Brothers plead guilty over extortion of divorce from Jewish husbands

( Two Orthodox-Jewish brothers in Brooklyn admitted to being involved with a crime ring that used violence to threaten Jewish husbands to agree to grant their wives a religious divorce. Avrohom Goldstein, 34, and Moshe Goldstein, 31, are among a group of 10 men involved in the ring. The men would kidnap Jewish men and beat them until they would agree to grant their wives a divorce.

Under Jewish law, a woman can obtain a divorce only if her husband grants her a "get." Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

Orthodox Jewish women can only divorce their husbands if the husbands agree to grant them a religious divorce, or a "get." According to New Jersey U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman, the two men were caught last October at a warehouse in Edison, NJ, by FBI agents posing as an Orthodox Jewish wife and her brother who agreed to pay $10,000 up front and another $50,000 for the men to beat the woman's husband.

The brothers pleaded guilty in federal court to traveling in interstate commerce to commit extortion. They will be sentenced in June. The other men in the ring include New York personal trainer David Hellman, 31 (who will also be sentenced in June), the brothers' father Jay Goldstein, 59, Rabbis Mendel Epstein, 68, and Martin Wolmark, 55, and others. All ring members still face criminal charges, Reuters reported.

Posted on March 13, 2014 .