[Isn’t is sweet to see a bloody rabbi under arrest hey? These people know justice so little. Its GREAT when it finally happens! Look at how the filth had an enormous network… this is Jewish corruption at work. Jan]
US agents have arrested 44 elected officials and Jewish rabbis in New Jersey in a huge anti-corruption sweep across the state.
Charges of extortion, bribery, money laundering and human organ trafficking were stunning even for a state long notorious for official corruption and organised crime.
Five rabbis were among suspects, along with the mayors of Hoboken, Secaucus and Ridgefield, the Jersey City deputy mayor and council president, two state assembly members, and numerous other politicians, prosecutors said.
Acting US Attorney for the district of New Jersey Ralph Marra told a press conference 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.”
Raids began shortly after dawn on Thursday, officials said, targeting a who’s who of state leaders.
Television footage showed FBI and tax agents bringing a stream of handcuffed suspects, including rabbis wearing traditional Orthodox Jewish garb, into custody in the city of Newark. Other suspects were shown being put onto a bus.
The sweep was believed to be one of the biggest such actions ever in a state long associated with corruption, and famous as the setting of the hit Mafia television drama the “Sopranos.”
Officials said the arrests were part of an ongoing 10 year probe into statewide corruption code-named “Bid Rig.”
Democratic State Governor Jon Corzine said “the scale of corruption we’re seeing as this unfolds is simply outrageous and cannot be tolerated.”
“Any corruption is unacceptable — anywhere, anytime, by anybody,” he said in a statement.
FBI officials painted a picture of brazen criminality.
The money laundering ring allegedly stretched from New Jersey and New York to Israel and Switzerland, while politicians easily exploited loopholes in state law to disguise bribes as campaign contributions.
Although New Jersey is more famous for a history of Italian Mafia families, it was Jewish clergy who allegedly played a central role in the crime network.
Authorities raided several synagogues and among those arrested was the chief rabbi of Syrian Jews in the United States.
One rabbi, Levy Izhak Rosenbaum, was charged with conspiring to broker the sale of a human kidney for transplant.
Marra said Rosenbaum’s “business was to entice vulnerable people to give up a kidney for $US10,000 ($A12,300), which he would turn around and sell for 160,000 dollars.”
He’d allegedly been peddling kidneys for a decade.
The dramatic crackdown came as Chris Christie, a crusading former US lawyer, stepped up his campaign against Corzine in an election this November.
Christie, a Republican, previously won fame for his relentless and successful prosecution of political corruption in New Jersey.
Corzine is battling widespread dissatisfaction with his performance as the state reels from the national recession, spending cuts, and furloughs for state employees.
FBI agent Weysan Dun was quick to deny any political motivation behind the arrests, a majority of which appeared to involve Democrats, rather than Republicans.
“This investigation has transcended multiple administrations of both political parties,” he said.
This is “not about politics, certainly not about religion. It is about crime. It is about criminals who use politics and religion.”