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The Jersey Sting: A True Story of Crooked Pols, Money-Laundering Rabbis, Black Market Kidneys, and the Informant Who Brought It All Down
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The Jersey Sting: A True Story of Crooked Pols, Money-Laundering Rabbis, Black Market Kidneys, and the Informant Who Brought It All Down

3.61  ·  Rating details ·  114 ratings  ·  25 reviews
Hardcover, 400 pages
Published March 15th 2011 by St. Martin's Press (first published March 2011)
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Start your review of The Jersey Sting: A True Story of Crooked Pols, Money-Laundering Rabbis, Black Market Kidneys, and the Informant Who Brought It All Down
Jul 11, 2011 rated it really liked it
Entertaining and detailed account of the 2009 arrests of 44 people (including 3 mayors) in NJ and Brooklyn for accepting bribes, money laundering and even attempting to sell a black market kidney. I can see why some have complained that the text could be trimmed. But ultimately I think the detail is there to show the reader just how much effort it takes to orchestrate and perform this kind of undercover sting. There is a mix of police-work, lawyering, politicking and flat-out crookery which ...more
Zohar -
Mar 19, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2011
“The Jersey Sting: A True Story of Corrupt Pols, Money-Laundering Rabbis, Black Market Kidneys, and the Informant Who Brought It All Down” By Ted Sherman and Josh Margolin is the true story of the events leading up to the arrest of 44 people in New Jersey. These 44 were corrupt local politicians, Rabbis, money launderers and, strangest of all, a black market kidney dealer.

The book centers on Solomon Dwek, the son of a rabbi, born and bread in Deal, NJ. Dwek made his fortune as an unlicensed real
Jul 21, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: new-jersey, crime
It's been six years since they arrested everyone in New Jersey ... remember that, with the kidneys? ... and it is still funny and sad and I am still angry. I enjoyed the stuff about the rabbis and Solomon Dwek's Ponzi scheme more than the stuff about the mayors and the fixers, but it makes you think... how are we ever going to clean up the brownfields and the Superfund sites with everybody on the take? I have to say that I don't like the pigs or the moser either. If you believe the whole thing ...more
Apr 12, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: politics
This is a detailed account, by two reporters, of the investigation and arrests of money-laundering rabbis, bribe-taking politicians, and one transplant-kidney broker. Dozens were arrested in New Jersey.

The whole thing is fascinating, not least how corrupt both Jersey politics and Orthodox Jewry are.

LIke any book based upon the authors' intense work, this one "tells me more about penguins than I want to know," because the authors didn't want to waste any of the material. Still, in the end it's a
Dec 16, 2018 rated it did not like it
There needs to be an additional Goodreads category called “Effort To Read Abandoned” ... ‘cause that’s the category in which this book best fits. There may well be a good book in there somewhere, but - since nobody seems to have told the author that Not Every Minute Detail Must Be Recounted - whatever interesting tale the author sought to tell is well protected behind a wall of insignificance.
Yes, only in New Jersey will 45 people—politicians including mayors, assemblymen, councilmen, rabbis, and others—end up arrested for charges ranging from bribery, money laundering, to selling black market kidneys stemming from a multimillion dollar Ponzi scheme that was busted when the guy bounced a $25 million dollar check, wired over $24 million of those funds, and tried to cash another $25 million check at the same bank (different branch) less than 24 hours later.
The problem with this book
Nov 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jeff Lowe
May 15, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Comment: "Just started reading it. The subject I find interesting because it involves money laundering and other white collar crimes that are tied to my profession.

