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OmegaNYC
July 23rd, 2009, 11:17 PM
I'm shocked no one has mention this.
Hoboken Mayor Peter Cammarano, 5 rabbis among dozens arrested in sweeping money laundering probe

BY Matthew Lysiak (http://www.nydailynews.com/authors/Matthew%20Lysiak) and Carrie Melago (http://www.nydailynews.com/authors/Carrie%20Melago)
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITERS
Updated Thursday, July 23rd 2009, 10:32 PM
http://assets.nydailynews.com/img/2009/07/24/alg_rabbis-arrested.jpg

Sciarrino/Star-Ledger/Pool
Some of the 44 people, which included Rabbi's and politicians, are escorted to a waiting bus from FBI Headquarters in Newark.




A developer-turned-snitch brought down mayors, rabbis and dozens of others in a stunning probe of money laundering, bribery - and trafficking in black-market kidneys and fake Gucci (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Gucci+Group+NV) bags.

Hundreds of federal agents on both sides of the Hudson River (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Hudson+River) - in Brooklyn (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Brooklyn) and Jersey - raided the homes of 44 suspects targeted in the two-year probe, collaring high-ranking politicians and trusted religious leaders.
A dozen at a time, defendants were walked in with wrist and ankle shackles for arraignment in federal court in Newark (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Newark). Bail was set as high as

$3 million.
Aside from the wide-ranging political ramifications of the arrests in Jersey - shocking even in the ethics-challenged Garden State - the takedowns of five rabbis left Jewish communities in Deal, N.J. (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/New+Jersey) and Brooklyn reeling.
Most of the Jewish leaders busted were accused of laundering the snitch's dirty money through their charities, which they also used to mask ill-gotten gains from the sale of fake Gucci and Prada (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Prada+SpA) bags.

The most outrageous arrest was that of Levy-Izhak Rosenbaum (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Levy-Izhak+Rosenbaum), 58, of Brooklyn, who authorities say would buy kidneys from vulnerable people in Israel (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Israel) for $10,000, then turn around and sell them for $160,000.
"It is a shonda," said one Orthodox Jewish leader, using the Yiddish word for shame. "If the allegations are true, it is not the best day we ever had. ... The sordidness is an absolute disgrace."

The takedown can be traced back to one man, a confidential informant identified in published reports as developer Solomon Dwek (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Solomon+Dwek), who was charged with defrauding a bank of millions in 2006.
Dwek apparently offered the feds to turn on rabbis - who stunningly still dealt with him even though it was well known in their community that he had been charged by the government.
Dwek told the targets he was in bankruptcy and interested in hiding his assets. He laundered $3 million since June 2007.

One of the launderers introduced Dwek to a Jersey City (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Jersey+City) building inspector who, authorities say, took a $20,000 bribe and kicked off the public corruption portion of the probe.
Over and over, politicians and candidates solicited and accepted bribes to grease the wheels for Dwek, who claimed he needed building permits and other approvals, authorities said.
It was in the course of the money-laundering prong of the probe that the informant came across Rosenbaum, 58, who was purportedly in the real estate business but actually makes money trafficking kidneys, officials said.

For a decade, prosecutors said, Rosenbaum would buy kidneys from vulnerable people abroad - in Israel and elsewhere - for $10,000, then turn around and sell them for $160,000


(Page 2 of 2)

Dwek introduced Rosenbaum to an undercover agent posing as his secretary, who claimed her uncle needed a kidney transplant, according to the criminal complaint.
Starting in February 2008, the undercover spoke with Rosenbaum about setting up a transplant, which would involve a donor from Israel and take place at a hospital outside of the area.
"I'm doing this a long time," Rosenbaum assured an undercover agent, the complaint said. "I am what you call a matchmaker."
For months, he explained how her uncle's blood samples would be sent overseas to find a match, and how they would fabricate a story to throw off medical authorities.

Rosenbaum, who was arrested at his massive Borough Park (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Borough+Park), Brooklyn, home covered in security cameras, reminded the undercover to be discreet and repeatedly explained that the cost was so high because of the risks involved, court papers said.
He also asked for half of the money up front and repeatedly tried to meet the uncle, only to be told he had a medical setback.
Still, he bordered on arrogant at times in the complaint, saying he had a decade of experience in the field and had brokered "quite a lot" of transplants.

"I've never had a failure," he said.
Congregants at synagogues in Brooklyn and New Jersey were coming to grips with the allegations last night that their religious leaders "cloaked their extensive criminal activity behind a facade of rectitude," in the acting U.S. (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/United+States) attorney's words.
Rabbi Saul Kassin (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Saul+Kassin) - the son of Jacob Kassin (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Jacob+Kassin), the onetime chief rabbi of the Syrian Sephardic community in Deal - allegedly laundered more than $200,000, stunning his community at Sharee Zion in Brooklyn.
"I couldn't believe it," said Itzik Kohen (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Itzik+Kohen), 13, who is to have his bar mitzvah there in August. "It's going to affect the reputation of the shul. My family prays here every Sabbath."

Many worshipers stood by Kassin, including David Ben-Hooren (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/David+Ben-Hooren), publisher of the Jewish Voice, who said, "I believe we will find out that these rabbis never broke the law and they will be vindicated."
Raids also went down at smaller "cash houses" run by associates of the rabbis throughout Brooklyn, such as a beeper store and a charity called Bnoth Jerusalem (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Jerusalem) above a paint store in Williamsburg (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Williamsburg+(Brooklyn)).

The feds say Mordchai Fish, a rabbi at Congregation Sheves Achim, and his brother, Lavel Schwartz (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Lavel+Schwartz), laundered nearly $600,000 for the informant, accepting his check and giving him cash after taking a 15% cut.
Fish's lawyer, Michael Bachner (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Michael+Bachner), said the informant "used his closeness and the sterling reputation of his family to manipulate my client, who trusted him."
cmelago@nydailynews.com (cmelago@nydailynews.com)
With Simone Weichselbaum, Michael Roberts, Jan Ransom, Ben Chapman and Jake Pearson

Ninjahedge
July 24th, 2009, 08:58 AM
This is also mentioned in NY Metro. Can we join the threads (with a link to the other in one of them?)

Ninjahedge
July 24th, 2009, 09:01 AM
Everyone is innocent until proven guilty.

But there is an awful lot of pudding on these guys.

lofter1
July 24th, 2009, 09:33 AM
Everyone is innocent until proven guilty ...


Even when dealing with Pols in Jersey?

These guys better cop a plea but quick.