Hasidic Man Arrested At JFK and Charged In Satmar Kidnapping Plot

Federal prosecutors have charged a third Hasidic man in an alleged conspiracy to kidnap a man who had refused to release his wife from marriage.

Shimen Liebowitz, 25, and Aharon Goldberg, 55, were arrested September 6 and charged with planning to pay a private investigator $55,000 to kidnap and then murder the man.

Federal Bureau of Investigation agents arrested their alleged co-conspirator, Binyamin Gottlieb, at JFK Airport on September 11 as he prepared to board a flight to Ukraine.

Gottlieb purchased the ticket on September 9, one day after the arrests of his alleged co-conspirators was made public.

Gottlieb has been charged with conspiracy to commit kidnapping. Unlike Liebwotz and Goldberg, Gottlieb was not charged with conspiracy to commit murder for hire.

According to court papers, Gottlieb waived his Miranda rights upon his arrest and gave a sworn statement saying that he had attended a meeting between at which the alleged kidnapping plot was discussed, and that he had delivered $25,000 to the private investigator.

In charging documents filed today in federal court in the Southern District of New York, prosecutors claimed that Gottleib introduced Liebowitz and Goldberg to the private investigator.

The private investigator, unbeknownst to the alleged conspirators, began cooperating with the FBI.

The charging documents describe a July meeting between the private investigator, Gottlieb, Liebowtz, and Goldberg, at which the kidnapping was discussed.

At one point in the conversation, the investigator asked the men who would pay. “The Jewish community,” one of the men said.

“There is money,” Gottleib said.

4 replies
  1. Joe Levin
    Joe Levin says:

    התפתחות בפרשת הסחיטה: אדם שלישי נעצר היום (שני) בארצות הברית בפרשת ניסיון החטיפה של סרבן גט. מדובר בנימין גוטליב, שנעצר על ידי חוקרי ה-FBI בשדה התעופה בניו יורק בעת שניסה להימלט מהמדינה. גוטליב הינו מזכירו האישי של הרב משה אליעזר בלום הידוע בשם ה”סיקסא רב” ועומד בראשות בית דין שככל הנראה טיפל בעניין הגט. “.

    כפי שפורסם ב’כיכר השבת’, לפני מספר ימים נעצר על ידי ה-FBI העסקן החרדי-ישראלי אהרון גולדברג, שחי על קו ניו יורק בני ברק. הוא נחשד כי תכנן מבצע סחיטה הכולל חטיפה ואף ניסיון לרצח של סרבן גט זאת תמורת סכום של 55 אלף דולרים. גולדברג בן ה-55, עסקן מוכר בישראל המשתייך לחסידות ידועה בעיר בית שמש, נעצר יחד עם שמעון ליבוביץ, בן 25, כאשר הם מואשמים בקשירת קשר לחטיפת אדם ורציחתו.

    על פי החשד, שלושת החשודים תכננו לחטוף את הבעל כדי לאיים עליו שיש בפניו שתי אפשרויות, האחת לתת גט לאשתו ולשחררה והשנייה שהם ירצחו אותו כדי להפוך את אשתו לאלמנה ובכך להתירה לפי ההלכה. על פי החשד, בתחילת יולי גייסו השניים, על פי החשד, אדם שבדיעבד התברר ששימש כסוכן סמוי שהקליט את תוכניותיהם על מנת שיבצעו את הפעולה של הוצאת הגט בכפייה.

    השלשה תכננו, כך לפי החשד, לפתות את הבעל המעגן להגיע למדינת פנסילבניה על מנת לענות אותו עד שייתן את הגט המיוחל. החשודים דנו אף באפשרות לחטוף את האיש כאשר יגיע לקראת ראש השנה להתפלל באומן שבאוקראינה. החשודים מסרו לסוכן סכום ראשוני של 25 אלף דולר במזומן כשלאחר מכן במהלך הפגישה השנייה שנערכה ב-9 באוגוסט הם נפגשו שוב לתיכנון נוסף של פרטי החטיפה.

    ב-12 באוגוסט העלו, על פי החשד, גולדברג ושותפו הילוך נוסף כאשר במהלך הפגישה תכננו אף לרצוח את הבעל המעגן. בהמשך העבירו עוד סכומים של 20 אלף דולר ו-12 אלף דולר לסירוגין. על פי הדיווחים החשודים מואשמים בקשירת קשר לביצוע חטיפה ותיכנון רצח שעונשם גבוה במיוחד.

  2. Joe Levin
    Joe Levin says:

    NEW YORK – An Israeli citizen who serves as a divorce mediator within an Orthodox Jewish community in New York has been arrested and charged with conspiring to kidnap a man who had refused to grant his wife a religious divorce.

    Binyamin Gottlieb, 33, was arrested by the FBI at John F. Kennedy International Airport on Sunday as he prepared to board a Ukraine-bound flight, four days after charges were announced against an Israeli rabbi and another man over the same alleged scheme.

    Those men, Aharon Goldberg, an Israel-based rabbi, and Shimen Liebowitz, a member of Satmar Hasidic community in Kiryas Joel, New York, were accused of conspiring to kidnap and murder the intended victim.

    Prosecutors said a source, an Orthodox Jew who provided investigative services, contacted the Federal Bureau of Investigation in July after being recruited by Goldberg and Liebowitz to kidnap a Brooklyn man.

    The kidnapping was intended to have the man issue a “get,” a document that would grant his wife a religious divorce, prosecutors said.

    A criminal complaint said that at a July meeting, they discussed options including a suggestion by Gottlieb to kidnap the man in Ukraine, where he planned to go for the Jewish New Year in late September, and then flying him to Israel.

