“My goal is to make everyone proud of me and live life the right way,” convicted real estate scammer Eliyahu Weinstein explain After being released from prison by then-President Donald Trump.
It looks like he fell short.
Weinstein has since “moved on,” defrauding 150 investors out of as much as $35 million, federal prosecutors said Wednesday, The New York Times reported. report.
Winstead pleaded guilty to two crimes, including defrauding close Orthodox Jewish community members of $200 million through bogus real estate investments and land deals, but Trump commuted his 24-year sentence in the final days of his presidency. The White House cited the advice of celebrity attorney Alan Dershowitz and Republican Congressman Jeff Van Drew of New Jersey.
This time, Weinstein and four co-conspirators allegedly lured more than 150 people into a $35 million scheme that involved promising lucrative investments in scarce Covid-19 supplies, baby formula and even first aid kits for war-torn Ukraine, authorities said.
Weinstein and his co-defendants were charged with wire fraud and conspiracy to obstruct justice. Weinstein and co-accused Israeli citizen Shlomo Eres were ordered detained after appearing in Trenton federal court.
A third defendant, Aryeh Bromberg of Lakewood, NJ, is being held on $500,000 bail. Two other defendants — Joel Wittles of Lakewood and Ala Khattab of Ottawa, Canada — remain at large.
Prosecutors say Weinstein ran the Ponzi scheme, soliciting investment through Optimus Investments, which had worked with Bromberg and Vettel.
The latter two allegedly lured investors in bogus deals with promises of high-profit opportunities, then passed the funds they collected to Weinstein, who used an alias to hide his history from investors.
Dershowitz told The Times that he had “little or no relationship with Weinstein personally” and only “provided legal advice to an organization advocating shorter sentences.”
— James van Brammer
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