New Jersey – More Welfare Arrests Expected Wednesday As Feds Warn Lakewood: The Party Is Over


    FBI conducting raids  in connection with a public-assistance fraud scheme in Lakewood, N.J.(The Asbury Park Press via AP)Lakewood, NJ – One day after four Lakewood couples were arrested for fraudulently underreporting their incomes in order to illegally take advantage of more than $1 million in state and federal benefits, township phones have been ringing off the hook, with hundreds of area residents requesting advice on how to avoid being arrested for public assistance fraud.

    As previously reported on VIN News (, the investigation was initiated by the FBI and the New Jersey Office of the State Comptroller, later growing to include the Social Security Administration, the New Jersey Department of Treasury and the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office.

    More arrests are expected to take place, possibly as soon as early Wednesday morning, reported

    Complaints in the impending arrests involve fraudulent activity that has been taking place for as long as five years and Monday’s arrests appear to be just the tip of the iceberg.

    “We are sending a message to this community that the party is over,” said one law enforcement source.

    According to the Asbury Park Press (, a law enforcement source who agreed to speak only on the condition of anonymity said that dozens of people have called the Ocean County Social Services office asking to discontinue their public assistance benefits or to revise the income information they had previously submitted.

    Millions of dollars in public assistance have allegedly been fraudulently distributed in the Lakewood area, said the source.

    According to authorities, the investigation into financial irregularities in Lakewood has been ongoing for three years.

    Lakewood Mayor Ray Coles said that he was disturbed by the recent arrests and that there are many people in the town who are truly in need of financial assistance.

    “I have a waiting list of Section 8 vouchers of maybe 2,000 families that really need it,” said Coles. “I hate to see things like that.”

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    1. סוף גנב לתליה……
      Unfortunately most people in Lakewood can barely make ends meet and need those programs to survive ….
      If the Talmud teaches us to go out and work to bring home a parnassah then why are thousands sitting and learning on the cheshbon of the government.
      They know it all and watching us with binoculars every move.
      About time to change how we plan on raising a erliche generation.
      The mailman sees it all and so does the government employees.

    2. People want to know how to avoid getting arrested?

      It’s simple. DON’T LIE. If you truly need welfare, apply & accept it. If you don’t but steal anyway… you’ll get what you deserve. And please, don’t all you holier than thou supporters say how much Tzedaka they gave. Did MY taxes go to these causes? Did the fraudsters ask me if it is OK?

      I am so furious at these walking Chillulei Hashem. How dare they!

      • If you truly need welfare, then you really can’t make it nowadays. I read about a lawyer who makes over $100,000 a year and can’t afford camp for his kids etc. Not everyone even makes that much money. Non Jews can send their kids to public school and eat cheaper food and live wherever they want so they can move to cheaper areas, but, we need our schools and kosher food costs more and we need to live in Jewish areas which are more expensive, so please don’t blame people for just trying to make it with government assistance.

    3. What are necessities today were called luxuries years ago. Few had cars or telephones and all of the gadgets that are in use today never existed.My father was only 1 year in america at the time of his bar mitzva and the celebration in school was some cake and bronfin .In my family there was never a lavish wedding like we see today.If someone had a silver kiddush cup it was a luxury ,as a laborer made just enough to pay rent and buy food.Today every family likes to live like the wealthy do with multiple vacations, a year in israel for each child and winter vacations in faraway places.

    4. “… township phones have been ringing off the hook, with hundreds of area residents requesting advice on how to avoid being arrested for public assistance fraud.” How about not defrauding the public? Just tossing crazy ideas out here.

    5. Lakewood is not the only place that the communities have evolved into a culture of dependency. Staying in kollel without limits on yenem’s expense is batantly dishonest, and true Torah cannot result from gezailoh or sheker. We would all say this if asked. But in practice, it is different. Everyone is a learning boy, and every girl wants to say that she is married to one. But these are truly few and far between. Our kollelim are overfilled with bench warmers, who would be doing a greater favor to themselves, to the Klal, and to HKB”H if they went to work. The Gemora says this openly, requiring one to establish a residence and parnosoh before getting married. It is tantamount to kefira to claim that one must postpone the requirement of parnosoh until later, when it is too late to achieve a gainful parnosoh. No, it is not called emunoh or bitachon to hide in the beis hamedrash and expect it to fall from heaven.

