updated 10/20/2009 12:41:36 PM ET 2009-10-20T16:41:36

The central figure in New Jersey's largest corruption probe has pleaded guilty to federal bank fraud and money laundering charges.

Authorities used Solomon Dwek as a cooperating witness after he was accused in 2006 of cheating PNC Bank out of about $22 million.

He's the son of a prominent Monmouth County rabbi. Prosecutors say he deposited two $25 million checks that were drawn on a closed account, then withdrew nearly half the money.

As a witness, Dwek posed as a failed businessman looking to launder money through his contacts in Syrian Jewish enclaves and claimed to be a developer seeking to exchange cash for favors in Hudson County.

The massive corruption probe snared 45 people, including public officials and several rabbis. Six have pleaded guilty.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Discuss:

Discussion comments

,

Most active discussions

  1. votes comments
  2. votes comments
  3. votes comments
  4. votes comments