Mordechay Malka grew up in Lev Tahor. At age 15, he was assigned to marry, cult newcomer, Chaya Sara Weingarten - who was 24 years-old as the time.
Thirteen years later, on September 9, 2022, he was sentenced to 57 months in prison for playing a leading role in an elaborate kidnap and subsequent kidnap attempts in 2018.
On December 6, 2018 Mordechay Malka rented a vehicle. Working with numerous co-conspirators that included cult leader Nachman Helbrans (currently serving 12 years for his role in the abduction), they rented a motel room and purchased disguises. The Malkas smuggled drop phones to the 14-year-old girl and her 12-year-old brother.
Two days later, at around 3:00 in the morning, the children snuck out the house and into a waiting vehicle that drove them to Scranton airport, where Nachman Helbrans was waiting. Using passports belonging to Nachman’s children, they spent the day flying through several airports, eventually entering Mexico.
It took three weeks and over a hundred officers from law enforcement agencies in three countries to eventually track down the children in Mexico and reunite them with their mother. It was later discovered that Mordechay Malka was playing a "double agent" (as Mr. Helbrans related) pretending to help the FBI while secretly meeting up with co-conspirators to aid in them hiding from authorities.
In 2019 and 2021, Lev Tahor cult made two more attempts to kidnap the children.
During the Jury trial, in which Mr. Malka attempted to represent himself, the jury found him guilty on all charges, including conspiracy for kidnapping, international kidnapping, and attempted kidnapping.
During sentencing Mr. Malka said that his wife and children are currently living in New York as they seek a different path in life. His lawyer also requested that, should be be sentenced to prison time, that he not be together with other Lev Tahor leaders. But it is unclear whether he and his family actually exited the cult or if he only hinted to the fact in order to lessen his sentence.
Mordechay Malka is due to begin a three year supervised release from prison in early to mid 2024.