by Simone Weichselbaum (NY Daily News)
July 12, 2010
Sweater king Simon Taub has been busted on charges of trying to extort more than $50,000 from the son of a convicted child molester, his lawyer said Sunday.
Taub, 61, was arrested last week and accused of threatening to go to cops with allegations that the 31-year-old son of Baruch Lebovits had molested Taub's son.
Lebovits' son went to the Brooklyn district attorney's office and reported Taub's threats, sources said.
Taub was later released on $50,000 bail. The Daily News is withholding the name of the younger Lebovits.
Taub's arrest is another bizarre twist in the case of Lebovits, 59, once a respectable Borough Park cantor and travel agent. Lebovits is now in prison on a 10- to 32-year sentence for molesting a 16-year-old boy.
Jerry Schmetterer, a spokesman for Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes, said he couldn't comment on the probe because "it is an ongoing investigation."
But according to Taub's attorney, Ben Lieberman, "The complaint alleges that Mr. Taub tried to extort in excess of $50,000 from [the younger] Mr. Lebovits."
"The allegations say that Taub said, 'If you don't give me in excess of $50,000, I am going to report you - Mr. Lebovits - for molesting my son,'" Lieberman said, adding that his client "denies the charges and looks forward to his day in court."
Taub, who made millions in the garment business, has had a bitter and long-running divorce fight - nicknamed "War of the Roses" - with his wife, Chana. The couple built a wall in their Borough Park house because each refused to leave the marital home.