Lakewood Welfare Fraud – Millions of Dollars – Arrests

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http://www.app.com/story/news/investigations/watchdog/2017/06/26/lakewood-welfare-fraud/424127001/

WATCH: WELFARE RAID IN LAKEWOOD Lakewood couples arrested this morning to appear in court | 0:44

LAKEWOOD — A prominent rabbi and several others were arrested in simultaneous federal and state raids Monday morning on charges related to alleged public assistance fraud on a scale rarely seen before in New Jersey, according to law enforcement sources.

Rabbi Zalmen Sorotzkin, who runs the synagogue Congregation Lutzk and businesses linked to the synagogue, was taken into custody Monday and is facing charges of theft by deception in Ocean County Superior Court.

The investigation found an alleged scheme that “rival the most sophisticated of financial frauds,” the source said.

The Breskins are being charged with second-degree theft by deception for allegedly collecting $585,662 in public assistance benefits they weren’t entitled to, the prosecutor said in the statement.

Zalmen and Tzipporah Sorotzkin face the same charges for allegedly collecting $338,642 in Medicaid, food stamps, Section 8 housing subsidies and Supplemental Security Income, according to the prosecutor’s office.

The Nussbaums allegedly under-reported their incomes and failed to disclose money they received from a number of companies in order to collect Medicaid, Section 8 housing assistance and food stamps between 2011 and 2014, according to a federal complaint signed by FBI Special Agent Michael Farina.

In that time, the Nussbaums allegedly collected $178,762 in public assistance they weren’t entitled to get. Read the full complaints at the bottom of the page.

The complaint against Mordechai and Rachel Sorotzkin accuses them of also under-reporting their incomes to collect Medicaid. Rachel Sorotzkin allegedly failed to report $1.5 million she received from a limited liability company when signing up for public assistance.

In the complaint, Farina wrote that Mordechai and Rachel Sorotzkin received more than $96,000 in Medicaid funds they shouldn’t have claimed.

Both couples face separate counts of conspiring to steal government funds, according to a statement from the U.S. Attorney’s office. The conspiracy counts each carry a maximum potential penalty of up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine, or twice the gain from the offense.

Also arrested in the sting headed by the FBI, Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office and other agencies were Zalmen’s wife, Tzipporah Sorotzkin, and married couple Mordechai and Jocheved Breskin. The three also face state criminal charges, according to a source close to the case who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the ongoing investigation. Their first appearance before a Superior Court judge is scheduled for Monday afternoon.

EXCLUSIVE: SCHI overcharged Lakewood, others by $340K

Four others were arrested Monday and are being taken to Trenton to face federal charges in U.S. District Court. They are Mordechai Sorotzkin, brother of Zalmen, and his wife, Rachel Sorotzkin, and Shimon and Yocheved Nussbaum. View the map below for the locations of the homes raided or attempted to be raided Monday.

“Financial assistance programs are designed to alleviate family hardships for those truly in need,” said Ocean County Prosecutor Joseph Coronato in a statement. “My office gave clear guidance and notice to the Lakewood community in 2015 of what is considered financial abuse of these programs.

“Those who choose to ignore those warnings by seeking to illegally profit on the backs of taxpayers will pay the punitive price of their actions.”

Federal and state agents fanned out to the four Lakewood homes early Monday morning, mostly in black, unmarked cars. FBI agents repeatedly knocked on Rabbi Sorotzkin’s door just before 6 a.m, to no immediate answer. But he was in custody, along with the seven others, by 7 a.m.

Around the same time on Hadassah Lane, agents waited with the Nussbaums in their townhouse while the couple found someone to watch their children, one of whom was seen packing suitcases and boxes into a van parked in front of the house. The couple was then placed in a black law enforcement van.

The Lakewood residents are accused of taking advantage of multiple public assistance programs to defraud the government of around $1.3 million over the past few years, according to law enforcement sources.

“The investigation to date has found that government benefits fraud and income tax evasion in the Lakewood community is widespread,” said the source.

To continue reading click here.

 

 

 

A School for Special Needs Children and a Rabbi without a Conscience – Indefensible

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Lakewood rabbi pleads not guilty to stealing public funds from special needs school

NEW BRUNSWICK — A Lakewood rabbi who runs a school for children with developmental disabilities pleaded not guilty Monday to charges of stealing public funds for personal use.

Osher Eisemann, 60, the founder and director of the School for Children with Hidden Intelligence in Lakewood, is accused of using a private fundraising nonprofit for the school to launder $630,000 in public tuition funds.

He was indicted last month on charges including theft, money laundering, corporate misconduct and misuses of government funds.

