2009 Director’s Community Leadership Awards
|Newark||Jacob S. “Josh” Elkes
Direct Title & Closing Agency
Jacob S. “Josh” Elkes is the president of Direct Title & Closing Agency in Freehold, New Jersey, a full-service closing and title service for real estate purchasers, and a traditional title search and title insurance service for purchasers’ attorneys. He is also president of Washington Homes in Freehold, a residential and commercial development firm.
Mr. Elkes received his bachelor’s degree from Rutgers University and his law degree from Rutgers School of Law. He is a member of the New York and New Jersey Bars and a licensed title insurance agent. He has been an attorney for over 35 years and began his career on the staff of the attorney general of the state of New Jersey.
In the past few years, Mr. Elkes has provided intelligence and background information for the FBI’s massive corruption probe in Monmouth County on Operation Bid Rig, which resulted in 48 convictions. The information and intelligence allowed the supervisor of that case to make important strategic decisions regarding how best to investigate the corrupt organization running the political machine in Monmouth County.
For the past 10 years, Mr. Elkes has served as an advisor to the Newark FBI on mortgage fraud matters, identifying potential criminal activity and acting as an expert resource for investigators. Mr. Elkes has hosted events such as the Women’s Council of Realtors and had presentations by the Newark Division’s mortgage fraud supervisor and mortgage fraud task force coordinator to better educate realtors about mortgage fraud and to establish stronger lines of communication between the real estate industry and the FBI. Mr. Elkes is a member of the board of directors of the Real Estate Settlement Providers Council in Washington, D.C., where he works closely with representatives of all the major banks and mortgage lenders as well as with congressional leaders and regulatory officials on behalf of real estate agencies and title companies.
Mr. Elkes is vice chairman of the Newark Division’s FBI Citizens’ Academy Alumni Association. He has been instrumental in making the Newark Citizens’ Academy into one of the most productive organizations under the FBI community relations umbrella, and he has been a leading figure in assisting and advancing cooperation with ethnic and minority groups by serving as the alumni association representative at events focusing on improving relations with the Muslim community.