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USA Feds bust 44, including 3 mayors, 5 Jews rabbis

Discussion in 'International Forum' started by Haki, Jul 24, 2009.

  1. H

    Haki JF-Expert Member

    Jul 24, 2009
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    NEWARK, N.J. - Three New Jersey mayors, two state lawmakers, a deputy mayor and five rabbis were among 44 people charged Thursday in a two-track corruption and international money-laundering probe, the U.S. Attorney's Office for New Jersey announced.

    The investigation began as a probe into a money-laundering ring that allegedly trafficked in goods as diverse as human organs and fake designer handbags. Based on information from a cooperating witness, the probe then widened to government corruption when the witness approached public officials about bribes, the attorney's office said in a statement.

    FBI and IRS agents arrested most of the suspects Thursday morning in what is being described as one of the biggest investigations of its kind in New Jersey history. "New Jersey's corruption problem is one of the worst, if not the worst, in the nation," said Ed Kahrer, who heads the FBI's white collar and public corruption investigation division. "Corruption is a cancer that is destroying the core values of this state."

    At one point Thursday morning, cars were backed up four deep with suspects outside the FBI's Newark office. One agent slowly walked an elderly rabbi into the building.

    Central to the investigation was the cooperating witness, an informant who was charged with bank fraud in 2006 and who posed undercover - including as a real estate developer hoping to build projects and win public contracts, according to documents in the case.

    "This investigation has once again identified a corrupt network of public officials who were all too willing to take cash in exchange for promised official action," acting U.S. Attorney Ralph Marra said in a statement. "It seemed that everyone wanted a piece of the action."

    Those arrested included:

    Hoboken Mayor Peter Cammarano III, charged with accepting $25,000 in cash bribes from an undercover cooperating witness.
    Assemblyman L. Harvey Smith, charged along with an aide of taking $15,000 in bribes to help get approvals from high-level state agency officials for building projects.
    Assemblyman Daniel Van Pelt, charged with accepting a $10,000 bribe.
    Secaucus Mayor Dennis Elwell, charged with taking a $10,000 bribe.
    Ridgefield Mayor Anthony Suarez, charged with agreeing to accept a $10,000 corrupt cash payment for his legal defense fund.
    Former Assemblyman Louis Manzo, charged with taking $27,500 in corrupt cash payments for use in his failed Jersey City mayoral campaign.
    Jersey City Deputy Mayor Leona Beldini, charged with taking $20,000 in illegal campaign contributions.
    Eliahu Ben Haim, a rabbi at a synagogue in Deal, N.J., charged with money laundering.
    Saul Kassin, the chief rabbi of a synagogue in Brooklyn, charged with money laundering.
    Edmund Nahum, the principal rabbi of a synagogue in Deal, charged with money laundering.
    Mordchai Fish, a rabbi at a synagogue in Brooklyn, charged with money laundering of proceeds derived from criminal activity. His brother Albert Schwartz, also a rabbi, was charged as well.
    According to the U.S. Attorney's Office, the investigation initially focused, with the help of the cooperating witness, on a money-laundering network operating between Brooklyn, Deal and Israel. The network is alleged to have laundered tens of millions of dollars through charities controlled by rabbis in New York and New Jersey.

    The organ trafficking allegedly involved patients paying middlemen to find willing donors in Israel. Investigators allege that the suspects had donors and patients lie to hospitals by saying that they were related. Hospitals would do the operation unaware that cash payments were part of the deal.

    Secret recordings made
    The attorney's office said investigators made secret recordings of some of the defendants.

    According to court documents, Cammarano met with the cooperating witness who said he was giving Cammarano's election campaign $5,000 and wanted to make sure he had his support with "some properties we're working on." Cammarano is quoted as responding, "I'll be there."

    NBC affiliate WNBC reported the documents also show defendant Michael Schaffer, a commissioner with the North Hudson Utilities Authority, as saying he was told by Cammarano that "the way I operate politics, anybody who helps me, I help them. That's the way I operate. And if you're not there the first round, I don't need ya' the second round."

    In another case, an undercover FBI agent and a cooperating witness allegedly spoke with defendant Issac Rosenbaum about procuring a liver for the undercover agent's sick uncle.

    "Let me explain this to you," Rosenbaum allegedly said in the taped conversation. "It's illegal to buy. It's illegal to sell. They are going to investigate him [the donor], not you, not your uncle. He's going to speak to a social worker and a psychologist to find out why he is doing it … and it is our job to prepare him."