      Perhaps since parents are no longer guaranteed to be able to support, then sponging from government entitlements is the thing. Well, those days are over, and unfortunately there will be korbanos who will have to benefit from the commissary.

      • “It is tantamount to kefira to claim that one must postpone the requirement of parnosoh until later, when it is too late to achieve a gainful parnosoh”

        Why is it too late? I learned for a few years and now work at a respectable firm in corporate america earning over 100K? It barley covers my expenses but it quite respectable.

        Yes once one is over 30 it becomes too late. (30 is an arbitrary number but something around there) But its unnecessary to seek a parnasa before marriage nowadays.

        In fact I’ll tell you that most of my friends who went to school at 18 were young and immature. They just picked a major, “abi” to pick a major. Almost none of them actually use their degree for employment. Conversely, those in my class who were married were far more mature and took school more serious than our 18 year old class mates. And almost all of us 25-30 yr olds in school actually use our degree for work.

        Nowadays, there are lots of programs that can be completed within 24 months whereby upon completion or shortly after, students get jobs at prestigious corporations in the city. The dynamics of an 18 yr old attending college is really just silly and a waste nowadays.

    6. The problem with these type of charges is that we do not have access to see the actual records as to what was actually transpiring. So, for example, the Feds claim that one couple allegedly had income of some $1 million which they allegedly hid through companies which the paperwork showed were “run” by relatives but which de facto were controlled by the couple in question. Personally, I don’t really know what that allegation even means. If the legal paperwork shows that relative “A” has legal authority to dispense the assets/income of company “A”, then what does it mean to state that this couple in question de facto controlled company “A”? Can’t relative “A” simply take the assets of company “A” and thumb his nose at the couple in question and the couple have no legal recourse?

      • There are legal concepts such as “constructive receipt”, “piercing the corporate veil”, and others that can make individuals liable for income tax and debts of businesses that are nominally owned by others or incorporated. Collusion, especially between closely related parties, sometimes attempts to mask ownership. Another example: I have a friend who officially employs his elderly mother, too old to actually work, but instead of giving cash gifts to her annually to help her out, he takes a deduction against his business income for her “wages”. As a small fry, he’s not likely to get caught unless extensively audited, but I cringe at his cheating on taxes.

    7. שִׁמְעוּ דְבַר-יְהוָה, בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל: כִּי רִיב לַיהוָה, עִם-יוֹשְׁבֵי הָאָרֶץ–כִּי אֵין-אֱמֶת וְאֵין-חֶסֶד וְאֵין-דַּעַת אֱלֹהִים, בָּאָרֶץ
      אָלֹה וְכַחֵשׁ, וְרָצֹחַ וְגָנֹב וְנָאֹף; פָּרָצוּ, וְדָמִים בְּדָמִים נָגָעוּ
      וַיַּדְרְכוּ אֶת-לְשׁוֹנָם קַשְׁתָּם שֶׁקֶר, וְלֹא לֶאֱמוּנָה גָּבְרוּ בָאָרֶץ: כִּי מֵרָעָה אֶל-רָעָה יָצָאוּ וְאֹתִי לֹא-יָדָעוּ, נְאֻם-יְהוָה
      אִישׁ מֵרֵעֵהוּ הִשָּׁמֵרוּ, וְעַל-כָּל-אָח אַל-תִּבְטָחוּ: כִּי כָל-אָח עָקוֹב יַעְקֹב, וְכָל-רֵעַ רָכִיל יַהֲלֹךְ
      וְאִישׁ בְּרֵעֵהוּ יְהָתֵלּוּ, וֶאֱמֶת לֹא יְדַבֵּרוּ; לִמְּדוּ לְשׁוֹנָם דַּבֶּר-שֶׁקֶר, הַעֲוֵה נִלְאוּ
      שִׁבְתְּךָ, בְּתוֹךְ מִרְמָה; בְּמִרְמָה מֵאֲנוּ דַעַת-אוֹתִי, נְאֻם-יְהוָה
      וָאֹמַר, שִׁמְעוּ-נָא רָאשֵׁי יַעֲקֹב, וּקְצִינֵי, בֵּית יִשְׂרָאֵל: הֲלוֹא לָכֶם, לָדַעַת אֶת-הַמִּשְׁפָּט
      שֹׂנְאֵי טוֹב, וְאֹהֲבֵי רעה (רָע); גֹּזְלֵי עוֹרָם מֵעֲלֵיהֶם, וּשְׁאֵרָם מֵעַל עַצְמוֹתָם
      רָאשֶׁיהָ בְּשֹׁחַד יִשְׁפֹּטוּ, וְכֹהֲנֶיהָ בִּמְחִיר יוֹרוּ, וּנְבִיאֶיהָ, בְּכֶסֶף יִקְסֹמוּ; וְעַל-יְהוָה, יִשָּׁעֵנוּ לֵאמֹר, הֲלוֹא יְהוָה בְּקִרְבֵּנוּ, לֹא-תָבוֹא עָלֵינוּ רָעָה

