TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — Two rabbis and two other men are accused in an FBI sting carried out in New Jersey and New York of plotting to kidnap a man to force him to grant a religious divorce.
In a complaint released Thursday, the FBI says the two rabbis, Mendel Epstein and Martin Wolmark, charged Jewish women and their families thousands of dollars to obtain religious divorces from recalcitrant husbands.
Two undercover agents contacted Wolmark and Epstein in August about seeking a divorce. According to the complaint, Epstein spoke about forcing compliance through "tough guys" who use electric cattle prods and even place plastic bags over the heads of husbands.
The FBI says the price was $50,000.
The investigation took place in Ocean and Middlesex counties in New Jersey and Rockland County in New York.