Orthodox Developer Moses Stern Played Key Role in Blockbuster N.Y. Sting

Monsey Jewish Power Player Ensnared Politicians: Reports

Corruption Probe: U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara outlines the wide-ranging corruption sting that felled several top New York politicians. A lynchpin in the case was a Jewish developer who helped reel in the elected officials.
getty images
Corruption Probe: U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara outlines the wide-ranging corruption sting that felled several top New York politicians. A lynchpin in the case was a Jewish developer who helped reel in the elected officials.

By Josh Nathan-Kazis

Published April 03, 2013.
  • Print
  • Share Share
  • Single Page

The real estate developer who helped prosecutors crack a wide-ranging corruption case involving six prominent New York politicians is reportedly a key Orthodox power broker in an upstate Jewish community.

Moses Stern, a member of the Satmar Hasidic community in upstate Monsey, was the central figure in the FBI sting that led to the April 2 indictment of New York State Senator Malcolm Smith, New York City Council member Dan Halloran and other officials, according to the website DNAinfo.

The biggest headlines in the bombshell case focused on Smith, who is weighing a run for New York City mayor.

But the Orthodox Jewish community is following the involvement of the mayor of an upstate town with even more interest — and worry that the fallout for the ultra-Orthodox community in Rockland County is just beginning.

“People are so nervous because she was very close to a lot of leadership in the [Monsey Hasidic] community,” said a member of the Hasidic community familiar with the situation.

Stern was not named in the indictment. Neither a spokesman for the FBI nor a spokesman for the office of the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York in White Plains would comment on the identity of the witness.

Phone numbers associated with Stern, also known as Mark Stern, were disconnected or did not answer. Stern’s attorney, Stephen R. Stern, told the Forward that he did not know if Mark Stern was the cooperating witness in the Smith case. Stern and Stephen Stern are not related to each other.

The complex chain of events described in the indictment begin with an allegedly corrupt deal between Stern and Noramie Jasmin, the mayor of Spring Valley, N.Y., who was also indicted on April 2.

The upstate ultra-Orthodox population has a major presence in the village of Spring Valley. Spring Valley is near the predominantly Orthodox towns of Monsey and New Square, and it consists of part of the East Ramapo school district, which has been at the center of bitter, ongoing fights between the area’s non-Orthodox and Orthodox communities.

According to the federal indictment, Stern negotiated with Jasmin in February of 2012 to jointly develop a piece of property owned by the village of Spring Valley adjacent. The two agreed that Jasmin’s stake in the project would be hidden, and that in return Jasmin would ensure it received quick approval from the village.


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • Why does ultra-Orthodox group Agudath Israel of America receive its largest donation from the majority owners of Walmart? Find out here: http://jd.fo/q4XfI
  • Woody Allen on the situation in #Gaza: It's “a terrible, tragic thing. Innocent lives are lost left and right, and it’s a horrible situation that eventually has to right itself.”
  • "Mark your calendars: It was on Sunday, July 20, that the momentum turned against Israel." J.J. Goldberg's latest analysis on Israel's ground operation in Gaza:
  • What do you think?
  • "To everyone who is reading this article and saying, “Yes, but… Hamas,” I would ask you to just stop with the “buts.” Take a single moment and allow yourself to feel this tremendous loss. Lay down your arms and grieve for the children of Gaza."
  • Professor Dan Markel, 41 years old, was found shot and killed in his Tallahassee home on Friday. Jay Michaelson can't explain the death, just grieve for it.
  • Employees complained that the food they received to end the daily fast during the holy month of Ramadan was not enough (no non-kosher food is allowed in the plant). The next day, they were dismissed.
  • Why are peace activists getting beat up in Tel Aviv? http://jd.fo/s4YsG
  • Backstreet's...not back.
  • Before there was 'Homeland,' there was 'Prisoners of War.' And before there was Claire Danes, there was Adi Ezroni. Share this with 'Homeland' fans!
  • BREAKING: Was an Israeli soldier just kidnapped in Gaza? Hamas' military wing says yes.
  • What's a "telegenically dead" Palestinian?
  • 13 Israeli soldiers die in Gaza — the deadliest day for the IDF in decades. So much for 'precision' strikes and easy exit strategies.
  • What do a Southern staple like okra and an Israeli favorite like tahini have in common? New Orleans chef Alon Shaya brings sabra tastes to the Big Easy.
  • The Cossacks were a feature in every European Jewish kid's worst nightmare. Tuvia Tenenbom went looking for the real-life variety in Ukraine — but you won't believe what he found. http://forward.com/articles/202181/my-hunt-for-the-cossacks-in-ukraine/?
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.