“Decades before Wednesday’s raids struck yeshivas throughout Ramapo, another educational institution was rocked by a scandal connected with Rockland’s ultra-Orthodox community. A federal investigation into the theft of tens of millions of dollars by New Square officials and residents started in 1993 with a $11.6 million scam to steal college assistance involving a mentoring program through Rockland Community College. The probe resulted in the 1999 convictions of three New Square men and a Brooklyn man for conspiring with other Hasidic Jewish community leaders to steal millions of dollars from federal government anti-poverty programs since the 1970s. Federal prosecutors said the four men and others submitted phony documents with phantom names to federal agencies to get millions of dollars from programs for education, housing and small businesses.” Full story here.
“FBI agents and Rockland district attorney’s office investigators fanned out across Ramapo on Wednesday with search warrants demanding that vendors and yeshivas provide records and account for equipment allegedly bought by religious schools with millions in federal education technology dollars. Agents descended around 1:30 p.m. on vendors at 21 and 29 Robert Pitt Drive, Monsey; 161 Route 59, Monsey; and 386 Route 59, Airmont to seize records. The raids began to spread in the late afternoon to yeshivas in the Monsey area. A group of FBI agents were seen outside a yeshiva at 93, 95 and 97 Highview Avenue, all converted single-family homes. They would not comment. [Read more…]
“Councilman Samuel Tress was arrested Thursday afternoon for voting to back a zoning change on a housing development he held a financial stake in — even though he had signed an affidavit stating he wouldn’t profit from his decisions as a Zoning Board of Appeals member. Tress, 71, who has a previous felony conviction, faces a felony charge of first-degree offering a false instrument and a misdemeanor count of official misconduct, according to the Rockland District Attorney’s Office.Tress faces up to four years in prison if convicted of the top count. [Read more…]
Google Street View of 9 Zeissner Lane, Spring Valley
Walter Booker was released without bail. The homeowner, Rabbi Jacob Goldman, is also facing charges.
“Spring Valley’s chief building inspector and a businessman were arrested Thursday in a corruption investigation that alleges the inspector gave the man false certificates of occupancy for the man’s Zeissner Lane home.That false certificate allowed the businessman to get sizeable tax exemptions and otherwise profit from day-care centers run from the property, prosecutors charge. [Read more…]
The convictions of two of the Three Men in a Room by Federal Prosecutor Preet Bharara took less than two weeks. Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos was found guilty last week on all eight counts on which he was charged, and Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver preceded him on November 30 when he was found guilty of the seven federal corruption charges and expelled from the Assembly. [Read more…]
“Samuel Tress, a Democratic candidate for the Ramapo Town Board, has a federal mail-fraud conviction and, when questioned about whether he lives in New Jersey, admitted he did. [Read more…]