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14 Frum Jews Arrested for Medicaid Fraud

The FBI teamed up with New Jersey and Federal persecutors to arrest 14 Orthodox-Jewish members of the Lakewood community for under-reporting their income in order to receive medicaid.

Ocean County Prosecutor Joseph D. Coronato and State Comptroller Philip James Degnan announced today additional ongoing arrests within Lakewood, New Jersey by the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office for defrauding Medicaid and government assistance programs.

The investigations initiated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Red Bank Office and the New Jersey Office of the State Comptroller – Medicaid Fraud Division, were expanded to include the US Social Security Administration, New Jersey Department of the Treasury – Office of Criminal Investigation, and the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office – Economic Crimes Unit.

The arrests made just before midnight (6/27), include charges of individuals collecting illegal benefits in the six-figure range.

OCPO detectives/prosecutors, along with its collaborating agencies, continued Monday’s operation by arresting the following three married couples.

Hearings are scheduled for 1:30 pm today (6/28) at Ocean County Superior Court.

Yitzchock, 33, and Sora, 39, Kanarek of Brisk Lane – charged with 2nd Degree Theft by Deception for wrongfully collecting approximately $339,002.56 in Medicaid, SNAP, HUD, and SSI benefits between January 2009 and July 2014.

Chaim, 40, and Liatt, 39, Ehrman of Twin Oaks Drive – charged with 2nd Degree Theft by Deception for wrongfully collecting approximately $185,692.22 in Medicaid, SNAP, HEAP, and Sandy benefits between January 2011 and December 2015

William, 45, and Faigy, 40, Friedman of Leigh Drive – charged with 2nd Degree Theft by Deception for wrongfully collecting approximately $149,842.28 in Medicaid, SNAP, HEAP, and HUDbenefits between January 2011 and December 2015.

The nature of the criminal events investigated and basic charges allege that the defendants misrepresented their income, declaring amounts that were low enough to receive the program’s benefits, when in fact their income was too high to qualify.

The investigations revealed that the defendants’ received income from numerous sources that they failed to disclose on required program applications.  As a result, they received benefits that they were not entitled to under these programs for themselves or family members.

The Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office is prosecuting the above arrested individuals at the state level.

The investigation by all the participating agencies is continuing and additional arrests are forthcoming.

OCPO and our prosecuting partners may add additional relevant charges (ie. Tax charges) as each case proceeds through the legal process.

The media and the public are reminded that criminal charges are only allegations and that each defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in court.


  • 1. yossel wrote:

    they are targeting Jewish areas just like car tickets this is not about rite and wrong its about survival america no mater how much one works its not enough the public should demonstrate

  • 3. Article is missing something wrote:

    Some of these individuals made more than 1 million a year.
    It is important to point this out. We r not talking about families who r really struggling to survive and make stick to fall into the bracket.

  • 4. heshy wrote:

    criminals should not be protected. These people are stealing from all of us. Now crown heights and all orthodox communities will be investigated.

    • 5. A fellow Jew wrote:

      When one passes a judgement he is in fact condemning himself. Be careful and watch your tongue! (watch what you wish for) if you are caught doing something illegal you can pass judgement on yourself, but when a fellow yid is going through a tough time YOU should feel bad NOT be judgemental!!!

  • 6. Insurance is too high wrote:

    The problem is the gap in price from being on medicaid and going to regular insurance…it can cost you over 20 thousand a year for insurance with worse service then medicaid. If there was a more affordable solution, less people would fight to leave medicaid.

  • 7. Yiddish-lover wrote:

    One of the couples arrests have $38,000,000.00 in the bank. As a divorced father, I struggle to pay my bills and these guys are double-dipping?


  • 9. 613 wrote:

    Alot of them actually don’t have money. Don’t assume anything. Maybe there was a couple that did, but most don’t. And the news media that’s reporting it is extremely biased. They have this stuff plastered across their website. They have much much more coverage on this story than a murder story!!! Not justifying anything, but let’s be Dan L’chaf Zechus.

  • 10. Grateful we left wrote:

    Wonder how many people in Brooklyn are doing the same thing. Struggling doesn’t give to the right to steal. Anyone who doesn’t pay taxes on their entire salary is stealing. Period.
    Out of town and getting paid under the table don’t exist. People just work.

  • 12. busy bubby wrote:

    It may be that in this political climate, with all of the proposed cuts that are supposed to occur under this new administration, that more people will be under scrutiny. We can’t say that anyone is innocent or guilty because we don’t really know, and as far as it being anti-Semitism, there always does exist that possibility, but because of all of the political rhetoric on who deserves public help and who doesn’t, we can probably expect more crack downs on suspected fraud. I hope that those people are found innocent but I naively wish that this could be a wake-up call for our community.

