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!
  • The Jewish bachelorette has spoken.
  • "When it comes to Brenda Turtle, I ask you: What do you expect of a woman repressed all her life who suddenly finds herself free to explore? We can sit and pass judgment, especially when many of us just simply “got over” own sexual repression. But we are obliged to at least acknowledge that this problem is very, very real, and that complete gender segregation breeds sexual repression and unhealthy attitudes toward female sexuality."
  • "Everybody is proud of the resistance. No matter how many people, including myself, disapprove of or even hate Hamas and its ideology, every single person in Gaza is proud of the resistance." Part 2 of Walid Abuzaid's on-the-ground account of life in #Gaza:
  • After years in storage, Toronto’s iconic red-and-white "Sam the Record Man" sign, complete with spinning discs, will return to public view near its original downtown perch. The sign came to symbolize one of Canada’s most storied and successful Jewish family businesses.
  • Is $4,000 too much to ask for a non-member to be buried in a synagogue cemetery?
  • "Let’s not fall into the simplistic us/them dichotomy of 'we were just minding our business when they started firing rockets at us.' We were not just minding our business. We were building settlements, manning checkpoints, and filling jails." What do you think?
  • PHOTOS: 10,000 Israel supporters gathered for a solidarity rally near the United Nations in New York yesterday.
  • Step into the Iron Dome with Tuvia Tenenbom.
  • What do you think of Wonder Woman's new look?
  • "She said that Ruven Barkan, a Conservative rabbi, came into her classroom, closed the door and turned out the lights. He asked the class of fourth graders to lie on the floor and relax their bodies. Then, he asked them to pray for abused children." Read Paul Berger's compelling story about a #Savannah community in turmoil:
  • “Everything around me turns orange, then a second of silence, then a bomb goes off!" First installment of Walid Abuzaid’s account of the war in #Gaza:
  • Is boredom un-Jewish?
  • Let's face it: there's really only one Katz's Delicatessen.
  • "Dear Diaspora Jews, I’m sorry to break it to you, but you can’t have it both ways. You can’t insist that every Jew is intrinsically part of the Israeli state and that Jews are also intrinsically separate from, and therefore not responsible for, the actions of the Israeli state." Do you agree?
  • 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.