In the summer of 2009 the blog Gawker stated “Everybody in New Jersey Was Arrested Yesterday.” Now for the first time, the real story behind the biggest corruption bust in New Jersey’s notoriously corrupt history
Among the forty-four people arrested in July 2009 were three mayors, five Orthodox rabbis, two state legislators, and the flamboyant deputy mayor of Jersey City, Leona Beldini, once a stripper using the stage name “Hope Diamond.” At the center of it all was a dubious character named Solomon Dwek, who perpetrated a $50 million Ponzi scheme before copping a plea and wearing a wire as a secret FBI undercover informant, setting up friends, partners, rabbis, and dozens of politicians. Mr. Dwek played his role like an extra in a mob movie. On surveillance tape, he repeatedly referred to his fraudulent “schnookie deals,” which is Yiddish for, well, schnook.
Full of impossible-to-make-up detail and fresh revelations from the continuing trials and investigations, this book—the inside, untold account of a federal sting operation that moves from the streets of Brooklyn to the diners of Jersey City, and all the way to Israel—is a wonderful tour de force of investigative journalism by the reporting team that broke this amazing story.