On Monday, June 26, 2017, Shimon and Yocheved Nussbaum were arrested in Lakewood, New Jersey, about a public-assistance fraud scheme. Their apprehension was part of a bigger operation, led by New Jersey and federal authorities, which led to six more arrests that day.
Those arrested on Tuesday are accused of under-reporting their incomes during a period of many years to amass public-assistance benefits they were not eligible to get.
On Monday, a renowned rabbi, Zalmen Sorotzkin, who operates the synagogue Congregation Lutzk together with businesses associated with the synagogue, was detained. Included in Monday’s arrest is Tzipporah, who is Sorotzkin’s wife; Sorotzkin’s sister-in-law and brother Rachel Sorotzkin and Mordechai; Shimon and Yocheved Nussbaum; and Mordechai and Jocheved Breskin. The Nussbaums and Mordechai and Rachel Sorotzkin are facing federal charges in United States District Court.
Others are the Breskins, who are charged with second-degree theft by fraud for supposedly amassing $585,662 in public assistance benefits they were not eligible to, the prosecutor stated in the statement.
Zalmen and Tzipporah Sorotzkin are facing similar charges for allegedly amassing $338, 642 in Supplemental Security Income, food stamps, Medicaid and Section 8 housing subsidies, as stated by the prosecutor’s office.
Rachel Sorotzkin and the Nussbaums and Mordechai face separate counts of plotting to steal government funds, as shown by a statement from the office of the United States Attorney. Each of the conspiracy counts carries a maximum possible penalty of up to 5 years behind bars and a fine of $250,000, or twice the gain from the crime.
The investigation into the alleged offense started public-assistance around 3 years back and currently, makes up various state and federal law enforcement agencies. The Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office, the Social Security Administration, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the New Jersey Treasury Department and the state comptroller’s Medicaid Fraud Division all have been investigating.