The wife of Rabbi Yoshiyahu Pinto, the influential and controversial Israeli spiritual advisor, attempted suicide today, the Jerusalem Post reported. Pinto and his wife, Debra Rivka Pinto, were both under house arrest in Israel after being questioned in the alleged bribery attempt.
According to the paper, Debra Rivka Pinto took an overdose of pills while her husband was being interrogated by police. She was taken to the hospital “suffering light injuries,” the paper reported.
Pinto has ties to businessmen and political figures both in the U.S. and Israel. He has drawn increased scrutiny in recent months following the jailing of one of his former top aides amidst charges that the aide gathered illegal donations from Pinto’s followers for Staten Island Republican Congressman Michael Grimm’s 2010 election campaign.
The Forward reported in December 2011 that Pinto’s U.S. charity had spent heavily on luxury travel and jewels. Previously, the Forward reported that the townhouse where he lived in New York faced foreclosure and that his U.S. organization’s top financial officer could not say how many employees the group had. The Forward also reported that Pinto’s top aide was tied to porn sales and legal troubles.