Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Third arrest in Hasidic murder-for-hire case 

Federal authorities have charged a third suspect in connection with a murder-for-hire plot in which a Kiryas Joel man and an Israeli rabbi allegedly paid someone $55,000 to abduct and kill another Hasidic man who refused to grant his wife a divorce.

According to a criminal complaint released Monday, agents arrested Binyamin Gottlieb at John F. Kennedy Airport in Queens on Sunday night as he prepared to board a flight to Ukraine.

He was charged with a single count of conspiracy to commit kidnapping.

The arrest came five days after agents arrested the first two suspects - Shimen Liebowitz, 25, of Kiryas Joel and Aharon Goldberg, 55, of Bnei Brak, Israel - in Central Valley and charged them with conspiracy to commit kidnapping and conspiracy to commit murder-for-hire.

Both are being held without bail in Manhattan. Authorities say Liebowitz and Goldberg plotted at first to torture and then to kill a Brooklyn man who wouldn't sign a "get," a divorce consent required under Orthodox law for his estranged wife to remarry.

The new complaint says Gottlieb introduced Liebowitz and Goldberg to the supposed hit man, who allegedly recorded their conversations and gave them to authorities.

Gottlieb met with the three men in Rockland County in July to plan the kidnapping, and also delivered $25,000 of the $55,000 that the men paid the informant, according to the complaint.

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