Last of the Met Council Six Sentenced

David Cohen Sentenced To One Year In Jail And $650,000 In Restitution For Crimes Committed Against The Publicly Funded Social Services Group

State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli and Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman Monday announced that David Cohen, former executive director of the Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty (Met Council), has been sentenced to one year in jail. Cohen has also paid $650,000 in restitution to the Met Council. The joint investigation revealed that Cohen, together with former Met Council CEO William Rapfogel and other co-conspirators, stole approximately $9 million from the taxpayer-funded nonprofit organization as part of a 20-year grand larceny and kickback scheme. Cohen personally stole approximately $650,000 from the Met Council.

Cohen previously pled guilty to Money Laundering in the Third Degree (a class D felony) and Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree (a class E felony). As part of his guilty plea, Cohen admitted that from 1992 to 2013, he conspired with co-defendant William Rapfogel and others to steal from Met Council through an elaborate kickback scheme.

Cohen is the last of six conspirators in the Met Council scheme to be sentenced for his role in the theft. Comptroller DiNapoli and Attorney General Schneiderman have also secured the return of $9 million that was stolen from the Met Council.

In July 2014, William Rapfogel was convicted and sentenced to 3 1/3 to 10 years in prison, and ordered to pay $3 million in restitution to Met Council. Herb Friedman was convicted and sentenced to four months in jail, and ordered to pay $775,000 in restitution to Met Council. In February 2015, Solomon Ross and William Lieber, former insurance brokers for Met Council, were each sentenced to five years of probation and $1.5 million in restitution. In March 2015, Joseph Ross was convicted and sentenced to 18 months in jail, $534,000 in restitution to Met Council, and a judgment in the amount of $956,000 in favor of Met Council.

Anyone with additional information on this or any other public corruption matter is encouraged to contact the Attorney General’s Office at 1-800-996-4630 or the Comptroller’s Office at 1-888-672-4555. Or file a complaint online at or mail a complaint to: Office of the State Comptroller Division of Investigations, 110 State Street, 14th floor, Albany, NY 12236.

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