February 26, 2024
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February 26, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

FBI Nabs “Agunah” Gang

(combined services)

New York—Two rabbis, one of them a rosh yeshiva in Monsey, and the other, from Brooklyn, an agunah advocate featured in the film, Unchained Women, were busted by an FBI sting when they hired thugs to beat up and torture what today is known as “recalcitrant” husbands. The two charged desperate agunot who could not get their gets between tens and hundreds of thousands of dollars to kidnap and beat their husbands into signing and giving them their gets.

Rabbis Mendel Epstein and Martin Wolmark were arrested on kidnapping conspiracy charges at their homes last Wednesday night. Two other Orthodox Jewish men were taken into custody about the same time at a warehouse in Middlesex County where the beating of the husband was to occur.

According to a report in the New York Daily News, the FBI said undercover agents posing as a married woman and her brother contacted Wolmark in August to say they were desperate for a get and willing to pay a large sum of money. Wolmark referred them to Epstein. The pair then recorded a meeting at Epstein’s house in Ocean County, where he talked about kidnapping, beating and torturing the husbands who refused to grant gets.

The paper reported that Epstein said he could force compliance through the use of ‘tough guys’ who use cattle prods, karate, handcuffs and place plastic bags over the heads of the husband. “I guarantee you that if you’re in the van, you’d give a get to your wife,” Epstein told the agent posing as the wife’s brother. “You probably love your wife, but you’d give a get when they finish with you. Hopefully, there won’t even be a mark on him,” Epstein said, explaining that that way the police will be less likely to get involved.

The News reported that Epstein allegedly admitted to committing a kidnapping every year to 18 months. He said the abduction would cost $10,000 to pay for the rabbis on the rabbinical court to approve the kidnapping and an additional $50,000 to $60,000 to pay for the “tough guys” who would deliver a beating to obtain the get. Epstein and Wolmark convened a Beit Din in Rockland County on Oct. 2 to authorize the use of violence to obtain a get. All four defendants attended were at the Beit Din. The agents then sent Epstein a $20,000 wire transfer as an initial payment. The abduction and beating were to take place on October 8, at which time an additional payment of $30,000 was to be made, the FBI said.

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