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Lakewood Men Charged in Kidnap Plot to Force Orthodox Divorce

Victim was beaten, shocked with stun gun

Patch File Photo
Patch File Photo
Two Lakewood men have been charged with kidnapping and using a stun gun on another man with the aim of forcing him to grant a "get," an Orthodox Jewish divorce, to his wife.

Special agents of the FBI arrested David Aryeh Epstein, 39, and Chaim Baruch Rubin, 32, at their homes Thursday morning for allegedly kidnapping a reluctant Jewish husband in order to "coerce him through violence to grant his wife a religious divorce," U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.

Under Orthodox Jewish religious law, a husband must grant his wife the "get" before a divorce can be effectuated.

Both men 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 court records, the incident dates back to 2009 when Rubin called the victim – whose name was not divulged – concerning a sales job opportunity at “ShredZone” in Lakewood, and the victim, who had been living in Brooklyn, N.Y., moved to a temporary residence in Lakewood to begin work. A few days later, Rubin asked him to stay late for a private meeting.

But as he walked to his car that night, 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.

According to the criminal complaint, the victim was eventually thrown out of the van and was taken by others to a hospital where he was treated for numerous injuries.

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 on the kidnapping charge leveled against them Thursday, Epstein and Rubin both face a potential life prison sentence 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 Thursday’s arrests.

Earlier this month, another Lakewood man pleaded guilty to a similar kidnapping plot to force another man to grant his wife a "get."
KC May 15, 2014 at 11:06 PM
Geez this is right out of an episode of The Sopranos. Very religious people?
Fat Rib May 19, 2014 at 10:43 PM
its organized crime all the way with religion as a sheild

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