News and Press Releases

Brooklyn man sentenced to a year and a half in prison for illegally transmitting cash to rabbi and solomon dwek

September 9, 2011


TRENTON, N.J. – A Brooklyn, N.Y., man was sentenced today to 18 months in prison for operating an illegal money transmitting business that transferred large amounts of cash to government cooperating witness Solomon Dwek and to Rabbi Eliahu Ben Haim, the then-principal rabbi of Congregation Ohel Yaacob in Deal, N.J., U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.

Yeshaye Ehrental a/k/a “Yeshayahu Ehrental,” 67, previously pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Joel A. Pisano to an Information charging him with operating an unlicensed money transmitting business, or “cash house,” out of a location in Brooklyn. Judge Pisano also imposed the sentence today in Trenton federal court.

According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:

Ehrental admitted that from June 2007 to July 2009, he operated an unlicensed money transmitting business with individuals residing in Israel, and that in conducting this business from Brooklyn, he transferred thousands of dollars in cash to Ben Haim and Dwek, who was acting for Ben Haim. Ehrental admitted that during the relevant period, he transferred between $200,000 and $400,000 in cash to the pair.

The defendant was originally charged by criminal Complaint on July 23, 2009, as part of a takedown of 44 individuals for alleged public corruption and international money laundering offenses. The criminal Complaint charged Ehrental with conspiring with Ben Haim to launder money and operate an unlicensed money transmitting business. Two other “cash house” operators, Akiva Aryeh Weiss and Schmuel a/k/a “Schmulik” Cohen, also were charged on that same date with conspiring with Ben Haim. On August 24, 2010, Cohen was sentenced to a term of 18 months in prison. Ben Haim and Weiss each have pleaded guilty and are currently scheduled to be sentenced on November 14, 2011, and November 29, 2011, respectively.

In addition to the prison term, Judge Pisano sentenced Ehrental to two years of supervised release and ordered him to forfeit $57,225.

U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Michael B. Ward; and IRS – Criminal Investigation, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Victor W. Lessoff, for the investigation leading to today’s sentence.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Maureen Nakly of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Special Prosecutions Division in Newark.


Defense counsel: Richard A. Finkel Esq. and Ronald M. Kleinberg Esq., New York

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