Welcome, Guest! - or
Easy to remember!  »  VinNews.com

Trenton, NJ - Rabbi Sentenced To Eight Years In Prison In Forced 'Get' Case

Published on: December 16, 2015 05:30 PM
Change text size Text Size  

Trenton, NJ - An Orthodox Jewish Rabbi was sentenced today to 96 months in prison for conspiring to kidnap Jewish men in an effort to force them to give their wives religious divorces, referred to as “gets,” U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.

Jay Goldstein a/k/a “Yaakov,” 61, of Brooklyn, New York, was previously convicted by a federal jury of Count One and Count Five of an indictment charging him with conspiracy to commit kidnapping and attempted kidnapping. Jay Goldstein was convicted following an eight-week trial before U.S. District Judge Freda L. Wolfson, who imposed the sentence today in Trenton federal court.

According to documents filed in this case and the evidence at trial:

On Dec. 1, 2009, in Lakewood, an Orthodox Jewish man, Israel Markowitz, was assaulted, placed in a van, tied up, beaten and shocked with a stun-gun until he agreed to give his wife a get.

On Oct. 16, 2010, in Lakewood, another Orthodox Jewish man, Ysrael Bryskman, was assaulted, tied up and beaten until he agreed to give his wife a get.

On Aug. 22, 2011, in Brooklyn, another Orthodox Jewish man, Usher Chaimowitz, and his roommate, Menachem Teitlebaum, were assaulted, tied up and beaten until Chaimowitz agreed to give his wife a get.

Based upon these incidents, the FBI began an undercover operation in August 2013 in which two FBI agents posed as a wife who was seeking a get from her recalcitrant husband, and her brother, who was trying to help her obtain the get. Over the next several weeks, the undercover agents had multiple recorded phone calls and in-person meetings with Mendel Epstein, 70, Lakewood, New Jersey. In those meetings, Epstein arranged to have his team kidnap the husband at a warehouse in exchange for $60,000.

On Oct. 9, 2013, Jay Goldstein, his sons Moshe Goldstein, 32, and Avrohom Goldstein, 36, and others – including Binyamin Stimler, 40, Simcha Bulmash, 32, David Hellman, 33, Sholom Shuchat, 31, all of Brooklyn, and Ariel Potash, 42, of Monsey, New York – traveled from New York to a warehouse in Middlesex County, New Jersey, to execute the planned kidnapping of the husband to force him to give the get.

They arrived at the warehouse in two dark minivans shortly after 8:00 p.m. Some of the kidnap team members put on masks and entered the warehouse office with the undercover agent posing as the brother. The remaining kidnappers walked around the outside with flashlights. Over the next 15 minutes, members of the kidnap team went in and out of the warehouse office wearing disguises, including ski masks, Halloween masks and bandanas. They discussed their plan for kidnapping and assaulting the husband, how they planned to grab him, pull him down, tie him up, and take his phone. Members of the kidnap team brought with them to the warehouse a 30-foot nylon rope, a blindfold, vodka, license plates they had switched out, and items used to ceremonially record the get. At 8:23 p.m., law enforcement moved into the warehouse office and arrested the eight men.

In addition to the prison term, Judge Wolfson sentenced Jay Goldstein to five years of supervised release.

Avrohom Goldstein, Potash, Shuchat, Moshe Goldstein, Hellman, and Bulmash have all pleaded guilty to one count of traveling in interstate commerce to commit extortion. Avrohom Goldstein and Potash were sentenced Nov. 19, 2015 to 45 and 14 months in prison, respectively. Shuchat was sentenced to time served on Nov. 19, 2015. Moshe Goldstein was sentenced Nov. 16, 2015 to 48 months in prison. Hellman and Bulmash were sentenced Nov. 17, 2015 to 44 and 48 months in prison, respectively. Martin Wolmark, 57, of Monsey, previously pleaded guilty to conspiracy to travel in interstate commerce to commit extortion and was sentenced Dec. 14, 2015 to 38 months in prison.

Epstein and Stimler were also previously convicted at trial of Count One of the indictment charging them with conspiracy to commit kidnapping. Stimler was additionally convicted on Count Five of the indictment, attempted kidnapping. Epstein and Stimler were sentenced yesterday to 120 and 39 months in prison, respectively.

U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Richard M. Frankel in Newark, and the Lakewood Police Department with the investigation.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys R. Joseph Gribko and Sarah M. Wolfe of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Trenton.


