New York

Feds Reportedly Stage Multiple Raids in Upstate New York Hasidic Village

Previous raid targeted alleged library subsidy scam.

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Daniel Case/Wikipedia

A series of federal raids were conducted around the village of Kiryas Joel in upstate New York, Forward reports. Accounts on social media suggest participation in the raids by the FBI, the Bureau of Alcohol, Firearms, Tobacco and Explosives (ATF) and the Sullivan County district attorney's office.

Neither the FBI nor the U.S. attorney's office provided Forward with a comment, but the Jewish media outlet suggested the raids may have to do with a couple of ongoing controversies in Kiryas Joel—a video of an ultra-Orthodox principal kissing a boy that is being investigated by local authorities (the school defends his actions), and/or a scandal involving alleged misuse of federal e-Rate funds by Orthodox institutions in Kiryas Joel and elsewhere in upstate New York as well as Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

The e-Rate scandal has already led to federal raids in Kiryas Joel and elsewhere in New York. The federal e-Rate program offers money to libraries to purchase servers as well as to subsidize the cost of phone and internet access. The definition of a library and what kind of institutions qualify is determined at the state and local level. In New York, the determinations are made by local library associations. Most require the institutions have a librarian with a master's degree.

The Metropolitan New York Library Council (METRO) offers "collegial" level membership for libraries that don't meet all the qualifications. Such institutions then qualify for e-Rate funding and, as Forward reported in 2013, some Orthodox institutions joined METRO to qualify for funding, and then allegedly received far more than would be necessary for the institutions given their small size. Many of the institutions were Satmar Hasidic—Forward reports that one of the community's two top religious leaders had decreed that Satmar children who had internet at home could not attend Satmar schools, thus spurring growth in internet cafes as well as the library-like institutions under scrutiny.

Congress passed legislation to set up E-rate in 1996. It's funded by "universal" fees on phone and internet bills, and the program spends $2.25 billion a year on subsidies. The program has been plagued with fraud and waste almost from the beginning, including a previous multi-million dollar fraud in New York in 2002. The amounts involved in Kiryas Joel are in the six-figure range. That means that if today's raids are associated with the e-Rate scandal, the cost of the probes and raids could easily surpass the amount of money involved in the fraud. Fraud prevention easily leads to more waste.

In the meantime, internet access has expanded since the 1990s largely thanks to private enterprise and the lack of onerous regulation. Local government efforts at managing and meddling with internet access are often disasters, with local governments also choking broadband competition and impeding internet access that way as well. E-rate is a program that's long outlived its usefulness, if it even had any in the first place. The plug should have pulled after the first multi-million dollar fraud—there are more efficient ways to improve internet access, with the near ubiquity of internet access in the U.S. today serving as evidence of that in action.

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  1. Hmmm.

    A problem created by government, and solved by more government.

    1. Although I’m not sure what the Bureau of Alcohol, Firearms, Tobacco and Explosives has to do with low level library fraud.

    2. “It was the biggest crime for the last fifty years, and everyone had to get in on the act…”

  2. Let me be the first to say it:

    JOOS!!

      1. Satmars. Nasty people, if Deborah Feldman’s books are to be believed.

  3. So if I’m reading this correctly, the feds are sending armed goons to kick in doors because of misappropriated library subsidies.

    1. Yes. But they’re kicking in Jew doors.

      1. You know who else…

        1. The Hep-Hep rioters?

    2. I wonder whether they’re kicking in the doors of local or state bureaucrats responsible for preventing fraud.

      Hah, I kid, there are no such people.

    3. Maybe we can live without libraries, people like you and me. Maybe.

      1. See, you libtards hate poor people!

        1. We’re libertardians, not libtards. Libtards are what people who read The Blaze and Breitbart call democrats.

          We also go by glibertarians, Randroids, and Supporters of the Great State of Somalia.

