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Lakewood NJ developer Eliyahu Weinstein arrested in alleged Ponzi scheme August 12, 2010

Posted by jefhenninger in News.

Real estate developer Eliyahu Weinstein, arrested today at his Lakewood home on charges of defrauding investors of tens of millions of dollars as part of a Ponzi scheme.  At just 34 years old, the Feds claim that he was able to bilk investors on two continents out of nearly $300 million.  While he is well short of Madoff, he will be in rare company if those numbers hold up.  However, Madoff was an elderly man.  For someone so young to rack up these numbers is quite impressive.

The criminal complaint filed against Weinstein also charges a co-defendant, Vladimir Siforov of Manalapan.  Like many ponzi schemes,  Weinstein is alleged to have used his connections to his religious community; in this case, the Orthodox Jewish community.  Weinstein’s New York City-based attorney, Ephraim Savitt, argued for Weinstein’s release, did not have time to put together a bail package.  That could be a real moot point given the amount of time he is facing (just about the rest of his life) and the fact that he frequently flies overseas so he is a huge flight risk.

Right now, there doesn’t seem to be a clear pictures as to where all the money went.  However, some of the money funded a huge collection that included manuscripts and antique Judaica items valued at about $6.2 million; a jewelry and clock collection that cost about $7.6 million; and jewelry and watches valued at $6.2 million, including items from Bulgari, Cartier, Omega and Harry Winston.  That still leaves about $280 million unaccounted for.   


Story is here and here.


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