“Financial assistance programs are designed to alleviate family hardships for those truly in need,” Coronato said. “Those who choose to ignore those warnings by seeking to illegally profit on the backs of taxpayers will pay the punitive price of their actions.”
The arrest Monday of four couples, including four people who had earned millions of dollars, may just be the start as officials crack down on welfare fraud in this Ocean County community.
Rabbi Zalmen Sorotzkin, 39, of Congregation Lutzk, and his wife, Tzipporah, 35; and Mordechai Breskin, 37, and his wife, Jocheved, 35, were arrested on charges filed by the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office.
The FBI, meanwhile, arrested Rachel Sorotzkin, 32, Mordechai Sorotzkin, 35, Yocheved Nussbaum, 40, and Shimon Nussbaum, 42, on federal charges of conspiring to steal federal funds.
Authorities said the families, some of whom owned businesses and lived in large homes, collected Medicaid and subsidized housing benefits and food stamps.
Ocean County Prosecutor Joseph D. Coronato said that his office warned religious leaders two years ago about the risk of abusing financial assistance programs.