Met Council's Rapfogel Transferred to Minimum Security Prison in Manhattan

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Rapfogel arrives for his hearing in the New York state Supreme Court, July 23, 2014.
Rapfogel arrives for his hearing in the New York state Supreme Court, July 23, 2014.Credit: AP

William Rapfogel, who was sentenced last year to three to ten years in prison for stealing $9 million from the Jewish nonprofit he headed, has been transferred to a minimum-security work release prison in Manhattan on Tuesday.

Rapfogel, 60, the longtime CEO of New York’s Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty, was transferred from a medium-security prison in upstate New York, where he served 14 months of his sentence, the New York Daily News reported Wednesday.

For ten days he will be restricted to the minimum-security Lincoln Correctional Facility, which is across the street from Central Park. After that he will be allowed to leave during the day to go to work, a prison spokesman said. Rapfogel reportedly has a job offer at a real estate company.

Depending on his behavior, Rapfogel may have the opportunity later to spend some evenings at his home on the Lower East Side. He will be eligible for parole in November 2017.

Rapfogel, who headed the Met Council for more than twenty years, was involved in a kickback scheme in which the organization paid inflated insurance premiums — one portion went to Rapfogel and his co-conspirators, and another was donated to political candidates.

Rapfogel’s wife is the chief of staff for former New York State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, who is on trial in federal court for accepting bribes. Silver is still an Assembly member.

Rapfogel personally stole $3 million, using the money to “fund a lavish lifestyle,” New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said in a news release issued after Rapfogel’s sentencing.

The Met Council, which provides services to the poor and elderly in the New York City area, receives funding from state and city government, as well as from private sources.

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