SUNNY ISLES BEACH (CBS4) – A South Florida rabbi made an appearance in court Tuesday answering to charges that he filed false insurance claims netting his thousands of dollars.
Police say Barry Kallenberg, 60, tried swindling several companies, and police say he even used Miami International Airport as part of his elaborate scheme.
Kallenberg is a traveling Rabbi who lives in both New Jersey and Sunny Isles Beach.
“I travel back and forth,” he told a bond court judge.
“Do you have a congregation in New Jersey?” the judge asked.
“No, I do mostly weddings, funerals, and unveilings,” replied Rabbi Kallenberg.
Police say the Rabbi used his travels to make fraudulent insurance claims.
The arrest report says the Rabbi would pick up his luggage after a flight, then come back to the airport and report the luggage as missing, filing insurance claims with American Express and Allianz Global Assistance — two companies which provide traveler’s insurance.
Investigators say he pocketed more than $30,000 since 2006.
The Rabbi asked the judge to release him and tried setting his own rules.
“Release me on conditions that I would not need leave the county and I can report, if you wish, to the Sunny Isles Beach police department every day, if that would make this court satisfied,” said Rabbi Kallenberg.
The judge set the Rabbi’s bond at $110,000 in part, because police say, they found 73 fraudulent transactions. That’s 73 counts of grand theft, false insurance claims, and false supporting insurance documents.
“You know I’ve entered a bond that I believe is fair based on the facts or the circumstances alleged in the case.
I’ve taken into consideration that the allegations are non-violent but they do constitute an elaborate scheme to defraud,” the judge said.
Rabbi Kallenberg is also charged with organized scheme to defraud.
Both American Express and Allianz tell CBS4 News they won’t comment on this case just yet.