Charging a racket in the kosher butcher trade whereby the Federation of Kosher Butchers drove non-members out of business by unfair means, the State Attorney General in cooperation with Queens District Attorney Charles S. Colden yesterday ordered the arrest of Charles Cohen, president of the Federation, on charges of conspiracy.
The arrest came late in the afternoon, too late for Cohen’s attorney, David S. Andron, to arrange for bail. Cohen spent the night in Queens County jail. It is expected that bail will be arranged this morning.
Cohen, with two other officers of the Federation, a Mr. Kitnis and a Mr. Schatz, were indicted by the Queens Grand Jury July 18. The latter two, Andron said, will surrender themselves at the hearing in Queens Special Sessions Court tomorrow morning. All will plead not guilty.
The Federation, Assistant Attorney General Bienstock said, exacted a tax of a cent per pound from its members. This money, he said, was used to open butcher shops next to non-members and to drive them out of business by underselling them. When competition was destroyed, he charged, meat prices were raised ten cents a pound.
The anti-racket bureau of the Attorney General’s office has worked on the case in collaboration with the Queens District Attorney’s office for several months.
Through his attorney, Cohen last night answered the charges in a statement to the Jewish Daily Bulletin.
“There is confusion,” he said, “because the indictment is based on suspicion and opinion rather than facts. It is difficult to find another association which has striven to assist the conditions of the industry.
“Its work on behalf of butchers in relation to improvement of conditions has always been of a very high standard.