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Brother of Poway rabbi pleads guilty to tax evasion

Posted at 4:47 PM, Sep 14, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-14 19:47:53-04

POWAY, Calif. (KGTV) -- The brother of Rabbi Yisroel Goldstien pleaded guilty in federal court Monday to charges relating to a conspiracy to conceal more than $700,000 in earnings from the IRS, according to the US Attorneys office.

According to a news release, Mendel Goldstein, the owner of a videography business based in Brooklyn pleaded guilty to tax evasion charges.

The office says that until 2018, Yisroel Goldstein used the Chabad of Poway to divert his brother’s income and conceal the money from the IRS.

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According to the US Attorneys office, the brothers hid the money by depositing it into Chabad accounts before funneling it back to Mendel Goldstein by writing checks to fictitious names such as “Mr. Green,” Mr. Gold,” and Mr. Fish.”

The brothers also agreed that Yisroel Goldstein could keep 10 percent of the income as a fee for the exchange, according to a plea agreement.

In 2020, Yisroel Goldstein, along with five other people, pleaded guilty to fraud charges, admitting that he took part in a years-long, multi-million dollar tax-evasion scheme along with other financial deceptions involving the theft of public money, prosecutors said.

“People who cheat on their taxes are cheating all honest taxpayers,” said U.S. Attorney Robert Brewer. “We will not tolerate the exploitation of non-profit and religious organizations to line the perpetrators’ pockets at society’s expense.”