Pil misses deadline but receives extension to appeal

The letter, signed "by M.P.," was apparently written by Pil's wife, Mattie. The rabbi completed a nine-month sentence in a halfway house in early January, following his 1999 felony conviction for illegally structuring $1.72 million in coin or currency deposits to evade federal reporting laws.

Over the summer, Pil, the founder and former co-director of the defunct Jewish Educational Center in San Francisco, was found guilty of shortchanging former JEC employee Ariel "Janos" Rosenbluth, who was fired when he asked for his back wages.

A Dec. 12 ruling by U.S. District Court Judge Samuel Conti upped the amount Pil owes Rosenbluth and his attorney, William Flynn, from $65,000 to more than $190,000, and gave the rabbi 30 days to appeal. On Jan. 15, Conti's clerk informed the Jewish Bulletin that no appeal had been filed.

Though Pil missed the deadline, he was granted an extension to Feb. 11 under the Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure. Under the rules, Pil could have filed his extension request any time up to Feb. 12 as long as he demonstrated "excusable neglect or good cause." The rabbi's request was granted, as, in the eyes of the court, he demonstrated "good cause."

— Joe Eskenazi