More of today's headlines

Baltimore, MD - A mistrial was declared on Wednesday in the case of a Baltimore police officer charged in the death of Freddie Gray, a black man whose killing while in... Washington - For anyone considering whether to buy a home or car, the Federal Reserve's interest rate increase Wednesday shouldn't make much difference. The rates...

 

Advertisement:
Total18

Read Comments (18)  —  Post Yours »

1

 Dec 16, 2015 at 05:58 PM Anonymous Says:

I have known Yakkov Goldstein for over 25 years and he's a soft spoken mild mannered sofer who could not intimidate anyone. He was the sofer for many of Rabbi Epstein's gittin over the years. Such a harsh sentence is an outrage considering his role in the purported crimes.

2

 Dec 16, 2015 at 07:26 PM Anonymous Says:

I am surprised and feel bad at the long sentence, as it came very close to Epstein's who was the head of the criminal enterprise and Goldstein was only the Sofer who never took part in the beatings. Apparently the jury and judge found that his presence and knowledge that the Get was obtained under duress meant that he was a willing participant.
Now that American law has been addressed we have to address the violation of Torah law namely that all women who got a Get obtained through duress, their remarriages are a sham and the resultant children are at best Sofek Mamzeirim and can marry only other Mamzeirim.
It is therefore imperative that Rabonim or Askonim establish a data base as each town in Europe had a Pinkus, wherein the name of all women who used Epstein's goons or his advise to bring false sexual abuse allegations to coerce a Get be fully listed. This way any man that will want to date a divorcee can determine if she will be a suitable Shiduch and in 20 years we will also know when the resultant children become of marriageable age that they are not Mamzeirim. Any idea anyone
Meanwhile those that married an Epstein woman have to contact their husband and ask for a new Get.

3

 Dec 16, 2015 at 07:35 PM JoeField1 Says:

Good for him.

4

 Dec 16, 2015 at 08:21 PM PaulinSaudi Says:

He ran an extortion ring that attacked Jewish men in the streets. I think he got off pretty easily.

5

 Dec 16, 2015 at 10:47 PM Anonymous Says:

Cattle prods on men's body parts. Ugh

6

 Dec 16, 2015 at 11:18 PM Magid Shiur Says:

Reply to #2  
Anonymous Says:

I am surprised and feel bad at the long sentence, as it came very close to Epstein's who was the head of the criminal enterprise and Goldstein was only the Sofer who never took part in the beatings. Apparently the jury and judge found that his presence and knowledge that the Get was obtained under duress meant that he was a willing participant.
Now that American law has been addressed we have to address the violation of Torah law namely that all women who got a Get obtained through duress, their remarriages are a sham and the resultant children are at best Sofek Mamzeirim and can marry only other Mamzeirim.
It is therefore imperative that Rabonim or Askonim establish a data base as each town in Europe had a Pinkus, wherein the name of all women who used Epstein's goons or his advise to bring false sexual abuse allegations to coerce a Get be fully listed. This way any man that will want to date a divorcee can determine if she will be a suitable Shiduch and in 20 years we will also know when the resultant children become of marriageable age that they are not Mamzeirim. Any idea anyone
Meanwhile those that married an Epstein woman have to contact their husband and ask for a new Get.

I'm happy to see you are clueless when it comes to halocha.

Did you ever wonder what "Kofin Oso Ad She'omar Rotzeh Ani" meant?

8

 Dec 16, 2015 at 11:35 PM Halachic Says:

Reply to #2  
Anonymous Says:

I am surprised and feel bad at the long sentence, as it came very close to Epstein's who was the head of the criminal enterprise and Goldstein was only the Sofer who never took part in the beatings. Apparently the jury and judge found that his presence and knowledge that the Get was obtained under duress meant that he was a willing participant.
Now that American law has been addressed we have to address the violation of Torah law namely that all women who got a Get obtained through duress, their remarriages are a sham and the resultant children are at best Sofek Mamzeirim and can marry only other Mamzeirim.
It is therefore imperative that Rabonim or Askonim establish a data base as each town in Europe had a Pinkus, wherein the name of all women who used Epstein's goons or his advise to bring false sexual abuse allegations to coerce a Get be fully listed. This way any man that will want to date a divorcee can determine if she will be a suitable Shiduch and in 20 years we will also know when the resultant children become of marriageable age that they are not Mamzeirim. Any idea anyone
Meanwhile those that married an Epstein woman have to contact their husband and ask for a new Get.

