The FBI and U.S. Attorney's Office used an Orthodox Jewish radio program in an elaborate sting operation that helped the government convict Malcolm Smith and other New York politicians in a corruption scandal, a four-month investigation by The Journal News/lohud revealed.
It is unclear whether there are other targets, including New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, who appeared on the show as a state senator prior to the 2010 election with Moses Stern, later revealed to be an FBI cooperator. Stern appeared twice on the show prior to election day using aliases, posing as both a political analyst and a resident from Brooklyn. He urged listeners to vote for Schneiderman.
Prosecutors disclosed little about the New York Jewish Communications Channel to defense lawyers for two people convicted in the sting operation. The show was hosted by longtime Orthodox radio personality Zev Brenner, who owns Talkline Communications Network, and registered with the state by Joseph Markowitz, whose name was linked to thousands in campaign donations to Schneiderman, who has not been accused of wrongdoing, and an illegal donation to Halloran. After the Smith arrests, Schneiderman pledged to donate the contributions from Markowitz and Markowitz's wife to charity.