Monday, July 27, 2009

Meet the Informer

So who's the rat?

According to all available sources, including the Asbury Park Press and the Newark Star-Ledger, the key cooperating witness in the New Jersey corruption probe that led to federal charges against 44 people last week is an Ocean Township real estate developer accused two years ago with trying to defraud a bank of more than $50 million, Solomon Dweck.

While federal prosecutors declined to identify the witness, sources with knowledge of the investigation said the witness is Dwek (man on right in photo), son of Rabbi Isaac Dwek, a leader in the Sephardic Jewish community and the head of the Synagogue of Deal.

Solomon Dwek was charged two years ago with trying to defraud a bank of more than $50 million. According to court documents, Dwek was accused of depositing a bogus $25 million check at the PNC Bank in Eatontown and spending $22 million of it before he was caught. He then tried to deposit a second bogus $25 million check at a different PNC branch before he was confronted.

Dwek's father is Rabbi Isaac Dwek, a leader in the Sephardic Jewish community and the head of the Synagogue of Deal. His father and other family members were in court with him.

Dwek himself has been the vice president and chief executive of a Jewish school, the Deal Yeshiva. He is a prolific contributor to political candidates and committees. In Federal Election Commission records from the past six years, he lists himself alternately as a rabbi, a school administrator, an investor and the head of a real estate company called Dwek Properties LLC.

He owns more than 200 properties in central New Jersey, his lawyer (pictured above) said in court.

Thanks to the Associated Press

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