December 1, 2017




Three sentenced in plot to kidnap, kill husband who refused to grant wife religious divorce

WHITE PLAINS – Three men, residents of Kiryas Joel, Airmont and Israel, were sentenced on Thursday in federal court for their roles in devising and covering up a plot to kidnap and murder a man to obtain a religious divorce for that man’s wife.

Aharon Goldberg, 56, of Israel was sentenced to three years in prison, Shimen Liebowitz, 26, of Kiryas Joel was sentenced to two years in prison, and Binyamin Gottlieb, 34, of Airmont was sentenced to one year of probation. All three were also sentenced to three years of supervised release.

According to Jewish religious law as observed in certain communities, to affect a divorce, a husband must provide his wife with a document known as a “get.” A woman whose husband will not consent to a divorce is known as an “agunah.” In the absence of the husband’s issuing a get, an agunah may be released from her marriage only through the husband’s death.

Under the plot by the three men, they began working to orchestrate the kidnapping of the husband who refused to grant a get to his wife with the purpose of kidnapping, imprisoning and torturing him until he agreed to give his wife the get.

The men spoke with a private investigator whom they solicited to carry out the kidnapping and torture for money, but what they did not know as that the private investigator was a confidential source to the FBI, who recorded several meetings with the defendants.


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