Like an Orthodox Jewish Bernie Madoff, Eliyahu Weinstein allegedly bilked members of the religious sect out of $200 million
. Presenting himself as a real estate investor from New Jersey, Weinstein met with investors from New Jersey, New York, Florida and California, through the close-knit Orthodox community. He allegedly claimed that he owned or was able to purchase properties, and could resell them, for substantial profit, to other parties he had already lined. The "buyers," however, were other scammers associated with Weinstein. When investors tried to collect their earnings, Weinstein allegedly brushed them off or paid them much smaller amounts than promised. Weinstein and an associate have been charged with real estate fraud.