A pair of insurance brokers were sentenced Friday to five years probation and ordered to pay back $1.5 million for participating in a scheme to steal $9 million from the Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty, a group with close ties to former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver.
Solomon Ross and William Lieber received their sentences Monday, the latest to hear their fate following the bust of the plot. As part of the scheme, insurers knowingly charged the Met Council inflated rates for coverage and then kicked money back to the non-profit’s leaders, including William Rapfogel, a longtime ally of Silver and husband of his chief of staff.
So far, Ross and Lieber have paid back about $1 million of the $1.5 million they stole, according to state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli, whose offices led the investigation.
“This sentence sends the message that there has to be one set of rules for everyone, no matter how rich or powerful, and that those who rip off the neediest New Yorkers will be prosecuted,” Schneiderman said in a statement.
The Met Council, a New York City-based group, has been a major recipient of taxpayer funds. The non-profit focuses on poverty and providing services to the poor.