Argentina Rabbi Says Pinto Talked Him Into Shady $1M Apartment Deal

By Tomer Zarchin (Haaretz)

Published August 15, 2011.

Argentina’s chief rabbi sumbitted a written deposition this week to the Jerusalem District Court saying he was exploited by his son in law, Rabbi Yoshiyahu Pinto, to launder money through the purchase of a Jerusalem apartment.

Rabbi Shlomo Ben Hamo claimed in the deposition that he was asked by Pinto and his daughter, Deborah Pinto Ben Hamo, to open a bank account in Argentina for the couple. Subsequently, Ben Hamo says, he helped with the acquisition of a luxury apartment by the couple.

The dwelling, valued at more than a million dollars, is located in the Jerusalem of Gold complex in Jerusalem.

Ben Hamo is being sued by the Har Zion hotel concern, which is developing the project, for not making good on the purchase contract, which he signed as a guarantor. Ben Hamo says Pinto should be sued because the apartment was purchased for him with his money.

Proceedings clarifying the dispute will be held next month in Jerusalem’s District Court.

Pinto, who splits time between Ashdod and New York, is well-known as a spiritual adviser to many elites in Israeli society. Haaretz failed to obtain a response from him.

For more, see Haaretz.com



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