Your email is not valid
Recipient's email is not valid
Submit Close

Your email has been sent.

Click here to send another

thescroll_header

Rabbis Arrested in N.J. Corruption Probe

UPDATED: Jersey Shore synagogue, yeshiva searched

Print Email
FBI agents seize documents at a Deal yeshiva.(NJ.com)

FBI agents arrested several rabbis this morning in New Jersey and New York as part of an investigation into what the U.S. Attorney’s office in Newark, N.J., described as a “high-volume, international” money-laundering conspiracy. The mayors of Hoboken and Secaucus, N.J., a state assemblyman, and the deputy mayor of Jersey City were also arrested as a result of a public-corruption probe. The Newark Star-Ledger is reporting the rabbis came from Syrian Jewish communities in Deal, N.J., a shore town popular with wealthy Syrian Jews, and Brooklyn. At least one synagogue and one yeshiva, both in Deal, were searched this morning by FBI agents. An FBI spokesman tells Tablet the 30 people arrested, including the rabbis, are expected to appear in a Newark federal court this afternoon.

The New Jersey U.S. Attorney’s office was headed until last winter by Christopher Christie, a Republican known for aggressive investigations of public corruption who is currently running for governor against the incumbent Democrat, Jon Corzine. A poll released yesterday puts Christie ahead by 15 percentage points.

UPDATE, 12:45 p.m.: The Newark Star-Ledger is reporting that this morning’s sweep began with an investigation into money transfers by members of the Syrian Jewish community in New York and New Jersey to public officials in connection with real-estate transactions.

According to a criminal complaint filed this morning, a cooperating witness helped FBI investigators capture Hoboken Mayor Peter Cammarano offering to help ease zoning restrictions in exchange for campaign cash. The Asbury Park Press identifies the witness as Solomon Dwek, a once-prominent member of the Syrian community in Deal, New Jersey, who was arrested in 2006 after bouncing a $25 million check. A message left seeking comment from Dwek’s attorney, Christopher Porrino, was not immediately returned.

A separate complaint filed in the case of Assemblyman Daniel Van Pelt, a Republican, alleges the lawmaker offered a cooperating witness assistance securing coastal development permits in exchange for money, and mentioned a prospective congressional run. It is not clear whether that witness is the same person mentioned in the Cammarano complaint.

The Asbury Park Press and the Wall Street Journal, citing anonymous sources, are also reporting that the case also involves allegations of trafficking in human body parts and that one of those arrested is an organ dealer.

This morning’s sweep included arrests in the Williamsburg, Flatbush, and Borough Park neighborhoods of Brooklyn. The Yeshiva World News is reporting that there will be a public gathering in Brooklyn’s Gravesend neighborhood to recite prayers on behalf of all those arrested; Robert Nardoza, a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s office in Brooklyn, told Tablet that anyone picked up in New York will be taken to New Jersey, where the case is being prosecuted.

N.J. corruption arrests ensnare Assemblyman, mayors, rabbis [Star-Ledger]
FBI: Van Pelt Took $10,000 Bribe for Waretown Development [Asbury Park Press]
Dozens Arrested in New Jersey Corruption Probe [WSJ]

Print Email

COMMENTING CHARGES
Daily rate: $2
Monthly rate: $18
Yearly rate: $180

WAIT, WHY DO I HAVE TO PAY TO COMMENT?
Tablet is committed to bringing you the best, smartest, most enlightening and entertaining reporting and writing on Jewish life, all free of charge. We take pride in our community of readers, and are thrilled that you choose to engage with us in a way that is both thoughtful and thought-provoking. But the Internet, for all of its wonders, poses challenges to civilized and constructive discussion, allowing vocal—and, often, anonymous—minorities to drag it down with invective (and worse). Starting today, then, we are asking people who'd like to post comments on the site to pay a nominal fee—less a paywall than a gesture of your own commitment to the cause of great conversation. All proceeds go to helping us bring you the ambitious journalism that brought you here in the first place.

I NEED TO BE HEARD! BUT I DONT WANT TO PAY.
Readers can still interact with us free of charge via Facebook, Twitter, and our other social media channels, or write to us at letters@tabletmag.com. Each week, we’ll select the best letters and publish them in a new letters to the editor feature on the Scroll.

We hope this new largely symbolic measure will help us create a more pleasant and cultivated environment for all of our readers, and, as always, we thank you deeply for your support.

2000

Your comment may be no longer than 2,000 characters, approximately 400 words. HTML tags are not permitted, nor are more than two URLs per comment. We reserve the right to delete inappropriate comments.

Thank You!

Thank you for subscribing to the Tablet Magazine Daily Digest.
Please tell us about you.

Rabbis Arrested in N.J. Corruption Probe

UPDATED: Jersey Shore synagogue, yeshiva searched

More on Tablet:

A Grandfather’s Hidden Love Letters From Nazi Germany Reveal a Buried Past

By Vox Tablet — Reporter Sarah Wildman’s grandfather escaped Vienna in 1938. Long after he died, she discovered the life—and lover—he left behind.