NYC

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JTA – A hedge fund founder and major donor to Orthodox Jewish causes was sentenced to seven months in prison for participating in a scheme to bribe the chief of the New York Prison Guards Union.

Murray Huberfeld, 60, was convicted Tuesday after pleading guilty to a fraudulent conspiracy to pay $ 60,000 to Norman Seabrook, the former prison officers charity director who was also convicted in the affair to have. The payment was a reward for Seabrook for directing $ 20 million from union members’ retirement money to Huberfeld’s hedge fund, Platinum Partners.

In passing the verdict, US District Judge Lewis Liman in Manhattan said he had taken into account the “really extraordinary” letters of support for Huberfeld, Reuters reported.

“Mr. Huberfeld’s crime was serious,” Liman is quoted as saying. “That was not a passing mistake.”

Huberfeld’s arrest in 2016 and the ensuing trial shook parts of the Orthodox world in the New York City area over Huberfeld’s generosity. He had given away millions, particularly to synagogues associated with the Chabad Lubavitch movement and to Orthodox Haredi institutions in Brooklyn.

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Huberfeld’s role as trustee for the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s Tolerance Museum proved controversial, and the museum lost $ 500,000 in community funding.

Prior to his conviction, Huberfeld told the court that he had repaid $ 5.5 million of union money he had lost through bad investments and that he intended to return another $ 1.5 million.

“I am confronted every day with the hard fact that my actions hurt so much,” said Huberfeld, according to Reuters. “What I did was wrong.”

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