Two More Alleged Kidnappers Arrested, Charged in Plot to Coerce Reluctant Husband to Grant Jewish Divorce
TRENTON, NJ—Special agents of the FBI arrested two men at their Lakewood, New Jersey homes this morning for allegedly kidnapping a reluctant Jewish husband in order to coerce him through violence to grant his wife a religious divorce—referred to as a “get”—U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.
David Aryeh Epstein, 39, and Chaim Baruch Rubin, 32, are charged by criminal complaint with kidnapping. Both defendants appeared in Trenton federal court this afternoon before U.S. Magistrate Judge Douglas E. Arpert. They each were released on $500,000 bail with home detention and electronic monitoring.
According to the complaint unsealed today:
In November 2009, Rubin called the victim concerning a sales job opportunity at “ShredZone” in Lakewood, and the victim, who had been living in Brooklyn, New York, moved to a temporary residence in Lakewood to begin work. A few days later, Rubin asked him to stay late for a private meeting.
When he walked to his car that evening, the victim was attacked by a group of men. He was bound, put in a van, beaten, and shocked with a stun gun until he agreed to grant his wife a divorce.
David Epstein is the son of rabbi Mendel Epstein, 68, of Brooklyn, who was previously charged in October 2013 with conspiracy to commit kidnapping, along with nine other individuals. Four of those charged have since pleaded guilty to extortion charges in connection with this case.
If convicted, the defendants face a maximum potential penalty of life in prison and a $250,000 fine or twice the gross gain or loss from the offense.
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 arrests.
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 these and related defendants are merely allegations, and they are considered innocent unless and until proven guilty.