      הִגִּיד לְךָ אָדָם, מַה-טּוֹב; וּמָה-יְהוָה דּוֹרֵשׁ מִמְּךָ, כִּי אִם-עֲשׂוֹת מִשְׁפָּט וְאַהֲבַת חֶסֶד, וְהַצְנֵעַ לֶכֶת, עִם-אֱלֹהֶיךָ

        • Lo tignov…… Except from goyim and the government. This is the perversion of Torah that is taught. I am a citizen of this country and not a got. I do not appreciate my co-religionists stealing from me. The irory is that Lakewood with it’s Torah reputation is the place of a massive Chillul hashem. Perhaps, in addition to learning Torah, Lakewood should actually live by it.

    8. From the posts the other day and even from a few of the above. We can all agree the “system” has it’s issues. Who created this system? Who can change the system so we do not have such stories. The Rabbonim. We need to pressure the Rosh Yeshivas, Agudah etc to either change their ways or have them resign and have new leadership (including the Motzes) take it’s place. There is no way for us to change unless the Rabbonim lead the way. Either that or the whole Klal (not just a few, ALL of us) stand up to the Rabbonim. Enough is enough.

    9. I don’t understand how anyone can be on these programs legally. It is impossible to live on such a low income that is eligible for programs. Even the cleaning ladies we have who are probably on government programs are making money off the books and living with multiple families in too small housing just to be able to exist. I used to get HEAP but wasn’t even eligible for food stamps or medicaid and we couldn’t even afford to pay our kids tuition or even summer camp. Yet my husband worked on the books and paid taxes and I had a part time job. We weren’t able to get programs and we lived far from luxuriously. I bought my kids clothes at the flea market (no Deja New in those days) A family member helped pay for other necessary clothing etc. I never had cleaning help. Now everyone NEEDs cleaning help, even if they live in a small apartment. I could go on and on. Bottom line is, you can’t live even on a basic standard without extras today even if both parents are working, and if the government has programs, I can understand why people use them.

    10. The picture of the home – if caption is accurate – is far from what the home of a public assistance family would have.
      I see the ppl who receive “public assistance” on line in supermarkets pulling out their WIC cards etc — many of them are dripping diamonds! How is that?

    11. 1 of a few
      I generally do not comment on these forums, but after reading the comments, I feel compelled to comment.
      Firstly, many people are showing great animosity to our fellow Jews who collect the benefits, it is important that everyone understands that although it is our culture to “work for a living” and it is the duty of every man to bring home a parnasa for their family, in the US the laws allow, and even encourage people who are having a hard time to apply, and get the benefits that are available to all Americans. This is not limited to Jews, but to all Americans and in many instances illegal aliens as well.

      Regarding the abuse, many people are expressing that they think that it is the Jews who are mostly abusing the system, but I have a great deal of experience in delaing with people from other cultures and I can tell you that there is a great deal of abuse in many other communities as well. Granted, the media is always out to get the Jew, but it is important that people understand that.

    12. 2 of a few
      For example, for business purposes, we frequent the African American areas often, and I can say that all the time in the Bronx, Brownsville, BedStuy, and many other areas, you can drive through at any time during the day and the streets are packed with men of all ages who seem to be in perfect health simply hanging out on streets, on the corners, drinking beer, and doing nothing constructive but still collecting all benefits, for free. These people are doing random side cash jobs, which of course they are not reporting and yet they are receiving all the benefits. At least by us, the people are not doing nothing, these are yingerleit who simply want to try to learn Torah, and of course, most of them genuinely qualify for the programs without lying and commiting fraud.

