Skip To Content
JEWISH. INDEPENDENT. NONPROFIT.
Breaking News

Hasidic Developer Wins Dismissal of Racketeering Suit by New York Town

A federal judge indicated that she will dismiss a federal racketeering lawsuit filed against an Orthodox Jewish developer building a housing development in the upstate New York village of Bloomingburg.

The civil lawsuit by the Town of Mamakating and the Village of Bloomingburg alleged that developer Shalom Lamm engaged in fraud, bribery, racketeering, voter fraud and corruption of public officials in order to create the conditions necessary for the erection of the development, called Chestnut Ridge, which is being marketed to Hasidic Jews.

The housing is being built on agricultural land that had been part of Mamakating but, due to Lamm’s efforts, subsequently was annexed to Bloomingburg and rezoned for residential development. Bloomingburg is located about 80 miles north of New York City.

The lawsuit alleged that Lamm bribed a former mayor, used a frontman to help mislead the village about his intentions for Chestnut Ridge and engaged in racketeering by promoting an enterprise that was corrupt on multiple levels. Lamm denied the accusations and filed a motion to dismiss the civil suit in June.

On Aug. 27, the judge in the case, Katherine Forrest, informed the defendant and the plaintiffs that she intends to grant Lamm’s request for dismissal.

READ: How to build an American shtetl — See: Bloomingburg, N.Y.

Though some of the 396 units planned for Chestnut Ridge have been completed, no one has moved in and construction has been suspended due to the plethora of lawsuits surrounding the site.

Lamm has filed his own lawsuit against Bloomingburg and Mamakating claiming they are obstructing the completion of the development, impeding the opening of a Hasidic school in Bloomingburg, preventing a property in the village from being converted into a mikvah and engaging in a “program of harassment and discriminatory building code enforcement aimed at Jewish residents or prospective residents of Bloomingburg.”

I hope you appreciated this article. Before you go, I’d like to ask you to please support the Forward’s award-winning, nonprofit journalism during this critical time.

Now more than ever, American Jews need independent news they can trust, with reporting driven by truth, not ideology. We serve you, not any ideological agenda.

At a time when other newsrooms are closing or cutting back, the Forward has removed its paywall and invested additional resources to report on the ground from Israel and around the U.S. on the impact of the war, rising antisemitism and the protests on college campuses.

Readers like you make it all possible. Support our work by becoming a Forward Member and connect with our journalism and your community.

Make a gift of any size and become a Forward member today. You’ll support our mission to tell the American Jewish story fully and fairly. 

— Rachel Fishman Feddersen, Publisher and CEO

Join our mission to tell the Jewish story fully and fairly.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.