U.S. Attorney's Office
District of New Jersey
(973) 645-2888
May 6, 2014

Lakewood Man Admits Role in Conspiracy to Kidnap Jewish Husband to Force Him to Give Wife a Religious Divorce

TRENTON, NJ—A Lakewood, New Jersey, man today admitted conspiring to kidnap a Jewish man to force him to give his wife a religious divorce, known as a get, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.

David Wax, 51, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Freda L. Wolfson to an information charging him with conspiracy to commit kidnapping. According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:

In October 2010, Wax and his conspirators agreed to force a Jewish man (Victim One) to give his wife a get, a document which, according to Jewish law, must be presented by a husband to his wife to effect their divorce. Wax then lured Victim One from Brooklyn, New York, to Wax’s home in Lakewood on October 17, 2010, under the pretense that Victim One would work on Talmudic books that Wax was publishing. When the victim arrived, he was brought upstairs, blindfolded, handcuffed, and bound. Victim One was then assaulted by Wax and his conspirators until he provided the get.

Victim One’s wife’s family paid Wax approximately $100,000 to obtain the forced get. Wax’s conspirators received approximately $50,000.

The conspiracy to commit kidnapping charge carries a maximum potential penalty of life in prison and a $250,000 fine, or twice the gross gain or loss from the offense. Sentencing is scheduled for August 19, 2014.

U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Aaron T. Ford in Newark, for the investigation leading to today’s guilty plea.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys R. Joseph Gribko and Sarah Wolfe of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Trenton.

The pending charges and allegations against related defendants are merely allegations, and they are considered innocent unless and until proven guilty.

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