Friday, November 25, 2011

Simon Taub and Baruch Leibowitz, Happily Ever After

Simon Taub of Brooklyn NY, who once made millions in the garment business is embroiled in seven year long-running Hollywood-style divorce proceedings with his wife, Chana. They live in the same Borough Park home with a wall separating them, as ordered by a Supreme Court judge in 2007. Simon Taub, who has been trying (not) to divorce his wife for the last seven years, has pushed the extent of the law for too long. In July of 2010, he finally had some of his crimes exposed as he was arrested for extortion.  The NY Daily News reported last summer that Taub was arrested for extortion and blackmail.

If only this was a simple criminal case, the law would be applied and his sentence would be appropriate. However, upon closer scrutiny of the details of this case, one will find a man who will not hesitate to use his wealth to manipulate and intimidate, but win his way to victory over his wife. Simon Taub’s son though, remains in the grips of his extortionist criminal father’s home with a wall dividing him from his mother. His son, who was molested by a prominent rabbi in the community, remains at home alienated from his mother, and in a very emotionally vulnerable place in his life. Simon, who did not press charges against the abuser, ran into a bit of a problem when the famed molester, named Baruch Leibowitz, was sentenced to 32 years in prison.

Simon was looking for a way to gain leverage in his own divorce case, and hatched a great plan. Time was moving fast because the State’s statute of limitations will soon been reached; the victim, his son, is 20 years old. First, Simon contact Baruch Leibowitz's son, and told him that if he pays him $250,000, he will stay quite and not press charges. The junior Leibowitz agreed, but also recorded the conversation as well as the first transaction. Simon was immediately arrested for extortion and blackmail, with a heavy criminal case now looming. Simon's plan wasn't working so well, so he had to think fast.  So now, there was a new deal. If Simon can manage to get Leibowitz out a jail, Leibowitz will drop the charges. How can that be pulled off? Leave it to the wealthy criminals who have the judges wrapped around their wallets, in exchange for probation and parole.

The first way to get the Leibowitz sentence to drop, is to prove that the case wasn't solid. So Simon then arranged that Samuel Kelner, a Boro Park man to be arrested for bribing a witness to testify against Leibowitz.  This was a framed setup, where a man approached Kelner and said, “it's not true, Leibowitz didn't molest me”. And Kelner is alleged to have given him $10,000 to “stick with the story”.  Kelner is a known community activist, famous for encouraging and empowering victims to help rid the community of pedophiles.

Sadly for Simon, the DA said at the press conference the day after the arrest, that the Leibowitz prosecution will still stand because the other two witness testimonies were solid. Now Simon was really stuck because he needed to get Leibowitz out of jail. So the next day, Leibowit'z lawyers filed an appeal and the appeal was granted. Leibowitz was home under house arrest, until a decision for a retrial. Simon was elated.

Isn’t it blatantly obvious by now that Judge Walsh, who was assigned to the Taub case, is also the presiding judge for the Kelner case?  Conflict of interest aside, when will this cycle of abuse end? According to Vicki Polin, Executive Director of the Awareness Center, at least 90 percent of sex offenders were sexually abused as children. All abusive behaviors tend to repeat themselves unless the individual seeks appropriate intervention”, confirms Dr. Amora Rabinowich, a renowned psychologist of New York.

The criminal trial was adjourned again, for another two months, to August 26, 2011. Although Taub was arrested more than a year ago, he is out on bail for a measly $50,000, a drop in the bucket for this millionaire. As his criminal trial was scheduled for the end of the Summer, Simon's desperation began to show, and he began to slip. Although the Supreme Court judge presiding over his matrimonial case ordered Simon to pay the mortgage for all the marital property, Simon defaulted. He knew what he was doing. Simon waited for the houses to go into foreclosure, and then he would be able to transfer those into bankruptcy court.  Once in bankruptcy court, the judge appointed a trustee for the properties. The trustee, a lawyer named Lori Lapin-Jones, has a dying dream to become a judge. Hoping to earn Simon's sponsorship, she became his rubber ducky. 

It all worked out perfectly to the nickel, as Simon made sure to drag the case in bankruptcy court long enough to cause some personal grief to Chana, as well as complete financial ruin. First, Chana's close friend Soya Radin, who was a tenant for many years in one of the couple's apartment buildings, was tortured in the housing court and forced to be evicted from her apartment. When she was packing her stuff to leave, Simon made sure that she should be arrested for nonsense, just  to taunt Chana. What people don't know is that the same week, the Supreme Court finally issued a divorce decree, and the judgement included an award to Chana of $1.2 million (less than 1% of Simon's reported wealth). This is coincidentally the exact amount which was due to Lori Lapin Jones after 1 ½ years of bankruptcy court.   All this, to earn himself favors in his criminal case.

In Criminal Court, October 18, 2011, prosecutor Nick Bastidas, Kings County's head of the racketeering division, presented the charges before the judge, Justice Geoffrey Walsh as follows; Attempted grand larceny in the second degree, between April 21,2010 and July 7, 2010, attempting to steal property from the complainant, having a value in excess of $50,000 by extortion by instilling in the victim a fear that if the property is not delivered, you or another would accuse accuse some person of a crime or cause criminal charges to be instituted against him, intending to subject some person to ridicule.

Simon's lawyers then boldly presented voluminous medical records indicating that Simon is “very sick” and possibly dying of “liver cancer”. Chana reports that Simon has been “very sick” in the divorce case for seven years strong. His lawyer then announced that Simon Taub has authorized him to enter a plea of guilty to the charge of attempted grand larceny in the second degree in full satisfaction of the indictment. Due to the 'illness' and inability to get proper treatment in prison, they are asking for five years of probation.

Prosecutor Bastidas firmly objected to the non-jail disposition that the court has offered.  Explaining that this man would rather let a predator remain lose in the community and is “motivated by greed to make money”.  Additionally, in 1998, Simon Taub has pleaded guilty to wire fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud by attempting to defraud Chum Insurance by overbilling on an insurance claim in the amount of over a million dollars.  “In that conviction, the defendant received his probation and received his one shot”.

Taub's lawyers informed him of his waiver of right to appeal, and five years probation.  On October 18, 2011, Simon Taub walked out of court a free man. Free to commit more fraud and extortion, and greedy manipulations under the nose of our government.  And Baruch Leibowitz? His case remains unsettling, as a week later, his case was reported to crumble. He was also granted permission by the courts to leave his house and attend synagogue for Rosh Hashanah services.  Simon and Baruch now live happily ever after.

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