ELM STREET, ROCKLAND COUNTY – NOT AFFORDABLE HOUSING, BELOW FAIR-MARKET INVESTMENT STEALS!
In 2011, the Ramapo Local Development Corp (think Christopher St. Lawrence and Aaron Troodler, et.al. SEC complaint) began selling units in a housing project referred to in social circles as the “Rockland Affordable Housing” project. The development was allegedly intended to be purchased by people who wanted homes but could not afford them and by design the target buyer was ultra-Orthodox. What in public was billed as affordable housing in private was nothing more than below market investment properties which would eventually yield buyers profits in the millions when they decided to sell.
The homes were purchased in large part by numerous LLC’s, many of which were and continue to be untraceable non-profits and tax-exempt entities. The homes were not purchased by the downtrodden.
One of the names among the owners is the family of Yossi Gestetner who lives in one of the Elm Street properties. He is one of the founders of OJPAC, a Political Action Committee heavily involved in endorsing the same corruption that makes up the fabric of Rockland County’s ultra-Orthodox Jewry, particularly as it connects to the Borough Park community. His ties to Dov Hiking and Boro Park’s elite Shomrim are no secret.
It also comes as no surprise that David and Naomi Bodner were among the first “buyers” of the property when the LDC started selling it. You know. The same Bodners who are involved with Marty Huberfeld and Platinum Parnters. The same Bodners who have more money than they could spend in a century of generations of lifetimes, much of it we surmise was amassed in less than savory transactions.
For your review we have included the SEC Complaint against Christopher St. Lawrence and his accomplices naming the Elm Street properties voraciously. We have also included articles picked up by Failed Messiah and a number of others.
This Elm Street properties are one family of the CSL LDC properties among many that heavily tie Rockland County’s Hasidic and ultra-Orthodox community (and its leaders) to Boro Park, and to some of New York’s dirtier politics. They also tie Rockland County to family Bodner and many of its family foundations. We expect there are more treasures to be found beyond what has been named over the years.
RAMAPO — A Rockland County housing agency representing the federal government is reviewing Ramapo’s affordable-housing project on Elm Street, based on a complaint that investors bought up most of 24 units already sold, for potential rental properties.
Bruce Levine, a former legislator and Spring Valley village attorney, also sent his complaint to the state Comptroller’s Office and Attorney General’s Office. Levine asked for an investigation into what he called “abuses and illegalities” by Ramapo and its quasi-economic development agency, the Ramapo Local Development Corp.
The corporate ownership and condominium rentals could jeopardize $1.44 million from the state and $200,000 from the federal government aimed at lowering the cost of the units, which were priced at $349,000 for the first 48 units.
The complaint states that County Clerk’s Office records show 17 of approximately 24 condominiums already sold have been purchased by limited liability companies, a business entity that’s not a corporation.
Only seven units sold so far by the Ramapo Local Development Corp. are owned by people, the complaint says. Five of those individuals gave Brooklyn addresses, one signed was by an LLC owner in Ramapo, and one gave a Monsey address.
Before federal agents raided the offices of Platinum Partners in June, the $1.2 billion hedge fund had been reporting robust returns, thanks partly to oil fields it owns in California.
Platinum counted the oil fields as its most valuable asset, worth many times what it paid for them, according to its most recent audited financial statement. But the project was a flop that never produced much oil and wasn’t worth nearly as much as Platinum said, according to three people who were involved with the operation and who asked not to be named discussing the private business.
Whether Platinum properly accounted for hard-to-value assets, including the oil fields, is at the center of a probe by federal prosecutors in Brooklyn, according to a person with direct knowledge of the matter. Illiquid assets like the oil fields accounted for about $800 million of the firm’s main fund at the end of 2014, according to the financial statement.
Platinum, which has reported average annual returns of 17 percent since 2003, reassured investors after the raid that its valuations are accurate and they’ll get all their money back, plus gains. Montieth Illingworth, a spokesman for Platinum, declined to comment for this story, as did a spokeswoman for Brooklyn prosecutors.
Focus on Lending
Mark Nordlicht, a commodities trader, founded Platinum in 2003, with seed money from Murray Huberfeld, a penny-stock trader from Brooklyn whose family owned kosher restaurants. Huberfeld was well-connected in New York’s orthodox Jewish community and raised money from some of its wealthiest families.
