Lev Tahor Cult Leaders Extradited To NY; All Charged With Kidnapping [READ THE FULL INDICTMENT]

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(L-R) Aron Yeshaya Rosner, Meyer Rosner, Nachman Helbrans

New York authorities said on Friday that three more alleged leaders of the extremist Lev Tahor cult have been arrested on charges of kidnapping two children from upstate New York who have been found safe in Mexico.

Nachman Helbrans, Mayer Rosner and Jacob Rosner were arrested on Thursday following their deportation from Mexico to New York.

The three men brought the total arrested to four, with Aron Rosner being arrested in New York on Dec. 23.

[READ IT: FBI Charges Williamsburg Man With Assisting Lev Tahor Kidnapping, Releases New Details About The Plot]

All four are being accused of abducting 14-year-old Yante Teller and her 12-year-old brother Chaim Teller from Woodridge, N.Y. ON SHABBOS Dec. 8 and taking them out of the U.S.

ARON ROSNER, 45, of Brooklyn, New York, MAYER ROSNER, 42, of Guatemala, JACOB ROSNER, 20, of Guatemala, and NACHMAN HELBRANS, 36, of Guatemala, are each charged with one count of kidnapping, which carries a maximum sentence of life in prison.

“As alleged in the complaint, the defendants engaged in a terrifying kidnapping of two children in the middle of the night, taking the children across the border to Mexico,” U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman said.

“Thankfully, the kidnappers were no match for the perseverance of the FBI, the New York State Police and Mexican authorities, and the children were recovered this morning after a nearly three-week search,” Berman said.

[PIDYON SHVUYIM?! Is There a Mitzvah To Assist The Imprisoned Lev Tahor Cult Leaders? – Halachic Analysis]

The men are believed to be the leaders of Lev Tahor, described by the authorities as an “extremist Jewish sect based in Guatemala” that in the past reportedly subjected children to physical, sexual and emotional abuse.

[LEV TAHOR HORROR: Tales of Beatings and Torture Emerge From Excommunicated Cult Members]

The FBI said in the court filings that the children’s mother had been a “voluntary member” of Lev Tahor, but fled the group in recent weeks after speaking out against the increasing extremism within the cult, and fearing that her children weren’t safe there. She was reunited with her 6 children in New York last month, following an intense weeks-long international rescue effort.

Her father, Shlomo Helbrans, founded the sect and, in 1994, was convicted of kidnapping a 13-year-old in New York. Shlomo Helbrans was later deported to Israel. He drowned in Mexico in 2017.

Defendant Nachman Helbrans is the brother of the kidnapped children’s mother and had become the new leader of the sect, the authorities said.

Authorities said the kids were located on Friday in the Mexican town of Tenango del Aire and there are plans to bring them back to the United States and reunite them with their mother.

14-year-old Yante Teller and her 12-year-old brother Chaim Teller

FOLLOWING IS THE OFFICIAL PRESS RELEASE FROM THE US JUSTICE DEPARTMENT:

Geoffrey S. Berman, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, William F. Sweeney Jr., Assistant Director-in-Charge of the New York Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”), and George P. Beach II, Superintendent of the New York State Police (“NYSP”), announced today the arrests of NACHMAN HELBRANS, MAYER ROSNER, ARON ROSNER, and JACOB ROSNER, all of whom were charged by complaint with kidnapping two children in Woodridge, New York, and unlawfully transporting them to Mexico.  With the help of Mexican law enforcement partners, the children were recovered this morning in the town of Tenango del Air in Mexico.  Plans are underway to bring them back to the United States and reunite them with their mother.

ARON ROSNER was arrested in New York City on December 23, 2018, and presented in White Plains federal court before U.S. Magistrate Judge Lisa Margaret Smith the following day.  On or about December 27, 2018, NACHMAN HELBRANS, MAYER ROSNER, and JACOB ROSNER were deported from Mexico by Mexican immigration authorities, and arrived in New York City.  They were arrested yesterday and presented today in White Plains federal court before U.S. Magistrate Judge Paul E. Davison.

