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The Jersey Sting: A True Story of Crooked Pols, Money-Laundering Rabbis, Black Market Kidneys, and the Informant Who Brought It All Down

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  • Posted April 2, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    complex tale is told in a meticulous fashion

    "The Jersey Sting" By Ted Sherman and Josh Margolin is the true story of the events leading up to the arrest of 44 people in New Jersey. These 44 were corrupt local politicians, Rabbis, money launderers and, strangest of all, a black market kidney dealer.

    The book centers on Solomon Dwek, the son of a rabbi, born and bread in Deal, NJ. Dwek made his fortune as an unlicensed real estate broker and got caught up in a ponzi scheme until he finally had to commit bank fraud.

    Becoming and FBI informant, wearing a camera and voice recorder, Dwek helped the FBI capture corrupt politicians, some seasoned and some only days in office. However, Dwek's ties run deep and he brings even more then corrupt politicians to the FBI's door.

    On the holiest day of the year, July 23, 2009 the FBI culminated a three year investigation by arresting 44 people for various charges including money laundering and taking bribes. All of these people were taken down by one informant, a rabbi's son named Solomon Dwek.

    "The Jersey Sting" By Ted Sherman and Josh Margolin is a fantastic book. If I didn't follow these arrests live as they were happening I wouldn't have believed this could actually be true. The whole book reads like a fictional story from a deranged mind.

    1) Several months ago I got hit with a $15 bank fee because a check I deposited valued at 35 cents bounced (I fought hard and got the $15 back). Solomon Dwek cashed a $25 million check.from a closed company.using the drive through.
    Then he wrote another $25 million check. That's $50 million in bank fraud.

    Facing 30 years in prison Dwek helped the FBI capture the 44 villains.

    2) What kind of stupid politicians do we have in New Jersey (Part 1)?
    When you are holding political office and someone hands you an envelope with cash you.take it?
    Not to mention that bribes are LEGAL in NJ - there are laws on the books on how to accept bribes properly (they are called "pay to play laws").

    3) What kind of stupid politicians do we have in New Jersey (Part 2)?
    Dwek's picture was on the front page of every newspaper of New Jersey for a long time. Yet, when he offered them a bribe they didn't think twice about it.
    And he used his real name!

    4) What kind of stupid politicians do we have in New Jersey (Part 3)?
    Half of these people Dwek introduced himself as fictional builder. Only one actually googled the name and figured out that something is rotten in the state of Jersey. The rest.just took the money.

    5) There are "bag men" in New Jersey whose whole reason for living is to introduce crooked politicians to potential bribers and get a cut for the introduction and another cut if a deal actually goes through.
    And here I am, like a sucker, working eight hour days.

    6) The FBI and federal prosecutor did not involve the New Jersey's attorney general in the case because as an appointed position NJ's attorney general is in the business of protecting scumbag politicians instead of prosecuting them. But you have to read The Soprano State (book review) in order to find out how.

    This complex tale is told in a meticulous fashion, with a sense of humor but with a serious twist. I enjoyed this book tremendously, even though it might not be a light read for some. The authors also included a cast of characters at the end which will help the those who are just getting their introduction to New Jersey's "culture

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 19, 2011

    A Must Read

    For anyone who cares about crime, corruption and the Garden State. These guys have left no stone unturned in this story, and what a story it is.

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  • Posted March 18, 2011

    Hot Livers, Cold Coffee and a Perp Parade

    Move over Snookie, you don't even come close to the characters that Margolin and Sherman outline in this exceptional read about corruption in New Jersey.

    Not only to the characters sell their souls for bags of cash in hudson county parking lots, some of the characters actually try to hustle human livers to desperate patients in need of transplants.

    You really can't make this sort of thing up; funny and true all at the same time.

    The book is well-writtent and wonderfully documented. The wrtiting reflects the decades of experience in newspapers that the authors have under their belts. The style is crisp and credible.

    A wonderful read for anyone.

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  • Posted March 18, 2011

    Excellent writing, rich detail, an unbelievable tale = great read

    Sherman and Margolin are established and well respected investigative journalists who demonstrate in this book that they aren't just reporters, they're writers. They clearly put their considerable skills to use assimilating all the facts, reviewing the tapes and records, conducting interviews and translating all of that into a story that is rich in detail and truly hard to put down. They take us behind the scenes and into the heads of the perpetrators, victims, investigators and prosecutors to connect the dots and develop character portraits that makes it easy for readers to "visualize" the story as if it were a movie. This story is truly one from the "truth is stranger, and more unbelievable, than fiction" files. A great read. Let's hope they're not done.

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  • Posted March 17, 2011

    Fascinating reading

    The Jersey Sting is a difficult to believe true story. Although it is written by a pair of newspaper reporters, it reads like a novel by Elmore Leonard channeling Robert Ludlum with some George Carlin wry comedy thrown in. It is absolutely fascinating to follow how Dwek was able to con supposedly aware people into giving him money or accepting money from him. The most amusing/amazing story is how he was able to cash a check for $25 million from a non-existent bank account. Think about how difficult it is to cash a $2500 check!

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  • Posted March 15, 2011

    Amazing True Crime Story

    This is an amazing story and proves that truth is stranger than fiction. Everyone I know seems to remember the picture in the New York Times of 2 Hassidic Rabbis being led away by the police in handcuffs. This book is about the largest corruption scandal in New Jersey. Now that's saying a lot. The authors are the investigative journalists for the New Jersey Star Ledger who have covered the story from the beginning.

    The book reminds me a lot of Elmore Leonard or Carl Hiaasen, except that it is ture.It is unbelievable but the story contains: sleazy pols, corrupt high rolling Orthodox Rabbis, code words out of the Talmud for money, FBI wires, real estate Ponzi schemes, kited checks, cash in a bag and in trunks of cars, even brokering of human kidneys.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 17, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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