          1. Oops, thanks for that. You’re pretty ok for a racist, Irish.

  4. Library scams aside, the amount of welfare fraud and abuse in Orthodox communities is staggering.

    1. ^This. But as noted above government created the problem by creating welfare. Also, I remember the name Kiryas Joel from a scam they were running a couple of decades back, basically siphoning government funds to private, religious schools.

      1. Kiryas Joel is famous for that. They even had a Law and Order episode about it.

        1. Too bad Archer didn’t do an episode on it. Then it would be ISIS doing the raid.

          1. ISIS or ISIS?

            1. Isis, the girl with the unfortunate retro name.

          2. Archer of Spade & Archer?

      2. I recall reading about the village a couple years back – they are basically the most poverty-ridden community in NYS, with all the kids they have and the not-working.

        1. It’s basically a third world country.

    2. I hope this scandal takes down Kars for Kids with it.

      1. One-Eight-Seven-Seven Kars for Kids!

        1. Stop it. Stop it. STOP IT!!!

          *head explodes*

  5. If the feds didn’t spend millions preventing hundreds of thousands in fraud and abuse, think of the billions it would lose.

  6. OT: Trump and Ryan seem to kiss and make up:

    http://www.cnn.com/2016/05/11/…..index.html

    Has anyone checked on Suderman to make sure he’s not out shouting at traffic and random people on the street?

    1. Well, Ryan and Trump were both leaving the door open to a big public makeout session.

    2. That’s what he does here.

  7. Why would the ATF be involved in the raid? Just in case they needed to flash-grenade a couple of rabbis?

    1. New here, are you?

  8. When will Kars-4-Kids be raided?

    1. Damn, you beat me to it

  9. OT, what’s a typical interior diameter for the main drain in a house?

    1. Too small for a human to escape through.

    2. varies, but 4 inches is typical

      1. 🙁

        The drain in my house looks like two inch copper. Am I going to have an issue with frequent clogs?

        1. 2 inches is usually a non-poopy drain (kitchen, washing machine). If it is a turd pipe, you’re going to have problems, I recommend Ex-Lax for everyone.

          1. Might I recommend drinking heavily. The effect is similar and explosive.

            1. Or maybe there’s a tex-mex place nearby.

          2. I’ll have to go back into the basement and take another look. The pipe I had the best view of was traversing the basement from the vicinity of the kitchen sink. Hopefully the bathroom drain won’t be as narrow.

            Thanks.

        2. How old’s the house?

          1. 104 years, but it’s been rennovated at least once (possibly more)

            1. Odds are your main pipe is 4 inches or more. I would be mostly concerned about the pipe construction and age. It could be terra cotta or cast iron. Copper mains (4 inch) are not unheard of, but unusual. Terra cotta is prone to root infiltration and cast iron will rust out eventually and is prone to build-up.

              I had my 4 inch cast iron lines (50 years old) lined with an epoxy sock a couple of years ago. It was a minor nightmare but still better than digging up the entire basement slab.

              1. I’ve even encountered wood pipes on some older houses. Pray that isn’t the case.

              2. On the plus side, the drains are not below the slab. They’re not far below the ceiling in the basement, and the exterior linkage (to cast iron – the bimetallic joint has me worried) is in the middle of the basement wall.

                On the down side, it’s pointed in the direction of the next property over instead of the street.

                1. Unless your walls are leaking, you probably don’t have a problem at the joint.

                  There were a bunch of homes on a nearby Navy base that had leaking sewage mains in the concrete basement walls. Shit was literally coming out of the cracks.

                  That said, if I were going to remodel the basement, I would rehab all of the pipes first.

                2. It probably turns 90 degrees at the property line.

                  What’s the problem anyway? Chipotle?

                  Try snaking plus liquid plumber max. Always flush with hot water for 10 minutes after. Make the clog the city’s problem, not yours.

        3. Copper is a bit odd for a drain, but materials of choice varied by region. Where I live (Virginia) all the older houses have cast iron drainpipes. Totally indestructable, but prone to clogs when solids get caught on rust spurs because of rust particles. Plastic, while it won’t last a century, is just fine.

