[PHOTOS & UPDATES BELOW] Federal authorities arrested dozens of people today in New York and New Jersey as part of a money laundering and corruption sweep. Those arrested included several New Jersey public officials and “rabbis”, according to an Associated Press report.
The FBI was seen at locations in Flatbush, Boro Park, and Williamsburg.
According to the NJ Star ledger, the suspects are scheduled to appear in U.S. District Court in Newark later today. Those arrested include Hoboken Mayor Peter Cammarano, Secaucus Mayor Denis Elwell and Jersey City Deputy Mayor Leona Baldini, and Jersey City Council President Mario Vega.
Nearly 20 people, including Cammarno, Elwell, and Vega, have already been lead into the FBI building in Newark to face the charges.
UPDATE 9:30AM EST: The arrests are the result of a two year probe that began with an investigation of money transfers by members of the Syrian Jewish Communities in Deal, NJ and Brooklyn. According to the NJ Star Ledger, those arrested this morning include “key religious leaders in the tight-night, wealthy communities”.
The federal investigation then expanded into a public corruption probe.
No indictments have been released, though court appearances are expected later today in U.S. District Court in Newark. Nearly 20 people have already been led into the FBI building in Newark as the sweep continues to unfold in two states.
Agents also raided religious institutions to make arrests and collect information.
The Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office and the IRS took out at least three boxes from the Deal Yeshiva, as students were arriving at the school. The Deal Yeshiva, on the corner of Brighton and Norwood avenues, is a prestigious religious school in town.
Authorities also searched the Ohel Yaacob synagogue on Ocean Avenue in Deal and removed several boxes.
UPDATE 10:10AM EST: The FBI has just arrested two individuals at South 8th Street and Driggs Avenue in Williamsburg.
UPDATE 10:15AM EST: Another person just arrested from a 13th Avenue location.
UPDATE 10:27AM EST: Federal Agents are now on Lee Avenue & Wilson Avenue in Williamsburg; a total of 4 people have been arrested in Williamsburg this morning so far.
UPDATE 10:30AM EST: UNCONFIRMED: FBI Agents were in the Union City Jewish Community earlier Thursday morning. It is unknown if any arrests were made.
UPDATE 10:48AM EST: A YWN reporter in Williamsburg tells us that the FBI is currently carrying out dozens of boxes from a Williamsburg office on Lee Avenue near Wilson. The NYPD has been called for crowd control.
UPDATE 11:18PM EST: There will be a public gathering to recite Tehillim on behalf of those arrested – including the Rabbonim from Deal who were taken into custody – at Shaarei Zion on Ocean Parkway and Avenue T at 12:00PM Thursday (today).
YWN PHOTO LINK: Click HERE for YWN photos by Shimon Gifter
(Source: NJ Star Ledger / Associated Press / NBC New York / WCBSTV / FBI)