This is the shocking moment an Orthodox Jewish rabbi known as the ‘Prodfather’ was caught on camera offering to torture husbands into divorcing their wives as part of an FBI sting.
Rabbi Mendel Epstein, 70, from New York, was captured on video offering to kidnap, beat and torture men to force them to signing divorce papers, charging up to $60,000 for the service.
Discussing his methods, Epstein says the men will be kicked, punched or knocked unconscious with a baseball bat before being hooded and handcuffed.
If the man is still not compliant, Epstein says: ‘Take an electric cattle prod. If it can get a bull that weighs five tons to move, you put it in certain parts of his body and in one minute the guy will know.’
The shocking confession was revealed in FBI tapes obtained by Crime Watch Daily and aired on Wednesday night.
Epstein was jailed for ten years back in December 2015 after being convicted of conspiracy to commit kidnapping, along with two other rabbis including Martin Wolmark, 57.
While he initially tried to escape jail by saying his activities were protected under the First Amendment right to religious freedom, he eventually accepted responsibility for his actions, saying he was ’embarrassed and ashamed’.
Epstein, an authority on Jewish matrimonial law, was known in the community for his ability to get women divorce papers through unscrupulous means, the FBI said.
In the Orthodox community, a woman cannot divorce her husband unless he signs a ‘get’, releasing her from the marriage and allowing her to choose another husband.
Epstein offered his services to families whose relatives wanted a divorce, but were unable to obtain one by legitimate means.
In the tapes, Epstein can be heard discussing the matter over the phone with two agents posing as brother and sister trying to secure a divorce for the woman’s husband.
One agent can be heard relaying these facts to Epstein, saying they are ‘desperate’, ‘very frustrated’ and are ‘looking for some options’.
Epstein responds: ‘I don’t think this is a phone conversation, right.
Am I correct? You understand what we’re talking about is… we’re going to need some strategic planning, using a nice word.’
Once inside the safety of his office, Epstein is more specific about what he is planning to do.
He says: ‘I don’t want to use secular terms, but what we’re doing is basically kidnapping the guy for a couple of hours, beating him up and torturing him and then getting you the get.’
Detailing his method, he says his goons will hit the guy so he falls down, put a hood over his head, handcuff him, and then begin torturing him until he gives in.
Epstein brags that, in his experience, 80 per cent of men give up before the first punch is thrown and says not leaving any marks on the victim is key to being left alone by the police.
The agents agree with Epstein to lure the fictitious husband to a warehouse in New Jersey for a real estate deal where thugs will be waiting for him.
More undercover footage shows six hired goons wearing masks preparing for the man’s arrival by shadow-boxing while carrying hoods, razor blades and rope.
Three rabbis were also present carrying paper, ink and quills in order to prepare and sign the get, though Epstein had arranged to be elsewhere at the time.
Footage shows the men turning the lights off in order to lie in wait for the man, but FBI agents come bursting in to arrest them instead.