This video is about corruption in New Jersey in the USA.
From Al Jazeera:
Scores held in US corruption probe
More than 40 people, including politicians, officials and prominent rabbis, have been arrested in connection with corruption, money laundering and organ trafficking in the US state of New Jersey.
The sweeping investigation, which saw 44 people arrested in raids on Thursday, is believed to be one of the biggest such actions in a state long associated with corruption.
Authorities said the arrests were part of a two-pronged 10-year investigation called “Operation Bid Rig“.
Five rabbis were among suspects arrested, along with the mayors of Hoboken, Secaucus and Ridgefield, prosecutors said.
Ed Kahrer, an assistant special agent in charge of the FBI’s white collar crime and public corruption programme in New Jersey, called corruption “a cancer that is destroying the core values of this state”.
“New Jersey’s corruption problem is one of the worst, if not the worst, in the nation,” Kahrer, who has worked on the investigation since it began in July 1999, said.
“It has become ingrained in New Jersey’s political culture.”
Investigators used an informant, a real estate developer charged with bank fraud three years ago, to uncover a money laundering ring and organ trafficking, as well as corruption by politicians who exploited loopholes in state law to disguise bribes as campaign contributions.
Mayors, rabbis arrested in NJ corruption probe
Thu Jul 23, 2009 4:32pm EDT
NJ mayors, rabbis ensnared in probe
By Edith Honan
NEWARK (Reuters) – Dozens of New Jersey politicians, officials and prominent rabbis were arrested on Thursday in a sweeping federal probe that uncovered political corruption, human organ sales and money laundering from New York to Israel, officials said.
The 10-year investigation, dubbed “Operation Bid Rig,” exposed influence-peddling and bribe-taking among a network of public officials and a separate multimillion dollar money-laundering ring that funneled funds through charities operated by local rabbis, said the U.S. Attorney’s office in Newark, New Jersey.
The cast of the 44 arrested featured Hoboken, New Jersey, Mayor Peter Cammarano, who took office three weeks ago in the industrial city visible across the Hudson River from New York.
Others accused were mayors of nearby Secaucus and Ridgefield, state Assemblymen, a deputy mayor, city council members, housing, planning and zoning officials, building inspectors and political candidates.
“New Jersey’s corruption problem is one of the worst, if not the worst, in the nation,” said Ed Kahrer, assistant special agent in charge of the FBI’s white collar crime and public corruption program in New Jersey, who has worked on the investigation since it began in July 1999.
“It has become ingrained in New Jersey’s political culture,” he said, calling corruption “a cancer.”
Central to the investigation was an informant who was charged with bank fraud in 2006 and posed undercover as a real estate developer and owner of a tile business who paid off officials to win project approval and public contracts in northern New Jersey, according to documents in the case.
The public officials stand accused of taking bribes for pledging their help getting permits and projects prioritized and approved or steering contracts to the witness.
“CULTURE OF CORRUPTION”
In scenes that could have been lifted from the hit TV series “The Sopranos,” about New Jersey organized crime, they met in diners, parking lots, even bathrooms, officials said.
“The politicians willingly put themselves up for sale,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Ralph Marra. “The victims are the average citizens and the honest business people in this state. They don’t have a chance in this culture of corruption.”
The public corruption uncovered by the informant led him to the separate money-laundering network by rabbis who operated between Brooklyn, Deal, New Jersey, and Israel, authorities said. They laundered some $3 million for the undercover witness between June 2007 and July 2009, authorities said.
“These complaints paint a disgraceful picture of religious leaders heading money laundering crews acting as crime bosses,” Marra said. “They used purported charities, entities supposed set up to do good works as vehicles for laundering millions of dollars in illicit funds.”
HUMAN KIDNEY SALES
Rabbis accused of money-laundering were Saul Kassin, chief rabbi of a large Syrian Jewish synagogue in Brooklyn; Eliahu Ben Haim, principal rabbi of a synagogue in Deal; Edmund Nahum, principal rabbi of another synagogue in Deal; and Mordchai Fish, a rabbi at a synagogue in Brooklyn.