Absolutely not true they are not mamzerim it is a good get. Look in the Rambam, please do not scare people when you don't know what you're talking about.

9

 Dec 17, 2015 at 12:23 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #8  
Halachic Says:

Absolutely not true they are not mamzerim it is a good get. Look in the Rambam, please do not scare people when you don't know what you're talking about.

Well, if both you and all the tongue-wagging is correct, then all gedolei yisroel, including R' Elyashiv zt"l, apparently didn't "look in the Rambam", because consensus of all the tongue-wagging is that all gedolei yisroel, including R' Elyashiv zt"l, disagree and do cast aspersions on the children being able to marry into the machane.

10

 Dec 17, 2015 at 01:22 AM ayoyo Says:

Reply to #6  
Magid Shiur Says:

I'm happy to see you are clueless when it comes to halocha.

Did you ever wonder what "Kofin Oso Ad She'omar Rotzeh Ani" meant?

not when we have a halacha that states' dina d'malchusa dina-' we have to follow the law of the country where we live. especially when the bes din may only act as arbitrators in law

11

 Dec 17, 2015 at 02:18 AM berylyoseph Says:

Reply to #9  
Anonymous Says:

Well, if both you and all the tongue-wagging is correct, then all gedolei yisroel, including R' Elyashiv zt"l, apparently didn't "look in the Rambam", because consensus of all the tongue-wagging is that all gedolei yisroel, including R' Elyashiv zt"l, disagree and do cast aspersions on the children being able to marry into the machane.

Not only it assur to marry those children, but so are the children of Rabbi Epstein, since he has clear simonim of psool himself,

12

 Dec 17, 2015 at 10:01 AM E Says:

What about dealing with the real issue here...how is it that so many men are allowed to get away with refusing to give a get (and this is sanctioned by so many rabbonim). Taking care of this issue would eliminate the 'goon squads' and the extortion!

13

 Dec 17, 2015 at 11:12 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #12  
E Says:

What about dealing with the real issue here...how is it that so many men are allowed to get away with refusing to give a get (and this is sanctioned by so many rabbonim). Taking care of this issue would eliminate the 'goon squads' and the extortion!

Sorry, my friend, but you need to be more even handed to be factually accurate. I speak as someone involved in many cases of troubled marriages, before, during, and after the gittin. The score for being evil and rotten is about even. There are plenty of nasty men who abusively deny their wives gittin, while making impossible demands on them regarding visitation, custody, and financial affairs. Equally, there are plenty of nasty women who do their version of the same. The "payoffs" to either give or receive a get are totally immoral, and anyone who supports such behavior needs to be put into cherem.

A marriage that cannot be reconciled, for whatever reason, needs to be terminated, with both sides willing to do what is right. Families need to be sidelined, and lawyers and toanim need to return to follow a moral compass to resolve issues. The irreconcilable parties need to negotiate in good faith to reach a reasonable agreement, which they then follow.

Forcing someone to remain in a marriage because the other party refuses to leave it is completely immoral, and shares nothing in common with Ratzon Hashem. Well meaning but uninformed rabbonim/askanim mess things up badly.

14

 Dec 17, 2015 at 12:12 PM qazxc Says:

Reply to #13  
Anonymous Says:

Sorry, my friend, but you need to be more even handed to be factually accurate. I speak as someone involved in many cases of troubled marriages, before, during, and after the gittin. The score for being evil and rotten is about even. There are plenty of nasty men who abusively deny their wives gittin, while making impossible demands on them regarding visitation, custody, and financial affairs. Equally, there are plenty of nasty women who do their version of the same. The "payoffs" to either give or receive a get are totally immoral, and anyone who supports such behavior needs to be put into cherem.

A marriage that cannot be reconciled, for whatever reason, needs to be terminated, with both sides willing to do what is right. Families need to be sidelined, and lawyers and toanim need to return to follow a moral compass to resolve issues. The irreconcilable parties need to negotiate in good faith to reach a reasonable agreement, which they then follow.

Forcing someone to remain in a marriage because the other party refuses to leave it is completely immoral, and shares nothing in common with Ratzon Hashem. Well meaning but uninformed rabbonim/askanim mess things up badly.

so why are you involved in so many troubled marriages?do you cause trouble in the marriages of those around you? Or do you wait until the marriage is already in trouble and then you stick your nose in where it doesn't belong?