Eisemann, through his attorney, pleaded not guilty to all charges before Superior Court Judge Benjamin Bucca in Middlesex County.

Deputy Attorney General Anthony Robinson told Bucca the state has offered a plea deal that would require a prison sentence of five years in exchange for Eisemann admitting to a second-degree charge of theft by unlawful taking. As part of the plea deal, Eisemann would also pay restitution, Robinson said.

Eisemann, of Lakewood, faces up to 15 years in state prison on the charges.

An attorney representing Eisemann, Lee Vartan, declined to comment after the brief court hearing. However, Vartan maintained his client’s innocence in a previous statement given to NJ Advance Media.

“Rabbi Eisemann has never taken any SCHI funds for his personal use, and we strongly deny that there was any ill intent in the use of SCHI funds,” Vartan said in the statement. “We look forward to the complete exoneration of both SCHI and Rabbi Eisemann in this investigation.”

In Lakewood, new scrutiny on ‘business as usual’ | Di Ionno

Schools, zoning, poverty rate pose questions about town powers

SCHI receives $1.8 million a month in public tuition from the Lakewood School District to teach students with special needs. Authorities said Eisemann took $430,000 of that money for a personal business venture, the clothing company TAZ Apparel, LLC.

Authorities said Eisemann also laundered an additional $200,000 of the funds in a scheme “intended to make it appear that he was repaying debts he owed to the school using personal funds.”

SCHI officials previously called the attorney general’s investigation “baseless” and said the school has a long history of providing a “superior level of services to meet the unique needs of severely-disabled, medically fragile, and socially-emotionally challenged children and youth adults.”

An attorney representing SCHI, Robert Rabinowitz, declined to comment after Monday’s arraignment.

Attorney General spokesman Peter Aseltine said the arraignment was held in Middlesex County because three of the districts that send children to SCHI are in the county: Highland Park, Edison and Monroe.

Eisemann is scheduled to be back in court on June 12.

Yiddishe Kinderlech – Need to Be Rescued from Education – E-rate??? NO!

 

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WHO IS USING THE E-RATE MONEY? 

As a follow-up to our previous post regarding the e-rate program, we thought we would post this picture. It tells the whole story.

If 500 Yiddishe Kinderlech need to be rescued from public schools, those not “rescued” are not going to benefit from e-rate dollars.

None of the children within the “Yiddishe” community, except perhaps the 500 in the public school system, really ever benefit from access to the e-rate dollars.

 

FBI Probe – E-Rate, Stating the Obvious

KJRaids ABC

How Could Wrongdoing Not Be Found, DA Zugibe?

LM Contributor

Anyone familiar with the ultra-Orthodox community would know that the children are not permitted to use the internet. They are barely permitted to use a library, except per-say one that has a wealth of religious information, texts, commentaries, and perhaps (perhaps) articles of recent scholars. But, only those limited to religion.

There is no math research. There is no science research. There is no learning about the moon and the stars and NASA on the sites available for such study. There is no internet access to Google and Yahoo and all of the many sites that non-ultra-Orthodox children use when they want to ask a question or find out information or G-d forbid sneak some peak at illicit pictures.

CHILDREN ARE DENIED ACCESS TO COMPUTERS AND THE INTERNET, DA ZUGIBE! 

Ultra-Orthodox children do not use websites. They do not read “online” newspapers. Anyone who makes claims to the contrary is simply telling a broad untruth. The percentage of e-rate dollars scattered throughout the ultra-Orthodox community is simply not supported by the number of children within that community permitted to use those dollars for education…. roughly… ZERO!!! Continue reading

Millionaire Brooklyn Couples Stealing Millions in Benefits… Very Charitable of Them

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https://www.dnainfo.com/new-york/20160927/bushwick/landlord-brooklyn-hasidic-snap-food-stamps-section-8

 

Brooklyn ‘Millionaires’ Busted for Stealing $1.3M in Benefits, Feds Say

 

WILLIAMSBURG — Three Brooklyn couples, including a landlord with properties all over the borough, were arrested Tuesday on charges of defrauding the government of $1.3 million worth of benefits.

Shlomo Kubitshuk, 38, and his wife Rachel, 39, Naftali, 40, and Hinda Englander, 41, and Leib, 39, and Devorah Teitelbaum, 36, were accused of lying about their income to the federal government as far back as 2001 in order to collect thousands of dollars worth of food stamps, Section 8 housing vouchers and Medicaid.

“For over a decade, this ring of six defendants allegedly lied to city and federal officials about their financial status in order to obtain benefits that were meant for the needy,” said U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara.

