Shimon Sontag, a property owner and businessman described as a “prominent Ramapo community leader," was arrested this morning after he allegedly filed false documentation to get a tax exemption for a large land parcel.
Prominent Ramapo Leader Shimon Sontag Arrested
Shmarya Rosenberg • FailedMessiah.com
Shimon Sontag, a property owner and businessman described as a “prominent Ramapo community leader” by the Journal News, was arrested this morning after he allegedly filed false documentation to get a tax exemption for a large land parcel.
Sontag allegedly submitted a forged letter to the Ramapo Tax Assessor's office in a bid to renew the tax exemption for the Rose Ocko Foundation. The foundation was first formed in 1978 to create assisted living housing. It reportedly owns 34 acres of land in Ramapo. Sontag is the foundation’s president.
Sontag was reportedly charged with first degree offering a false instrument, second degree criminal possession of a false instrument and second degree forgery and could serve as much as 2 1/3 to 7 years in state prison if convicted.
Sontag denies the charges and reportedly will be released without bail tonight.
The land in question has been the subject of legal problems before this.
The foundation fought Monsey developers Yechiel and Moishe Lebovits, who purchased the 34 acres from the Ocko Foundation in 1984, suing the Lebovitses to get the land back after it found out its attorney who handled the sale to the Lebovitses, Sidney Schwartz, was part of a law firm that represented the Lebovitses in sale.
A 1996 trial ended with a ruling that Schwartz committed malpractice and with a judgment that ordered the Lebovitses to return the land to the foundation.
[Hat Tip: Devorah.]