24 Jul 2009

US mayors, rabbis arrested in corruption probe

4:10 pm on 24 July 2009

Three New Jersey mayors and several rabbis have been arrested in a federal investigation into political corruption that also uncovered human kidney sales and money laundering from Brooklyn to Israel.

The United States Attorney's office in Newark, New Jersey said on Thursday the case exposed "a corrupt network of public officials who were all too willing to take cash in exchange for promised official action."

The Internal Revenue Service said an undercover witness helped infiltrate a money-laundering network by rabbis operating between Brooklyn, Deal, New Jersey and Israel.

Some $US3 million was laundered through charitable nonprofit entities controlled by rabbis in New York and New Jersey for the undercover witness between June 2007 to July 2009.

Levy Izhak Rosenbaum, of Brooklyn, is also accused of conspiring to broker the sale of a human kidney for a transplant, at a cost of $US160,000 to the transplant recipient.

According to the complaint, the accused said he had been brokering the sale of kidneys for 10 years.