Tuesday, August 17, 2010
Bail hearing is postponed for Lakewood developer charged in $200M scam
LAKEWOOD — A judge has postponed a bail hearing scheduled for today in federal court in Newark for Eliyahu Weinstein, a Lakewood man accused of targeting members of his own tight-knit Orthodox Jewish community to perpetrate a $200 million global investment fraud.
The 35-year-old former used car salesman remains jailed after being arrested at his Ocean County home Thursday on charges of wire and bank fraud for the alleged real estate scheme, stretching from New Jersey, Florida and California to Israel.
Weinstein's defense attorney, Ephraim Savitt, said he needed more time to finalize his proposed $5-million bail package.
“I would love to get my client out today. On the other hand I can't do it this minute,” Savitt said. His proposed bail package would also call for Weinstein to be confined to his home and wear an electronic monitoring device.
Weinstein faces up to life in prison and travels regularly to Israel. Federal prosecutors argued that nothing short of jail would prevent him from trying to escape overseas.
"The defendant has a profound motivation to flee,” said Assistant U.S. Attorney Zach Intrater.
The FBI continues to search for one of Weinstein's accused partner, Vladimir Siforov, 43, of Manalapan, who remains at large.
Weinstein has been the subject of millions of dollars in court judgments, including a $34 million award filed against him last week in Pennsylvania.
He never owned many of the properties he described to unsuspecting investors, and he sold both fake and real interests multiple times, according to the federal charges.
Weinstein also drew up fraudulent leases, prosecutors said, to entice investors by making it appear properties had substantial rental income, when there was no tenant.