Israeli celebrity rabbi goes to prison for bribery

In this July 11, 2011 file photo, a man kisses the hand of Rabbi Yoshiyahu Pinto at a wedding in Lod, central Israel. (AP)

A spokeswoman for Israel’s prison service says a celebrity rabbi with a following in the United States has reported to prison to begin a one-year sentence for bribery.

Spokeswoman Sivan Weizman says Rabbi Yoshiyahu Yosef Pinto arrived to a prison in central Israel on Tuesday.

Pinto was sentenced last year after he pled guilty in a plea bargain. He admitted to offering bribes in 2012 to receive classified information on a police investigation into one of his charitable organizations.

Pinto is considered one of Israel’s wealthiest rabbis. The great-grandson of a famous Moroccan-born mystic known as the Baba Sali, he amassed his fortune while serving as a spiritual guru to the rich and powerful in Israel, New York and elsewhere.

Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:46 - GMT 06:46