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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.

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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.

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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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Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

We need your support to keep producing quality journalism and deepen our investigative reporting. Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Invest with us in the future. Make a one-time contribution to Raw Story Investigates, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.



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‘I’m the one who calls the shots’: Trump rails against Fox News for giving him ‘his worst polls’

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President Donald Trump explained why Fox News has drawn his ire and that they need to realize he's the one in control of them.

In a conversation on the tarmac in Morristown, New Jersey on his way back to Washington, Trump said that Fox News has not been good to him lately.

"Fox is a lot different than it used to be, I can tell you that," Trump said.

In an earlier Twitter rant, the president went off on Juan Williams for being "nasty and wrong."

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Trump explains why he wants to buy Greenland to reporters: ‘It’s a large real estate deal — a lot can be done’

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President Donald Trump reaffirmed his desire to buy Greenland in discussion with reporters Sunday.

The president was returning to Washington, D.C. when he stopped at the airport in Morristown, New Jersey. New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman asked the president about his desire to buy the country from Denmark.

"Greenland, I don't know. It got released somehow," Trump said of the news about his desire to buy the country. "It's something we talked about. Denmark essentially owns it. We're very good allies with Denmark. We protect Denmark like we protect large portions of the world. So the concept came up, and I said, strategically, it's interesting. And we'd be interested. We'll talk to them a little bit. It's not number one on the burner; I can tell you that."

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‘They love the meanest parts of him’: Conservative writer explains why evangelical Christians stick with Trump

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Ben Howe, a conservative writer and evangelical Christian who refuses to support Donald Trump, explained why fellow evangelicals continue to back the president despite his decidedly ungodly behavior.

Speaking with the Atlantic’s Emma Green about his new book The Immoral Majority, Howe — whose evangelical bona fides include attending pastor Jerry Falwell’s church as a kid — described evangelicals’ support for Trump, insisting “they love the meanest parts of him.”

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