1. Benjamin Berger
2. Jacob Elbaum
3. Kalman Stern
4. David Goldstein:
These four men were convicted in 1999 of "bilking the US of tens of millions of dollars of bogus programs." They were convicted on "21 charges, including conspiracy, mail fraud, embezzlement, and money laundering." They are members of the Hassidic (Skverer branch) enclave of about 7,000 people called New Square in Rockland County, New York. Berger was the chairman of the Toldos Yakov Yosef seminary in Brooklyn. The seminary did not exist; it was a fraud. As the New York Times noted:
"The academy existed only in documents that formed the centerpiece of an elaborate web of fraud stretching back nearly 20 years: to swindle several government agencies out of several million dollars and to use taxpayers' money for the benefit of seven men and New Square, their religiously exclusive enclave 33 miles from Manhattan ... Critics said [that Clinton's pardon of the four men] was politically motivated to benefit Senator Hillary Rodman Clinton, who had courted support in the Hassidic community."
And as the New York Daily News observed:
"The New Square case has helped create a dark cloud over the start of Hillary Rodman
Clinton's career by creating suspicion that clemency was given in exchange for New
Square's backing her [New York senatorial] candidacy. The village voted, 1,140 to 12, for
her on Election Day ... In 1992, New Square voted 822 for President George Bush and
93 for Bill Clinton, only to flip in 1996 and support President Clinton over Bob Dole,
1,110 to 31. After backing Democratic Governor Mario Cuomo over GOP challenger
George Patakis, 907 to 63, in 1994, New Square switched sides in 1998 and backed
Governor Pataki over Democrat Peter Vallone, 1,132 to 8."
Ms. Clinton had had personal meetings with New Square leaders (and even visited the community) who lobbied her on behalf of the four convicted Hassidic men.
[HENRY, MAUREEN. FRAUD SUSPECTS FACES EXTRADITION TO US. JERUSALEM POST, 2-21-99, p. 3] [ARCHIBOLD, RANDAL C. 4 WHO GOT LENIENCY DEFRAUDED U.S. FOR RELIGION, NEW YORK TIMES, 1-26-01, Sec. B., p. 1] [COHLER-ESSES, LARRY AND SIEGEL, JOEL. THE WOOING OF HILLARY CLINTON PARDON ON MIND OF NEW SQUARE RABBIS. DAILY NEWS (NEW YORK), 2-12-01]
The Democratic Party chairman of Rockland County, New York, where the New Square community is located, was Jewish real estate mogul Paul Adler. Adler"a key bridge builder to the Rockland County Jewish community" and "key Hillary [Clinton] adviser," was involved in Ms. Clinton's visit to the New Square community when she sought Hasidic support. Adler was subsequently arrested in September of 2000 "on corruption charges," including charges of "public corruption, fraud, extortion and other charges linked to his real estate transactions." [FORWARD, 9-15-2000, p. 15]
On April 13, 2001, the Forward, a Jewish ethnic newspaper, noted another angle, with another character, in the New Square pardons:
"Caught in a firestorm of negative publicity sparked by a federal fraud case and its connection
to 'Pardongate,' leaders of the chasidic village of New Square turned to Rabbi Mayer Schiller
for damage control ... A beloved teacher at Yeshiva University High School for Boys -- a
Modern Orthodox, not chasidic insitution -- Rabbi Schiller also spent years writing and
preaching in defense of European culture, group identity and, most controversial, racial
separation ... Several of Rabbi Schiller's former students and rabbinical colleagues said
they oppose his separatist views, but that his fascination with controversial nationalist
causes stems not from a hatred of racial minorities, but a rejection of post-Enlightenment
universalism and secularism." [EDEN, A., 4-13-01]
5. Harvey Weinig:
"Weinig pleaded guilty in 1995 to helping launder $19 million in drug money for the Cali cocaine cartel."
[SMITH, GREG B., LAWYER AIDED BY BILL JOINED IN KIDNAP PLOT. DAILY NEWS (NEW YORK), 2-16-01, p. 36]
6. Susan Rosenberg:
"In 1984, Rosenberg was found guilty of weapons possession and sentenced to 58 years in prison for her participation in a bungled 1981 Brink's armored car robbery that left two policemen and a guard dead in Rockland County, New York. She was also arrested in the 1983 Capitol bombing, but the charges were later dropped."
[St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Those Pardoned By Clinton Range from the Unknown to the Famous. January 23, 2001, p. A4]
7. Jodie E. Israel
Among those others pardoned by Clinton was Al Schwimmer, who was "convicted in 1950 of violating the U. S. Neutrality Act for smuggling planes to forces fighting for the establishment of Israel ... He used his experience in the U. S. Transport Command to recruit pilots and smuggle planes to what is now Israel." [Maharaj, D., 2-24-01]