Via the Asbury Park Press
Convicted conman and government informant Solomon Dwek claimed state Sen. Joseph Kyrillos granted him political favors, and former Monmouth County Sheriff Joseph Oxley gave him tips about upcoming foreclosure sales before they were released to the public.
Dwek’s allegations are contained in a 2006 FBI document in which the former Ocean Township real estate developer details interactions he claimed he had with various Monmouth County officials.
The document was recently made public as part of the court file of former Assemblyman Louis Manzo, D-Hudson, who had unsuccessfully sued the U.S. Attorney’s Office in an attempt to recoup more than $100,000 in legal fees. Manzo appealed the decision and is still attempting to collect the money.
During the interview with the FBI, Dwek also said that he gave Assemblywoman Amy Handlin, R-Monmouth, $10,000 worth of raffle tickets at a Deal Yeshiva event in 1999, helping her to win a computer.
He claimed Kyrillos made calls to Republicans in West Long Branch at Dwek’s request when Dwek was seeking to expand the Deal Yeshiva, the school for Orthodox Jews that was founded by his father, Rabbi Isaac Dwek.
Dwek also said in interviews with the FBI that Kyrillos supported a candidate for a Monmouth County judgeship who had been suggested by Dwek. The man, Steve Rubin, did not receive the judge’s position.
Kyrillos, R-Monmouth, is seeking the U.S. Senate seat held by Democrat Robert Menendez in the November election. His campaign director, Chapin Fay, strongly denied Dwek’s allegations.
“Sen. Kyrillos has built a sterling reputation throughout his political career,” Fay said. “The fact of the matter is that Sen. Kyrillos never did anything to help this man at any time.”
Fay said that once Kyrillos realized that Dwek was a “con man,” he did not keep campaign contributions made to him by Dwek and instead donated them to charity.
Handlin called Dwek’s claims “just fantasy, simply make-believe,” and “the product of a fevered imagination.”
In the FBI document, Dwek said that former Monmouth County Sheriff Joseph Oxley, recently nominated by Gov. Chris Christie to become a Superior Court judge, tipped him off about upcoming foreclosure sales.
Dwek described himself as a “big fundraiser” for Oxley, a former Middletown mayor who most recently served as Monmouth County’s Republican chairman.
“Oxley provides SD (Solomon Dwek) with the list of upcoming foreclosure properties to be auctioned off by the county,” the document says. “The list is normally given to SD two weeks before it becomes public. This gives SD an opportunity to negotiate with the property owner before the auction and avoid competition and potentially higher prices.”
Dwek said that Oxley had created “honorary sheriff’s badges” for him and a family friend, Jack Adjmi, and noted that they had their photographs taken in August 2000 for the badges.
Oxley could not be reached for comment Tuesday. But in paperwork filed in federal court in April, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said the government was unable to “gather additional evidence of wrongdoing beyond the information related by Dwek despite making affirmative attempts to do so through recordings.”
Rebekah Carmichael, a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office, said Tuesday that she could not comment about any of Dwek’s claims.
Manzo, an unsuccessful candidate for Jersey City mayor in 2009, was initially charged with extortion conspiracy.
He had the counts against him dismissed after a federal appeals court ruled that he had been improperly charged under a statute intended for public officials. Additional charges against Manzo, including mail fraud and violating the Federal Travel Act, were dismissed by a federal judge earlier this year.
Dwek has been jailed since last year after U.S. District Judge Jose Linares revoked his $10 million bail while Dwek was awaiting sentencing on $50 million in bank fraud charges.
Described by Linares as “a danger to the community” and “an extremely cunning liar,” Dwek had failed to return a rental car on time and had been arrested for car theft in Baltimore. He then lied to the FBI about the car, claiming he had never rented it.
Dwek began working as an undercover informant for FBI shortly after his April 2006 arrest on bank fraud charges. He wore a wire and a hidden camera and traveled throughout New Jersey and into New York, with his work leading to the arrests of 46 people in 2009 on political corruption and money-laundering charges.