Monday, December 03, 2007

Ex-Chabad Rabbi, Chaim Capland arrested for Soliciting Prostitutes in 1995

$5.8 million in earnings
Major bingo hall run by rabbi
State can't ask charities where the money goes

by Alayna Demartini
Columbus Distpatch
December 2, 2007

The BT Bingo center is in an older building at 1300 Alum Creek Dr. The place is open every day for traditional and instant bingo, which benefits Beth Torah Congregation House of Tradition.

Ohio's most lucrative bingo game benefits a synagogue that has 65 members and shares an East Side storefront with a kosher caterer.

Beth Torah Congregation House of Tradition took in almost $5.8 million in bingo earnings last year, state records show. That's about $4 million more than the next-largest bingo operator in the state.
As a nonprofit religious organization, the synagogue doesn't have to tell the state or the IRS how it spends the money. Lawyers for the synagogue say it all goes to religious and charitable work, but they offer few specifics.

"It's not anybody's business," synagogue attorney J. Anthony Kington said. "The rabbi is accountable to people in the church, and they are comfortable with the rabbi."

Rabbi Chaim Capland leads the synagogue, which holds services in the back of the catering business owned by his wife, Chani, at 2942 E. Broad St. He left the Schottenstein Chabad House at Ohio State University in 1995 after his second arrest for soliciting prostitutes. He was convicted of both misdemeanor offenses.

Michael Broidy, a member of the board of trustees of the Schottenstein Chabad House, said Capland is not affiliated with OSU's Chabad or the international organization, although the sign in front of Capland's synagogue says Chabad Torah Center. Chabad is a Hasidic branch of Judaism that runs thousands of centers around the world in outreach to Jewish communities.

"We all know about him," Broidy said of Capland. "We just don't know exactly what he's involved in."

Kington said some of the bingo profit goes to Chani's Catering, which helps the synagogue's charitable mission by providing kosher food to the community. Customers pay for the food, he said, but the catering has operated at a loss since it opened 16 years ago. He would not say how much of a loss.

Chani's Catering is on probation with the Columbus Health Department. Inspectors found repeated violations last summer, including improperly cleaned and prepared food. The probation is to end in January.

The catering service gives thousands of dollars of food to needy families, Kington said, and the synagogue provides free counseling, seminars in Jewish law and weekly services.

The synagogue's bingo operation, BT Bingo, doesn't really make the $5.8 million it reports to the state, he said. State rules don't allow Beth Torah to deduct from its report such expenses as insurance, building maintenance and door prizes.

After those expenses, Kington said, the bingo game cleared about $2 million last year.

The state limits what bingo operators can deduct because some were shaving too many expenses off the profit they reported to the state, said Monica Moloney, an assistant chief in the charitable-law section of the Ohio attorney general's office.

Besides allowable deductions, such as the cost of security, raffle prizes and bingo equipment, the synagogue has to tell the attorney general's office how much money the bingo games generate but not how it is spent.

The state requires that religious organizations use all the profit for charitable purposes, including keeping the money, but doesn't require details.

Last year, the state began visiting bingo games to check financial records. They're not audits, but examinations of some records of income and expense.

"It's a testing process," Moloney said. "It's not going through every document they have and re-creating their books."

The inspectors eventually will visit each of the state's 1,870 bingo operations at least twice a year, she said.

Unless it's a church or synagogue, a nonprofit organization that runs bingo must itemize to the IRS how much it makes and how the money is spent.

Federal laws are geared toward not interfering with how religious organizations are run, including how they spend their money, said Barbara Clemenson, an instructor at the Mandel Center for Nonprofit Organizations at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland.

"(But) those who are ethical will be forthcoming. If you have nothing to hide, you won't hide."

Advocate for Kids, a nonprofit Columbus organization, was the second-most lucrative bingo operation in Ohio last year, with $1.9 million in reported earnings, according to the attorney general's records.

Michael Repas, the agency's executive director, detailed how last year's bingo profit was spent. Half of the money went to an endowment fund to pay for future grants to organizations that serve children with medical or behavioral problems.

An additional $200,000 paid for deaf children in Ohio to attend summer camp. Repas said he was paid $99,000 last year.

"Bingo has been a great thing for charities in Ohio," he said.

Kington, the attorney for Beth Torah, would not say what Capland is paid or provide the name of anyone who received free services from the synagogue's charitable contributions.

Capland declined to be interviewed by
The Dispatch. "He's a private man," Kington said.

