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Met Council on Jewish Poverty agrees to reform after scandal

The Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty has agreed to reform its internal controls in the wake of a bribery scheme involving its former executive director, state officials announced Thursday.

The influential charity agreed to hire a new general counsel and a new compliance officer, revamp its auditing practices and appoint at least two independent directors to its board, among other changes, as part of an agreement with state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and Comptroller Tom DiNapoli, the attorney general’s office said.

The agreement will remove a freeze on the flow of state funds to Met Council imposed after former executive director William Rapfogel was indicted on larceny and money-laundering charges.

Rapfogel allegedly conspired with others for more than 20 years to overcharge the cost of insurance policies that Century Coverage Corp. -- a Valley Stream-based insurance agency  -- obtained for Met Council and pocket the difference between an inflated price and the actual price. Prosecutors had claimed Rapfogel had received more than $1 million.

Another figure in the alleged conspiracy pleaded guilty earlier this month. Joseph Ross, an owner of Century Coverage, admitted to first-degree grand larceny, first-degree money laundering and third-degree criminal tax fraud in Manhattan Supreme Court in an apparent plea deal, officials confirmed. Terms of the plea have been sealed.

Rapfogel's wife, Judy, is the longtime chief of staff to powerful Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver (D-Manhattan). William Rapfogel and Silver have known each other for more than 40 years -- since Silver was his youth basketball coach.


 

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