Celebrity rabbi faces indictment for bribing police officer



Renowned Rabbi Yoshiyahu Yosef Pinto and his wife Devorah are suspected of offering and paying a bribe to high-ranking police officer for information relating to a separate investigation against a non-profit of which Pinto was the honorary head.

Police intend to recommend filing an indictment against Rabbi Yoshiyahu Yosef Pinto — a renowned spiritual leader among businessmen and celebrities in Israel and abroad — and his wife Devorah for attempting to bribe a police officer, a legal source told Israel Hayom on Monday. 

According to the source, who declined to give his name, the state prosecutor and not the police informed the rabbi of the case against him, once it was officially approved by the head of the Israel Police Investigation and Intelligence Department. This is due to the allegation that the officer Pinto allegedly tried to bribe, Brig. Gen. Ephraim Bracha, heads the National Fraud Unit, which is investigating the incident. 

Pinto and his wife were detained in October last year and questioned under caution for offering a bribe, paying a bribe and money laundering. They were released under strict conditions.

According to police suspicions, Pinto offered Bracha — at the time a high-ranking officer in the Investigation and Intelligence Department — 100,000 shekels in exchange for information about another fraud investigation against the charitable organization Hazon Yeshaya, for which Pinto served as honorary head. Bracha relayed the information to the relevant authorities and the police launched an undercover investigation against the rabbi. During the investigation, Pinto’s wife apparently handed a file containing the alleged bribe money to members of Bracha’s family.

Devorah Pinto was hospitalized after a suicide attempt three days after the case was uncovered

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