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Rabbi And Others Arrested For Plotting To Kidnap And Torture Men

Whatever happened to going through the process of divorce? Sure, it can take a long time when the other party won’t consent, but it’s better than kidnapping and torturing people.

According to The NY Daily News

A Brooklyn rabbi and three others were busted by the FBI for plotting to kidnap Jewish husbands then torture and zap them into giving their wives a divorce, authorities charged Thursday.

Rabbi Mendel Epstein, 68, would charge desperate wives up to $100,000 to “convince” their hubbies to consent to a divorce, or “get” in Jewish law, sources and court papers said.

“We prefer not to leave a mark,” the racketeering rabbi allegedly said in a recorded conversation with an undercover agent in which he described his method. “We take an electric cattle prod. …You put it in certain parts of his body, and in one minute the guy will know.”

Epstein — who was arrested Wednesday night along with Rabbi Martin Wolmark, 55, Ariel Potash, 40, and a muscle man only known as “Yaakov” — was recorded saying they pull the kidnapping plot every year to a year and a half, court papers show.

All four are set to appear Thursday afternoon in a federal court in Trenton.

Epstein’s Kensington home was raided Wednesday night together with other locations in Rockland County and New Jersey, sources said.

Epstein is also a known lawyer and advocate for women’s right to divorce who has said in prior interviews that he has handled some 2,000 divorce cases.

Around the time the federal investigation started in August, he released a four-point “Bill of Rights of a Jewish Wife.”

Damn shame.

Authorities say the rabbi was approached this summer by an undercover federal agent posing as an Orthodox woman asking for help in getting a divorce.

She was told it would cost $10,000 for the rabbinical court to approve the forced “get” plus another $60,000 to pay for the “tough guys,” according to the criminal complaint.

Epstein assured her that if victims go to the police, cops typically say, “’Uh, is there some crazy Jewish affair here.’ They don’t get involved.”

He said his son and other toughs use “karate skills on the victims to facilitate the divorces,” as well as handcuffs and placing of plastic bags over the husbands’ heads, court documents said.

Last week, a Beit Din, or rabbinical court, in Monsey, Rockland County, authorized the use of violence, and Epstein was told the husband would be lured to a warehouse in New Jersey this week. He then allegedly scoped out the location with Yaakov.

Wolmark is accused of presiding over the Beit Din proceedings, signing off on the violent ploy after the undercover explained why she needed the divorce. Potash was to act as her agent to receive the “get” from the purported husband.

At the end of the hearing, Epstein instructed the woman that during the kidnapping, “You should be out in public, among a lot of people,” the court papers said.





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