Dirty Jersey: Feds Bust Dozens in Corruption Scandal
Corruption sweep to be among biggest in state history
By JONATHAN DIENST and MICHAEL CLANCY
The mayors of Hoboken and Secaucus were among 30 people arrested in early morning raids across New Jersey this morning as federal officials unveiled a long-ranging probe into public corruption and international money laundering, officials said
FBI and IRS rounded up scores of elected officials and several rabbis across the state in what is being described as one of the biggest investigations of its kind in Jersey's scandal-plagued history.
It appears to be a corruption-related investigation but Justice Department and FBI spokesmen would only say the corruption involved a "high-volume international money-laundering conspiracy." It is said to involve rabbis in the Syrian Jewish enclave in Brooklyn and Deal, New Jersey. The probe is said to have started when money transfers drew the interests of the feds who followed the trail back to small-town Jersey corruption.
Among those arrested this morning were Assemblyman Daniel Van Pelt, Jersey City Deputy Mayor Leona Beldini, Hoboken Mayor Peter Cammarano and Secaucus Mayor Dennis Elwell, authorities said. Several area rabbis and other community leaders and politicians, including Jersey City Council President Mariano Vega, were brought into custody in connection with this case, officials said.
In past years, New Jersey has seen more than 100 corruption-related arrests of public officials. There was no word on the specific charges against those being rounded up today, but a press conference is scheduled for noon.
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