American business developer Eliyahu Weinstein was arrested Thursday for allegedly stealing tens of millions of dollars from investors as part of a Ponzi scheme, according to U.S. news reports.
Weinstein, 35, an Orthodox Jew from Lakewood, New Jersey, is suspected of bilking Orthodox investors in the U.S., London, and Israel out of more than $300 million through fake real estate deals, selling the same property to several investors.
The former car salesman is suspected by the FBI of taking advantage of his connections with the Haredi and Jewish communities in New York, New Jersey, Florida, and California to persuade wealthy clients to invest in bogus real estate deals.
According to reports, Weinstein used the money he made off his victims' investments to buy antique Judaica worth more than $ 6.2 million and jewelry worth more than $7.6 million.
A lawyer for one of the plaintiffs who filed a claim against Weisntein said that he transferred more than $140 million to charity organizations as a cover.
Another victim called him the "next Bernard Madoff," as many of his alleged victims apparently lost everything because of his scheme.