BROOKLYN - A prominent Brooklyn rabbi began his prison sentence for trying to extort millions from a hedge fund.

Prosecutors say Rabbi Milton Balkany lied to workers at the hedge fund to persuade them to send millions of dollars to the Bais Yaakov School in Borough Park. The 64-year-old is a former dean of the school.

They say Balkany told workers at the hedge fund that he was a spiritual adviser to an inmate who had knowledge of insider trading connected to the fund.

Balkany was sentenced to four years in prison for extortion, blackmail, wire fraud and making false statements.