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Breaking News: 16 Nabbed In Westchester, Tristate Area Heroin, Cocaine Ring
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Roster of community leaders becomes a perp walk

Photo Credit: Cliffview Pilot

“The list of names and titles of those arrested today sounds like a roster for a community leaders meeting,” said Weysan Dun, Special Agent In Charge of the FBI in Newark. “Sadly, these prominent individuals were not in a meeting room but were in the FBI booking room this morning.”

Evidence in what’s being billed as the largest corruption sweep in New Jersey history includes “hundreds of hours of video and audio recordings documenting much of the money laundering and bribe-taking,” Acting U.S. Attorney Ralph Marra Jr. said. F or a list of NAMES and CHARGES, click here.


NAMES AND CHARGES ARE LISTED BELOW

The root

In addition to the arrests, state Department of Community Affairs chief Joseph Doria — a major power in North Jersey political circles — resigned today after federal agents raided his Bayonne home and Trenton office.

According to Marra’s office:

“Law enforcement personnel, with the assistance of a cooperating witness, first infiltrated a pre-existing money laundering network that operated internationally between Brooklyn, Deal, N.J. and Israel and laundered at least tens of millions of dollars through charitable, non-profit entities controlled by rabbis in New York and New Jersey.

“The cooperating witness told targets of the money laundering investigation that he was involved in illegal businesses and bank frauds. He also openly discussed with targets that he was in bankruptcy and was attempting to conceal cash and assets, and told them he wanted to launder criminal proceeds in increments ranging from tens of thousands of dollars to $150,000 or more at a time, often at the rate of several transactions per week.

“According to the criminal Complaints, the money laundering operations run by the rabbis laundered a total of approximately $3 million for the cooperating witness alone between about June 2007 and July 2009.

“The investigation veered onto its public corruption track in July 2007 in Hudson County, where the cooperating witness represented himself to be a developer and owner of a tile business who wanted to build high rises and other projects and get public contracts in Hudson County schools.

“Through an intermediary, the cooperating witness was introduced to a Jersey City building inspector who, in return for $40,000 in bribes, promised to smooth the way for approvals of the cooperating witness’s building projects, according to the criminal Complaints.

“From there, introductions and referrals spread amongst a web of public officials, council and mayoral candidates, their operatives and associates – mostly in Hudson County, and primarily in Jersey City – who took bribes.

“In return, they pledged their official assistance in getting the cooperating witness’s projects prioritized and approved or to steer contracts to him.

“In part, the bribe-taking was connected to fund raising efforts in heavily contested mayoral and city council campaigns in Jersey City and Hoboken, and the bribes were often parceled out to straw donors, who then wrote checks in their names or businesses to the campaigns in amounts that complied with legal limits on individual donations – so-called conduit or conversion donations.

“Other bribe recipients took cash for direct personal use and benefit; others kept some of the cash and used the rest for political campaigns, according to the criminal Complaints.”

“The list of names and titles of those arrested today sounds like a roster for a community leaders meeting,” said Weysan Dun, Special Agent In Charge of the FBI in Newark.

“Sadly, these prominent individuals were not in a meeting room,” Dun said, “but were in the FBI booking room this morning.”

“It seemed that everyone wanted a piece of the action,” Marra added.

Arrested and/or Charged

Political Corruption

• Moshe Altman, 39, of Monsey, NY, charged with conspiracy to commit extortion under color of official right & money laundering

• Charlie Ammon, 33, of Lakewood, NJ, charged with conspiracy to commit extortion under color of official right

• Leona Beldini, 74, of Jersey City, charged with conspiracy to commit extortion under color of official right

• Peter Cammarano III, 32, of Hoboken, NJ, charged with conspiracy to commit extortion under color of official right

• Joseph Cardwell, 68, of Jersey City, NJ, charged with agreeing to offer bribe to public official

• Joseph Castagna, 53, of Jersey City, NJ, charged with conspiracy to commit extortion under color of official right

• Guy Catrillo, 54, of Jersey City, NJ, charged with attempted extortion under color of official right

• Edward Cheatam, 61, of Jersey City, NJ, charged with conspiracy to commit extortion under color of official right & attempted extortion

• Dennis Elwell, 64, of Secaucus, NJ, charged with conspiracy to commit extortion under color of official right

• Itzak Friedlander, 41, of Union City, NJ, charged with money laundering conspiracy