The six were slapped with a multiple counts of conspiracy to steal government funds and theft of government funds, which carry a five and ten year maximum sentence respectively, court documents show.

In two separate complaints unsealed Tuesday, prosecutors said the six benefited from $457,000 in Section 8 vouchers to pay for NYCHA apartments, $130,000 in food stamps and $733,000 in Medicaid payouts.

“At a time when affordable housing is scarce and there is a waiting list for Section 8 vouchers, it is reprehensible that some New Yorkers went without so that these defendants could have still more,” said Department of Investigations Commissioner Mark Peters.

Shlomo Kubitshuk owns multiple properties across Brooklyn, according to prosecutors, including 56 Grattan, 98 Grattan St. and 177 Montrose in East Williamsburg, 327 Melrose St., 318 Melrose St. and 1436 Greene St. in Bushwick and 1144 Bergen St. in Prospect Heights.

The state had records of Kubitshuk taking in $560,000 in rental income in 2013, and in multiple applications for mortgages he said his assets were worth more than $2 million, prosecutors said.

His wife said she took in $300,000 in annual income through another LLC company on a 2013 credit card application, according to the complaint.

Despite that, the pair claimed only $13,409 a year in combined income for around a decade in order to qualify for federal subsidies, federal prosecutors charge.

Naftali Eglander, owner of a U.K. real estate company City Gate Estates Limited worth more than £600,000, and his wife Hinda disclosed only $15,858 in combined annual income between 2001 and 2013, prosecutors said.

Finally Leib Teitlebaum, president of the online jewelry company www.glitzs.com, professed to earn about $1.2 million a year in a 2006 credit application, according to the state, yet disclosed far less.

“These defendants were millionaires stealing from the poor,” said Peters. “The defendants fraudulently concealed their wealth to obtain benefits.”

 

To read further click here.

DAINFO PROVIDED LINKS TO THE COMPLAINT:

https://www.scribd.com/document/325511086/Complaint#from_embed

https://www.scribd.com/document/325511081/Teitelbaum-Complaint

 

Tress Actually Doing the Right Thing?

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Ramapo Samuel Tress expected to resign, plead

http://www.lohud.com/story/news/crime/2016/09/01/ramapo-samuel-tress-plea-agreement/89716354/

Ramapo Councilman Samuel “Shmuel” Tress is expected as soon as tonight to resign from office and plead guilty to official misconduct, according to sources familiar with the case.

The plea deal, which would drop a felony charge, would likely enable Tress to avoid jail time in the case.

Tress, 71, a Democrat who won election in November despite a federal mail fraud conviction, is accused of voting for a zone change on a housing development he held a financial stake in — even though he had signed an affidavit stating he wouldn’t profit from his decisions as a Zoning Board of Appeals member.

Under the plea agreement, Tress must send a letter to Ramapo resigning from the councilman position he’s held since January. He also is expected to face a fine.

The Airmont Justice Court session is scheduled for 5 p.m.

Rockland District Attorney’s Office detectives arrested Tress in March on a felony count of first-degree offering a false instrument and the misdemeanor charge of official misconduct.

Ramapo Town Attorney Michael Klein declined comment on Thursday, as did Executive Assistant District Attorney Richard Kennison Moran. Tress’  attorney Michael Gilbert of Manhattan did not return a telephone call seeking comment.

RELATED: 5 things to know about Samuel Tress

RELATED: Ramapo candidate is a felon, lives in NJ

The resignation would end Tress’ short career as an elected official. Tress won election to a four-year term in November running with Supervisor Christopher St. Lawrence and Democratic Councilwoman Brendel Logan-Charles. He succeeded Democrat Daniel Friedman, who lost a September 2015 primary after he lost community support following a falling out for his criticism of St. Lawrence.

The all-Democrat Town Board would be tasked with appointing someone to fill the open seat.

Tress was a longtime member of the Zoning Board of Appeals before running for town council. He admitted to The Journal News in October 2015 that he owns a home in Lakewood, New Jersey, but claimed he spent most of the week in an Kearsing Parkway apartment in Monsey. He is the CEO of East Morgan Holdings, a Lakewood, New Jersey-based remediation company.

Court records show Tress pleaded guilty in December 2004 to a felony charge in a federal fraud case. He admitted he falsely assumed an identity to obtain a home mortgage loan from a bank in connection with the purchase of a home in Spring Valley. He was sentenced in March 2005 to three years of supervised release.

Tress’s recent arrest came after the District Attorney’s Office detectives scrutinized his ZBA vote on May 4, 2015, to approve eight zoning variances for what was then a single-family house at 142 Blauvelt Road in Monsey. The grassroots political party Preserve Ramapo provided the prosecutor’s office with more than 100 pages of documents on Tress.