U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman said:  “As alleged in the Complaint, the defendants engaged in a terrifying kidnapping of two children in the middle of the night, taking the children across the border to Mexico.  Thankfully, the kidnappers were no match for the perseverance of the FBI, the New York State Police, and Mexican authorities, and the children were recovered this morning after a nearly three-week search.  These charges and arrests send a clear message that if you are involved in child abduction we will find you and bring you to justice.”

Assistant Director-in-Charge Sweeney said:  “As alleged, the defendants are leaders and members of Lev Tahor who kidnapped two innocent children to continue their lives with the group in violation of a legitimate, court-ordered child custody arrangement.  This case demonstrates the FBI will never cease our efforts to bring justice to those who would victimize our nation’s most vulnerable citizens in blatant disregard for our laws.  I would like to thank the multitude of domestic and international partners who worked tirelessly, shoulder-to-shoulder with us to bring this case to a successful conclusion.”

State Police Superintendent George P. Beach II said:  “Through great police work, two children are being returned home safely to their mother.  I applaud the teamwork and interagency coordination that lead to getting these suspects into police custody, and these children to safety.  We will continue to work with our partners to seek justice on behalf of those who have been victimized and to protect the members of our communities.”

According to the allegations in the Complaints unsealed in White Plains federal court:[1]

On or about December 8, 2018, two children (the “Victims”), ages 12 and 14, were kidnapped from a residence in the Village of Woodridge, Sullivan County, New York (the “Residence”), where they were staying with their mother (the “Mother”).  Approximately six weeks earlier, the Mother had fled from an organization in Guatemala called Lev Tahor.

Lev Tahor is an extremist Jewish sect based in Guatemala.  Public news reports indicate that children in Lev Tahor are often subject to physical, sexual, and emotional abuse.  The Mother was previously a voluntary member of Lev Tahor and her father was its founder and former leader, Rabbi Shlomo Helbrans.  According to the Mother, the new leader of Lev Tahor, her brother NACHMAN HELBRANS, is more extreme than her father had been, and, as a result, she fled from the group.  Prior to her escape, the Mother spoke out against the growing extremism within Lev Tahor.  The Mother indicated that it was not safe to keep her children there.  Upon entering the United States, the mother was granted temporary sole custody of the Victims, along with her four other children, in Kings County Family Court and an Order of Protection was issued against the Victims’ biological father on behalf of all six children.

As part of their investigation, law enforcement agents interviewed a participant in the kidnapping who was a member of Lev Tahor for over 19 years before leaving the organization approximately three months ago (“CC-1”).  CC-1 stated that the current leaders of Lev Tahor include MAYER ROSNER and NACHMAN HELBRANS.  CC-1 also stated that NACHMAN HELBRANS is considered the Rabbi and leader of Lev Tahor, that ARON ROSNER is the brother of MAYER ROSNER, and that JACOB ROSNER a/k/a “Chaim Rosner,” is the son of MAYER ROSNER.

NACHMAN HELBRANS, MAYER ROSNER, JACOB ROSNER, and ARON ROSNER participated in the scheme to kidnap the Victims.  HELBRANS was captured in surveillance footage with the Victims at an airport outside Scranton, Pennsylvania, on the day of the kidnapping.  In the footage, HELBRANS and the Victims are wearing modern clothing inconsistent with the clothing typically worn by members of Lev Tahor.   MAYER ROSNER participated in the planning conversations for the kidnapping and attempted to persuade CC-1 to leave the country once the Victims had been transported to Mexico.  JACOB ROSNER, who is considered within Lev Tahor to be the husband of the 14-year old Victim, also participated in the planning conversations for the kidnapping and purchased the clothing worn by HELBRANS and the Victims during the kidnapping.  ARON ROSNER helped fund the kidnapping and organized conference calls with several co-conspirators over the course of the kidnapping during which co-conspirators discussed hotels in Mexico as well as purchases of flights, bus tickets, credit cards, and food for the Victims.

