$2M welfare fraud investigation ends in arrests, police say

Three couples were arrested late Tuesday and released Wednesday after appearing in court via video conference.

Their arrests were in addition to Monday’s arrest of four other couples, all from the same Lakewood, New Jersey, neighborhood, the AP reported.

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Original story: A rabbi is among several people in New Jersey who were arrested Monday in raids by federal and state authorities in a multimillion-dollar welfare fraud investigation.

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Rabbi Zalmen Sorotzkin and seven others are being charged, accused of taking public assistance and defrauding the government of $1.3 million over recent years, law enforcement officials told the Asbury Park Press.

Investigators said that the accused had plans that, a source told the Asbury Park Press, “rival the most sophisticated of financial frauds.”

Officials said the people involved under-reported their income. In exchange, they were able to qualify for Medicaid, Section 8 housing assistance, food stamps, Social Security disability and Supplemental Security Income, the Asbury Park Press reported.

Officials said the accused, who are four married couples, made thousands of dollars more a year than they told program officials.

Investigators said they traced illegal money transfers, along with records from private schools for tuition. 

Law enforcement officials said they believe that Monday’s arrest will be the first in a series of arrests in a larger fraud ring.

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