What Do Rabbis, Criminals, And Lawmakers Have In Common? New Jersey, Duh!

Move over Tony Soprano! Two mayors, two state assemblymen, five rabbis and basically every powerful person from the lovely state of New Jersey has been arrested in a sweeping FBI corruption and money laundering probe for basically turning the Garden State into a one-stop criminal enterprise. Oy!

The sordid two-year corruption and international money-laundering scandal stretching from the Jersey Shore to Brooklyn to Israel and Switzerland culminated in charges against 44 people, including most mayors, politicians and half the rabbis in Brooklyn.

The details of the vast scandal are only beginning to be sorted out, but involved the familiar “pay-to-play” scheme in which people seeking government permits handed over cash, or more accurately, a box of Apple Jacks cereal stuffed with $97,000, to obtain under-the-table approval for whatever it is they wanted to do.

Among the illustrious politicians arrested in the shake-down are Hoboken Mayor Peter Cammarano, Secaucus Mayor Denis Elwell, Jersey City Deputy Mayor Leona Baldini, Jersey City Council President Mariano Vega and two state assemblymen. Imagine how much Cammarano could have accomplished if he had been in office longer than a mere three weeks. He could’ve been famous! Even Blago would be jealous.

Of course, no vast criminal conspiracy would be complete without Brooklyn Jews’ greatest spiritual leaders, including Saul Kassin, grand rabbi of the Syrian Jewish community in the United States and Levy-Izhak Rosenbaum, a real mensch whose decade-long hobby of trafficking in human organs helped him turn a handsome profit by convincing vulnerable people to donate their kidneys for $10,000 before flipping them for upwards of $160,000! Hey, since when is capitalism illegal in this country?

“For these defendants, corruption was a way of life,” Ralph J. Marra Jr., the acting United States attorney in New Jersey said. “They existed in an ethics-free zone.”

Some, like Cammarano also apparently operated in a reality-free zone.

The young mayor of Hoboken was so confident in his election chances, he boasted, “Right now, the Italians, the Hispanics, the seniors are locked down. Nothing can change that now.”

“I could be, uh, indicted,” he continued, “and I’m still going to win 85 to 95 percent of those populations.”

Ha ha, forgeddabout! Unless you’re talking about prison populations.

But look on the brightside, New Jersey–at least no one’s talking about Jim McGreevey’s sexual preferences (gay!) anymore.

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