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Another $200 Million scandal ‘phony real estate deals’
December 30, 2009, 2:37 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Failed Messiah: In an alleged financial fraud that has ensnared Orthodox Jewish investors from New York to Florida to London, a Lakewood, N.J., businessman is accused of bilking them out of more than $200 million through phony real estate deals, according to complaints made in multiple lawsuits across the country.

In court papers obtained by The Jewish Week, plaintiffs claim that real estate investor Eliyahu Weinstein, 35, “orchestrated a fraudulent scheme” in which he made false representations – supported by counterfeit and false documents – about where and how their money would be invested, and misappropriated the funds for his own use.

At least one of the complaints alleges that Weinstein, described by some who know him as charismatic, friendly and charming, and 
 hailing from a “yeshivish” family, may have laundered money through New York-area Jewish charities.
Some of the filings also assert that Weinstein, a member of Lakewood’s Orthodox community, specifically targeted other Orthodox Jews in what is described as an “affinity fraud.”

According to one of the complaints, Weinstein is said to have exploited the “belief that the tight-knit nature of the [Orthodox] community assures that people within the community will deal with honesty and good faith towards each other.” That often results, according to the complaint, in “business [often being] transacted without documentation, or through informal letter agreements prepared by the parties.”  

The Jewish Week has obtained a copy of a New Jersey federal grand jury subpoena, evidence of an ongoing criminal investigation dating back to last May. To date, Weinstein has not been charged with any crimes.

Weinstein’s alleged fraud, which began around 2005, hit investors in New York, New Jersey, Florida, California and London, and involved properties throughout the United States.

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What achilul hasham

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