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Trenton, NJ - Two Brooklyn Men Sentenced To Prison For Violently Extort 'Get' Consent From Recalcitrant Husband

Published on: November 17, 2015 03:00 PM
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Trenton, NJ -  Two Brooklyn, New York, men were each sentenced today to more than three and a half years in prison for crossing state lines as part of a plan to violently coerce a recalcitrant husband to grant his wife a religious divorce, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.

David Hellman, 33, and Simcha Bulmash, 32, were sentenced to 44 and 48 months in prison, respectively. Both defendants previously pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Freda L. Wolfson to separate informations charging them each with one count of traveling in interstate commerce to commit extortion. Judge Wolfson imposed both sentences today in Trenton federal court.

According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:

On Oct. 9, 2013, Hellman, Bulmash and a group of conspirators – including Avrohom Goldstein, 36, Moshe Goldstein, 32, Jay Goldstein, 61, Binyamin Stimler, 40, Sholom Shuchat, 31, all of Brooklyn, and Ariel Potash, 42, of Monsey, New York – traveled from New York to a warehouse in Edison, New Jersey, with the intent of forcing a Jewish husband to give his wife a “get,” a document which, according to Jewish Law, must be presented by a husband to his wife to effect their divorce.

Hellman and Bulmash admitted that when they arrived at the warehouse, the group met with an individual who, unbeknownst to them, was an undercover FBI agent posing as the husband’s brother in law. Hellman and Bulmash admitted that they discussed a plan and prepared to confine, restrain and threaten the victim.

The group was then arrested by a team of FBI agents and charged by criminal complaint – along with rabbis Mendel Epstein, 70, of Lakewood, New Jersey, and Martin Wolmark, 57, of Monsey – in connection with the scheme.

Hellman and Bulmash also admitted that on Aug. 22, 2011, they went to a residence in Brooklyn where they restrained, assaulted and injured another recalcitrant husband and his
roommate in an attempt to extort a divorce from the husband.

In addition to the prison term, Judge Wolfson sentenced both Hellman and Bulmash to serve two years of supervised release.

Avrohom Goldstein, Moshe Goldstein, Potash and Shuchat each pleaded guilty to one count of traveling in interstate commerce to commit extortion. Moshe Goldstein was sentenced yesterday to four years in prison. Avrohom Goldstein, Potash and Shuchat are scheduled for sentencing Nov. 19, 2015. Wolmark, who pleaded guilty to conspiracy to travel in interstate commerce to commit extortion, is scheduled for sentencing on Dec. 14, 2015.

Epstein, Jay Goldstein and Stimler were all convicted at trial on April 21, 2015. Epstein, who was convicted of conspiracy to commit kidnapping, is scheduled for sentencing on Dec. 15, 2015. Stimler and Jay Goldstein, both convicted of conspiracy to commit kidnapping and attempted kidnapping, are scheduled for sentencing on Dec. 15, 2015 and Dec. 16, 2015, respectively.


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Read Comments (24)  —  Post Yours »

1

 Nov 17, 2015 at 03:07 PM prosecution was suprised Says:

i was there today , the prosecution didnt dream the judge would do 4 years on a 1-4 plea deal the fact that these helpers were paid pennies showed clearly that they had no idea of the risk etc... a year or 18mos wouldve been plenty ( arrogant judge ) hahsem yerachem

2

 Nov 17, 2015 at 03:12 PM SandmanNY Says:

Before everyone goes frumer than frum on this, please remember this was a sting operation. They were all set up. There was no recalcitrant husband and there was no agunah. Was it dumb what the chevreh did? Yes. The law of the shteitel doesn't apply in the goldeneh medinah. For shtuss, some young families are going to suffer greatly.

3

 Nov 17, 2015 at 03:33 PM shmosel Says:

That awkward moment when secular law has to protect the male abuser.

