News and Press Releases

Brooklyn, n.Y., man pleads guilty to operating illegal money transmitting business

June 5, 2012


TRENTON, N.J. – A Brooklyn, N.Y., man who operated a charitable organization, or “gemach,” today admitted his role in a money laundering conspiracy, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.

David S. Goldhirsh, 30, pleaded guilty before Judge Joel A. Pisano in Trenton federal court to one count of a 14-count Indictment charging him with owning and operating an illegal money transmitting business. Goldhirsh had previously been indicted with Rabbi Lavel Schwartz, 60, of Brooklyn, who pleaded guilty Thursday, May 24, to money laundering conspiracy.

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

Schwartz admitted that beginning in May 2008, he and his brother, Rabbi Mordchai Fish, met with Solomon Dwek, an individual he now knows was a cooperating witness with the United States. For a fee of approximately 10 percent, Fish and Schwartz agreed to launder and conceal Dwek’s funds, which were purported proceeds of illegal businesses, through a series of purported charities, also known as “gemachs,” for a 10 percent fee.

Fish would instruct Dwek to make checks payable to various charitable organizations, or “gemachs,” including Boyoner Gemilas Chesed (BGC), which was operated by Goldhirsh, who provided cash directly to Fish and Dwek on two occasions in exchange for checks made payable to BGC, and at least five additional checks were deposited into the BGC account as part of other transactions. Fish previously pleaded guilty to conspiring to commit money laundering and is scheduled to be sentenced on June 18, 2012.

The charge to which Goldhirsh pleaded guilty carries a maximum potential penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. He is scheduled to be sentenced Oct. 24, 2012.

U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Michael B. Ward; and special agents of IRS – Criminal Investigation, under the direction of Acting Special Agent in Charge JoAnn S. Zuniga, for the investigation leading to today’s guilty plea.

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


Defense Counsel: Gerald B. Lefcourt Esq., New York

Schwartz, Lavel and Goldhirsh, David Indictment

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