William Rapfogel, the former head of the Met Council on Jewish Poverty, turned himself in at the 1st Precinct this morning and is expected to face grand larceny and money laundering charges.
The longtime Lower East Side resident with close ties to Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver was fired from the Met Council in August after allegations of financial misconduct surfaced. The state attorney general and state comptroller have been investigating whether Rapfogel arranged to pad payments to the Met Council’s insurance carrier, diverting the money to elected officials responsible for awarding the non-profit millions of dollars in grants.
The story is being reported by numerous news organizations this morning, including the New York Times:
Mr. Rapfogel surrendered early on Tuesday morning at the First Precinct station house in Lower Manhattan, where he was fingerprinted and photographed, one of the people with knowledge of the matter said. He was scheduled to be arraigned later in the day in Criminal Court in Manhattan on grand larceny and money laundering charges, according to the people, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the charges had not yet been announced. A criminal complaint expected to be unsealed at Mr. Rapfogel’s arraignment was said to accuse him of stealing $1 million, one of the people said. Paul L. Shechtman, Mr. Rapfogel’s lawyer, said in a text message that he had no comment. Spokesmen for Mr. Schneiderman and Mr. DiNapoli also had no comment.
Rapfogel’s wife, Judy, is Speaker Silver’s longtime chief of staff. The Daily News reports:
A source with knowledge of the probe told the News there is no evidence that Silver knew of the scam, though the investigation is continuing. Rapfogel’s lawyer previously insisted neither Silver nor Rapfogel’s wife were involved.
More from The Post:
Rapfogel turned himself in this morning at the NYPD’s 1st Precinct. At 9 a.m., he was led from the precinct handcuffed by two officials from the AG’s office to a waiting car for the ride to his arraignment in Manhattan Criminal Court. He said nothing as reporters shouted questions… One of the city’s largest social service providers, the Met Council has snared $16.5 million in state funds and at least $1.6 million in City Council grants this year — accounting for more than half its $33 million budget… Century Coverage CEO Joseph Ross and other company employees contributed $120,000 to political candidates since the 1990s — among them hooker-happy ex-Gov. Eliot Spitzer as well as Silver.