          1. Yeah, mine is 4″ PVC.

            Copper sounds a bit excessive. It’s not pressurized.

            1. All my drain pipes leading to the buried cast iron main are copper. It was a lot cheaper in 1965.

        4. The 2 inch ones should lead to a larger central (hopefully 4 inch) pipe leading from your basement outside tot he main sewage line (or septic tank). The pipe should be fairly easy to identify as all of your water drains in the house will be connected to it most likely.

    3. Oh, and be sure to investigate whether your main drain (the one into which all the others feed and which connects to sewer or septic) is metal or the dreaded Orangeburg Pipe.

      1. So far I’ve only seen copper and cast iron (it will be a while before I can take another look, closing is next week)

        1. Ask the realtor about OP. If he pauses or looks uncomfortable, then press him hard. Also see if insurance for pipe failure is available, etc.

          FTFA: The useful life for an Orangeburg pipe is about 50 years under ideal conditions, but has been known to fail in as little as 10 years. It has been taken off the list of acceptable materials by most building codes.

    4. I checked my photographs, the two inch line is just the kitchen, the two bathroom drains are four inches. I’m less worried now.

  10. Even worse is the money they get from the government to indoctrinate the kids to hate secular studies like math and science and English. Yes, many can hardly speak English. Thanks to the work of activists, they are staring to investigate.

    1. They don’t speak English?

      The horror! To the ovens!

      1. They have no excuse for that ‘Cisco. Most of them have been here for multiple generations. Granted, it is their right to speak whatever language they want, but if we’re going to apply assimilation standards to anyone we have to apply those to everyone.

        1. It’s a little tough with these deliberately insular communities. I lean towards letting them teach whatever the hell they damn want but… the kids should be free to choose a real school above a certain age like 12 maybe?

          1. the kids should be free to choose

            Oh, no, we can’t talk about kids having any rights when the socon’s precious religious folks are involved. Why, next you’ll think those kids have a right to genital integrity at the expense of the primitive superstitions of their parents.

            But, seriously, those communities are hugely insular, as you noted. I can’t imagine any one of those kids wanting to go to a goy school and risk ostracization.

            1. I’m sure the SJW’s will assure that the Hasids don’t get ostracized

    2. Deblasio catching heat for bias in favor of private schools?! Ah, NYT… never change.

    3. Actually, if you ever interact with them (say by shopping at J and R in Manhattan) you’d find they speak standard New York English (assuming you want to call that standard–*ducks*) They also speak Yiddish, of course, and the men, at least speak Hebrew.

      Many extremely orthodox Jews put special filters on their computers to prevent them (and their wives and children) from visiting forbidden sites, which pretty much includes everything not dealing with Torah or Talmud. The Forward has had many interesting articles about their discomfort with this aspect of the modern world.

  11. OT – Emory University’s Standing Committee for Open Expression has released an opinion supporting free expression on campus (even for people who endorse Donald Trump).

    I was going to headline this article “Emory board files opinion on academic freedom”)

    1. Emory board…why you always have to be so abrasive, Eddie? Spank one out, you’ll feel better.

  12. Most require the institutions have a librarian with a master’s degree.

    Really? A master’s degree to run a library? Did it ever occur to these guys that the reason the library needs aid is because they’re required to hire a guy who has to work his student loan payments into his basic salary requirements?

    1. Yes, Bilbo, to be an actual librarian one has to have a Master of Library Science. Without that you’re just a library aide or library technician. Agree that this is total bullshit, especially for small libraries. I can see that as a requirement for the head of a library system or for an academic library, but not for the Podunk town library.

    2. A master’s degree to run a library?

      Gotta make sure on those who have paid into your mob get jobs.

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  14. NOTHING on NYT or NY Daily News

    LoHud has this http://www.lohud.com/picture-g…../84289680/

    Apparently the ATF was there as they ALSO raided the local Po-Po Station where presumably they have lots of Cigs, Booze and perhaps, guns.

    The Library scam raids were last month.

    They really have pushed it all pretty far upstate.

    1. What’s Po-Po, the police police?

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