FBI arrests Rabbi Mendel Epstein, of Flatbush, in divorce extortion case

Agents collected evidence at the home of Rabbi Mendel Epstein in a case involving extortion. (10/10/13)

FLATBUSH - The FBI has arrested a prominent Orthodox rabbi in Flatbush after raiding his home in a probe spanning from Brooklyn to New Jersey and upstate New York.

Agents collected evidence at the home of Rabbi Mendel Epstein in a case involving extortion.

Epstein was arrested along with one other rabbi and two additional people for allegedly bullying Orthodox husbands into granting their wives divorces.

READ MORE: Brooklyn Crime Stories

In some cases, investigators say Epstein and his accomplices were paid $100,000 by women seeking divorces in a community where it's generally not accepted.

The FBI says it caught the suspects in a sting operation where the suspects allegedly plotted to kidnap a man to force him to grant a religious divorce.

The FBI also raided a yeshiva in Monsey last night.

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