      Another example is the Hispanic community. How many of us have housekeepers, who of course are being paid in cash, and are not reporting it. If the average housekeeper makes $400 per week, that is (at least) $1200 per month of unreported income. Of course, they also receive all of the benefits that they are able to get.

      • unfortunately that is what society has become. The indoctrination for the last 30 years and it wont change. Statistically the Charedi community doubles every 8.5 years. Every 8.5 years. Instead of doubling income to yeshivos and institutions with self sufficient Bala ahbatim that can support institutions we are cranking and encouraging more public assistance recipients. Its Shonda if you are a young single Shomrei Torah Umitzvos working and building a career to support a family and the Klal . But if you plan on sponging off your family and public assistance you are the Top Shelf You get Married have two or three children need a bigger house need to get a new car need nice clothes you fudge the numbers a little one quarter get some extra food stamps dollars some extra WIC and welfare. it gets easy and all of a sudden your Balabatish thanks to uncle sam

    13. 3 of a few
      How many shopkeepers report all of the cash receivables? Of course the credit card and checks are reported because they go through the bank, but it seems that many who are familiar with retail practices especially in the smaller neighborhood stores can say that not all cash receivables are reported. Another issue that is commonly seen is sales tax. In some areas it has become the norm simply not to pay sales tax when paying in cash and some businesses will even say that “if you pay me in cash, well save you the tax” of course this is illegal, but it is commonly done and seen.

      I have been in stores and have seen people brazenly say “I don’t pay sales tax”, and when the store owner insists, the customer walks out.
      How can someone have the nerve to even talk like that?

    14. Nobody should ever show animosity, contempt or anything negative to ANYONE who genuinely needs public assistance. There of many of us in that situation, sadly. But you misread the comments. The only animosity is towards the scammers and fraudsters who are not only fleecing the government, but who are also robbing us – the taxpayers – as well as making a chilul Hashem. I don’t know if any of you remember the Solomon Dweck scandal from a few years ago, but every time another frum Jew is arrested for financial crimes, it just feeds into the bigoted stereotype of money-grubbing Jews.

      • Agreed, But in the many comments that people wrote on this article and on the other articles that are about this story, there was the expression of animosity and that people should work, and not depend or take the benefits. If one chooses to learn and is genuinely learning, and doing due diligence, and qualifies, there is no reason why he is less qualified than the African American on the street corner drinking beer and smoking.

        I stress, EVEN if there is wealth in the family, and can support, there is still no reason why those who need the help should not take the help that the government is offering. They are a separate household, with a separate income and they qualify.

        Not to be mistaken, we as Jews, are always being scrutinized and we need to do our utmost, and go above and beyond NOT to make a Chilul Hashem.

        To be clear, I would never condone steeling, or fleecing the government, but if someone qualifies, there is no reason not to utilize the help. Especially when other members of the same family or community are paying so much into the system, it’s nice to see your tax dollars going to help your own family.

    15. last of a few

      People wonder, how could the child of such a wealthy businessman qualify and be on welfare programs. The answer is pretty simple. The young couple is not making enough of there of there own money to be ineligible for the programs and therefore they legally qualify to receive the governments help. We have all seen at times, and the logic of the parents of these young couples is understandable. “If I am paying so much into the system, why shouldn’t my child be a recipient instead of the randoms who will receive it.”

      In closing,
      It seems strange when you see a young couple living comfortably with a fancy car, children well dressed, and a Bugaboo and then pull out a benefit card, but in reality, if the car is his mothers, and the Bugaboo was a gift from her family or friends, and the grandmother took the kids shopping, as crazy and as unfair as it sounds, it is legal.

      In being Dan Lekaf Zechut for our fellow brethren, we need to believe that this is the case, and most of the people who receive the benefits are legally eligible for them.

    16. The whole culture of Lakewood and other places where bochurim don’t get a decent university education is completely wrong. In the secular Jewish world, being highly educated is treasured. Before World War 2, there were no system of kollels like today. Return to the good old days.

      • The problem with that is that University does not offer any stipend or pay check, and nobody will offer to help support a young university couple, but they would help a Kollel couple.
        Also, in our community, we begin building our families younger, and it is hard to be a dad and provide, and be there for your wife and kids while in University.

