This article first appeared in the Rockland County Times on April 28.
April 28, 2016–When Ramapo Supervisor Christopher St. Lawrence was arrested two weeks ago, U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said it was the first municipal-bond related criminal securities fraud case brought against a public official.
St. Lawrence was charged with 22 counts of securities fraud, wire fraud, and conspiracy for selling over $150 million in municipal bonds on fabricated financials. Those defrauded included the citizens of Ramapo and thousands of municipal bond investors around the country. The case will probably not get to court until next year, but hopefully, by that time, the New York State legislature and/or Governor Cuomo will have begun a long-overdue reform of New York’s Local Development Corp. law, which has enabled ethically challenged politicians like St. Lawrence across the state. [Read more…]