Huberfeld was arrested in June for allegedly bribing a union chief to invest in Platinum and pleaded not guilty. Nordlicht has not been accused of wrongdoing.
Platinum’s specialty was making secured loans at high interest rates, some to risky companies like payday lenders, and taking stakes in borrowers. By 2012, Platinum’s initial investors had quadrupled their money.
Platinum had been lending to energy companies, and with the price of crude rising in 2012, Nordlicht decided it was time to take a more active role in drilling. Oil had more than doubled from its 2008 lows to about $100 a barrel.
In April 2012 Platinum spent an initial $6.5 million to buy into Golden Gate Oil, a 2,000-acre string of oil fields in California’s Santa Maria Valley, about 150 miles northwest of Los Angeles.
The fields had been drilled extensively by Unocal Corp., now part of Chevron Corp., which abandoned them in the 1980s. The plan was to drill in new locations between some of Unocal’s more widely spaced wells, said Stephen Lieberman, a petroleum engineer who helped put the Golden Gate deal together and then consulted for the firm for a few years. Golden Gate didn’t return messages seeking comment.
Nordlicht visited the fields several times to meet with the oil men and discuss the drilling plans, Lieberman said. The hedge fund founder wasn’t an expert on the engineering but believed in the project’s potential, he said.
“I had to train this guy, Nordlicht, on what he was doing and why we were doing it,” Lieberman said. “He picked it up like crazy.”
Platinum commissioned a report by oil appraiser DeGolyer and MacNaughton. The firm said in its 2013 report that the fields held 16 million barrels of proven reserves worth more than $600 million. DeGolyer and MacNaughton declined to comment.
A reserve estimate measures how much oil can be profitably extracted from a field at current prices. If drilling proves more difficult than expected, or prices drop, an explorer might not be able to produce that much.
Golden Gate drilled six wells in 2012, but only one ever produced more than a token amount of oil, records from California’s oil regulator show. To boost production, the company decided to start drilling horizontally — wells that started downward, then curved to approach the oil from the side.
Two J-shaped wells were drilled in January and February of 2014. Oil workers missed the payload because they couldn’t turn the drill hard enough to reach it, Lieberman said.
Platinum spent several million dollars in preparing to drill these wells and Nordlicht got angry when he learned of the failure, Lieberman said. Nordlicht then fired Golden Gate’s chief executive.
Valuing Oil Assets
The drilling problems weren’t mentioned in June 2014 when Sterling Valuation Group Inc. prepared one of the periodic reports on Platinum’s portfolio that the hedge fund used to calculate its results. Sterling Valuation said Platinum’s stake in Golden Gate was worth $176 million as of March 31.
Sterling said in the report that Platinum told it that Golden Gate’s eight wells were producing around 60 barrels each per day as of the end of March. That’s a lot more than the production figures in the California records. They show seven of the eight wells were idle for the first three months of 2014, and the one active well produced 36 barrels a day. In 2013, Golden Gate’s total production averaged 41 barrels per day.
The three people who were involved with the operation said the Sterling valuation was too high. One of them estimated the oil fields would have fetched about $10 million at the time.
Sterling, which stopped working for Platinum last year, said in a statement that its valuation report was based on information largely provided by Platinum and the DeGolyer and MacNaughton report.
“If Platinum Partners and others provided incomplete or inaccurate information, then we would no longer stand by the report,” the statement said.
MOSHE PERETZ KLEIN – HASHOMER ALARM SYSTEMS – MILLIONS OF DOLLARS – PANAMA PAPERS..
In March, the FBI raided a number of locations in Airmont/Monsey/Suffern, New York. The focus of one particular article was 386 Airmont Avenue in Suffern.
On March 16, 2016 LostMessiah published an article taken from the Facebook Page, Clarkstown What They Don’t Want you to Know. The article was an in depth play-by-play explanation of FBI raids which were being simultaneously conducted in Airmont/Suffern, Kiryas Joel and Crown Heights, and may have also been conducted in Lakewood, New Jersey.
According to local news articles and blog sites covering the raids, one of the businesses focused was Hashomer Alarm Systems, the connection being its involvement with E-Rate funding. For obvious reasons, we found that odd from the get-go but assumed we would know more immediately following the raids.
