Rabbi, wife charged with benefits fraud released

Posted: Updated:
TOMS RIVER -

A judge has ordered a rabbi and his wife charged in a public welfare fraud scheme to be released from jail pending trial.

Rabbi Zalmen Sorotzkin and his wife, Tzipporah, were charged Monday with collecting more than $338,000 in benefits prosecutors say they weren't entitled to.

Their attorney, Edward Bertucio, said the couple is pleading not guilty and will seek exoneration in court.

“We plan on a thorough investigation and defense of this matter,” Bertucio said after the hearing.

Prosecutors say another couple, Mordechai and Jocheved Breskin wrongly collected more than $585,000 in benefits. The judge also ordered them to be released pending trial.

All four defendants who appeared in state court were ordered to surrender their passports.

Two other couples were charged in federal court with similar charges.

Officials say that more raids and arrests are expected this week as the investigation continues.

The Associated Press wire services contributed to this report.

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