A religious leader and big-time fundraiser for Democratic New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has been charged with welfare fraud for getting around $30,000 in food stamps.
Yitzchok “Isaac” Sofer, a Hasidic religious leader, hosted a fundraiser for de Blasio’s 2013 mayoral campaign at the same time he was receiving food stamps illegally.
[dcquiz] During an FBI investigation, agents found that Sofer has been on food stamps since the beginning of 2010, and received more than $30,000 in benefits from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) since 2012, according to court documents unsealed Thursday.
On his food stamp application in 2012, Sofer claimed to make $250 a week, or about $13,000 a year, and that he had no life insurance policy. Investigators discovered, however, that Sofer did have a life insurance policy worth $1 million, and on that application he claimed to make way more than $250 dollars a week.
Sofer got the policy in 2012, however, he listed his income for 2011 at $100,000, and assets at more than $600,000, according to the criminal complaint.
Sofer still has ties with de Blasio’s office, and is listed as a government relations lobbyist for the Central United Talmudic Academy, a religious school group. The academy lobbied City Hall as recently as 2015, New York Daily News reports.
Sofer was released on $250,000 bail after being arraigned Thursday, according to the New York Post.
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