• Richard Greene, 45, of Jersey City, NJ, charged with conspiracy to commit extortion under color of official right

• John Guarini, 59, of Bayonne, NJ, charged with conspiracy to commit extortion under color of official right

• Shimon Haber, 34, of Brooklyn, NY, charged with money laundering conspiracy

• Denis Jaslow, 46, of Wall, NJ, charged with conspiracy to commit extortion under color of official right

• Maher A. Khalil, 39, of Jersey City, NJ, charged with conspiracy to commit extortion under color of official right & attempted extortion

• James P. “Jimmy” King, 67, of Jersey City, NJ, charged with conspiracy to commit extortion under color of official right

• Louis Manzo, 54, of Jersey City, NJ, charged with conspiracy to commit extortion under color of official right

• Michael Manzo, 53, of Jersey City, NJ, charged with conspiracy to commit extortion under color of official right

• Ronald Manzo, 65, of Bayonne, NJ, charged with conspiracy to commit extortion under color of official right

• Michael Schaffer, 58, of Hoboken, NJ, charged with conspiracy to commit extortion under color of official right

• Lori Serrano, 37, of Jersey City, NJ, charged with conspiracy to commit extortion under color of official right

• Jack Shaw, 61, of Jersey City, NJ, charged with conspiracy to commit extortion under color of official right

• L. Harvey Smith, 60, of Jersey City, NJ, charged with conspiracy to commit extortion under color of official right

• Anthony R. Suarez, 42, of Ridgefield, NJ, charged with conspiracy to commit extortion under color of official right

• Vincent Tabbachino, 68, of Fairview, NJ, charged with conspiracy to commit extortion under color of official right & money laundering

• Daniel M. Van Pelt, 44, of Waretown, NJ, charged with attempted extortion under color of official right

• Mariano Vega, 59, of Jersey City, NJ, charged with conspiracy to commit extortion under color of official right

• Lavern Webb-Washington, 60, of Jersey City, charged with conspiracy to commit extortion under color of official right

• Jeffrey Williamson, 57, of Lakewood, NJ, charged with attempted extortion under color of official right

For the charge of conspiracy to commit extortion under color of official right and/or attempted extortion under color of official right, the maximum statutory penalties are 20 years in federal prison and a maximum statutory fine of $250,000.

For the charge of agreeing to offer a bribe payment to a public official, the maximum statutory penalties are 10 years in Federal prison and a maximum statutory fine of $250,000.

Money Laundering/Illegal Money Remitting

• Eliahu Ben Haim, 58, of Long Branch, NJ, charged with money laundering

• Schmulik Cohen, 35, of Brooklyn, NY, charged with money laundering and illegal money

• Levi Deutsch, 37, of Brooklyn, NY, charged with money laundering

• Yeshayahu Ehrental, 65, of Brooklyn, NY, charged with money laundering

• Mordchai Fish, 56, of Brooklyn, NY, charged with money laundering

• Yolie Gertner, 30, of Brooklyn, NY, charged with money laundering

• David S. Goldhirsh, 30, of Brooklyn, NY, charged with money laundering

• Saul Kassin, 87, of Brooklyn, NY, charged with money laundering

• Edmund Nahum, 56, of Deal, NJ, charged with money laundering

• Abe Pollack, 40, of Brooklyn, NY, charged with money laundering

• Lavel Schwartz, 57, of Brooklyn, NY, charged with money laundering

• Binyomin Spira, 28, of Brooklyn, NY, charged with money laundering

• Naftoly Weber, 40, of Brooklyn, NY, charged with money laundering

• Arye Weiss, 34, of Brooklyn, NY, charged with money laundering and illegal money

Human Organ Trafficking

• Levy-Izhak Rosenbaum, 58, of Brooklyn, NY, charged with conspiracy to illegally transport human organs.

ALSO :

Cooperator helps FBI nab officials in NJ’s largest corruption bust ever

For upstart mayor, it all began at the Malibu Diner

From the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Newark: The complete news release

For the charge of conspiring to commit money laundering, the maximum statutory penalties are 20 years in Federal prison and a maximum statutory fine of $250,000.

For the charge of conspiring to conduct an illegal money transmitting business, the maximum statutory penalties are 5 years in Federal prison and a maximum statutory fine of $250,000.

For the charge of conspiring to transport human organs, the maximum statutory penalties are 5 years in Federal prison and a maximum statutory fine of $250,000.

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