A pair of Hudson Valley residents were among three sentenced to time behind bars for their roles in a kidnapping and murder scheme.
Monroe resident Shimen Liebowitz, Airmont resident Binyamin Gottlieb and Israeli rabbi Aharon Goldberg pleaded guilty to various charges earlier this year for their roles in a plan to kidnap and murder a Hasidic man who refused to grant his wife a divorce, according to acting U.S. District Attorney Joon Kim.
According to officials, the three plotted the kidnapping in July last year, paying a private investigator more than $50,000 to convince a man into giving his estranged wife a religious divorce consent, however, the man went to the FBI, warning that the plot escalated from a kidnapping into a plan to torture and kill the man.
Liebowitz pleaded guilty in July to conspiring to commit extortion. Goldberg pleaded guilty to conspiring to commit kidnapping and murder for hire and Gottlieb pleaded guilty to helping to conceal the plot from law enforcement officials in September.
Goldberg was sentenced to three years in prison, while Liebowitz was sentenced to two years in prison and Gottlieb was sentenced to one year of probation. Goldberg and Liebowitz are also sentenced to several years of supervised release.
“The defendants were involved in a terrifying plot to kidnap, and ultimately to kill, their intended victim," Kim stated. "Fortunately, the person they hired to carry out their crime alerted the FBI, and now the defendants have been held accountable for their crimes.”
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