*                *                *

            ARON ROSNER, 45, of Brooklyn, New York, MAYER ROSNER, 42, of Guatemala, JACOB ROSNER, 20, of Guatemala, and NACHMAN HELBRANS, 36, of Guatemala, are each charged with one count of kidnapping, which carries a maximum sentence of life in prison.  The maximum potential sentences in this case are prescribed by Congress and are provided here for informational purposes only, as any sentencing of the defendants will be determined by the judge.

Mr. Berman praised the outstanding work of the FBI and members of the FBI Hudson Valley Safe Streets Task Force, the New York State Police and the members of Troops F and NYC, United States Customs and Border Protection, the Sullivan County District Attorney’s Office, the Rockland County District Attorney’s Office, the Rockland County Sheriff’s Department, the Spring Valley Police Department, the Village of Woodridge Police Department, and our law enforcement partners in Mexico.  Mr. Berman also thanked the Department of Justice’s Office of International Affairs for its assistance.

This case is being handled by the Office’s White Plains Division.  Assistant United States Attorneys Sam Adelsberg and Jamie Bagliebter in charge of the prosecution.

The charges contained in the Complaints are merely accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

READ THE INDICTMENT BELOW:

(YWN World Headquarters – NYC)




58 COMMENTS

  1. Just curious!
    If this poor 14 year old is nebech married to this אכזר, deranged fiend and enemy of Torah law, how can she להלכה be freed from such a marriage?

  2. Just curious!
    If this poor 14 year old is nebech married to this אכזר, deranged fiend and enemy of Torah law, how can she להלכה be freed from such a marriage? Isn’t she an עיגונה or is the marriage null and void because she was an אנוסה.

  3. Aside from the absolute joy that these children were rescued and are safe, we should also realize that the investigation and quick capture of these child abusers would not have been possible without the great work of the FBI. We hear a lot of mindless ranting these days about the FBI and DOJ but in reality, this is the kind of investigative work and prosecutions they do every day to help those in need and keep us safe. Kol hakovod to the FBI agents and DOJ personnel who achieved this outcome (and continue working 24×7 without pay during the government shutdown).

  4. How dare they create a shana in Jews! Their religion is pure Avoda Zoroh an the antithesis of Jewish. They require that everyone serve the leaders not Hashem!! What more pure if Avoda Zoroh is there??????? Besides the leaders being incarcerated, their total cult should be disbanded and eradicated,…

  5. It was the mother that kidnapped the children from the father and took them to NY.
    In the criminal charges, in the images in the above article, it wrongly alludes to “NEWS REPORTS” of Lev Tahor subjecting children to ‘physical, sexual and emotional abuse.'”
    IS A LIE as that is an unsubstantiated rumour! AS THE WORDS ” NEWS REPORTS” clearly indicates, so there is the second ground upon which to drop charges and release the men.
    Further, the mother would have been implicated in the SO CALLED “abuse”, but there was NO ABUSE.

    It is all antisemitism.
    Let the men out, they are INNOCENT!

  6. Good FBI work and tey were lucky to have someone co-operating with them.
    it is very hard however when teenagers want to stay in the group / cult they know and to decide at what age they have a right to choose. Eg it is very common in many countries that at about age 13 in deciding which parent a child lives with that their wishes be considered. The difference here is the recent much worse extremism of the group which in my view should over-ride the wishes of the girl, even if she is “married” and even if she is expecting a child and even if she wishes to return. The mother was brave to escaoe with all 6 children and lucky to get them back although as soon as they reach being of age they will be free to return if they wish. It reminds me of the US extremist cult FLDS and an escape of mother with children but one girl Betty once she got to 18 in the US returned to the cult group – she had been too old when indocrinated by the cult psychologically to get her out.

