In a bizarre story catching national attention, two Brooklyn brothers have pleaded guilty to conspiring to coerce a man into giving his wife a religious divorce or “get” as part of an eight-member gang led by a rabbi.
According to LoHud.com, Avrohom and Moshe Goldstein pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Trenton to crossing state lines to commit extortion earlier this month. The Goldsteins’ pleading comes after a personal trainer, David Hellman from Brooklyn, also plead guilty to similar charges last month.
The website reported that the men, led by Rabbi Martin Wolmark, 55, the principal of Yeshiva Shaarei Torah in Monsey, and Mendel Epstein, 68, a prominent ultra-Orthodox divorce mediator from Brooklyn, planned to force a man to give his wife a “get,” a document that must be presented by a husband to his wife to affect their divorce.
According to LoHud.com, the team of would-be kidnappers traveled to a warehouse in Edison on October 9, 2013, where they met with undercover FBI agents posing as the Jewish husband’s brother-in-law and other relatives.
Prosecutors said that the team arrived at the warehouse and were prepared to confine, restrain and threaten the husband.
According to LoHud.com, each brother that pleaded guilty faces a maximum prison sentence of 20 years and at least $250,000 in fines. Charges against the other individuals allegedly involved in the plot are pending.
What Can I Do About a Contentious Divorce?
On the other hand there is a serious problem that exists within the Jewish Orthodox community. Only a husband can give a “Get” (Jewish Divorce). In New York, if you are the Plaintiff in a divorce action, you must give a Get. This is not so in New Jersey or if you are the defendant in New York, who does not counter for a divorce. If the husband refuses to give the “Get” the Jewish court (Bais Din) can use coercive techniques such as shunning or ex-communication from the synagogue. In civil court you can sometimes design coercive economic measures that entice a recalcitrant husband to be more enlightened.
If you are thinking about divorcing your spouse, you should contact our experienced divorce attorneys, who can give you counsel relating to these issues. Sometimes, things that you think could never be resolved during a separation can be worked out though mediation, negotiation or potentially trial.
Our lawyers have almost four decades of experience handling divorce cases—let our firm arrange your initial consultation. During this time we have seen many cases successfully resolved involving spouses who were reluctant for a variety of reasons prior to proceedings.
Our family law offices in New York or New Jersey can be reached by email, our online contact form or at (800) 711-5258.
Kantrowitz, Goldhamer & Graifman, P.C. – Bergen County Divorce Attorneys