4

 Nov 17, 2015 at 03:44 PM berylyoseph Says:

This is way to short, after they admitted assaulting another husband in 2011, Men in general are more reluctant to break their families if children are involved, and it's 'shfichus domim' to force a 'get' on them, and the women who yell 'aguna' maybe they should opt to stay single and not.destroy someone else's life, the way.it's in Israel where draconian laws on custody and child support cause 40% of secular Israelis to stay single, and I don't think Rabbi Epstein and his ilk, or the lavish money hungry 'frum' women are better than those secular Israelis,

5

 Nov 17, 2015 at 03:55 PM yudaleph Says:

I wonder if they wil give their wives a get while siting in prison. Or more likely leave their own wives an agunah while they rot in jail for their wonderful behavior and sham beis din. Any bais din that is willing to extract a get from informants that arent real couple at odds means they are a sham.

6

 Nov 17, 2015 at 04:15 PM Anonymous Says:

I feel awful for those who got sentenced. But they knowingly entered into a purely criminal business of beating someone to coerce a get - problematic in halacha anyway. Violence is not something that Torah life condones. Even a beis din that was obligated to rule on dinei nefashos and to carry out a psak din of misas beis din was shunned if it did so more than once in 70 years. And not because the psak would not be accurate, but because violence is not becoming for a Torah true Yid. What this gang did cannot be traced back to a system of Torah values. No clue about what length of sentence would fit. But I cannot challenge the fact that there is serious punishment here. There was serious crime.

7

 Nov 17, 2015 at 04:24 PM waltersobchak Says:

sad

8

 Nov 17, 2015 at 04:26 PM Chaimke Says:

Reply to #2  
SandmanNY Says:

Before everyone goes frumer than frum on this, please remember this was a sting operation. They were all set up. There was no recalcitrant husband and there was no agunah. Was it dumb what the chevreh did? Yes. The law of the shteitel doesn't apply in the goldeneh medinah. For shtuss, some young families are going to suffer greatly.

well said. But these idiots didnt know that. They thought it was real. I hope mendel epstein gets all the flak. He knew it was all fake. Just like he is ALL FAKE AND FRAUD!!! Also its a shame that Epsteins son got away with murder. He was very very involved in all these crimes.

9

 Nov 17, 2015 at 04:28 PM Crazybutintelligent Says:

I call for the demise of the unjust judicial system.

10

 Nov 17, 2015 at 04:34 PM Anonymous Says:

A self hating Jew for an judge is a jew's worst nightmare. As they have to bend over backwards showing they're not going to go easy on a fellow Jew so they intentionally throw the book....

11

 Nov 17, 2015 at 05:17 PM ayoyo Says:

There was absolutely no reason to go against state law. The had to find a ''kosher'' way to make a living the stupid rabbi convinced them to violate state and federal laws.

12

 Nov 17, 2015 at 05:53 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #3  
shmosel Says:

That awkward moment when secular law has to protect the male abuser.

It also has to protect us male victims. It goes two ways. I can tell you countless stories of men victimized by women playing the aguna card. Here is the way the game goes. A women makes ridicoluos demands about the children or monteary demands. The husband then says well I am wlling to be fair but I just can't afford or can't live with those ridiclous demands. The women then runs to epstien and his likes and cryes aguna. Now the man gets beaten and victmized for not giving into his wifes unreasonable demands.

Yes men are ofetn animals and full of vengence But if you think the scenerio above doesn't often happen as well where the lady is an abuser you are dreaming my friend.

13

 Nov 17, 2015 at 05:55 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #9  
Crazybutintelligent Says:

I call for the demise of the unjust judicial system.

Right but the bati denim such as Epsteins are all just & moral. They can never be bought for the right price.

14

 Nov 17, 2015 at 06:57 PM Normal Says:

Reply to #4  
berylyoseph Says:

This is way to short, after they admitted assaulting another husband in 2011, Men in general are more reluctant to break their families if children are involved, and it's 'shfichus domim' to force a 'get' on them, and the women who yell 'aguna' maybe they should opt to stay single and not.destroy someone else's life, the way.it's in Israel where draconian laws on custody and child support cause 40% of secular Israelis to stay single, and I don't think Rabbi Epstein and his ilk, or the lavish money hungry 'frum' women are better than those secular Israelis,

Are you insane or sarcastic? Blaming the Agunah?