The synagogue's bingo games run every day of the year in an old factory building that Beth Torah owns at 1300 Alum Creek Dr. While traditional bingo is played twice a week, instant-bingo tickets are sold every day until midnight or 2 a.m. BT Bingo nets about $5,500 a day, according to figures Kington provided.

The highest profit in bingo is generated by instant bingo, in which people purchase paper $1 tickets that have flaps they rip open to see whether they have won up to $500.

Tear-off tickets accounted for more than 99 percent of BT Bingo's profit last year, state records show.

BT Bingo operates as a private club. You can't get in unless you pay $10 for an annual membership card and show a state photo ID. Once inside, players have to spend at least $20 on traditional or instant bingo.

On a recent Wednesday afternoon, 172 people played traditional bingo and bought instant tickets from the sellers who paced the hall.

Just before the second round of bingo began, the first door prize was offered: a stainless steel roaster oven. Perfect for a Thanksgiving Day turkey, the announcer said.

Someone else went home with an iPod. Another player won a camera. The winners of each round of traditional bingo split the prize money of $100 to $1,000. Sixteen people divided $250, leaving each with $15.63 to tuck into a wallet.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does soliciting prostitutes make him a type of offender?

While regular violent or sex offenders are likely to reoffend, I would think this is something that it's possible to repent on. And perhaps he did repent after all the embarassment he suffered.

December 04, 2007 8:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Considering this man is an ordained orthodox rabbi, I'd like to remind you of the fact according to Jewish law he's in violation of having sex with someone that he is not married to.

I also am appalled at the thought of anyone paying for sex.

Look at the statistics. It's something like 90% of all prostitutes are victims of child sexual abuse. These are people who are acting out what happened to them as a child. Many survivors were given special presents or even paid to have sex with their offenders. Isn't this just the same thing?

So do you think an ordained rabbi should be having sex with someone? Do you think repenting after he pays for sex will change him and make him a better person? This man needs a 12 step groups for sex addicts.

December 04, 2007 11:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe it's better for Capland to use one of the web pages that are out there for people just wanting to "hook-up" At least then no money would be exchanged.

Tell Capland that they even have "hook-up" sites from the frum community.

Maybe his next sex partner would stop at the local mikvah first.

December 04, 2007 12:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The case of Ariel Lourie.

December 04, 2007 12:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, so if a woman goes to the mikvah then it's ok to have sex with a rabbi she's not married to?

So if a prostitute goes to the mikvah then it's considered kosher sex?

December 04, 2007 12:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Rambam says the Torah creates a niddah status out of nowhere for a non-Jewish woman in order to nail the sinner. Mikva does not erase this type of niddah.

According to the Geonim, sex with a non-Jewish prostitute is worse than adultery.

December 04, 2007 1:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So it's better to have sex with a Jewish prostitute?

December 04, 2007 3:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sex with a Jewish prostitute is also forbidden but is three or four steps less severe than sex with a non-Jew. 3 steps less if she is a niddah and 4 steps less if she is not.

Having sex with a non-Jew is also tantamount to "kofer ba'ikkur" because of the violation of the bris mila. Also for this reason, the patriarch Avraham will not intervene outside the gates of Gehinnom as he usually does to save his offspring from being banished there.

December 04, 2007 4:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There are other issues here as well.

Gambling: In Massechet Kiddushin it says that someone who gambles cannot be a Kosher eid (witness). A rabbi should be a Kosher witness, but how can this one be trusted with his gambling operation (taking millions from the less fortunate who are probably gambling addicts (an illness).

Prostitution:Caught twice! How many times was he NOT caught?

Tax Evasion: The article says his wife hasn't turned a profit in her food catering business in almost 20 years. That just means she's not reporting all of her income! Trust me, if she's been in the red all these years she would have closed up shop! So, add cheating the government to the list too.

December 04, 2007 7:43 PM  
Anonymous Elisheba said...

Heh - tried for 4 years to get some action on a Jewish man who was a sex addict, online predator, etc. The Police closed down 2 brothels & an online hooker booking agency but did NOTHING about him.

He's still running around with the wife & kids, bragging to his buddies that he got away with his little lunch hour habit.

Happy to see SOME justice here - even if soliciting is a misdemeanor it needs to be enforced.

December 05, 2007 10:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Since he's a married man they should charge him with attempted murder. If he's sleeping around there's a greater chance of him catching HIV and passing it on to his wife. Last I heard HIV can turn into full blown AIDS -- which can kill.

December 05, 2007 10:59 PM  

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