Washington — Several rabbis reportedly were arrested as part of a public corruption and international money-laundering investigation in New Jersey.
According to media reports, among the 30 arrests made Thursday morning by the FBI were the mayors of Hoboken and Secaucus, the deputy mayor of Jersey City and a New Jersey state assemblyman.
The Asbury Park Press reported that the rabbis arrested were religious leaders from Syrian Jewish neighborhoods in Deal and Elberon, as well as Brooklyn, N.Y. The newspaper said the investigation involved the Deal Yeshiva, a Sephardic institution that has a boys’ division in Ocean Township and a girls’ school in West Long Branch.
According to The Star-Ledger, the arrests are the result of a two-year probe by the FBI and the Internal Revenue Service that began with an investigation of money transfers by members of the Syrian enclaves in Deal and Brooklyn, two tight-knit and wealthy communities.
The Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office and the IRS removed at least three boxes from the Deal Yeshiva as students were arriving at school, The Star-Ledger reported, as well as several boxes from the Ohel Yaacob synagogue in the same town.
Law enforcement authorities are expected to announce more information about the arrests at a news conference Thursday afternoon.