Solomon Dwek, who helped federal authorities in New Jersey build a wide-ranging corruption investigation that ensnared the chief rabbi of the Syrian Jewish community and a clutch of local politicians, is expected to plead guilty today to federal fraud charges, according to NJ.com.
Dwek, the son of a prominent Syrian rabbi, was arrested in May 2006 after he allegedly tried to kite checks worth more than $50 million, including a $25.2 million check he tried to deposit at a drive-through ATM. Court documents filed in July indicate that Dwek agreed to help prosecutors break open multimillion-dollar money-laundering rings allegedly being run through religious charities in the tight-knit Syrian communities of Brooklyn and northern New Jersey and, in one gory instance, an organ-trafficking ring between the United States and Israel. The five rabbis arrested in the case, including 87-year-old chief rabbi Saul Kassin, face an array of conspiracy and fraud charges.
Dwek, who faced up to 30 years in prison on the original bank fraud allegations, is expected to be the star witness in any cases that go to trial.
UPDATE: NJ.com reports that Dwek, who made his first appearance in federal court this morning since his initial arrest, entered guilty pleas on two counts of bank fraud. Sentencing was set for Feb. 9. Dwek is due in state court later today to enter pleas on similar charges.
Solomon Dwek, Central Witness in N.J. Corruption Probe, Expected to Plead Guilty [NJ.com]
Related: Crisis of Faith [Tablet]