(JTA) — Two Brooklyn brothers have pleaded guilty to being part of a group of men who used violent means in exchange for pay to force Jewish husbands to give their wives religious divorces.
Avrohom Goldstein, 34, and Moshe Goldstein, 31, separately pleaded guilty this week in U.S. District Court in Trenton, N.J., to participating in the extortion ring, according to reports.
The Goldstein bothers were charged with traveling in interstate commerce to commit extortion. They face up to 20 years in prison and fines of $250,000 when they are sentenced in June.
David Hellman, 31, pleaded guilty on March 7 to the same charges.
At least five other men, including two Orthodox rabbis, were arrested last October as part of an FBI sting operation. The ring charged some $60,000 for its services.
According to a complaint filed in court, the men kidnapped and beat up recalcitrant husbands until they agreed to the religious divorce.
Orthodox Jewish women cannot remarry without a get, or writ of divorce, granted by a rabbinical court, which requires the husband’s consent. Some husbands and wives withhold a get in order to gain more favorable terms for alimony or custody of children.