The Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty (Met Council) terminated Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer William Rapfogel in August of 2013 after the Board of Directors became aware of specific information regarding financial irregularities and apparent misconduct in connection with the organization’s insurance policies. As one of New York City’s largest human services agencies, providing over 100,000 New Yorkers each year with assistance in their fight against poverty, the Met Council took this information seriously. In order to ensure the Met Council’s operations are conducted with integrity and that their commitment to uphold high values is continued, the respected leader for over forty years promptly retained outside counsel to perform a full investigation into the matter (Metropolitan Council on Jewish, 2013).
Mr. Rapfogel was charged with conspiring to inflate insurance payments and keeping one million dollars for himself, most of which was stashed in his Manhattan apartment that he shared with his wife. Some of the money was funneled to politician’s campaigns, who then kept his nonprofit flush with government funding. The twenty year scheme is alleged to have skimmed five million dollars from the venerable charity. (Hawkins, 2013). The case was brought to light by someone known as a whistle-blower. A whistle-blower is a person who reports illegal activity of their employers or of their organization to authorities (Colorado State University-Global Campus, 2014). Cases such as this raise questions about nonprofit organizations and their ability manage finances and the oversight that may or may not be present.
Mr. Rapfogel is expected to face charges of grand larceny. According to Colorado State University-Global Campus (2014), larceny of this type is known as a white-collar crime. White collar is a term used to describe nonviolent crimes committed by people in their professional capacity or by organizations. They are committed for financial gain, often through deception. Larceny is the taking of property with the intent to deprive the owner of it, with grand larceny being of a more significant amount. As of early January, 2014, a total of four persons have been charged in connection with the long-running scheme to defraud the organization of millions of dollars. The four men are facing up to 25 years in prison on the top counts (Buettner, 2014).
Should the men be found guilty of the charges, 25 years in prison would be a fair result to this case. Those years coupled with loss of employment and the return of over $400,000 that had been stashed away, are a significant punishment for these men who deceived thousands of impoverished citizens as well as employees over the years. That money could have been used in so many different ways to...