One family and their associates dominated the over a dozen people arrested Thursday in a more than $20 million, long-term mortgage and welfare fraud case in the ultra-Orthodox community, according to a federal indictment.
The agents made the arrests in pre-dawn raids in Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Monroe in Orange County. At least one Monsey resident was arrested.
FBI agents could be seen gathered before 6 a.m. on College Road in Ramapo near the Chase Bank. Ramapo police said they had no details, and that no one had been brought into the police station.
Those arrested were charged with fraudulently obtaining $20 million in mortgage and other types of loans from banks and financial institutions, according to a 21-count federal indictment unsealed Thursday morning.
Those charged are accused of providing false information to the lenders about their assets and liabilities involving 20 loans. The false information included documentation about employment, income, bank accounts and primary residence.
The majority of the loans went into default and millions of dollars in proceeds were not repaid.
The indictment names Yehuda Rubin as the scheme's organizer, accusing him of participating in 10 fraudulent loans. He allegedly acted as a borrower, the borrower's power of attorney, mortgage broker, distributor of the money and arranger of short sales, the indictment states.
The borrowers who fraudulently obtained loans were identified in the indictment included various family members and associates: Irving Rubin, Desiree Rubin, Abraham Rubin, Jacob Rubin, Samuel Rubin, Joel Rubin, Rachel Rubin, Joel Koppel, Rifka Rubin, and Benzion Kraus.
Attorney Martin Kofman is accused of acting as the real estate lawyer on numerous transactions with fraudulent loans and closing on sales.
Pinchus Glauber of Monsey is accused of making false appraisals.
Glauber's lawyers, Kenneth Gribetz and Deborah Wolikow-Loewenberg, said their client would plead not guilty.
"We're going to review the indictment and from talking with our client, we believe he's innocent of these charges," said Gribetz, a former Rockland County district attorney.
Six of the those arrested also were accused of bilking food stamps and Medicaid.
Yehuda and Rachel Rubin, for example, fraudulently receiving Medicaid and food stamps by claiming an income of $180 monthly and later $360 bi-weekly, it says.
Further details of the investigation are expected to be revealed at a news conference with U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara at noon at U.S. District Courthouse in White Plains. George Venizelos, the FBI assistant director-in-charge, and Orange County Sheriff Carl DuBois also are expected to attend.