The New Jersey scandal involving black-market kidneys, money laundering and fake Gucci purses led to the arrest of 44 people last week, including rabbis, mayors and state lawmakers, thanks in large part to the work of an FBI informant. Here’s a look at the details and some of the characters in this bizarre case.
The informant: The man who reportedly did much of the undercover work for the FBI investigation is a rabbi’s son who was charged with bank fraud in 2006. (Who is he?)
A death in the case: Political consultant Jack Shaw was found dead at his home Tuesday. Police have not released a cause of death for Shaw, 61, but said it does not appear to be a homicide. (Find the latest news on his death.) Shaw had been charged with taking bribes. (How much was he accused of taking?)
Three’s company: The mayors of Hoboken, Ridgefield and Secaucus were all arrested and charged with accepting bribes in connection with the investigation. (Which one resigned first? Then he was next.)
The kidney broker? A Brooklyn man is accused of brokering the sale of black-market kidneys. (Who is he?) (Learn more about organ trafficking.)
The religious leaders: The five rabbis arrested in the probe are accused of using charities to commit fraud and launder millions of dollars. (What are the charges?) They are also accused of dealing in counterfeit goods. (What did they reportedly sell?)
The lawmakers: Two New Jersey assemblymen are accused of taking thousands of dollars in bribes. (What happened to them since the arrests?)
Not the first time: In September 2007, 11 New Jersey public officials were arrested in an insurance scheme. (What was the FBI investigation called?)