Jewish Crime Week Continues!
With a corporate scam artist in New York
The new issue of Fortune magazine carries a fascinating story on Dina Wein Reis, who amassed a not-so-small fortune—including a lushly renovated townhouse on New York’s Upper West Side, an impressive art collection, and vacation homes in Westhampton, Bal Harbor, and Jerusalem—by running a years-long, large-scale con. She’d trick marketing execs at major companies into selling her big quantities of inventory at greatly reduced prices, ostensibly for her to distribute as samples. Instead, she’d sell them to retailers at full price, pocketing the difference. A yeshiva girl originally from Brooklyn, she frequently donated generously—and anonymously—to Jewish charities. But she was also a vicious boss, firing one employee—a former teacher at Wein Reis’ kids’ yeshiva—after she injured her foot on an assignment for Wein Ries. (That employee, Irith Hayblum, then blew the whistle on the scam, thus serving as a reminder to employers engaged in criminal conspiracies that it’s probably smart to be kind to the help.) Wein Reiss was arrested last fall, after which she spent a week in the federal jail that would subsequently house Bernie Madoff. She’ll face trial sometime next year, but for now she’s out on bail. When she was released, Fortune reports, she “enlisted her rabbi in her bid to convince a judge that she should not be required to wear an electronic monitoring ankle bracelet. Orthodox practice, the rabbi said, forbids women from wearing slacks or pantsuits. Summer was coming, Wein Reis’s lawyer noted, and any skirt or dress shorter than ankle length would reveal the bracelet, which would complicate her efforts to get a new job. The judge agreed.”
The Alleged Grifter Who Duped Corporate Giants [Fortune/CNN.com]