Rabbi Barry William Kallenberg, 60, bilked companies out of tens of thousands of dollars in false insurance claims, authorities say. He spoke with a judge in bond court Tuesday.
A rabbi was arrested and is facing dozens of charges in South Florida after authorities say he bilked companies out of tens of thousands of dollars in false insurance claims.
Barry William Kallenberg, 60, was arrested at Miami International Airport Tuesday on one count of organized scheme to defraud and 73 counts each of grand theft, false insurance claims and false supporting insurance documents, according to a Miami-Dade Police arrest affidavit.
Kallenberg, who lives in Sunny Isles Beach and Alpine, N.J., is accused of submitting false insurance claims to American Express and Allianz Global Assistance.
According to the affidavit, Kallenberg flew into and out of MIA on numerous occasions where he made declarations his luggage didn't arrive on time.
Surveillance video caught Kallenberg picking up his luggage and later returning to the airport to report that the luggage never arrived, the affidavit said.
The declarations allowed Kallenberg to take advantage of the insurance that allowed him to make purchases of $500 per person, per incident, which he used to purchase merchandise he later returned, the affidavit said.
Kallenberg would keep the proceeds from the returned merchandise, and made multiple claims on multiple occasions, the affidavit said.
The fraudulent claims accounted for $30,324.62 in Miami-Dade, the affidavit said. Other claims were also made but aren't added to that amount because they happened outside the county or the victims couldn't provide documentation.
Kallenberg appeared in bond court Tuesday, where he told a judge that he does not have a congregation.
"No, I do mostly weddings, funerals and unveilings," he said.
Kallenberg added that he also manages investments.
"And I also own real estate in New York that I need to attend to," he said.
The judge ordered him to surrender his passport and set bond at $110,000. Jail records showed Kallenberg remained behind bars Wednesday evening.
A spokesman for Allianz Global Assistance said Wednesday that the company had no comment. An American Express spokeswoman said they are aware of the situation and are working with law enforcement but because it's an ongoing investigation they can't comment any further.