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Doheny Glatt Kosher Meats Under Investigation And New Ownership

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Doheny Glatt Kosher Meats market in West Los Angeles is going through some post-Passover shake-ups. They are currently under USDA investigation for selling meat that isn't actually kosher. And the location, which was previously owned by Michael Engelman, has just been sold to Shlomo Rechnitz, a prominent local businessman and philanthropist.

Doheny is believed to supply as much as 50 percent of the kosher meat and poultry in Los Angeles, according to the Jewish Journal, and its disappearance would have significantly reduced competition in the marketplace.

Many of Doheny Glatt Kosher Meats' competitors became suspicious because the market's prices were so incredibly low, and they were being undercut. Private investigator Eric Agaki stepped in, and went so far as to collect evidence on the matter. The PI turned over the evidence to the US Department of Agriculture, and now they have launched an official investigation.

The Rabbinical Council of California pulled Engelman's kosher certification after hearing of the investigation, and are raising the possibility of taking legal action, in a recourse to secular courts that theL.A Times is saying would be rare.

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One of Agaki's videos that was released to KTLA TV "purports to show one of Engelman’s associates loading his car with repacked glatt kosher boxes at an unsupervised warehouse in Reseda in early March...The associate transfers them to Engelman at a McDonald’s, Agaki said, and Engelman unloads the boxes at his market when the overseer is absent," says the Times.

The Jewish Journal elaborates on the matter:

Engelman, who had owned the shop for 28 years, was videotaped by a private investigator last month bringing unidentified products into his store at a time when its rabbinic overseer was absent. Engelman did not return repeated calls requesting comment, and has not spoken on the record since the scandal began. At the March 24 meeting [that was put together by the RCC and community members to address the issue], Engelman reportedly told Rechnitz, [RCC President Rabbi Meyer H.] May, and the other laypeople and rabbis present, that he had, on two or three occasions, brought unsupervised meat into the store.

According to multiple people who attended the meeting, Engelman claimed all the meat he had brought to Doheny was kosher, but he admitted some was not up to the RCC’s higher “glatt kosher” standard. Glatt kosher meat is more expensive than kosher meat, which itself carries a higher price tag than equivalent non-kosher products.

The local Jewish community is divided on the issue: some believe that the market's prices were low for a reason, while others believe the Doheny was set up and showed their support by returning to the market after it got a new kosher certification.

The store, which is currently closed, could reopen with the new ownership as early as next Monday. Everything within the store is being ritually cleansed just in case there was non-kosher meat being used.

You can watch the KTLA video with the PI's collected footage below.