Former Chief Rabbi signs plea bargain

Former Chief Rabbi Yona Metzger signs plea bargain confessing to charges of accepting $2.6 million in bribes; to serve 3.5 years in prison.

Gary Willig ,

Rabbi Yona Metzger at courthouse
Rabbi Yona Metzger at courthouse
Flash 90

Former Chief Rabbi Yona Metzger signed a plea bargain today, under which he will serve 3.5 years in prison.

Rabbi Metzger pled guilty last month to charges of fraud, theft, conspiracy, breach of trust, money laundering, tax offenses, and accepting bribes. He received a shorter sentence in exchange.

Rabbi Metzger was indicted in October, 2015 on suspicion of accepting about 10 million shekels ($2.6 million) in bribes. He had stepped down as Chief Rabbi on July 24, 2013, due to the investigation. The indictment alleged that he committed the fraud during his tenure as Chief Rabbi.

The police accused Rabbi Metzger of accepting bribes to sway his opinion as Chief Rabbi, and of stashing $200,000 with his sister in Haifa. An additional 40,000 shekels ($11,300) was found hidden in various books during a search of his home.

Rabbi Metzger intends to ask the State Attorney to grant his request for an early release in exchange for his confession so that he would only have to serve 24 months in prison.