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Monday, December 23, 2013

Boro Park - 2 Probes Against Haredi ‘Charity’

A Brooklyn not-for-profit group with ties to powerful New York politicians is now the subject of two separate criminal probes, The Post has learned.

Gov. Cuomo’s commission to combat public corruption referred its investigative findings about Relief Resources Inc. a Borough Park-based storefront charity that took in nearly $3 million in legislative grants but did not seem to provide many services to US Eastern District Attorney Loretta Lynch and state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman for potential prosecution, sources close to the commission said.

The Moreland Commission panel made the “criminal referrals” to federal and state prosecutors during a closed-door meeting last week, sources said.

Relief Resources, which supposedly provides mental-health services, was co-founded by powerhouse rabbi, lobbyist and charity chieftain Shiya Ostreicher, who has a hand in four other groups, including two with the same storefront address as Relief Resources: 5904 13th Ave.

The group has received legislative grants from two heads of the state Senate $250,000 from ex-GOP Majority Leader Joe Bruno and $300,000 from former Democratic leader Malcolm Smith, as well as backing from Brooklyn lawmakers Martin Golden and Simcha Felder.

Bruno was convicted of fraud in 2009, but the case was overturned on appeal. Smith was indicted earlier this year for allegedly trying to bribe his way onto the Republican line for mayor.

In its recent report, the panel said it installed a camera outside the Brooklyn group’s office and reported little traffic in or out. 

The report did not name the group but when The Post identified it as Relief Resources, the panel confirmed it as the charity being investigated. “The Moreland Commission is aggressively moving forward with its investigations to carry out its mission of rooting out public corruption,” said Moreland Commission spokeswoman Michelle Duffy.

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