15

 Nov 17, 2015 at 07:03 PM golani Says:

we have a great justice system murderers rapist and even jihadist get less time in jail the whole system is corrupt

16

 Nov 17, 2015 at 08:12 PM Texas_Joe Says:

Rav Elyashiv ZT"l said that Epstein's gittin are me'usin. From both the halakhic and, lehavdil secular legal perspective the whole fiasco stinks. Let them rot for a few years. No loss for the Jews or for mankind in general, except for their poor families.

17

 Nov 17, 2015 at 08:34 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #8  
Chaimke Says:

well said. But these idiots didnt know that. They thought it was real. I hope mendel epstein gets all the flak. He knew it was all fake. Just like he is ALL FAKE AND FRAUD!!! Also its a shame that Epsteins son got away with murder. He was very very involved in all these crimes.

Murder? Who got killed? Only your empty argument..

18

 Nov 17, 2015 at 08:35 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #5  
yudaleph Says:

I wonder if they wil give their wives a get while siting in prison. Or more likely leave their own wives an agunah while they rot in jail for their wonderful behavior and sham beis din. Any bais din that is willing to extract a get from informants that arent real couple at odds means they are a sham.

With a 2-4 yr sentence which will probably be whittled down further, you think their wives are going to ask for a get, shoiteh?

19

 Nov 17, 2015 at 09:01 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #14  
Normal Says:

Are you insane or sarcastic? Blaming the Agunah?

The issue seems to have gone above your head. Who says the woman is an Agunah? Her cry of Agunah might be valid, but it might also not be. It can be a winning card, but it might be dishonest. The stats in this game are about 50-50. There are mean, abusive, nasty men. And there are mean, abusive, and nasty women. It is unfair and dishonest to generalize. Judge each situation on its own merit.

In the Epstein saga, no one ever interrogated the "husband", so there was a side of the story that was never known or investigated. But they were ready to take money to commit atrocities that were unjustified, as no standard of due process was even attempted. If it is all about money, we got problems.

20

 Nov 17, 2015 at 09:40 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #14  
Normal Says:

Are you insane or sarcastic? Blaming the Agunah?

I am not #4 but yes sometimes the "aguna" is to be blamed. If that sounds crazy that because you never meet anyone who went thru the pain. Often women will make crazy then refuse gitten unless their demands are meet. They will then run to Epstien and cry "aguna". So yes in those cases I blame the aguna. And I think its insnae to think all "agunas" are innocent. That doesn't mean that plenty of men are not to blame. But its not always as simple as oy "aguna".
As a side note, ts also not so clear that just because a women wnats to reck a marriage and ruin thier kids via divorce that she is an "aguna". Yes if the man abuses or beats her. But today we are too quick to run to the divorce option prior to trying to work things out. It comes from the fact that in secular societies divorces are the norm and accepted. Unfortunately it has seeped into judiasm. yes the torah has a parsha of giiten. But the amount of divorces the occur nowdays are unprecedented. As the saying goes vi eis ritezslizuch treislet zich.

21

 Nov 18, 2015 at 12:20 AM lazerx Says:

It is hard to read the feed backs and no one mentions:
DINA D'MALCHUSA DINA !
We are required to follow the laws of the land. Although when the Sanhedrin sat and ruled, they could beat a husband into giving a get, we live under secular law and we are obligated to follow it.
Especially if it is SHEV V'AL TA'ASHEH.
Meaning we are not forced into doing an avairah.
Sit and learn before you write talk backs.

22

 Nov 18, 2015 at 12:46 AM IamYid Says:

Our plea-bargaining system is very flawed; it lets criminals get away with unjustifiably light sentences. Example: four years for the crimes of such degree of violence! Still, I will think of it as glass half full; at least they got something. I hope that vile scoundrel Epstein gets the full measure.

23

 Nov 18, 2015 at 01:14 AM Cholent1 Says:

There should be a web site or registry where one can look up who got one of these kind of gittin or any other get that was coerced through the courts so one will know down the road to watch out for Mamzer status when it comes to shiduchim

24

 Nov 18, 2015 at 06:29 AM Yossel Says:

Reply to #15  
golani Says:

we have a great justice system murderers rapist and even jihadist get less time in jail the whole system is corrupt

Since you're such a legal genius, please enlighten us. Which jurisdictions sentence criminals convicted of murder to less than four years

25

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