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New York City Jail Chaplain Fined for Accepting Bribe, Pleads Guilty to Fraud Charges

A politically-connected New York City jail chaplain was fined for accepting a gift from a prisoner’s family, then charged with stealing federal housing funds in an unrelated case. He was ordered to serve 45 days in federal prison.

Rabbi Leib Glanz, 54, admitted accepting a silver wine goblet and plate worth about $500 during a lavish bar mitzvah for Jewish prisoner Tuvia Stern’s son at the downtown New York City jail known as “The Tombs,” which included a band and catered food. [See: PLN, Feb. 2010, p.24]. Glanz, who coordinated the December 30, 2008 event, said he tried to reject the gift.

“But the family and other guests insisted I accept it,” he explained to the city’s Conflict of Interest Board. “I believe that to have refused this gift under these circumstances would likely have caused the Stern family significant embarrassment in front of their relatives and friends.”

Jail employees are prohibited from accepting gifts from prisoners’ families. Glanz was fined $2,500 in December 2011 for accepting the goblet and plate, and resigned from his part-time chaplaincy position. Three other jail employees resigned after details of the bar mitzvah were leaked to the press.

In September 2011, Glanz was arrested and charged with participation in a fraudulent scheme involving $220,000 in federal housing funds. One year later he pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge for defrauding the federal government of Section 8 housing subsidies over a 15-year period; on February 28, 2013, he was sentenced to 45 days in prison.

Glanz asked for mercy at his sentencing hearing. “All my life, I have tried to do only what is good, I have tried to help many people,” he stated. “But in this case, I have not lived up to my own standards. I said ‘yes’ when I should have said ‘no,’ and by doing that, I have failed myself, I have failed many people.”

Glanz’s brother was sentenced to six months in prison and six months on home confinement for his role in the Section 8 fraud scheme. Additionally, both were ordered to pay a total of $220,000 in restitution to the federal government.

Rabbi Glanz served his sentence and was released from prison on May 29, 2013.

Sources: New York Daily News, The New York Times,

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