In a federal lawsuit filed today, two Hudson Valley communities argue that Shalom Lamm, a real estate developer seeking to take control of local government for his personal benefit, has engaged in racketeering activity consisting of repeated instances of deception, corruption, bribery, mail fraud, wire fraud, and voter fraud. The suit goes on to assert that, to secure his hold on local government and to divert attention away from his actions, Lamm has engaged in repeated lawsuits in which he has made false claims of anti-Semitism to mislead would-be sympathizers and intimidate local government officials and agencies.
Note these are not federal criminal or civil charges; they're allegations made in a new lawsuit against Lamm, et al, filed by Bloomingburg and Mamakating.
The press release:
Town of Mamakating, Village of Bloomingburg Charge Shalom Lamm with Racketeering In Federal Court
BLOOMINGBURG, N.Y. – In a damning federal lawsuit filed today, two Hudson Valley communities argue that Shalom Lamm, a real estate developer seeking to take control of local government for his personal benefit, has engaged in racketeering activity consisting of repeated instances of deception, corruption, bribery, mail fraud, wire fraud, and voter fraud. The suit goes on to assert that, to secure his hold on local government and to divert attention away from his actions, Lamm has engaged in repeated lawsuits in which he has made false claims of anti-Semitism to mislead would-be sympathizers and intimidate local government officials and agencies.
The Town of Mamakating and the Village of Bloomingburg located within it filed their complaint with the federal court in the Southern District of New York. The complaint details allegations of a pattern of racketeering committed over nearly a decade through lies and deceit, in order to construct a disputed high-density housing development. Allegations include that Lamm secretly purchased large parcels of land, using local resident Duane Roe as his front man. Roe then made fraudulent representations about building a 125-unit luxury weekender golf course community to convince local officials to have the small Village of Bloomingburg annex the targeted land from the Town of Mamakating, and to acquire permitting and zoning approvals over it. The complaint describes how, after annexation, Lamm then sought to take control of local government to pass additional regulations that benefitted the racketeering enterprise.
In fact, the suit claims, Lamm’s real project was to build a year-round high-density development nearly triple the size at 400 units. Lamm bribed key government officials to ensure his project went through. But for the fraud and bribery, the permitting and approvals would not have been obtained. Furthermore, the complaint asserts that Lamm has secured a monopoly over access to water and municipal sewer services in and around Bloomingburg which will paralyze any efforts at development other than Lamm’s.
The lawsuit centers on allegations of racketeering, opening with:
“The Town and Village are presently under siege in a hostile takeover spearheaded by a racketeering enterprise headed by Shalom Lamm and Kenneth Nakdimen. These men have attempted to exert power and influence in a variety of schemes with the sole goal of controlling these municipalities for the benefit of the racketeering enterprise which they head.
“Lamm and Nakdimen, and the other defendants named herein, have acted through highly sophisticated covert and overt schemes of fraud, bribery, intimidation, and corruptly influencing public officials and governmental institutions – all in violation of state law and the federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (“R.I.C.O.”) Act.”
Included among the defendants are: Shalom Lamm, Kenneth Nakdimen, Duane Roe, Mark Berentsen, Sullivan Farms II, Inc., Raymond Farms, LLC., Bloomingburg Rentals, LLC., and a number of known co-conspirators who are claimed to have illegally registered to vote in Bloomingburg elections.
“Through corruption and deceit, Defendants have manipulated elected officials and the democratic process to do their bidding and further the racketeering enterprise,” said attorney David Clifford Holland, Esq. “Defendants have led a campaign of voter fraud and advanced real estate development that would negatively impact the natural environment and overrun the limited resources of the 420-resident Village of Bloomingburg. “Hiding such criminality behind artificial claims of anti-Semitism in an effort to bully, intimidate and benefit personally is unethical and appalling. The complaint reveals the extent of the racketeering enterprise’s influence and machinations…so far.”
The suit explains how defendants Lamm, Nakdimen and Roe used the entity Sullivan Farms II, Inc. as “the core vehicle of the racketeering enterprise … to wage a sinister and covert campaign to benefit themselves and the enterprise by ultimately destroying true democratic rule and the institutions of the Town of Mamakating and the Village of Bloomingburg.”
Plaintiffs continue to seek integrity in the local voting process and prosecutions for voting fraud that has become systemic. At the end of March, after Sullivan County District Attorney James Farrell failed for the third time to prosecute those who cast ballots in local elections even after they were found by the Sullivan County Board of Elections to be ineligible to vote, Mamakating and Bloomingburg officials called on New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman to independently investigate the claims of election fraud and to halt any further action in two elections in which the final outcome hinges solely on the issue of whether ineligible ballots were unlawfully included in the final tally.
The first election was a September 30, 2014 special election on the dissolution of Bloomingburg, in which 85 village residents voted in favor of the referendum for the Village to be dissolved and placed under Mamakating’s jurisdiction. That majority favoring dissolution was overcome by the inclusion of ineligible votes into the voting pool, and consequently, the referendum was defeated. The second was the March 18, 2015 general election for Village trustee, the results of which were contaminated through ineligible voter registrations. Attorney General Schneiderman has not yet responded.
“When public officials are bribed and corrupted, our democracy is stolen from us,” said attorney Philip T. Simpson, Esq., of the firm of Robinson Brog Leinwand Greene Genovese & Gluck, P.C. “When ballot boxes are stuffed and people’s votes are made worthless, our democracy is stolen from us. Either way, the entire community suffers because decisions large and small are not made in the interest of the community, but in the interest of those who would steal our democracy. The allegations of this lawsuit detail a long pattern of bribery, corruption, fraud, and stealing of elections. It’s critical that those who perpetrated these acts, which would completely uproot our democracy, be prosecuted by the Attorney General or U.S. Attorney before it is too late.”
The lawsuit. Please right click to open and read in a new browser window or tab, or left click to download: