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Israeli mob member sentenced in racketeering case
09/12/2006
A reputed enforcer for an Israeli crime group has been sentenced to more than 10 years in federal prison for racketeering. Hai Waknine - a 35-year-old Israeli national who lives in Marina del Rey, California - asked for leniency Monday. But, citing his extensive criminal history, US District Judge Manuel Real gave Waknine 13 months in prison beyond the nine years that prosecutors were recommending. The recommendation was part of Waknine's deal with the government when he pleaded guilty in June to using extortion and threats of violence to help the Jerusalem Group launder nearly $2 million in embezzled funds. Waknine pleaded guilty to a single racketeering charge after a member of the crime group testified against him during trial. He had faced 46 counts of racketeering, extortion, conspiracy, and other charges stemming from an alleged scheme to hide money embezzled from an Israeli bank by loaning it out in Miami and Los Angeles.
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