Hashomer Alarm Systems is owned and operated by Peretz Klein, a somewhat shady character whose place has been woven throughout almost unnoticed questionable business practices for years. He has been questioned and even to date has had some pretty creative responses to those questions. He has also been a consummate political donor, seeming placing money where it could benefit him and his interests the most. Andrew Cuomo’s gubernatorial seat being no exception.
While we could likely have a field day with each of the donations listed on the NYS Board of Elections Financial Disclosure report (attached at the bottom of the page) for Andrew Cuomo and likely find numerous anomalies, we found the donations of Peretz Klein to be the most intriguing, particularly in light of his involvement with the raids in March very shortly after the donation to Cuomo.
It can be of little surprise that we believe Klein has been stealing through the E-Rate program in the many millions of dolalrs from the government and the taxpayers of New York State. We believe that a fair amount of the fortune Klein has amassed can be found in bank accounts in Israel related to enteties he owns or operates there.
Klein’s well-timed donation to Cuomo, immediately preceding the raids, seems more than simple coincidence.
Wave 43 for FY 2015 will be released on Thursday, March 31st. Funding for FY 2015 is available for both Category 1 and Category 2 services at all discount levels. Cumulative funding for FY 2015 is $3.16 billion.
Peretz Klein’s place in the Panama Papers reports (shown above) and his place of notoriety amongst former Public Advocate de Blasio’s archive of “Worst Landlords” leaves open numerous questions, not the least of which is why the FBI in conjunction with the US Attorney’s office has not been more aggressive in pursuing Klein and his co-conspirators in what we believe to be a systematic theft of government and taxpayer money.
Below please read the various articles link to Mr. Klein.
All you need to know about Thomas Zugibe – Please share and spread the word about our overtly corrupt District Attorney who should be surrendering his badge, too
“Rabbi Beck will be surrendering his credentials in the best interests of the district attorney’s office,” Zugibe said Thursday after checking on the allegations with the public corruption task force, a joint operation between his office and the FBI.
“Until brought to our attention by a Journal News reporter, we were unaware of any of these allegations pertaining to Rabbi Beck,” he added during an interview Friday. Beck, who surrendered the badge Thursday, could not be reached for comment.
“Unaware”? We in Rockland have been aware of this and more for YEARS!
Yet Zugibe PRAISED Beck:
“His efforts during the past eight years have enabled my prosecutors to build trust within these highly insular communities, resulting in greater reporting of criminal conduct by residents, including incidents of sexual abuse,” Zugibe said.
“Build trust” as in, the DA’s office will look the other way so long as you keep electing Tom.
“Rabbi Beck has also made great strides in educating the communities to ensure compliance with our laws. He has proven to be a respected and effective asset to law enforcement in Rockland County.”
So a corrupt political deal maker who was forced to surrender his badge was the one “educating” the communities to “ensure compliance with our laws”? Only in Rockland, folks, only in Rockland.
Surrender your badge, too, Tom. We’re waiting.
– Original Post –
The question many are asking is: “Who is Zalman Beck?”
The question we should be asking is: “Who is Thomas Zugibe?”
Way back when, on the heels of the Bush presidency, Zugibe signed a document confirming what we’ve suspected, if not outright known, all along: He is nothing more than a shill for bloc leadership. His tenure has corrupted the integrity of his entire office. His acts and omissions have enabled Ramapo to become a lawless “Wild West.”
Zugibe is no different than Christopher St. Lawrence, singlehandedly destroying his family’s good legacy.
While the details surrounding the Zalman Beck Affair are still murky, one thing is clear: Thomas Zugibe, since he will likely not be prosecuted for his blatant corruption, should at minimum tender his immediate resignation.
Rumors are swirling about Zugibe and Sherri Eisenpress (another one hot on the Feds’ radar) attending an illegal (per election law) ring- and ass-kissing “campaign event” with bloc leadership and Beck, among others.
Do not be fooled by Zugibe’s presence at Preet Bharara’s April press conference, during which charges were announced against St. Lawrence and Troodler. Our eminently unqualified District Attorney seemed more physically distraught than St. Lawrence did that day, sweating more than Nixon did during that fateful television debate against JFK.
More likely than not, Zugibe was caught with his pants down some time ago and has been handcuffed to the ever-widening Federal investigations ever since. Perhaps Moses Stern is not the only “informant.” Regardless: Politicians who have committed corruption should not be allowed to remain in office even if they have “cooperated” with a Federal investigation. What message does that send?
We must reflect on the fact that the situation in this county has descended to the point where we must cry for help only at the Federal level. The delegitimization and degradation of our local and state justice systems is both a cause and effect of the growth of a religious tyranny stemming from Ramapo.
We must clean house by reestablishing law and order, beginning with a clean sweep of politicians who remain in office beholden to narrowly tailored special interests.
St. Lawrence is facing an insurmountable criminal prosecution, if he does not cut a deal. If we are to publicly call for anyone’s resignation, we should do so for Thomas Zugibe, the empty suit who has sleuthed his way through bloc corruption and Federal investigations for years.
Rockland Legislator Charles Faciglia has called for Resignation of Judge Sherri Eisenpress
THE EISENPRESS FILES, CONTINUED…
On March 29, 2016 we cited from an article in the Rockland Times, “No, Judge, YOU Leave the Courtroom: Gerard hits Eisenpress with foreboding pejorative” regarding the deplorable ruling by Judge Eisenpress as well as questionable finances. Legislator Faciglia has made no secret of his questions regarding the latter. We have continued to wonder why Judge Eisenpress has an established reputation (as we have been told) for rulings on behalf of particular parties in divorce cases.
The campaign finance disclosures, however, of current Rockland County Family Court Judge, Sherri Eisenpress, Friends of Sherri Eisenpress, and the transactions connected to her 2011 campaign for that office is by far the most intriguing. Between July and December of 2011, Friends of Sherri Eisenpress received two $5,000.00 donations, twenty-five$4,000.00 donations, one for $3,500.00 and one for $3,000.00; a total of $116,500.00. Eighteen of those donations came from seventeen individuals totaling $70,500.00 and eleven came from ten business entities for $46,000.00.”
An FBI informant at the center of a political corruption probe that brought down the former state Senate majority leader says he helped elect Rockland Family Court Judge Sherri Eisenpress by using her money to bankroll an illegal campaign finance scheme and by bribing a public official, an investigation by The Journal News found.
The cooperator, Orthodox Jewish developer Moses Stern, never mentioned Eisenpress by name when he testified about the scheme at the 2014 corruption trial of ex-New York City Councilman Dan Halloran. But, in recent weeks, two independent sources confirmed to The Journal News/lohud that Stern was referring to her.
Stern claimed the key to the scheme was creating fake donors to give the appearance that Eisenpress, a virtual unknown seeking her first term on the bench, had broader community support than she actually did. To create the bogus donors, Stern gave her money to individuals who funneled it back into the campaign, he testified.
Through others, the judge has denied any knowledge of Stern’s scheme and no one has ever been charged with a crime stemming from the allegations.
“The matter was investigated and we found no evidence of criminality,” said Rockland County District Attorney Thomas Zugibe.
Howard Reiss, who was Eisenpress’ campaign treasurer and former law partner, dismissed the allegations, saying her ethics are “above reproach.” To his knowledge, he said, all campaign finance reports were filed truthfully and accurately.
“He (Stern)didn’t set up anything using Sherri’s money. That’s nonsense,” Reiss said. “How would we know what Mark Stern did? I have no idea what you’re talking about, nor does that make any sense to me.”
When a reporter read Stern’s testimony and told Reiss the scheme was detailed in Stern’s cooperation agreement, Reiss said, “I don’t care what Mr. Stern may have said or what you may be reading from a transcript, but I don’t believe it.”
Please read the Lohud article from its original source:
Grecko called herself “Candi” and briefly tried playing the part of a flight attendant before getting down to business once the plane took off from New Jersey’s Teterboro Airport.
“I was supposed to be a sexy stewardess. I’d ask: ‘Tea or coffee?’ ” she said.
“They all wanted me, I guess, and not the tea or coffee.”
Grecko initially thought the in-flight entertainment would be limited to “sitting on people’s laps and drinking with them.”
“I didn’t think it would be as extreme as it was, but then because I obviously couldn’t get off the plane, I had to do what they were telling me,” she said. “More than one would try to get my attention at once. They were really creepy and very rude and offensive.”
