More than a dozen members of a prominent Satmar Hasidic family in New York City were charged with lying to obtain $20 million in mortgages, while also receiving hundreds of thousands of dollars in public benefits, the JTA (Jewish Telegraphic Agency) website reports today (November 14, 2014). (Satmar Hasidic Jews are Ultra-Orthodox Jews -- the most conservative and most spiritual members of the Orthodox branch of Judaism.)
Preet Bharara, the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, and George Venizelos, the assistant director of the New York field office of the FBI, announced the indictments yesterday, charging 14 defendants with conspiracy to commit bank fraud related to mortgages on properties in three counties, two in New York City.
The defendants include real estate developer Irving Rubin, as well as his brothers, sons, wife, and various in-laws. A real estate lawyer and real estate appraiser are also charged in the case.
The defendants are accused of fraudulently obtaining more than $20 million in loan proceeds in connection with more than 20 fraudulent loans. The majority of the loans went into default and were not repaid. At the same time, the defendants claimed that they had little or no income and assets and were entitled to receive public assistance, including Medicaid, food stamps, and Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) benefits.