  • 14. Out of town and getting paid under the table don’t exist. People just work. wrote:



  • 15. Y Mochkin wrote:

    Are people pay the most Texas So like all the other people benefit from public schools free food stamps food banks section 8 Medicaid etc they have swimming pool exercise equipment rooms public libraries and a host of more entertainment the government pays for and is designed not for people like us everybody thinks we have money guess what we don’t we can’t buy houses for our children how can they for the rent we have to pay for summer camp we have to pay for bar mitzvah weddings even funerals? Everybody knows in today’s world it’s almost impossible to pay your bills for most people

  • 16. 613 wrote:

    This was on yeshiva world and I don’t know if this should be publicized without permission:
    (Written By Judi Franco – NJ 101.5 / Republished with permission)

    Alleged food stamp And Medicaid fraud by Orthodox Jews? Not that big of a story, honestly.

    Well, it is to a lot of people, but only cause they’re Jews. And religious ones. From Lakewood ( which always makes for an interesting story).

    I mean, how do these otherwise devout, decent people succumb to temptation like this? The answer is: We’ve made it simple.

    It needs to be said that there is no defense for acts of fraud. If found guilty, these people have committed crimes and should be punished for them. But Food stamp and Medicaid fraud has a long and rich history in this country, pretty much since we started giving stuff away. In the ’40s, when the food stamp program was first initiated to pull folks out of the Great Depression, the stealing began right away.

    Though now these programs use debit cards to make it harder to treat benefits as commodities, the system is ripe for picking. That’s why we have to stop giving stuff away. Because some people are gonna be tempted to abuse the system, Jewish or otherwise.

    But let’s put this into perspective: Lets say there are 50 arrests. Or even 100 arrests. There are still 80,000-plus Orthodox Jews in Lake (the real population size of Lakewood, according to the township, is 125,000). Compare that to arrests in any other city or community. Jews, on the criminal totem pole, are still pretty low.

    In terms of Medicaid fraud, here are some numbers from the state comptroller’s office: In 2015, $771 million in fraudulent claims were avoided by proactive antifraud efforts in New Jersey. So, apparently are a lot of people from a lot of different backgrounds are abusing this system — including, doctors, hospitals, rich and poor, black and white, Jews, Muslims, Christians and atheists. $771 MILLION! I think that warrants more hysteria than this tiny segment of the New Jersey populace does. And requires us to think about whether it’s time to stop giving away money all together!

    But this little slice of Lakewood will always mystify and anger people, whether it commits crimes or not. Cause let’s face it: Medicaid fraud is rampant in this state and always has been. It’s just much more interesting to people when Jews do it.


    • 17. busy bubby wrote:

      I am not sure that the outside world will view a handful of Jews who got caught with their hand in the kitty as a small minority in an otherwise upstanding community. This is especially true when some of the arrested men hold the title “rabbi” and therefore are influential over their communities. And what about our view of ourselves as Jews? Do we really expect the tax payers to foot the bill for our religious requirements and lifestyle? I have seen numerous posts on other sites, including the one from Y Mochin above, that seems to imply that the government owes us something for being frum and therefore being unable to enjoy what is provided to other citizens such as public schools, libraries, and swimming pools (although frum people have found ways to make use of all three).

  • 18. Moishe pipek wrote:

    A famous Lubavitcher Chosid said “Oibt du ganvest hostu,Oibt du ganvest nish hostu nish”

    • 19. Av wrote:

      Maybe in Russia where it was a literal fight for survival against an oppressive outwardly antisemitic regime. But in America it is just a chillul Hashem.

  • 20. josh wrote:

    Are the people writing these comments so clueless ???

    We are living in a country that prides itself as the chief implementer of innocent until proven guilty ??

    How dare you rush to judgement ???

    Do you need to be accused falsely in order to appreciate the truth of “innocent until proven guilty” ???

  • 21. Anonymous wrote:

    To Mr. Mochkin- so if a family can’t afford the fancy Bar and Bat mitzvas,weddings,etc-don’t do it! Live within your means! If others don’t like it too bad for them!

  • 22. Baya Chait wrote:

    These people have not comitted any crime. we are allowed to earn money and be given health benefits. tell the FBI to keep out of our business and go nose into goyim trash.

    • 23. Amused Observer wrote:

      You’re not allowed to fraudulently misrepresent your income in order to qualify for these particular benefits, as these 14 have been accused.

      If you have evidence exonerating them (“These people have not committed any crime . . .”), what are you doing posting on this site? Why are you letting these innocents suffer? Get to the FBI immediately and present that evidence so that the charges are dropped!

  • 24. UNbelievable wrote:

    How ANYone defends outright THEFT boggles the mind. These greedy stealers did not NEED the money!! Although that has been used as an excuse from some commenters. It IS appalling when any person considered “holy”, as a Rabbi is, STEALS. Very shocking & disappointing. Hope they ALL go to jail.


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