    Rosenbaum allegedly set the cost at $160,000 - half of it up front, according to court papers.

    Two of the Rabbis involved, Mordchai Fish and his brother Albert Schwartz, also had conversations taped, according to court transcripts.
    Authorities on Thursday also searched a synagogue in Deal, N.J.

    Mike Winnick was praying inside the Deal Synagogue when it was raided by FBI, IRS and Monmouth County Prosecutor's Office agents.

    "Everyone was looking at each other, like, 'What's going on here?' " he said. Nearby, FBI and IRS agents removed several boxes from the Deal Yeshiva, a school that educates the children of Sephardic Jews.

    Newark Mayor Cory Booker, who has fought corruption in New Jersey's largest city, said it's "an unbelievable morning so far."
    Gov. Jon Corzine reacted to the probe Thursday morning with a statement saying: "Any corruption is unacceptable - anywhere, anytime, by anybody. The scale of corruption we're seeing as this unfolds is simply outrageous and cannot be tolerated."

    In recent years, New Jersey has seen more than 130 corruption-related convictions of public officials.

    Earlier this month, prosecutors alleged that Assemblyman Joseph Vas, a former Perth Amboy mayor, engaged in a scheme with a political adviser to funnel money through people who were given funds to make contributions.

    Vas had previously been accused of using his political influence to further a real estate deal that netted him nearly $300,000.
  2. Bluray

    Bluray JF-Expert Member

    Jul 24, 2009
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    Ingekuwa bongo wangesema "vingunge hao" (majina tunayo) blah blah blah blah.

    Hapo unaopewa kitu na boksi.
  3. S

    Shamu JF-Expert Member

    Jul 24, 2009
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    Mayahudi hao ni wezi tu. Wameanza na Maddof, sasa hivi wanakuja hao wezi wengine.
  4. I

    Iga Senior Member

    Jul 24, 2009
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    Mmezipata habari kumbe there is a normal distribution na hakuna asymmetry yoyote wala skew kwenye distribution ya mafisadi duniani. Huko New Jersey mashehe wa Kiyahudi, viongozi wa serikali na wajanja wengine wamekuwa sio tu wakila haramu bali viungo vya binadamu kuishi maisha ya kutumbua na kutumbuana.

    Haaaa Haaaaa Haaaa hivi ni njaa au ndivyo binadamu mlivyo. Maana mimi siigi hilo na wala silitaki. Heri kama mjamaa yle maarufu anavysema niishi na kufa masikini tu. Kuliko kuwa na kizazi kilicholaaniwa cha watoto wa mababa na mamama mafisadi, matoto mafisadi, majukuu mafisadi au maafisadi, na mavijikuuu na mavitukuu vya kimafisaadi mafisadi tu!
  5. Juma Contena

    Juma Contena JF-Expert Member

    Jul 24, 2009
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    inaonyesha ni jinsi binadamu tulivyo na tamaa jammaa wameenda kutolewa ndani ya Synogogue ni hatari namna hii bado tanzania ianze sasa kuwachunguza baadhi ya Mapadri na Masheikh watawapata tuu..
  6. M

    MzalendoHalisi JF-Expert Member

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    Sasa ni dini ipi ya kweli?? Hata na Rabai nao ni wezi??
  7. Kaizer

    Kaizer JF-Expert Member

    Jul 24, 2009
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    Mkuu fweza haina dini! nakwambia hata mi nimeshangaa! yaani hadi wakuu wa masinagogi na wao ndani tena wanafanya biashara ya viuongo vya binadamu!
  8. Ndahani

    Ndahani JF-Expert Member

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    Mi nakwambia hizi dini zimevamiwa we acha tu. Mpaka Rabi anafanya biashara ya viungo vya binadama na money laundering!!
  9. N

