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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of New Jersey

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Ocean County, New Jersey, Couple Sentenced For Roles In Conspiracy To Kidnap Jewish Husband, Force Him To Give His Wife Religious Divorce

TRENTON, N.J. - A husband and wife from Lakewood, New Jersey, were sentenced today for their roles in a conspiracy to kidnap a Jewish man and force him to give his wife a religious divorce, known as a “get,” U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.

David Wax, 53, who previously pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Freda L. Wolfson to an information charging him with conspiracy to commit kidnapping, was sentenced to 84 months in prison. Judy Wax, 51, who previously pleaded guilty before Judge Wolfson to an information charging her with misprision of a felony, was sentenced to two years of probation. Judge Wolfson imposed both sentences today in Trenton federal court.

According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:

David Wax admitted that in October 2010, he and his conspirators agreed to force a Jewish man to give his wife a get, a document which, according to Jewish law, must be presented by a husband to his wife to effect their divorce.

David Wax lured the victim from Brooklyn, New York, to Wax’s home in Lakewood on Oct. 17, 2010, under the pretense that the victim would work on Talmudic books that David Wax was publishing. When the victim arrived, he was brought upstairs, blindfolded, handcuffed and bound. The victim was then assaulted by Wax and his conspirators until he provided the get.

Judy Wax admitted that she and her husband later replaced a blood-soaked carpet in their home in order to conceal the kidnapping. She also admitted to knowingly failing to notify the authorities of the kidnapping.

The family of the victim’s wife paid David Wax approximately $100,000 to obtain the forced get. His conspirators received approximately $50,000. 

In addition to the prison term, Judge Wolfson sentenced David Wax to two years of supervised release.

U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Richard M. Frankel in Newark, with the investigation.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys R. Joseph Gribko and Sarah Wolfe of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Trenton.

Defense counsel:

David Wax: Mitchell J. Ansell Esq., Ocean, and Edward Dauber Esq., Newark, New Jersey

Judy Wax: Steven Secare Esq., Toms River, New Jersey.

Updated January 12, 2016