15

 Dec 17, 2015 at 01:46 PM E Says:

Reply to #13  
Anonymous Says:

Sorry, my friend, but you need to be more even handed to be factually accurate. I speak as someone involved in many cases of troubled marriages, before, during, and after the gittin. The score for being evil and rotten is about even. There are plenty of nasty men who abusively deny their wives gittin, while making impossible demands on them regarding visitation, custody, and financial affairs. Equally, there are plenty of nasty women who do their version of the same. The "payoffs" to either give or receive a get are totally immoral, and anyone who supports such behavior needs to be put into cherem.

A marriage that cannot be reconciled, for whatever reason, needs to be terminated, with both sides willing to do what is right. Families need to be sidelined, and lawyers and toanim need to return to follow a moral compass to resolve issues. The irreconcilable parties need to negotiate in good faith to reach a reasonable agreement, which they then follow.

Forcing someone to remain in a marriage because the other party refuses to leave it is completely immoral, and shares nothing in common with Ratzon Hashem. Well meaning but uninformed rabbonim/askanim mess things up badly.

You are correct on all counts.EXCEPT at the end of the day it is the women who are left tied to men, who are able to marry again WITHOUT having given a get, or with a heter of Meiya Rabbonim or whatever other means they come up with (like no longer being frum and therefore not caring about giving a get). And this does not include the problem of extortion of the husbands to the wives' families for exorbitant amounts of money to give a get. I personally know of at least one case of each of the instances I have mentioned here. It is a real shame on the Rabbonim that they cannot come up with a solution to this.

16

 Dec 17, 2015 at 03:27 PM Haimov Says:

Reply to #15  
E Says:

You are correct on all counts.EXCEPT at the end of the day it is the women who are left tied to men, who are able to marry again WITHOUT having given a get, or with a heter of Meiya Rabbonim or whatever other means they come up with (like no longer being frum and therefore not caring about giving a get). And this does not include the problem of extortion of the husbands to the wives' families for exorbitant amounts of money to give a get. I personally know of at least one case of each of the instances I have mentioned here. It is a real shame on the Rabbonim that they cannot come up with a solution to this.

Shame on Rabbbonim and torture jewish men.

17

 Dec 17, 2015 at 03:42 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #14  
qazxc Says:

so why are you involved in so many troubled marriages?do you cause trouble in the marriages of those around you? Or do you wait until the marriage is already in trouble and then you stick your nose in where it doesn't belong?

Quite funny. I am actually someone in the community who is sought for helping troubled marriages, mediating, etc. Won't give more detail. But I will say openly that I value marriage, and believe it should be helped or saved if possible. Quite frequently, it is already beyond repair, and do-gooders (including rabbonim) will not "allow" the couple to separate. That is irritating, and causes much more conflict that is unnecessary. I never "stick my nose in". People come to me. They pull my nose in. Hopefully, they access my brain in the process.

18

 Dec 17, 2015 at 05:15 PM Joe Says:

Reply to #17  
Anonymous Says:

Quite funny. I am actually someone in the community who is sought for helping troubled marriages, mediating, etc. Won't give more detail. But I will say openly that I value marriage, and believe it should be helped or saved if possible. Quite frequently, it is already beyond repair, and do-gooders (including rabbonim) will not "allow" the couple to separate. That is irritating, and causes much more conflict that is unnecessary. I never "stick my nose in". People come to me. They pull my nose in. Hopefully, they access my brain in the process.

I know who you are I will call you mr Lexus you stick your nose in many places where it doesn't belong and stab people in the back my freind you are playing with fire you are not qualified having money is not a qualification and tell your wife to stay off cellphone when driving
and yes your are freinds with Epstein

19

 Dec 17, 2015 at 07:27 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #18  
Joe Says:

I know who you are I will call you mr Lexus you stick your nose in many places where it doesn't belong and stab people in the back my freind you are playing with fire you are not qualified having money is not a qualification and tell your wife to stay off cellphone when driving
and yes your are freinds with Epstein

What on earth have you been smoking? Who has money? Lexus? Wife cellphone driving? You are being choshed someone who is completely innocent. You are free to have disagreement with me. But your Lexus friend did not write the comment(s) that you consider offensive.

As for me, I only deal with cases brought to me. I may know of others, but have no desire to busy myself with additional work. I'm way too lazy for that. Besides, I am greedy, too, and do not volunteer when I can't get paid for my services. As for the Epstein thing, we are not nor ever were friends.

You have either smoked something hallucinogenic, or you need to take your medication.

20

Sign-in to post a comment

Scroll Up
Advertisements:

Sell your scrap gold and broken jewelry and earn hard cash sell gold today!