  7. A police indictment based in “News Reports”. So now not only can Jewish news reporters be baalei lashon hara they can now also me mosrim a worse sin than anything they accuse the sect they are reporting on.

  8. The only crime here was breaking the law. And yes דינא דמלכותא דינא. So indeed they committed a serious crime by kidnapping these children. However we must not loose our senses, and we must not be brainwashed by the media as to what is really happening. 1) It is the mother who first kidnapped her kids from father (she may have been right or maybe not) but factual she’s the one who did so first. 2) it is undisputed that the kids orchestrated the run away from Woodridge. (Call it that they were brainwashed call it Stockholm syndrome call it whatever) so at trial both kids will testify that they indeed wanted to escape from the mothers captive. It is still breaking the law for the adults and they will have to face trial or jail time. 3) I’m not sure how quickly these men will see the daylight again, or return to the group, but I have a feeling these kids would. 4) I’m pretty sure this group will continue to flourish. Remember, albiet some members may be there against their will, the majority of them chooses to be there, and chooses this life style. This week alone two new families from Lakewood joined them in Guatemala. I even heard that one of them is very well to do and continues his online business there. So I’m very afraid if they number 400 kids now what will they number in five years.

  9. This entire claim against them is blown way out of proportion, I agree with “ready now”, and all who paint a false picture of these Tzaddikim will one day give a din v cheshbon to HAKODOSH B”H

  10. @Ready now:
    Doesn’t look like you are all here.

    Or maybe your real name is Frankfurter???????

    The pappa helbrans should’ve not been let out of prison in the first place we would’ve never had this abuse and shame in our community.

    @Yaptchik: Her marriage was definitely not arranged by a kosher Rabbi so she most likely doesn’t need a get , but I am not a Posek.

  11. @IUseBrains – I think people should Know who you are. I’m considering it. A really bad singer. That’s for sure.

    Incredible how you have defended every rasha on this website for at least 9 years. I am starting to suspect that you are part of the pedophile ring that Helbrans was running.

    You’ve been warned.

  12. IUseBrains
    December 30, 2018 10:20 am at 10:20 am
    This entire claim against them is blown way out of proportion, I agree with “ready now”, and all who paint a false picture of these Tzaddikim will one day give a din v cheshbon to HAKODOSH B”H.
    ———————————–
    I already gave a din v’cheshbon and hakadosh b”h is agreeing with me.

  13. YeshivaRabbi, escaping with one’s kids from a cult does not constitute kidnapping.When the mother joined the cult it was not as oppressive as it is now and she not only had the right but she also had the moral obligation to get her children out of that sick environment.

    The kids orchestrated the run away from their mother because 1.they were brainwashed that she she’s evil and 2. they were brainwashed that all frum Jews are really frei, only Lev Tahor really follows halacha.

    The crimes here are not only breaking the law, it’s brainwashing, lying, and causing the children to transgress halacha.

  14. IUseBrains, of course, of course, they are tzaddikim! They would never, ever, be mechalel Shabbos! Take it from me, I guarantee you, they would never, ever be mechalel Shabbos even if they lose control over two of their members to their own mother!

  15. Seems like a few posters are actually from the lev tahor group, there is no other explanation on how someone can actually be OK. let alone actually promote what these subhumans are doing without being part of the group.

    Malnourished children and forcing children to marry at such a young age is serious abuse, creating a new religion only to allow this terrible behavior is not ok.

    I didn’t know that they have internet connection in their Guatemala camp.

  16. The only crime here was breaking the law. And yes דינא דמלכותא דינא. So indeed they committed a serious crime by kidnapping these children.
    Honored Rabbi
    According to the given dates they were mechalel Shabbos.

  17. Tippish, YOU are the one who is defending reshoim, you are a Baal Loshon Hora who has no chelek in Olom Habo, so just keep on defending the “Anti LEV Tahor people”, who are all in the same category as you, you have been warned.

