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Brooklyn, n.Y., man sentenced to a year in prison for operating illegal money transmitting business

January 3, 2012


TRENTON, N.J. – A Brooklyn, N.Y., man who operated a charitable organization was sentenced today to 12 months and one day in prison for his role in a money laundering conspiracy, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.

David S. Goldhirsh, 30, previously pleaded guilty before Judge Joel A. Pisano 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, 61, of Brooklyn, who was sentenced on Dec. 27, 2012, to 12 months and one day in prison for money laundering conspiracy. Judge Pisano imposed Goldhirsh’s sentence today in Trenton federal court.

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, a cooperating witness with the United States. 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 fee of 10 percent of the amount laundered.

Fish would instruct Dwek to make checks payable to various “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. 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 was sentenced on July 3, 2012, to 46 months in prison.

In addition to the prison term, Judge Pisano sentenced Goldhirsh to three years of supervised release. Goldhirsh also forfeited $154,289.

U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Acting Special Agent in Charge David Velazquez; and special agents of IRS – Criminal Investigation, under the direction of Acting Special Agent in Charge Shantelle P. Kitchen, for the investigation leading to today’s sentencing.

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

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