    Nsaji Mpoki JF-Expert Member

    Jul 24, 2009
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    Huu ndio utawala wa sheria hakuna cha mwanasiasa wala Religious Cleric.Ukifanya uhalifu na unaandamwa na mkono wa sheria.Sasa sisi hapa tunaondoa msamaha kwa ajili ya jinai ya Askofu mmoja asiye mwaminifu huu ni upuuzi! Dr Hosea umeona mwenzako anavyotimiza wajibu wake?
    News Americas Scores held in US corruption probe [​IMG]The arrests came as part of a 10-year investigation dubbed 'Operation Bid Rig' [AFP]More than 40 people, including politicians, officials and prominent rabbis, have been arrested in connection with corruption, money laundering and organ trafficking in the US state of New Jersey.
    The sweeping investigation, which saw 44 people arrested in raids on Thursday, is believed to be one of the biggest such actions in a state long associated with corruption.
    Authorities said the arrests were part of a two-pronged 10-year investigation called "Operation Bid Rig".
    Five rabbis were among suspects arrested, along with the mayors of Hoboken, Secaucus and Ridgefield, prosecutors said.
    Ed Kahrer, an assistant special agent in charge of the FBI's white collar crime and public corruption programme in New Jersey, called corruption "a cancer that is destroying the core values of this state".
    "New Jersey's corruption problem is one of the worst, if not the worst, in the nation," Kahrer, who has worked on the investigation since it began in July 1999, said.
    "It has become ingrained in New Jersey's political culture."
    Organ trading
    Investigators used an informant, a real estate developer charged with bank fraud three years ago, to uncover a money laundering ring and organ trafficking, as well as corruption by politicians who exploited loopholes in state law to disguise bribes as campaign contributions.​

    Among those arrested
    Peter Cammarano III, mayor of Hoboken, New Jersey, accused of accepting $25,000 in cash bribes

    Dennis Elwell, mayor of Secaucus, New Jersey, charged with taking $10,000

    Anthony Suarez, mayor of Ridgefield, charged with agreeing to accept an illegal $10,000

    Leona Beldini, deputy mayor of Jersey City, charged with conspiracy to commit extortion by taking $20,000 in illegal campaign contributions

    Daniel Van Pelt and L Harvey Smith, both state assemblymen, accused of taking payoffs

    The politicians arrested in the investigation were not accused of any involvement in the money laundering or the trading in human organs.
    The money laundering network is alleged to have laundered tens of millions of dollars through Jewish charities controlled by rabbis in New York and New Jersey.
    They laundered some $3m for the undercover witness between June 2007 and July 2009, authorities said.
    Investigators raided several synagogues and among those arrested was Saul Kassin, the chief rabbi of Syrian Jews in the US.
    Those arrested also included Levy Izhak Rosenbaum, a Brooklyn rabbi, who was charged with conspiring to arrange the sale of an Israeli citizen's kidney for $160,000 for a transplant for the informant's fictitious uncle.
    Rosenbaum was quoted as saying he had been arranging the sale of kidneys for 10 years.
    'Public corruption'
    Ralph Marra, the acting US attorney, told a press conference that the sweep demonstrated "the pervasive nature of public corruption in this state".
    "The politicians willingly put themselves up for sale," he said, while "clergymen cloak their extensive criminal activity behind a facade of rectitude".
    US television footage showed FBI and tax agents bringing a stream of handcuffed suspects, including the rabbis wearing traditional Orthodox Jewish garb, into custody in the city of Newark.
    Most of the defendants facing corruption charges were released on bail.
    The money laundering defendants faced bail between $300,000 and $3m, and most were ordered to submit to electronic monitoring.
    New Jersey has long been notorious for official corruption and organised crime and is best known as the setting for the popular television show "The Sopranos".​

    Source:Agencies ​
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2009
  10. Mag3

    Mag3 JF-Expert Member

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    Hivi pingu Tanzania zipo ? Na kama zipo ni kwa vibaka tu ? Mbona sijaona watuhumiwa vigogo wakitiwa pingu ? Inafurahisha kuona dola inafanya kazi yake bila upendeleo wala woga lakini kwetu, Tz mmh !!
  11. J

    Jasusi JF-Expert Member

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    Hii investigation ilianza zaidi ya miaka 2 iliyopita. Kwa hiyo kichwa cha habari kinapotosha kidogo. Uzuri wa Marekani ni kwamba the system works regardless who is in power wakati Bongo Takukuru inasubiri amri za mkuu wa kaya.
  12. Geeque

    Geeque JF-Expert Member

    Jul 24, 2009
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    System ya Marekani ni nzuri yaani ningependa itumike Bongo, hakuna longolongo wala stori ndeefu au sarakasi za kimahakama kwa ajili tu ya kuimwagia changa la macho jamii.
  13. M

    MpendaTz JF-Expert Member

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    Imani yangu ni kuwa Dini ya kweli inapatikana ndani ya moyo wa mtu mwenye kuiamini.