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

When Solomon Dwek bounced multimillion-dollar checks in 2006, his real-estate Ponzi scheme collapsed, and he was facing decades in the slammer. To mitigate his punishment, he agreed to wear an FBI microphone and camera that recorded the eager acceptance by rabbis in Brooklyn and public officials and
LAPL Reads
Jan 29, 2014 rated it really liked it
In a fascinating true crime tale of financial deception, betrayal, fraud and political corruption The Jersey Sting recounts a long joint investigation between the then New Jersey U.S. Attorney’s Office of Chris Christie and the FBI. The linchpin of this investigation was Solomon Dwek, an FBI informant who eventually netted dozens involved in a web of government corruption and money laundering throughout New Jersey. Many New Jersey politicians and rabbis from the New Jersey and New York Hasidic ...more
John Ross
Feb 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This was recommended to me by a good friend. Going into this book with some trepidation (because I have no connection to New Jersey), I was pleasantly surprised by the depth and readability of this amazing true story. It approaches a very convoluted set of facts in chronological order, giving back-story where needed, and makes it all come together smoothly. Also, the main character is a unique character with interesting sociopathic tendencies who ultimately becomes an unbelievably effective ...more
Andy Ross
Jul 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing
God, what a story. Apparently it is the biggest corruption scandal in New Jersey history, a state who's main industry seems to be corruption. It includes 80 year old Hassidic Rabbis laundering money through synagogues, Israeli Kidney dealers, a sleazy hustler and check kiter turned Federal informant, the prosecuter who has now become governor of the state, a corrupt vice mayor who was a stripper in the 1050s. And more scoundrels than I could describe here. Hollywood couldn't have invented a more ...more
Sean Macmillan
Jun 12, 2012 rated it really liked it
Great book - well paced. It's amazing...not only the number of people involved but that everyone took the word of a man who they barely knew. Maybe even more amazing is that while caught up in the trap but unable to be prosecuted, people still got voted into office. Of course, the flip side is you'll see possibly innocent people who really shouldn't have been involved have their careers ruined.

Classic NJ politics at their worse.
May 24, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was a good read, however, I think that it could have been could have been shorter. There is a lot of repetitiveness and the author has a tendency to get "lost in the weeds". I know it happens, but it's hard to believe the amount of corruption that people can get by with, especially those in positions of power. This book will definitely make you even more cynical than you may have been before.
Apr 30, 2012 rated it did not like it
The true story of the adult son of a Rabbi in New Jersey engaged in a range of frauds, Ponzi schemes, and money laundering. Ultimately caught, he turns informant and goes undercover to trap a range of local NJ politicians, rabbis, and others who all have the same goal: line their own pockets. Book is written like an encyclopedia, rather than a good story, so it is far too long and repetitive---a potentially good story spoiled.
Nov 26, 2012 added it
Shelves: true-crime
Having lived in New Jersey I had always read and heard about the corruption but I never imagined it would so wide as to include Rabbis and high ranking officials. Some of this is still happening and with the recent storm Sandy it has brought the opportunity for the racket to move in different directions.
Jill Yesko
Aug 15, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Kudos to Ted Sherman for making this real life account of criminal hijinks and political backstabbing in my home state of New Jersey read like an A+ film script.

True is way stranger than fiction, especially when your "sting" nets a cast of characters as diverse as rabbis, long time political operatives and Chris Christie, New Jersey's Springsteen loving governor.

Jun 07, 2012 rated it liked it
Home sweet home - nothing like a book about some good old NJ corruption! It starts to drag about half-way through, as you go through all the details of the case, but the story line was better than fiction! I particularly enjoyed the part on black market kidneys, although the details on the money laundering was similarly outrageous and entertaining.
Sep 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Quite the fascinating book. However, with all of the drama devoted to the investigation, the wrap-up at the end was anti-climatic. I had seen Dwek on a television program, which is what prompted me to get the book. I'd highly recommend it if you are into reading about this type of thing.
Adela Dziekanowski
Jan 10, 2015 rated it liked it
interesting information - not interestingly written
Deenah Byramjee
May 06, 2011 rated it it was ok
DISAPPOINTING. Tediously over detailed, made it too slow and kind of boring.
Apr 19, 2011 rated it really liked it
I usually get a little lost and board with true stories but this was really interesting......can't believe that it actually happened, and recently!
Patty Btesh
Jun 30, 2016 rated it liked it
Empieza Wow y va decayendo en el camino
Apr 28, 2014 rated it liked it
Interesting, but too many repetitive and irrelevant details. It was also hard to keep so many names straight.
rated it it was amazing
Jun 29, 2013
Joseph Rivers
rated it it was amazing
Oct 15, 2011
rated it did not like it
Jul 24, 2015
rated it it was amazing
Sep 17, 2014
rated it really liked it
Sep 25, 2012
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Jun 11, 2015
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Apr 24, 2012
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Ted Sherman is an award-winning reporter for theNewark Star-Ledger, whose work on this case won highest honors from the American Society of Newspaper Editors and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize."