Rockland County, NY – A chasidic Jew from Rockland County has been identified as the cooperating witness who helped the FBI uncover a massive plot to rig the 2013 New York City mayoral race and led to the arrest of six politicians who allegedly accepted bribes.
Multiple NYC media outlets are reporting Morris Stern as the witness who was instrumental in pulling together the arrests of Senator Malcolm Smith of Queens, City Councilman Dan Halloran of Queens, Bronx GOP chairman Joseph Savino, Queens GOP vice president Vincent Tabone and Mayor Noramie Jasmin and Deputy Mayor Joseph Desmaret, both of Spring Valley, as previously reported on VIN News.
According to an article in 2010 by Forbes.com, (http://onforb.es/txZ5HN) the 40 year old Stern who is also known as Mark Stern or Moshe Stern is a Monsey resident who was born in Argentina.
Originally in the garment business, Stern moved on to the real estate business and is described in media accounts as a real estate developer. Stern graduated Satmar Yeshiva United Talmudical Academy in Kirays Joel in 1991.
Stern made headlines in 2007 when he defaulted on loans he took out from Citigroup in excess of $100 million, several years after two companies that he owned went bankrupt. The matter sparked a complicated federal criminal investigation and the New York Post reported (http://bit.ly/Xp5lCS) that Stern pleaded guilty in federal court three weeks ago as part of his cooperation deal.
Stern and the undercover FBI agent led the politicians involved to believe that they were wealthy developers looking for to curry favor and would use their economic resources to help Smith bribe his way into City Hall in exchange for political favors that would pave the way for their upstate development projects.