NJ Mayors, NY Rabbis Busted in Corruption Probe

Syrian Jews accused of money-laundering
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 23, 2009 9:34 AM CDT
Peter Cammarano, mayor of Hoboken, is seen in this photo from his campaign website.
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(Newser) – In a huge corruption bust, FBI agents arrested 30 people today, including the mayors of Hoboken and Secaucus, the deputy mayor of Jersey City, a New Jersey assemblyman, and several Brooklyn and New Jersey rabbis, the Star-Ledger reports. The arrests stem from a 2-year money-laundering probe centered on New York’s Syrian Jewish community. Agents raided religious institutions and arrested religious leaders from wealthy communities.

The investigation, by the FBI and IRS, eventually broadened into a public corruption probe. Those nabbed include Daniel Van Pelt, a New Jersey state lawmaker since 1988; Peter Cammarano, the newly elected mayor of Hoboken; and Dennis Elwell, 64, who’s been mayor of Secaucus for more than 20 years. Indictments have not yet been released. Court appearances are expected later today.