Shul Mail Fraud in Jewish Communities Throughout the Tri-State Area


mail-boxBy Alan Hirsch,

Over the last few months, many shuls throughout New York and New Jersey have had checks stolen from their mailboxes or shuls. Congregants of shuls in Flatbush and Teaneck have mailed or placed checks in mail boxes or plastic bins in front of shul offices. Over 40 checks – 30 in Flatbush and 10 in Teaneck –¬†were stolen between September and December and illegally cashed mostly by an organization called KR USA at the Enterprise Bank and Trust in Clayton, Missouri. We do not have any information on who or how this individual took possession of the checks, but we are looking into all avenues and possibilities.

The issue was discovered when each of these 40 members of different shuls noticed that amounts that they had paid to the shul were not reflected on a current or prior membership statements, although the checks had been cashed per their respective bank statements.

After investigation and discussion with each of their respective banks, it was noted that the checks were not cashed by an authorized agent of the organizations, but rather mostly by an unknown individual at the bank referenced above.

Each of our members’ respective banks are currently looking into their claims and are following up accordingly. In addition, we have been in contact with the Enterprise Bank and have alerted them of the situation and they are looking into it as well. The Bank won’t say much anymore due to court instructions. In many instances, they were just illegally cashed and in one instance the amount was altered from 250 dollars to 1,250 dollars.

If you are an individual who has given a check to a tzedakah, examine the back of your check to make sure the check has been endorsed by the institution. If you are a president or treasurer of a shul, send out statements to make sure the money your contributors have sent out has gotten to you.

The important thing according to Enterprise Bank is to get your claim into your bank as fast as possible. This will help stop the perpetrators and return the money expeditiously.

If you or someone you know have also been a victim contact the authorities. Shuls should change their mailboxes to locked mailboxes. The banks will make good on the checks.

If members of your shul have been subject to this fraud, e-mail us at so that we can coordinate a list for the authorities.

Alan Hirsch is the publisher of The Vues in New York.



  1. how rude many ofthe meshulachim are erliche yidden who need help. Why can’t it be someone off the street who had motive and opputiunity especially since many of these boxes are not locked- SImcha be dan l’kaf zechus

  2. Bubbie, some might be but how long should we support the same people coming around and collecting day after day year after year It comes to a point where we should modivate them to go out and get jobs. Further, we don’t know who these people are, and we allow them to wonder our shuls without question. It’s sad but it is the logical conclusion.

  3. I think what the first commenter is suggusting is that some of the “meshulachim” that come in to the shuls are really just “someone off the street. No insult to genuine aniyim was intented.
    Just being dan l’kaf zchus.

  4. i am involved with someone who donated to a very reputable orginazation and over succos there were checks stolen from the mail box. the mailman noticed on the 2nd day yom tov that the box was broken and that all the envelopes from the first day yom tov were missing (this was in bklyn so he knew that the mail isnt taken in on the holiday) he did not put mail in on the 2nd day and he alerted the person to it.
    as it turned out the cjecks were cashed in eretz yisroel by a check cashing place and they realized after a number of checks that something is fishy. i cant get in to all the details but it seems like there is a few people involved and the guy in eretz yisroel that was cashing the checks was caught and arrested but he is refusing to give the name of his “shutef” even though it means jail for him because he is afraid for his life
    its being worked on but the bank where the checks ended up here in the us was in Missouri so i am thinking that this is all related to the same ganavim

  5. to # 6 please contact me with any information you may have as we are putting together a database of shuls and tzedakahs that have had this problem of stolen checks. So far we are aware of over 20 shuls in the country that were hit. Please leave a message at 718 692 2107 and we will contact you. This is very important

  6. Who on the east coast was even able to find a random local bank in the middle of the country Missouri? Maybe there’s more to this story than reported…

  7. This problem is not limited to the tri-state area. Our shul in the MidWest had the same problem. Checks were stolen from our mail box & the checks were cashed by a bank in Missouri (not our state).

    We have been told that it is common for mishulachim to take checks to a money changer in Israel to cash them because they can get a better rate for cashing them than is charged by banks in Israel. The money changer then transports the checks to the U.S. and cashes them in bulk in banks U.S. banks.

    It is difficult to accept that a mishulach or conspiracy of mishulachim may be the ganovim but the person who posted the response that such an accusation is rude doesn’t seem to understand the reality that not all Jews are good, regardless of how they are dressed and not all Goyim are bad.

  8. I am very familiar with the KR USA organziation and to suggest that they are somehow involved in this criminal activity is criminal in and of itself. KR has been serving the financial needs of the Jewish Community in Israel for over 40 years and are a victim in this crime themselves. I hope that Mr. Hirshc’s ill informed article does not create unnecessary panic as KR processes more than 80,000 checks each month for the Jewish Community. It is terrible that any individual would steal from another but a religious entity makes the theft much greater. However, someone attempting to sensationalize the act by misstating the facts in an attempt to seize an opportunity to bring themselves notariety is wrong as well.