The case of Jewish real estate developers charged with voter fraud in the Catskills will continue through the federal court system this week, a legacy of dismissed U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara.
Shalom Lamm and co-conspirators Kenneth Nakdimen and Volvy Smilowitz are accused of federal voter fraud conspiracy in a bid to elect public officials sympathetic to their multi-million dollar plans for Bloomingburg, N.Y.
They are slated to appear before a federal district court judge in White Plains, N.Y. Wednesday. The trial date has not been set, according to Jim Margolin, a spokesman for the Department of Justice.
The three suspects allegedly tried to rig Bloomingburg’s 2014 mayoral race by registering people to vote who did not live in town. The developers provided the would-be residents with fake back-dated leases, and accessorized empty apartments to appear occupied by the ersatz residents.
The three are also charged with paying out $30,000 to entice people to unlawfully register.
Former U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York Preet Bharara announced their charges in December, calling their actions “a cynical ploy to corrupt the electoral process.” In a statement, Bharara showed his signature crusader approach to the law, saying, “profit-driven corruption of democracy cannot be allowed to stand no matter who does it or where it happens.”
Bharara was dismissed from his post Saturday by President Donald Trump.
The rap sheet mentions that Lamm and Nakdimen, two real estate developers, chose to build in Bloomingburg because as a small town of 420 residents, its government could quickly be taken over. They intended to develop hundreds of housing units in a development they would sell to Smilowitz.
Correction, March 14, 12:30 pm: An earlier version of this article stated that the trial of Shalom Lamm would begin Wednesday. In fact, a pre-trial conference will be held Wednesday.
Contact Daniella Cheslow at email@example.com.
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