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Who is Solomon Dwek?

Several of the initial reports on the arrests in New York and New Jersey mentioned the name Shalom Dwek, his previous trouble with law-enforcement officials and his connection to the Deal Yeshiva.

For example, from The Daily Record:

… The subjects of the arrests also include religious leaders from the Syrian Jewish enclaves in Brooklyn, Deal and Elberon. Sources said the IRS and FBI this morning seized documents from the Deal Yeshiva and the Ohel Yaacob synagogue on Ocean Avenue in Deal.

The Deal Yeshiva is a religious school which teaches children in the Sephardic Jewish tradition, The Yeshiva has two separate divisions: a boys’ school on Logan Road in Ocean Township and a girls’ school on Wall Street in West Long Branch.

The school was founded more than 20 years ago by Rabbi Isaac Dwek and Raizel Dwek, the parents of Solomon Dwek, of Ocean Township. Rabbi Dwek was the school’s president, and Raizel was its treasurer, until 2006, when their son’s real estate empire began to crumble after Dwek deposited a bad $25.2 million check at a drive-through window at the PNC Bank in Eatontown. …

Now the second wave of stories is suggesting that Dwek may actually be the key witness in today’s arrests.

Here’s a report from Bloomberg:

… The cooperating witness is Solomon Dwek, a real estate developer in Monmouth County, New Jersey, who was charged May 11, 2006, with scheming to defraud PNC Bank out of $50 million, according to a person familiar with the matter and court records.

Prosecutors alleged that Dwek deposited two $25 million checks from another account of his, which had a zero balance. Dwek then wired $22.8 million out of PNC, falsely assuring bank officials that he would forward funds to cover the overdraft, according to prosecutors.

Dwek posted a $10 million bond, secured by $3 million in equity in the homes of his mother-in-law and sister-in-law. Dwek was never indicted, instead receiving 17 extensions from a judge to continue the period in which his case had to be presented to a federal grand jury. …

Because of the early case, The Asbury Park Press already put together an entire special section titled "Rise and Fall: Inside Solomon Dwek’s Empire."

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