New York - FBI Lead Raid On Monsey Yeshiva; Prominent Brooklyn Rabbi Arrested

Published on: October 10th, 2013 at 09:29 AM
Last updated on: October 10, 2013 09:28 AM

New York - An FBI raid on a Monsey yeshiva late Wednesday resulted in four arrests, including three rabbis who are charged with pressuring Orthodox Jewish men into granting religious divorces to their wives in exchange for money.

WABC NEWS ( is reporting that Rabbi Mendel Epstein, Rabbi Martin Wolmark, Rabbi Jacob Goldstein, as well as a fourth man, Ariel Potash, were all taken into custody in connection with the raid that was conducted at 9 p.m. Wednesday at Yeshiva Shaarei Torah in Monsey.

Sources say six others were taken into custody, but as of yet have not been charged.

Sources also reported that FBI agents served a search warrant at Rabbi Epstein's residence in Flatbush last night.

An FBI spokesman would only say that the investigation is "ongoing," and has spread into Brooklyn.

A source has told VIN NEWS that those arrested are likely facing charges of money laundering, as well.

A source close to the investigation said that the ring involved Orthodox wives seeking divorce making payments to the rabbis---in some cases up to $100,000---who then facilitated the divorce, often through violent means, with the rabbis hiring thugs to beat the Orthodox Jewish husbands into agreement.

The source said the ring has been in existence for more than 20 years.

Several students said they were inside the yeshiva when the raid began, and that they were ushered into the parking lot immediately.

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