News Release: Settlement In Charity Investigation LawsuitShare this story:
A former top official of the Hebrew Free Loan Association has now settled a lawsuit filed by one of the charity’s biggest donors. The settlement comes in the lawsuit brought by Adam Siegel against Houston banking executive Jerome Tarnopol seeking damages for assault during an April 2019 board meeting of the controversial Houston charity.
The case had been set for jury trial before the end of March and has been featured in Dolcefino Consulting investigative reports on this charity.
Tarnopol was captured on audio threatening and shouting obscenities at Adam Siegel after he raised questions about mismanagement of the HFLA endowment. The Siegel family is one of the largest endowment donors in the memory of Adam’s late mother.
The terms of the settlement are confidential, but Siegel says that he is “extremely satisfied with the settlement that vindicates my decision to hold Tarnopol accountable for his shameful assault during an HFLA meeting.” Siegel was represented by Houston attorney Randy Sorrels.
The settlement comes as we confirm the Texas Attorney General’s office opened a formal investigation into the charity in November of 2021. The document is attached to this email.
The legal settlement will not end the growing questions about secrecy in the Jewish charity, which promises interest free loans to needy Jewish Houstonians. HFLA trustees and officers have refused to answer questions about the way the endowment was managed by former HFLA president David Loev.
Loev has a long and ongoing record of involvement with companies engaged in penny stock pump and dump fraud resulting in both civil and criminal prosecution, including an SEC enforcement action against him personally requiring mandated repayment and financial sanctions.
The investigation by Dolcefino Consulting uncovered major discrepancies in the endowment investment performance reported on HFLA tax returns during Loev’s term as president. HFLA leadership refuses to explain these serious discrepancies or other “red flags” we have reported.
“It has been very upsetting, to say the least, that my attempts to protect the endowment for the Houston Jewish community have been met with such absolute resistance and open hostility,” Siegel said.
My only motivation has been a sincere concern to compel HFLA officers to do their job of making interest free loans without personal favoritism to those in need, honoring donors and protecting the financial integrity of the organization with a properly managed endowment.”
The Hebrew Free Loan Association didn’t punish Tarnopol for his conduct against a donor. In fact, Tarnopol was elevated to the charity board of trustees after the incident. Tarnopol recently resigned from the HFLA Board of Trustees.
“This has immense personal significance to me and my family, and it brings us terrible sadness that others in the community who no doubt recognize our legitimate concerns have chosen to stand by in silence as the despicable slander against us goes on and as the current HFLA officers operate this public charity like a closed insider club for their own self-aggrandizement,” Siegel said.
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