Rabbi Yoshiyahu Pinto, the world-famous Kabbalist and head of the Shuvu Yisrael sect, is scheduled to arrive at the Nitzan prison in Lod later today. The Israel Prison Service is anticipating hundreds of Pinto’s followers to escort him to the prison gates.
Pinto was sentenced to one year in prison last May for attempted bribery, but was permitted a delay in carrying out his sentence due to serious health issues.
Pinto allegedly suffered a heart attack in April 2015 while boarding a flight back to Israel to face corruption charges. His supporters claim he suffers from cancer and has undergone multiple surgeries that have weakened him greatly.
On Sunday a court ruled that Pinto would be permitted to serve his one year sentence in the Nitzan prison’s medical center.
Once known as the guru of the rich and famous, Pinto built a multi-million dollar empire with thousands of devotees around the world. In recent years, however, the rabbi has been under investigation for a series of corruption charges including attempted bribery and money laundering.
As part of a plea bargain last year, Pinto plead guilty to attempting to bribe police Brig. Gen. Efraim Bracha, seeking information on an investigation that was being conducted on one of the rabbi’s organizations.