Grant kept shouting, “Ma’am, I need service over here!” she said.
And they were a bit picky.
“One of them told me that I wasn’t giving a good b- - -job,” Grecko added.
Grecko’s tale expands on allegations in the criminal complaint unsealed Monday that Grant and Milici joined the Mile High Club during the “first-class plus” flight.
It also expands on other allegations in the complaint against Grant, Reichberg and NYPD Deputy Chief Michael Harrington, who is not alleged to have been on the flight.
The feds say Reichberg and a cooperating witness — identified by sources as his pal Jona Rechnitz, a Manhattan real estate investor — invited Grant to join them in Sin City from Feb. 2 through Feb. 4, 2013, for Super Bowl XLVII.
Also on the trip was Grant’s friend Milici, referred to in court papers as “Detective-1,” an unidentified male “associate” of Rechnitz’s and Grecko, whom the feds call “Prostitute-1.”
The four identified men are all married with children.
Reichberg and Rechnitz arranged for Grecko “to come on the private jet and spend the weekend with the group in Las Vegas,” the Manhattan federal court complaint says.
Law enforcement agents who interviewed Grecko “confirmed, among other things, that [she] was engaged to accompany the persons on the trip and that Grant and others took advantage of her services during the trip,” the complaint says.
Rechnitz footed the $59,000 bill for the jet and scored comped rooms for the cops and paid for their meals, the complaint says.
Grant shared his room with Grecko, according to the feds.
Rechnitz wasn’t reimbursed, but the feds say Grant performed “numerous official acts” for him and Reichberg, including “regularly” providing them with police escorts.
Grecko said the group stayed at the MGM Grand Hotel & Casino.
Most of the men shared a huge duplex penthouse suite, equipped with a hot tub on its terrace, while Grant and Grecko shared a smaller penthouse, she said.
The group watched the Super Bowl in a private section of a large party room in the hotel, where they were joined by a bevy of local hookers, Grecko said.
Everyone binged on champagne and catered food, and Grecko said the men bet heavily on the San Francisco 49ers — who lost to the Baltimore Ravens, 34-31.
The group then returned to the large penthouse for a late-night orgy with other hookers, who got naked and hopped into the hot tub, Grecko said.
LM had promised details on Platinum Partners and the Black Elk deal. At the center of the story is Centurion, Murray Huberfeld, Mark Nordlicht, David Bodner, Uri Landesman an energy company, a pharmaceutical company, an oil company, Singapore, the Gulf of Mexico, Israel, Florida, TD Bank, event driven investments and of course, diamond mining.
The story is so convoluted that winding or unwinding or rewinding has been taking some time. We are trying for tomorrow. In the meantime…
The FBI Dealt Platinum a Blow…
Platinum Partners Could’ve Dealt Without Being Raided By The FBI Today
In addition to seeking out investments that will offer superior returns for its clients, a couple things that hedge fund Platinum Partners has been up to lately are:
1. Complying with a subpoena it received from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York and
2. Dealing with a separate “wide-ranging corruption investigation by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York”
So what it probably didn’t reaaaaally need today was to have the Feds show up to headquarters with a search warrant, but when it rains…
That probe resulted in the arrest on June 8 of longtime Platinum associate Murray Huberfeld for allegedly orchestrating a bribe to a union leader in exchange for an investment in Platinum. Huberfeld, through his attorney, has disputed the charges. Platinum was not named as a defendant in the related case.
Platinum remains in business with more than $1 billion under management. But the firm recently informed investors that it was likely to slowly wind down its largest hedge fund offering, Platinum Partners Value Arbitrage, and is considering doing the same for its other large strategy, Platinum Partners Credit Opportunities.
“Going forward, the plan contemplated for PPVA will be for it to operate as a close ended fund, whereby the fund will be closed to new subscriptions, and proceeds of the monetization of any of our investments will be used to either support other current investments in the portfolio or distributed to stakeholders,” Nordlicht wrote in a note to investors on June 15 seen by Reuters.
He added that the unwinding would be done gradually to avoid a “fire sale” of investments.
Founded in 2003, Platinum has racked up profits that few in the hedge fund industry can match. But its strategy of lending to troubled companies carries risks that have turned off many large investors, according to a Reuters investigation earlier this year.
(For Reuters’ Special Report on Platinum, click here – here)