  18. Yeshiva,

    The only one “brainwashed” is you. These children were brainwashed against thier mother calling her a “Rasha” for opposing her own lunatic brother abusive ways, mainly for forcing the 14 YO daughter to marry. And you still have the audacity to twist it as if the mother is kidnapping…

    I sure hope you not what your post name is..

  19. Pupa,
    A kosher rabbi is not what defines marriage. However, if you going that direction, it is the עדות that are probably null and thus voids the marriage.

  20. Yeshiva Rabbi you are neither these children where running from fanatics and yes in mothers custody they whrre kid nosed in shabbos and driven to williamsberg on shabbos so save your nonsense throw the whole bunch in jail. They are frum
    Yidden but a dangerous cult

  21. 🙂
    FBI did a awesome job. kidnaping is illegal and I presume assur l-halacha.
    the compound in Guatemala should burn, and the leaders put in charem, but the members should be helped, they are jewish, our brothers and sisters.

  22. Its somewhat bizarre that anyone (other than some sicko trollers) are still posting in defense of these misogynists and child abusers. There are special places reserved in gehenonm for them, so hopefully they will claim their reserved spots soon.

  23. Even by dina malchso dina (the law of the land having effect) the men are innocent:

    1) It was the mother that kidnapped the children from the father and took them to NY.
    2) In the criminal charges, in the images in the above article, it wrongly alludes to “NEWS REPORTS” of Lev Tahor subjecting children to ‘physical, sexual and emotional abuse.’”
    That IS A LIE as that is an unsubstantiated rumour! AS THE WORDS ” NEWS REPORTS” clearly indicates, so there is the second ground upon which to drop charges and release the men.
    3) Further, the mother would have been implicated in the SO CALLED “abuse”, but there was NO ABUSE.
    4) The Canadian authorities could find NOTHING wrong. What Canada did was religious Jewish persecution also known as Antisemitism!
    DO NOT listen to the hordes of so called “Jewish” posts on the internet saying otherwise. They are wrong, absolutely wrong.
    Let the men out, they are INNOCENT!

  24. You are all BAALEI LOSHON HORA, there is no other way to explain what you are doing , the Chofetz chaim said that a Baal Loshon hora has no neemonus, so whatever anyone says about them is no to be believed.

  25. 2 questions:-
    1) Were these leaders extradited to USA on Shabbos? {if so, would be מידה כנגד מידה}
    2) Now that all the leaders are under arrest, possibly facing life in prison, is this Lev Tahor discontinuing? or who would wish to take over as leader after such backlash?

  26. LOTR92,

    Indeed our Rabbinic tradition interprets לֹ֖א תִּגְנֹֽב in the Ten Commandments as prohibiting kidnapping. See Rashi to Shemot 20:13.

    I am grateful that we have professionals in the FBI and the rest of the Justice Department, and also in the Mexican law enforcement authorities, who solved this case so quickly so that the alleged perpetrators may face justice.

  27. I knew this group years ago and although they were very machmir in kashrus and tznius, I didn’t think they were abusing the people. Since they’ve gone to Guatemala I believe they’ve really gone off the deep end and they really need psychological help to get out of their situation.

  28. Ready Now and IUseBrains,
    Are you a member of Lev Tahor? If not, what is your Halachic basis for what you are saying with the first hand knowledge of the actions of this group been verified multiple times in USA, Canada and in Central America? Please do not answer with your feelings or philosophy.

  29. IUseBrains, how old are you? You sound like a pre-teen.

    Why don’t you join the FBI? I’m sure you’re smarter than everyone here besides for “ready now”, you are both equally smart.

    I’m sure the the FBI can use someone as smart as “IUseBrains”.

  30. Lets not forget the story started that the mother didn’t want the girl at age 13 to get married. now she is 14 but she got married a year ago !
    All comments like readynow and iusebarins and similar, why don’t you go live with them and marry your kids at age 13 and get them abused sexually and mentally.
    And if the court gave the mother custody than its kidnapping !
    Btw the father had already a wife with 6 kids 15 years ago and they left him and now the second with additional 6 kids left him again, so you can see what a sick guy he is.

