More arrests coming in Lakewood

By Mark Di Ionno/

The arrests of a Lakewood rabbi, his wife, and several others Monday is just the “first wave” of a federal and state crackdown on public assistance fraud in the Orthodox community.

The second wave is planned for dawn Wednesday when authorities are scheduled to move in on three other couples, according to law enforcement sources. After that, warrants will be served to an unknown number of others by Friday and the investigation is continuing. And growing.

“There are more (arrests) coming,” the source said, who was not authorized to speak on the record. “This is far from over.”

It may be just the beginning. There is a new scrutiny on Lakewood as the town continues to make headlines. Money-laundering indictments, a school system in financial freefall, unabated development. And now welfare fraud indictments.

The charges against those scheduled to be arrested tomorrow and later in the week, will be similar to those filed Monday. The indictments say they systematically schemed to steal hundreds of thousands of dollars in federal benefits designed for the poor, some during a period as long as five years.

“We are sending a message to this community that the party is over,” the law enforcement source said.


(Visited 87 times, 1 visits today)
About Cholo Brooks 15648 Articles
Joel Cholo Brooks is a Liberian journalist who previously worked for several international news outlets including the BBC African Service. He is the CEO of the Global News Network which publishes two local weeklies, The Star and The GNN-Liberia Newspapers. He is a member of the Press Union Of Liberia (PUL) since 1986, and several other international organizations of journalists, and is currently contributing to the South Africa Broadcasting Corporation as Liberia Correspondent.