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Former Jewish Charity Head Pleads Guilty to Stealing Millions

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The former head of a major city charity faces prison time behind bars after pleading guilty on charges of stealing from his own organization.

William Rapfogel pleaded guilty Wednesday morning to charges of grand larceny, money laundering and criminal tax fraud.

He spent 20 years as leader of the Metropolitan New York Council on Jewish Poverty, but he participated in an insurance kickback scam, enabling him and his partner to steal more than $9 million.

Another former leader of the Met Council, Rabbi David Cohen, and Joe Ross, the head of the insurance company involved in the scheme, have also pleaded guilty.

Cohen pleaded guilty Tuesday, while Ross pleaded guilty on December 11.

Rapfogel was released on his own recognizance but faces between 40 months and 10 years in prison when he is sentenced this summer.

He also has to pay up to $3 million in restitution to the Met Council.

Rapfogel had long-standing ties with State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, who has since condemned him.

Rapfogel's wife spent many years as Silver's chief of staff.

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