      • The whole culture of university education is completely wrong. The overwhelming majorty of university students get stuck with large debts and college loans . Its a huge crisis. Furthermore, most don’t major in meaningful careers. Most are too young and immature to know what to major in at age 18.

        The point of college is to help us earn a parnasa. Secular Education is meaning less. Its only meaningful in as much as it brings to employment. Us Jews believe in one education the torah.

        Now if you want to argue that there should be a greater push for those who need a parnasa or who see that the need is arriving in the very near future to pursue an educated respectable career rather than become reliant on programs, I agree. And in fact that’s my ideology and why I went to college.

        The notion that bochrim should go is silly, counter productive and a waste of money.

        Please refer to my prior post above for details. In a nutshell,

        Bochrim are too young and immature to know what to major in.
        Bochrim do not take college seriously and waste the opportunity.
        College can be completed in 24 months in a manner that brings to meaningful employment as accountants actuaries, nurses etc…

        • Allow me to address your summary (which is mostly BS, and is the typical response from every brainwashed kollel guy)
          1. Bochrim are too young and immature to know what to major in.
          Bochrim are not too young if they have proper guidance thru their high school years. They are immature because they have been sheltered all their lives, not given a proper education, and force fed the kool-aid that the only way to make a good shidduch is to park ones tuches in BMG.

          2. Bochrim do not take college seriously and waste the opportunity.
          As a father, I can tell you that my sons absolutely took college seriously. Perhaps because I insisted on them going to high schools with a good secular education and that promoted college. Besides the fact that they are told by the rebbeim and ry’s how bad college is. (to be continued)

          • I am far from brain washed. And I am a college graduate.

            1) Yes bochrim are too young. I attended a school that allowed college. My school offered a proper education. There was not high school degree unless you passed all your regents. I have lots of friends that attended school at 18 and never parked their tuchus in BMG. Yet, they were still too immature , wasted away college and mostly never used their degrees. The facts and numbers don’t lie.

            2) Glad your children took school seriously because most of my friends did not. And most of my 18 yr old class mates did not take school seriously. Again I attended a school with a great education and rabbeim who never knocked college.

            3) There is nothing wrong with the “yeshivish” way. I agree with you that in High school a well rounded education is vital. But there reaches a point where education should only be used for the purpose of bringing to meaningful employment. Otherwise we should be learning. I am proud of my shortcuts as it enabled me to gain more torah knowledge while being a responsible individual and attending school when the time was ripe to earn a paransa. If its “yeshivish” so be it.

            • You are a shining example ….but in the deep down yeshiva world. going to a Yeshiva that lets you go to collage is tumeh. Going to college is momash tinuf

        • Part2:
          3. College can be completed in 24 months in a manner that brings to meaningful employment as accountants actuaries, nurses etc…
          While this may be true, again, its the typical yeshivish way – look for short cuts. Heaven forbid they should learn something else like science, economics, history, besides for the major. Do you have a clue what was taught in Torah Vodaath years ago in high school? English. Math, French, Hebrew, Biology, Chemistry, Economics, Physics, etc. The secular education today is one big joke.

    17. # 18
      Do you justify stealing because in certain other populations there are those that do?
      Why do you pay housekeepers cash? Paying on the books protects her and you, but if one gets the money illegally then I guess you have to dispose of it illegally to keep it off of your books.
      Honestly, when you talk about people learning, how many people can actually learn for hours on end? When I went to professional school and you had to retain the information and not just go through the motions of learning, lectures were at most five hours daily because only a very few gifted people can spend more time concentrating, so please none of you folks tell me that the quantity of boys sitting are all capable of doing full day learning.
      Anyhow the cheating and stealing of community members has been discussed ad nauseam as have the feeble attempts to justify it

      • I agree with your disdain for stealing but disagree with your kollel notion.

        Firstly, we have been learning for years prior to kolel and thus are trained to concentrate far more than those at your professional school

        Secondly, learning with a chavrusa is not an intense lecture

        Thirdly, the majorty not all are capabale. Go to BMG and check it out for yourself. Yes there are batlonim in the coffee room, but notice how most are really learning. If they take a quick coffee break its often just that.


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