Monsey - A former business associate of a fellow Monsey man who supposedly bribed Spring Valley and New York City officials for the FBI is scheduled for trial next month on federal mortgage fraud-related charges involving the purchase of 11 shopping centers.
Ephraim Frenkel’s trial is scheduled for Feb. 18 in U.S. District Court on charges involving a $126 million loan FBI undercover operator Mark Moses Stern received from Citigroup in 2007.
Stern is not charged in the indictment due primarily to his cooperation with federal authorities.
Frenkel has pleaded not guilty to two counts of wire fraud and one count of attempt and conspiracy to commit mail fraud.
Stern pleaded guilty in March 2013 to a still-sealed federal charge while working off a sentence for the FBI.
As a federal witness, Stern enticed New York City Republican officials to take thousands of dollars in cash to fix the GOP mayoral nomination for Sen. Malcolm Smith, D-Queens, according to federal court papers.
In return for bribing Bronx GOP Chairman Joseph “Jay” Savino of Clarkstown, Queens GOP Vice Chairman Vincent Tabone and City Councilman Dan Halloran, Smith agreed to funnel $500,000 from Albany to Spring Valley for an unspecified road project, according to the federal complaint.
Savino, fired as a tax lawyer for Clarkstown after his arrest, has pleaded guilty and is cooperating with the FBI and prosecutors.
Stern also pitched construction of kosher catering facility in the large drainage ditch in front of Spring Valley Village Hall on Route 45. He enticed votes from former Spring Valley Deputy Mayor Joseph Demarest to back him as developer for $10,500 and former Mayor Noramie Jasmin’s support for a 50 percent ownership in the business, according to federal charges.
Desmaret and Jasmin have pleaded not guilty to federal charges of wire fraud and Hobbs Act Extortion. They are scheduled for court on Jan. 31.
By Steve Lieberman - Lohud