Rabbi Pinto Begins Prison Term for Bribery
Popular Orthodox Rabbi Begins Prison Term for Bribery
Ramla (TPS) – Rabbi Yoshiyahu Pinto, a popular Orthodox rabbi who has many followers in the US and in Israel, started serving a one-year prison sentence for bribery and corruption on Tuesday, February 16.
Rabbi Pinto is a Kabbalist who leads a global organization called Mosdot Shuva Israel, which is based in New York and in Ashdod. He was convicted in 2014 of bribing Ephraim Bracha, a high-ranking police officer who committed suicide during the trial.
Pinto pleaded guilty and managed to reach a plea bargain with the court that significantly reduced his prison sentence from seven years to one year.
The plea bargain received fierce criticism from the Movement for Quality Government (MQG), an Israeli NGO that petitioned against it to the Supreme Court of Israel.
“Pinto is a source of corruption who has managed to extend his reach in every direction and it is a shame that the court approved the plea bargain,” said MQG Founder and CEO Adv. Eliad Shraga.
“We thought that this plea bargain was unreasonable considering that there was conclusive and solid evidence against him that he had paid a bribe of $200,000,” Shraga told Tazpit Press Service (TPS). “The court to our dismay chose not to interfere with the attorney general’s decision, and Pinto received a ‘celebrity discount’ of six years.”
“The fact that such a person is going to prison holds significance, but he still views himself as innocent along with his followers,” added Shraga. “He is the sort of person who doesn’t show any regret; on the contrary, it reinforces the myth. He will return to his bad ways in the future.”
Meanwhile, Pinto showed no remorse just one day before going to prison. “We sacrificed our lives for the greater good. We don’t think of tomorrow even for one moment,” he told his followers. “Tomorrow is just like any other day. Whoever feels hurt by what was done to us should know that shouting or doing anything else will not help. Take another Torah lesson and spread it around the world. Our victory will come eventually.”