The probe also uncovered Levy Izhak Rosenbaum of Brooklyn, who is accused of conspiring to broker the sale of a human kidney for a transplant. According to the complaint, Rosenbaum said he had been brokering sale of kidneys for 10 years.
“His business was to entice vulnerable people to give up a kidney for $10,000 which he would turn around and sell for $160,000,” said Marra.
Several of the public officials were accused of taking bribes of just $10,000, authorities said. Cammarano, at 31 the youngest ever mayor of Hoboken, was charged with taking $25,000 in bribes, including $10,000 last Thursday.
Most of those accused were arrested in a sweep across New Jersey by more than 300 federal agents early on Thursday and were slated to appear in court in Newark throughout the day.
The first 12 of the defendants, including Cammarano, appeared shackled before U.S. Magistrate Judge Madeline Cox Arleo. Cammarano rocked back and forth in his chair but betrayed no emotion.
They were granted bail ranging from $100,000 to $500,000.
(Additional reporting by Michelle Nichols and Ellen Wulfhorst; Writing by Ellen Wulfhorst; Editing by Doina Chiacu)
I wonder how this scandal may affect the growing tide of antisemitism. Should we be angrier that our political leaders or our spiritual ones misused our trust. I found an interesting discussion of the matter at pandalous: Its here: http://www.pandalous.com/topic/how_to_deal_with
Hi anne, whether anti-Semites will be able to abuse this scandal (in which the majority of the suspects are not Jewiash) for their own aims will depend on various factors, including how the media will present it.
Author : John O\’Sullivan
URL : http://cupboard55summitshock.blogspot.com/
The corruption in America today is truly shocking!
I am an advocate currently fighting to uphold the principles of due process in a most disturbing case concerning the rape, battery and near killing of woman left with a broken neck and permanently disabled.
Corruption is a disease spreading across America. In New York our courts are riddled with its infestation.
I\’m concerned for victims like Barbara Bracci, a hard-working New York State corrections officer who claimed she was brutally attacked by her work supervisor, Captain William E. Peek. Bracci made tape recordings she alleged were of her remorseful attacker confessing to his crimes. The NY State Dept. of Corrections (DOC) took the tapes from her then conspired with a crooked judge to illegally withhold them from a New York court.
The case went to the Division of Human Rights (SDHR). Bracci wanted her original tapes played in open court. DOC refused to give the tapes back to her and gave them instead, to the presiding administrative law judge (ALJ) who refused to let the court hear them.
The ALJ then weighed the tapes unlawfully in secret (ex parte, in camera) and ruled they were â€˜unreliable.â€™ So the case was dismissed. Bracci protested that her due process rights were denied and she was granted an Article 78 special proceeding.
The case went before the Appellate Division, Third Department. Inexplicably, the tapes somehow became \’lost\’ and SDHR refused to give a verified answer in response to Bracciâ€™s serious charges of corruption. So Bracci having proof her tapes were now destroyed and the opposing party declining to defend their actions, duly filed for summary judgment.
However, the Appellate justices bizarrely dismissed the claim on May 14, 2009 upholding the lower courtâ€™s judgment. But nowhere in the Appellate decision does the term, â€˜Article 78â€™ even appear.
Shockingly, the higher court had not only condoned the weighing of evidence in secret and then its destruction, it had unlawfully removed Bracci\’s status as an Article 78 litigant.
Even a layperson looking at the courtâ€™s website under â€˜Bracci-v-State Division of Human Rightsâ€™ (Case no: 506150) can see that this raped, abused and permanently scarred woman was cheated of her most basic rights to due process rights.
Click to access 506150.pdf
Now we shall see if the Court of Appeals will be as fair and just on Bracci as they were in the above case. Courts must be compelled to respect every citizen\’s constitutional rights to a fair hearing.
You see, Iâ€™m British and I grew up with a worldview of American as an honorable civilization. Like most people in the English-speaking world I was greatly influenced by Hollywood movies. I confess to have learned that reality of what American Justice is quite different from what I saw in films. Forget the Sixth and Fourteenth Amendment of the United States, that Bill of Rights nonsense and the Constitution. The practice of law is very different. American Justice is a fiction told in Hollywood. In real life corruption is the methodology of the courtrooms.