By Simone Weichselbaum (NY Daily News)
July 13, 2010
The son of a convicted child molester made secret recordings of sweater king Simon Taub trying to blackmail him, sources said yesterday.
The conversations in Yiddish between Taub, 61, and the 31-year-old son of Baruch Lebovits led to Taub's arrest on July 7 on grand larceny charges.
Taub asked for around $250,000 for his silence after accusing the younger Lebovits of sexually abusing Taub's son, sources said.
The junior Lebovits recorded his conversations with Taub and dropped off the evidence with detectives in the Brooklyn DA's office three months ago.
Baruch Lebovits, 59, was sentenced in April to 10 to 32 years in prison for sex assaults on a 16-year-old boy.
In another extortion case linked to Baruch Lebovits, the DA's office has recordings of the father of an 18-year-old man - whom Lebovits also has been charged with molesting - asking Lebovits' relatives for cash, the law enforcement source said.
The father told Lebovits family members to hand over thousands of dollars to avoid more young men telling police that Baruch Lebovits had molested them, the source said.
The father "is a person of interest" in a possible extortion case, said the source.
Jerry Schmetterer, a spokesman for Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes, said the investigation is ongoing.
Taub's lawyer, Ben Lieberman, said he didn't know what was on the tapes.
The newest developments link two once-prominent figures from the ultra-Orthodox Jewish community in Borough Park, Brooklyn.
Taub made millions in the garment business and is embroiled in long-running Hollywood-style divorce proceedings with his wife, Chana. They live in the same Borough Park home with a wall separating them.
Baruch Lebovits was once a successful cantor and travel agent.