Informant in Smith bribery case is developer with $126 million in debt

New York State Senator Malcolm Smith is surrounded by media after exiting a U.S. court in White Plains, New York
An FBI investigation has led to the arrests of state Sen. Malcolm Smith and five other political figures for their alleged plot to use bribery to get Smith on the GOP ballot in the 2013 mayoral race. Credit: Reuters

The FBI informant in the mayoral ballot bribe investigation that has led to the arrests of state Sen. Malcolm Smith and Queens Councilman Dan Halloran is a business developer who owes Citigroup $126 million over a failed real estate project, according to various news reports.

Moses Stern, 40, is the man who helped the FBI secretly tape conversations with the senator which revealed a plot to bribe Republican county chairmen to get Smith on their ballot in the upcoming mayoral race.

But Stern is accused of plotting a fraudulent deal of his own. His realty firm borrowed tens of millions of dollars from Citigroup in 2007 to buy up 11 shopping malls, but Citigroup soon discovered that the firm lied about where the mortgage payments were going to, The Daily News reports.

In the criminal complaint against Smith, Stern is listed as a “cooperating witness” who presented himself to Smith and the others as a wealthy, connected developer who could deliver campaign money in exchange for political favors, the News reports.

In addition to Smith and Halloran, Republican County Chairman Jay Savino, Joseph Tabone, Spring Valley Mayor Noramie Jasmin and Deputy Mayor Joseph Desmaret were all arrested Wednesday for their involvement in a scheme to get Smith on the GOP ballot. As a Democrat, Smith needed the support of three Republican county chairmen to run on the Republican party line.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Woman dies when run over by bus at…

A woman at the Burning Man arts and culture festival in the Nevada desert died on Thursday when she was run over by a bus carrying participants.

National

Texas parents sue day care center for duct…

By Marice RichterDALLAS (Reuters) - A Texas couple has filed a lawsuit against the owners of a Fort Worth-area day care center seeking $1 million…

National

Santa Fe city council votes to decriminalize marijuana

By Joseph KolbALBUQUERQUE N.M. (Reuters) - Santa Fe on Wednesday became the latest U.S. city to decriminalize small amounts of marijuana, with lawmakers in the…

International

Egypt queries Mursi over documents "leaked" to Al…

CAIRO (Reuters) - Egypt is investigating jailed ex-president Mohamed Mursi in connection with documents that judicial investigators say were leaked to the Qatar-based Al Jazeera…

Going Out

'Friends' coffeehouse Central Perk coming to NYC —…

"Friends" is coming back for a one-off special: "The One with the Free Coffee." Warner Bros. is bringing a pop-up replica of Central Perk, the…

Movies

Interview: 'As Above, So Below' directors: 5 ways…

The fraternal directors of the found footage horror "As Above, So Below" dish on the best ways to frighten the bejesus out of audiences.

Movies

Criterion's new Jacques Demy box mixes the light…

Jacques Demy, the most effervescent of French New Wave filmmakers, gets a Criterion box all to himself, with classics like "The Umbrellas of Cherbourg."

Entertainment

Comedian Joan Rivers, 81, rushed to New York…

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Acerbic comedian and fashion critic Joan Rivers was rushed to Mount Sinai Hospital in New York on Thursday after she reportedly…

NFL

3 things we learned in the Giants preseason…

The final score didn’t matter — a 16-13 win by the Giants — but it would’ve been nice to finally see Big Blue’s new-look offense get on track.

NFL

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots, 49ers start…

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots start at top

U.S. Soccer

5 facts about new England captain Wayne Rooney

Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney was named as the new England captain by coach Roy Hodgson on Thursday.

NFL

Jets vs. Eagles: 3 things to watch

A win on Thursday night at the Eagles would give the Jets a 3-1 record and just their second winning preseason under head coach Rex Ryan.

Style

Trend: White hot on the 2014 Emmy's red…

White was one of the big trends on the Emmy's red carpet.

Food

Recipe: Samuel Adams beer-marinated grilled shrimp

Summer calls for two things: a cold beer and light food. Sam Adams' Latitude 48 IPA fairly bursts with citrus notes, making it an ideal marinade…

Wellbeing

4 healthy ingredient swaps to make your meals…

When it comes to eating well, everyone knows they could be doing better. But cooking in an apartment on a busy schedule is a recipe…

Wellbeing

Heart trumps brain when it comes to movies…

When you need a good cry, do you reach for the movie that’s “based on a true story”? Science says you’re giving your brain far…