Berland to be indicted, again, for fraud, money laudering

Berland failed to report income he made from various services he provided as head of Shuvu Banim such as fundraising, parlor meetings, and advisory services.

Rabbi Berland Arrest (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
Rabbi Berland Arrest
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
The State Attorney’s Office intends to indict the infamous head of the Shuvu Banim Breslov sect Rabbi Eliezer Berland for fraud and attempted tax evasion, as well as money laundering, it said Monday.
His indictment is pending a hearing between prosecutors and the fraudulent rabbi, who already has a severe criminal conviction to his name after he was convicted in 2016 of indecent assault against two women, and assault against the husband of one of the women he abused who he had beaten up for reporting the issue to the press.
According to the new, pending indictment, Berland failed to report income he made from various services he provided as head of Shuvu Banim, such as fundraising, parlor meetings and advisory services.
He also attempted to hide the unreported income, and is also suspected of having paid workers in his employ millions of shekels without the requisite tax deductions.
These charges come while Berland has been in police custody since April due to another criminal investigation into the sect leader in which he is suspected of demanding large sums of money from the relatives of sick individuals in return for blessings from Berland, as well as administering fake medicine.
During the course of a police raid last month, antibiotic drops and Mentos mints were found in Berland’s possession, substances he allegedly gave to ill people he took money from, in some cases for incurable or terminal illnesses.
In one instance, the publication of which by Channel 13 in December prompted the investigation, Berland forbade a young woman suffering from cancer from undergoing chemotherapy, telling her he would cure her instead.
The prosecutors noted in their statement on Monday that the allegations against Berland represented “an entire system and industry of fraud and deceit in order to get people in crisis to pay thousands of shekels and some times tens of thousands of shekels to acquire false hope to cure the illness, resurrect the dead, free prisoners from jail and more.”
The prosecutors also stated that Berland has used his followers to violently assault his opponents, and said that there was not even a minimum level of trust to release him from custody.
When allegations of Berland’s sexual assault became known in 2012, he fled the country and spent the next three years fleeing from numerous other countries as Israeli authorities sought his extradition.