Tress on May 14, 2015, had filed a disclosure affirmation with the town asserting that he had not and would not engage in any activity that would provide a personal or pecuniary gain to himself in relation to his duties as a member of the Zoning Board of Appeals, prosecutors contend.

Tress denied to a Journal News reporter that he profited from the ZBA approval.

Documents obtained by The Journal News before the arrest, however, showed Tress and his wife contracted to sell the single-family house for $500,000 to builder Samuel Wettenstein of Spring Valley in May 2013. Wettenstein obtained a demolition permit from Ramapo for his plan to build three condominiums and three accessory apartments on the property.

But the couple ended up with a 40 percent share of the property when the development stalled and Tress and his wife were still owed $150,000, according to town documents on the variance vote and a November lawsuit Tress filed against the buyer. The case was dropped last month, according to a document on file with the Rockland County Clerk’s Office.

Tress’s potential conviction adds to the list of politicians facing or sentenced for corruption charges in Rockland County, where District Attorney Thomas Zugibe’s office is part of an anti-corruption task force working with the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Manhattan.

Naomi and David Bodner, Elm Street, Haredi Housing Scam, Christopher St. Lawrence

 

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ELM STREET, ROCKLAND COUNTY – NOT AFFORDABLE HOUSING, BELOW FAIR-MARKET INVESTMENT STEALS!

In 2011, the Ramapo Local Development Corp (think Christopher St. Lawrence and Aaron Troodler, et.al. SEC complaint) began selling units in a housing project referred to in social circles as the “Rockland Affordable Housing” project. The development was allegedly intended to be purchased by people who wanted homes but could not afford them and by design the target buyer was ultra-Orthodox. What in public was billed as affordable housing in private was nothing more than below market investment properties which would eventually yield buyers profits in the millions when they decided to sell.

The homes were purchased in large part by numerous LLC’s, many of which were and continue to be untraceable non-profits and tax-exempt entities. The homes were not purchased by the downtrodden.

One of the names among the owners is the family of Yossi Gestetner who lives in one of the Elm Street properties. He is one of the founders of OJPAC, a Political Action Committee heavily involved in endorsing the same corruption that makes up the fabric of Rockland County’s ultra-Orthodox Jewry, particularly as it connects to the Borough Park community. His ties to Dov Hiking and Boro Park’s elite Shomrim are no secret.

It also comes as no surprise that David and Naomi Bodner were among the first “buyers” of the property when the LDC started selling it. You know. The same Bodners who are involved with Marty Huberfeld and Platinum Parnters. The same Bodners who have more money than they could spend in a century of generations of lifetimes, much of it we surmise was amassed in less than savory transactions.

For your review we have included the SEC Complaint against Christopher St. Lawrence and his accomplices naming the Elm Street properties voraciously. We have also included articles picked up by Failed Messiah and a number of others.

This Elm Street properties are one family of the CSL LDC properties among many that heavily tie Rockland County’s Hasidic and ultra-Orthodox community (and its leaders) to Boro Park, and to some of New York’s dirtier politics. They also tie Rockland County to family Bodner and many of its family foundations. We expect there are more treasures to be found beyond what has been named over the years. 

FURTHER READING:

 

Feds Uncover Alleged Ramapo Haredi Housing Scam – FailedMessiah.com

http://preserveramapo.com/Elm%20Street/call_to_investigate_elm_street_c.htm

http://failedmessiah.typepad.com/failed_messiahcom/2012/03/feds-uncover-alleged-ramapo-haredi-housing-scam-678.html

https://www.sec.gov/litigation/complaints/2016/comp-pr2016-68.pdf

Steve Lieberman

Police, Courts and Investigative Reporter

2 years ago

Ramapo’s Elm Street housing ‘below market,’ not ‘affordable’  http://lohud.us/1uhLX6f  via @lohud

Steve Lieberman

Police, Courts and Investigative Reporter

2 years ago

Steve Lieberman

Police, Courts and Investigative Reporter

2 years ago

Trouble? Ramapo Elm St. housing ‘below market,’ not ‘affordable’  http://lohud.us/1uhLX6f  via @lohud

Akiko Matsuda

Multimedia Journalist

2 years ago

TruthSquad on Ramapo Elm St. housing: ‘below market,’ not ‘affordable’  http://lohud.us/1uhLX6f  via @lohud

Akiko Matsuda

Multimedia Journalist

2 years ago

Ramapo Elm St. housing: ‘below market,’ not ‘affordable’  http://lohud.us/1uhLX6f  via @lohud