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Dozen members of Brooklyn family charged with defrauding banks of $20 million

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NEW YORK N.Y. (Reuters) – A dozen members of a Brooklyn family were among 15 people charged in New York federal court Thursday with being part of a conspiracy to inflate their incomes to obtain $20 million in real estate loans and understate it to the government for welfare benefits.

Real estate developer Irving Rubin, his wife, three brothers and two sons, among others, were accused by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Manhattan of a “prince or pauper” scheme.

According to the indictment, the defendants misrepresented their income and assets to acquire $20 million in loans for properties in Brooklyn, Manhattan and Monroe, New York since 2004 and defrauded the government of $700,000 in food stamps and other welfare benefits.

Thirteen of the defendants were arrested Thursday in a coordinated action across at least three properties in Brooklyn, the government said.

The 21 charges also include bank fraud and aggravated identity theft. U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York Preet Bharara said that the defendants alternately played the parts of prince or pauper, depending on which scam was being perpetrated.

Yehuda and Rachel Rubin, for example, allegedly claimed a total income of $180 per month to receive government benefits. But when they applied for loans amounting to over $1 million dollars, they reported total income of $31,000 per month.

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Samuel Rubin is accused of receiving over $7 million in loans by claiming to make $350,000 annually, despite obtaining welfare benefits with a claimed income of about $20,000 per year.

The majority of those loans were never repaid, authorities said.

Real estate lawyer Martin Kofman was also indicted for facilitating the fraudulent loan applications and distributing the money to the other members of the conspiracy. Appraiser Pinchus Glauber allegedly inflated property values to help the defendants qualify for further loans.

FBI Assistant Director George Venizelos said he hoped that the charges “remind those who poke holes in our government safety net and exploit gaps in the mortgage and banking sectors that they will face the errors of their ways.”

The prosecution is being handled by the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s White Plains Division.

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Fireworks erupt at latest Mueller hearing as chairman Jerry Nadler schools GOP’s Jim Jordan

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A feisty Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY) schooled Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) for blatantly misstating facts about the investigation into potential coordination between the Trump campaign and the Russian government during the 2016 presidential election.

After Jordan went on a lengthy diatribe against the FBI for supposedly relying on the Steele dossier to launch an investigation against the Trump campaign, Nadler jumped in to formally correct the record.

"It is well established that the investigation was not predicated on the Steele dossier, but rather on the observation of..." Nadler began.

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Trump emphatically explains that unmanned drones don’t have people in them as he rambles about Iran’s big ‘mistake’

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During a joint press availability with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, President Donald Trump opened up about the drone that was shot down by Iran.

According to Trump, drones are unmanned, a fact he felt was important to convey to those who haven't seen a Jason Bourne film or a spy thriller.

"Iran made a big mistake," Trump said. "This drone was in international waters clearly. We have it all documented. It’s documented scientifically, not just words. They made a big mistake."

He also said that he doesn't believe the decision to shoot the drone down likely came from the Iranian government in Tehran.

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2020 Election

BUSTED: Trump super PAC accused of lying to government about the source of mysterious $325,000 donation

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According to a report from the Daily Beast's "Pay Dirt" investigative unit, a Super PAC affiliated with President Donald Trump has some explaining to do about a $375,000 donation that was wrongly attributed to one company -- but wire transfers tell a completely different story.

As the Beast notes, "The super PAC America First Action reported receiving a $325,000 contribution last year from a company called Global Energy Producers. But records released in federal court this week indicate that contribution came from an entirely different company," adding that the discrepancy was pointed out by the  Campaign Legal Center which labeled it a violation of federal campaign-finance laws.

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