Rabbi Pinto Agrees to Plea Bargain Agreement

Controversial rabbi accused of bribery signs deal to testify against former senior police officer Menashe Arbiv.

Orli Harari, Ari Yashar,

Rabbi Yoshiyahu Pinto
Rabbi Yoshiyahu Pinto
Flash 90

Rabbi Yosef Yoshiyahu Pinto, head of the 'Shuvu Yisrael' sect, signed a plea bargain agreement on Wednesday that attributes to him crimes of bribery, attempted bribery and disruption of proceedings.

The State Attorney's Office is expected to demand a one year prison sentence against the controversial rabbi.

As part of the plea agreement Rabbi Pinto would serve as a state witness against former police Maj. Gen. Menashe Arbiv, who is to be investigated on suspicion of receiving benefits.

Earlier this year, the Attorney General's Office stated it would file an indictment against Rabbi Pinto for allegedly attempting to bribe senior police officer Ephraim Bracha with $200,000 for information about a pending police investigation into the Hazon Yeshaya charity organization, which Pinto headed. 

Bracha immediately reported the incident to his superiors, prompting a separate investigation against Rabbi Pinto himself. 

That investigation revealed that Rabbi Pinto allegedly tried to bribe several other officers for information about the case against Hazon Yeshaya. The charity, which was supposed to have provided millions of dollars to Holocaust survivors and ran a popular soup kitchen and volunteer network in Jerusalem, closed in 2012 under allegations of fraud.

Associates of Rabbi Pinto claim that Arbiv, the former commander of the police's Lahav 433 investigative unit, received various benefits, including help receiving a visa to the United States for his son and wife.

Additionally, the confederates of the rabbi say they gave $2,000 to Arbiv's son every month, as well as a 700,000 shekel ($190,000) discount for the senior police officer to buy a home in an exclusive section of northern Tel Aviv. The associates added that the rabbi and his aides also helped Arbiv when he served as a representative of the Israeli Police in the US.


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