Daily Israel Report

Murdered Hassidic Millionaire to be Buried in Jerusalem

Community mourns 'true person of kindness', as murder investigation focuses on his business associates: 'He had enemies'.
By Arutz Sheva Staff
First Publish: 1/5/2014, 10:54 AM

Murder victim Menachem Stark
Murder victim Menachem Stark
Courtesy of the family

Hundreds of people attended the funeral of Hassidic millionaire Menachem Stark, hy"d, in New York Saturday night, after his badly burned body was found in a dumpster on Friday. 

Stark's body will now be buried in Jerusalem, in the cemetery on Har HaMenuchot. He leaves behind 8 orphans.

Friends revealed to Arutz Sheva by telephone that "immense mourning" has settled over Stark's Satmar Hassidic community. 

"We are talking here about a great man, a great scholar, a true person of kindness," friends stated. "We will help his family cope with this great tragedy."

Family members also cited Stark's righteousness to the New York Daily News, explaining that he gave a lot of tzedakah (charity) and that "he never wronged anybody." 

Police are now focusing on Stark's business associates as possible murder suspects. 

“We knew from (Friday) it could end this way,” a police source stated. “When you look at his business dealings, you see a lot of red flags. Obviously he had many enemies.” 

Investigators also stated that they believe that Stark may have been running a foreclosure scheme - buying foreclosed properties at low prices and then selling them to his own associates at highly reduced rates, according to the Daily News

Stark was reportedly sued in 2011 over a $29 million loan that financed a 74-unit residential rental building at 100 South 4th Street in south Williamsburg, TheReal Deal reported. Family members acknowledged that Stark was involved in several large real estate deals, but said the family knows of no bad blood that could have sparked the kidnapping.

Earlier, Stark's relatives offered to pay a $100,000 reward for his safe return, no questions asked, after he was kidnapped outside his Brooklyn office Thursday night..A gas station employee in Great Neck discovered the body around 4 p.m., Friday, and alerted Nassau County Police.

DNAinfo New York reported that Stark left his office at 331 Rutledge Street at 11:20 p.m. Thursday and was walking to his home a few blocks away when two men grabbed him, and drove him away in a white or light-colored minivan, according to a flyer put out by Shomrim, a neighborhood watch group for the Orthodox community. Security video shows Stark being pulled into the van.

Stark's wife, Bashie, became worried when he did not come home before midnight and notified the neighborhood patrol, the NYPD said. Shomrim alerted police at 2:30 a.m. on Friday.

NYPD investigators canvassed Rutledge Street on Friday morning, pulling security footage from multiple security cameras and speaking to local business owners. The search continued into the Sabbath, and Jewish volunteers took part in it with rabbinical permission, reported the Jewish Daily Forward.

Police sources told the Daily News that Stark was carrying $4,000 in cash at the time of the alleged kidnapping.