NJ Real Estate Scammer Freed by Trump Faces New Charges: $35 Million Fraud Allegation
Introduction: After being released from prison by then-President Donald Trump, convicted real estate swindler Eliyahu Weinstein vowed to turn his life around. However, it seems he failed to live up to his promise. Federal prosecutors revealed that Weinstein resumed his fraudulent activities, this time allegedly defrauding more than 150 investors of a staggering $35 million in a scheme involving promises of profitable investments in scarce Covid-19 supplies, baby formula, and first-aid kits for war-torn Ukraine. Let’s delve into the details of these new charges against the scammer.
- Trump’s Controversial Commutation: In the past, Eliyahu Weinstein was convicted of defrauding members of his Orthodox Jewish community out of $200 million through fake real estate investments and land deals. However, in the final days of Trump’s presidency, he commuted Weinstein’s 24-year sentence based on recommendations from celebrity lawyer Alan Dershowitz and a Republican member of Congress from New Jersey, Jeff Van Drew. Despite his previous crimes, Weinstein found himself a free man once again.
- The Alleged $35 Million Fraud Scheme: After regaining his freedom, Weinstein, along with four co-conspirators, allegedly orchestrated a new Ponzi-style scheme. They targeted over 150 individuals, enticing them with promises of lucrative investments in Covid-19 supplies, baby formula, and first-aid kits for Ukraine. These fraudulent promises led to substantial losses for the unsuspecting investors.
- The Co-Conspirators and Charges: Weinstein’s co-conspirators, Shlomo Erez, Aryeh Bromberg, Joel Wittels, and Alaa Hattab, played crucial roles in executing the fraudulent scheme. Erez, an Israeli citizen, was arrested alongside Weinstein and ordered detained. Bail was set at $500,000 for Bromberg, while Wittels and Hattab are still at large, evading the authorities.
- Optimus Investments Involvement: Weinstein utilized Optimus Investments, a company he operated with Bromberg and Wittels, as a front for soliciting investments. Bromberg and Wittels would lure investors with fictitious deals, and the funds gathered were funneled to Weinstein under a pseudonym to conceal his past.
- Dershowitz’s Clarification: Amidst the controversy, Alan Dershowitz clarified that he had limited involvement with Weinstein, merely providing legal advice to an organization advocating sentence reductions. He distanced himself from Weinstein’s fraudulent activities.
Despite Trump’s commutation of his previous sentence, Eliyahu Weinstein allegedly resumed his criminal activities and now faces serious charges for defrauding investors in a $35 million scheme. With authorities apprehending some of the co-conspirators, the legal process will unfold as the case progresses. As investors seek justice, the impact of this elaborate scam on their lives remains a painful reminder of the consequences of financial deceit.