PHILADELPHIA — A U.S. appeals court has upheld the nearly 4-year sentence of a New York rabbi convicted of laundering more than $900,000.
Lawyers for Rabbi Mordchai Fish argued on appeal that his crimes weren't "sophisticated," and didn't merit an enhanced sentence last year.
However, the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court in Philadelphia says Tuesday that U.S. District Judge Joel Pisano's sentence was within his discretion, given the facts.
Fish is one of five rabbis to plead guilty in a 2009 money-laundering and political-corruption sting that stretched from southern New Jersey to Brooklyn, where he led Congregation Sheves Achim.
Fish took checks from a government informant, laundered them through a religious charity and kicked back the cash, minus 10 percent. He has said the cash came from diamond and jewelry businesses.