As Rabbi Yoshiyahu Yosef Pinto is under house arrest and barred from leaving Israel, the unraveling of his empire continues: A NYC site that followers his reportedly contributed money to build on its premises a Synagogue, is now listed as for sale by one of its co-owners. The co-owner, according to reports, organized a key fundraiser before the site slipped into foreclosure.
At issue here is “the ground-floor retail space of the condominium Heritage at Trump Place at 240 Riverside Boulevard at the corner of 72nd Street” in NYC. According to TheRealDeal.Com, Co-Founder of B+B Investment Group Ilan Bracha and his partner Haim Binstock purchased the space in 2007 for a $1.65M price tag “with the intention of building the synagogue.” On March 14, 2010, Rabbi Pinto, the two partners and others gathered for a fundraiser towards a $400,000 renovation project to convert the space into a Synagogue.
What happened from March 2010 is unclear, but as of February 2011 “construction hasn’t yet started,” but financial trouble ensued. A day after it was reported that “the Condo Board obtained a judgment against Bracha and Binstock for $55,753,” the bill was paid via a personal check from Mrs. Binstock, according to TheRealDeal.Com.
But the trouble didn’t go away: In May 2011, Bank of America started a $1.2M foreclosure proceeding on this property against the two partners and also against Rabbi Pinto, according to a July, 12, 2011 post by The Real Deal. As of a March 2012 story by the same Real Estate news website, the issue was still not resolved.
How much money was raised towards building the Synagogue and what happened with the money if any funds were raised is unclear. However, the property is now on sale at a price tag of $1.7M with Ilan Bracha as the listing agent.