The Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty found itself without an executive for the first time in 21 years in mid-2013. Now in 2014, the council is seeing the first time a former executive has been sentenced to prison time. Willam Rapfogel, 59, pled guilty to a number of charges, including grand larceny and money laundering. Rapfogel is facing up to ten years in prison for his crime.
As reported by NPQ in 2013, Rapfogel began his crimes almost immediately upon starting as CEO, strategically overcharging for MCJP insurance so he and his co-conspirators could pocket the difference. Already making over $340,000 a year in his role, Rapfogel split more than $9 million of the stolen money during his tenure. According to court documents, Rapfogel used “$27,000 of that money to pay a contractor working on his home and he had more than $400,000 in cash hidden in his home when investigators searched it in August 2013.”
Rapfogel was very connected in the New York City political world, donating to many candidates, including current NYC mayor Bill de Blasio. Rapfogel’s wife even served as the Chief of Staff for New York State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver. At a court hearing, Rapfogel reportedly spoke softly as he admitted, “I knowingly stole more than $1 million from the Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty as part of a scheme in which insurance premiums were inflated.”