The FBI made 15 arrests in Williamsburg, Kiryas Joel and Monsey Thursday involving an apparent long-term mortgage and welfare fraud case. Most of the arrestees are members of an extended family of Satmar Chasidim.
From The Journal:
An extended family and several business associates were indicted on federal charges Thursday in a rich man, poor man mortgage and welfare fraud scheme that authorities say netted more than $20 million.
Federal agents arrested 13 people in pre-dawn raids in the ultra-Orthodox Jewish communities of Williamsburg in Brooklyn, Kiryas Joel and Monroe in Orange County, and Manhattan. Those charged include a Monsey resident who allegedly provided faulty real estate appraisals as part of the fraud. Two more people indicted are expected to surrender Thursday, authorities said.
“The defendants involved alternately played the parts of prince and pauper depending on which scam was being perpetrated,” U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said at a news conference in White Plains. “There’s a lot of fraud here and shell games… The fraud was complex and they were fairly organized.”