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NYC Power Broker William Rapfogel Arrested

Former Met Council on Jewish Poverty chief probed for financial misconduct

Stephanie Butnick
September 24, 2013
Former Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty CEO William Rapfogel. (Michael Priest)
Former Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty CEO William Rapfogel. (Michael Priest)

William Rapfogel, the former CEO of Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty who was fired in August amid reports of a criminal investigation for financial misconduct, has been arrested, the Wall Street Journal reports. He’s expected to be arraigned later today.

The subject of an internal investigation by the nonprofit, Mr. Rapfogel was probed by the state agencies over his relationship with a Valley Stream-based insurance company, according to people familiar with the matter.

The attorney general’s investigation, these people said, was focused on an alleged scheme in which Mr. Rapfogel laundered campaign contributions to political candidates by having the Met Council overpay insurance premiums to the company.

Company executives then would allegedly redirect the excess payments to campaign coffers, according to these people.

Rapfogel was (previously) considered one of the chief Jewish power brokers in New York, having worked at the Metropolitan Council for 21 years and serving as an aide to Mayor Ed Koch and city comptroller Harrison Goldin. The Metropolitan Council, which is one of the biggest local Jewish social service organization and has an impressive annual budget of $27 million, paid him a salary of $400,000 in 2011.

Stephanie Butnick is chief strategy officer of Tablet Magazine, co-founder of Tablet Studios, and a host of the Unorthodox podcast.