Friday, September 09, 2016
Two Charged With Conspiracy In Plan To Coerce Jewish Religious Divorce
On Wednesday, the U.S. Department of Justice announced the filing of a criminal complaint against an Israeli rabbi connected with the Satmar Hasidic community in Kiryas Joel, New York, as well as against a 25-year old Kiryas Joel resident, charging them with conspiracy to commit kidnapping and conspiracy to commit murder for hire. The plot, revealed to authorities by a confidential source ("CS") who was contacted by the two, started as a planned kidnapping in order to coerce the victim into granting a Jewish religious divorce ("get") to the intended victim's wife. The plot developed into one of possible murder of the victim. The criminal complaint (full text) in United States v. Liebowitz, (SD NY, filed 9/6/2016), charges Rabbi Aharon Goldberg and Shimen Liebowitz with advancing over $57,000 to have the plan carried out. JTA reports on the case.