    Authorities said that after that meeting, Gottlieb, an Israeli citizen who lives in Monsey, New York, gave $25,000 in cash to the source as payment.

    In later meetings, Goldberg and Liebowitz discussed their desire to kidnap and kill the Brooklyn man, the complaint said.

    Jacob Laufer, Gottlieb’s lawyer, argued in court on Monday that his client, a self-employed divorce mediator, was at the “periphery” of the case, and should be released on a $2.5 million bond.

    But Assistant US Attorney Scott Hartman said Gottlieb was “intimately involved,” and that evidence suggested he may have engaged in similar plots involving forced divorces.

    “This wasn’t Mr. Gottlieb’s first rodeo,” he said.

    At a hearing on Monday, US Magistrate James Cott denied Gottlieb bail, calling him a flight risk and saying he was “very concerned” by the kidnapping allegations.

    Laufer declined to comment after the hearing. Susan Necheles, a lawyer for Liebowitz, said the informant “is a person who is totally incredible.” A lawyer for Goldberg did not respond to a request for comment.

  3. Joe Levin
    Joe Levin says:

    פרשת ניסיון חטיפת סרבן הגט בארה”ב, שנחשפה ב”כיכר השבת”, בה מעורב לכאורה העסקן החרדי מישראל אהרון גולדברג שנעצר בשבוע שעבר על ידי ה-FBI בחשד לנסיון חטיפה וקשירת קשר לביצוע פשע, מסתעפת.

    העצור השלישי בפרשה, בני גוטליב, שנעצר שלשום בנמל התעופה jfk בדרכו לאוקראינה, הודה בעבירות המיוחסות לו.

    גוטליב שהינו מזכירו של הרב בלום המכונה ה’סיסקא רב’ ועוסק רבות בענייני גיטין בעיר מונסי רכש את כרטיס הטיסה ב-9 לספטמבר לאחר שהחשודים האחרים אהרון גולדברג בן ה-55 תושב ישראל ושמעון ליבוביץ בן ה-25 נעצרו בפרשה.

    גוטליב מואשם אך ורק בניסיון חטיפה ולא בנסיון לביצוע רצח ועל פי מסמכי בית המשפט ויתר על הזכות לפגוש עורך דין ונתן מיד עם מעצרו הצהרה בשבועה בה הודה במיוחס לו.

    על פי החשד גוטליב היה זה שתיווך לשניים, גולדברג וליבוביץ, את החוקר הפרטי שלאחר מכן פנה עם ההקלטות ללא ידיעת החשודים לשלטונות הפדרליים מה שגרם לפתיחת החקירה.

    בפגישה הציג גוטליב לשניים את החוקר הפרטי שבשלב מסויים ביקש לברר מהיכן הכסף והם ענו לו כי הקהילה היהודית תממן את ההוצאות.

  4. Joe Levin
    Joe Levin says:

    Monsey man was arrested while trying to flee the country and was charged in a kidnap and murder plot in an Orthodox Jewish community, officials said.

    Binyamin Gottlieb, 33, has been accused in a scheme to force a man to divorce his wife under Jewish law, officials said.

    Gottlieb was taken into custody Sunday at JFK Airport as he prepared to board a plane bound for Ukraine, five days after his co-conspirators were arrested, an FBI agent said in court documents. Gottlieb appeared in Manhattan federal court on Monday to face a charge of conspiracy to commit kidnapping.

    Gottlieb is due back in court on Sept. 26. He is being held without bail because he is a flight risk, prosecutors said in court documents. His lawyers, Jacob Laufer and Shulamis Peltz of Jacob Laufer P.C., could not immediately be reached for commen

    Gottlieb and two other men have been accused of orchestrating a plot to kidnap and murder a man so his wife could be divorced under Jewish law, officials said. After his arrest, Gottlieb admitted in a videotaped statement to authorities that he met with the other defendants and provided about $25,000 to a man he believed would help carry out the kidnapping, according to court documents.

    Rabbi Aharon Goldberg and Shimen Liebowitz were arrested on Sept. 6 in Central Valley during a meeting to plan what U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara called a “chilling plot.”

    Officials said Gottlieb schemed with Goldberg, a 55-year-old resident of Bnei Brak, Israel, who is a prominent rabbi in Kiryas Joel in Orange County, and the 25-year-old Liebowitz, a member of the Satmar community in Kiryas Joel, to kidnap a Brooklyn man who refused to give his wife a “get,” a document she must obtain to get a divorce under Jewish law.

    In July, Gottlieb met in Rockland County with Goldberg and Liebowitz, as well as a confidential source who blew the whistle on the defendants, to plan the kidnapping, officials said. Gottlieb introduced Goldberg and Liebowitz to the source, officials said.

    The FBI agent said in court documents that he believes Gottlieb knew of prior plots to kidnap and force “gets.”

    During the meeting, which the source recorded, one of Gottlieb’s co-conspirators said, “Yes, I’m not scared of this, I have gone through these things before … and Benyamin [sic] can vouch for that,” according to court documents.

    The crew discussed the possibility of kidnapping the man in Ukraine, where he takes an annual trip and where Gottlieb said the “get” would be obtained by force, according to court documents.

    After the July meeting, the source had additional conversations, which he recorded, with Goldberg and Liebowitz in which they discussed kidnapping and killing the intended victim, according to court documents. About two weeks after the meeting in Rockland County, Gottlieb gave about $25,000 to the source as compensation for the planned kidnapping, according to court documents.

    On Sept. 6, Goldberg and Liebowitz were arrested and charged with conspiring to commit kidnapping and murder. On Sept. 9, Gottlieb bought a plane ticket for Ukraine, and was set to depart from JFK Airport around 10 p.m. Sunday, according to court documents. The FBI arrested him at the airport shortly after 8 p.m.

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