  31. Hey, I just watched a video on Youtube of the Lev Tahor group. They actually gave broad the media unlimited access and I was able to watch their day-to-day life. I left feeling utterly confused. Meir Rosner appeared like a completely normal man. His explanations were reasonable. His English was OK. The women, though dressed in black tents, were smiling and okay. As a matter of fact some gentile commenters claimed they don’t see what’s wrong with these people! Of course, they’re living an extreme lifestyle but they don’t force it upon anyone.
    Well, logic does dictate they are a cult, and their way of life does seem radical. Not a single rebbe – chassidische or litivish side with them. Still though, I was shocked to see how normal they are… and gotta say, they got quite a few gorgeous kinderlach there…
    Interesting fact: Meir Rosner is the son in law of Reb Yoilish Morgenstern Zatzal – Sharmasher Rav. The guy convinced his wife to move with him to Helbrans and ever since, the woman has cut off contact with his parents. Reb Yoilish himself was very very frum… so all doubts aside. Lev Tahor is a cult… and a very bad one.

  32. Well, Mr. Teller – the father of these children who were kidnapped – was the son-in-law of the Kashauer Rebbe zt”l who just passed away.

    He left his wife and 6 children, joined Lev Tahor and married Helbrans’ daughter who at the time was much, much younger, a mere 14 years old.

    I am not sure if this is true, but I hear that Teller’s daughter who was forced to get married against her mother’s will and is one of the two who are the subjects here, is pregnant.

    Meanwhile Teller has been missing for several weeks and concern for him has been growing.

  33. I’ve commented in a previous article about a relative of mine who’s heavily involved in the case. I’ve learnt also that he himself, my relative, has been in talks with the FBI/Police and has personally give out the names of Rosner and Helbrans. Not that the FBI needed him to to inform them, but he made sure the right guys get arrested. He was also in talks with the Helbrans Hanhalah – Meir Rosner, Uriel Goldman and Nachman Helbrans. He’d warned them and threatened them to leave the children alone; but they refused. At that point there was no choice left and they had to involve the FBI.
    For those who are interested, a group of chassidim will be heading to Guatemala within the next few weeks and check out the Helbrans situation from close up. Hopefully, it’ll bring better results.

  34. realjew, I hope the group is going because they want to uncover the truth and not to whitewash them. Cults are very insidious and the brainwashed members know what they aren’t allowed to say otherwise there will be repercussions for them so I hope this group of Chassidim are smart because if they are naive they won’t uncover anything.

  35. NO ONE KNOWS FOR SURE THAT ALL THE STORIES ARE TRUE, EVERYONE IS JUST REPEATING THAT WHICH THE NEXT JERK IS SAYING LIKE A PARROT!

    HEY “TIPISH”, WHAT HAPPENED TO YOU?

  36. THANK YOU YWN, FOR REVEALING ALL THESE “TIPSHIM”, YES “TIPISH”, I KNOW THAT YOU ARE ONE OF THE MODERATORS, THATS HOW YOU THINK YOU KNOW EVERYTHING ABOUT ME, BUT THERE IS ALOT MORE THAT YOU DONT KNOW, AND BY THE WAY I AM A VERY GOOD SINGER!!!

  37. realjew, do you think they’ll give malkus in front of the media? Show them kids locked up? Show then how they abuse members physically and emotionally?! Cults are devious groups and the members know what they should show and say to the world at large.

    Do you know that there are people you know walking around with smiles on their faces and you’d never guess they are emotionally, mentally and sometimes physically abused and/or neglected? They don’t go around advertising their private lives to the world and neither do cult members.

    Many abusers force the people they abuse to cut off from extended family. This is also the sign of most cults, their members cut off from close extended family. Just as they do in Lev Tahor.