3 Men Sentenced After Admitting To Coercing Men Into Granting Religious Divorces

TRENTON, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) — Three New York men were sentenced Thursday, after pleaded guilty to trying to coerce a Jewish man to give his wife a religious divorce.

U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman said Thursday Avrohom Goldstein, of Brooklyn, was sentenced to three years and nine months in prison. Ariel Potash, of Monsey, New York, got a sentence of one year and two months, and Sholom Schuchat, of Brooklyn, was sentenced to time served.

All three pleaded guilty earlier to one count each of crossing state lines to commit extortion.

The men were arrested along with seven others after the FBI raided several locations in October 2013, including Yeshiva Shaarei Torah in Suffern, a home in Brooklyn and at least one other location in New Jersey.

The raid followed an undercover sting.

Jewish law mandates that a husband present his wife with a document, known as a “get,” to make divorce official.

Prosecutors said the team used brutal methods, including handcuffs and electric cattle prods, to torture men into granting gets.

Rabbi Mendel Epstein, of Lakewood, New Jersey, was convicted of conspiracy to commit kidnapping and acquitted of attempted kidnapping in April. Rabbi Martin Wolmark pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit extortion. Both will be sentenced next month.

Another co-defendant, Moshe Goldstein, 32, was sentenced to four years in prison in the case earlier this week.

(TM and © Copyright 2015 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2015 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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