10-year sentence for Lakewood ‘Prodfather’ rabbi
TRENTON - Rabbi Mendel Epstein, a self-described “tough guy” with a reputation for using strong-arm tactics to coerce Orthodox Jewish husbands to grant their wives religious divorces, was sentenced Tuesday to 10 years in federal prison.
Rejecting pleas for leniency from Epstein’s daughter and attorney — and Epstein himself, who called himself a “broken man” — U.S. District Court Judge Freda L. Wolfson said the 70-year-old Lakewood resident “knew exactly what he was entering into here” when he agreed to accept $60,000 to orchestrate a kidnapping in 2013 for two clients who turned out to be undercover FBI agents.
A well-known expert in Orthodox Jewish matrimonial law, Epstein was convicted April 21, along with two other rabbis, of one count of conspiracy to commit kidnapping. Prosecutors say Epstein was the group’s leader.
Epstein must serve 8½ years before becoming eligible for parole. Wolfson agreed to his request to be allowed to surrender himself to authorities on March 1 to begin his term.
Perhaps this could have gone under the “Other Religions” forum area.
The article is somewhat in depth per areas of Jewish law otherwise, it’s not a very simple story to understand.
A stiff sentence, the ransom part must have cinched it.