Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that NORAMIE JASMIN, the former mayor of Spring Valley in Rockland County, was sentenced today in federal court in White Plains to four years in prison for fraud and extortion, charges that stemmed from her misuse of her position as mayor in an effort to enrich herself. JASMIN negotiated a 50% stake in a development company and $5,000 cash for herself in exchange for her use of her office to obtain land and various government approvals to construct a community center in Spring Valley. JASMIN was convicted in April after a one-week bench trial before U.S. District Judge Colleen McMahon, who imposed today’s sentence.
Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said: “By abusing her position as mayor for her own personal gain, Noramie Jasmin betrayed the trust the people of Spring Valley put in her. As the conviction and prison sentence today make clear, we do not accept public corruption in New York as the status quo. I would like to thank our partners at the FBI, the Rockland County District Attorney’s Office, and the Spring Valley Police Department for their excellent work in this important case.”
According to the evidence presented at trial, the Indictment, and the Complaint:
NORAMIE JASMIN was sworn in as Mayor of the Village of Spring Valley, New York in December 2009. From September 2011 through April 2013, JASMIN accepted cash and other benefits from an undercover FBI agent (the “UC”) and a witness cooperating with the Government (the “CW”) on multiple occasions in exchange for official acts. The scheme centered on the development of a community center in the Village of Spring Valley whose construction costs were expected to be at least $12 million. In exchange for her vote in favor of the sale of land owned by Spring Valley to a company she believed was controlled by the UC, JASMIN demanded a secret ownership stake in the company. JASMIN also asked for an advance on her profits from the scheme and accepted a $5,000 cash payment from the CW. In support of the scheme, JASMIN directed the UC to find people to pose as bidders for the project so that the transaction would appear legitimate to the other members of the Spring Valley Board of Trustees who were to, and did, vote on the sale. Over the course of two days, JASMIN met the UC, together with two other undercover FBI agents posing as straw bidders (the “Straw Bidders”), in hotel rooms and instructed the Straw Bidders on how to make a presentation before the Spring Valley Board of Trustees such that the Straw Bidders would lose their purported bids on the land sale. JASMIN then presided over the presentations made by the company in which she had a secret financial stake and the fake presentations that she had helped prepare. The following day, JASMIN presided over a Village Board of Trustees meeting, during which she asked the Board for permission to negotiate the sale of Village land to the UC’s company and then voted a “strong yes” to grant herself that permission. When questioned as to why the Board needed to vote to grant her that permission, JASMIN remarked that she “cannot sit behind closed doors with a developer to negotiate on behalf of the Board.” The evidence showed that that was precisely what she did; she sat behind closed doors and negotiated a financial stake for herself in the days preceding the vote.
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In addition to her prison sentence, JASMIN, 51, of Spring Valley, New York, was sentenced to three years of supervised release and ordered to pay $15,000 in restitution of her salary and to forfeit $5,000. JASMIN was ordered to surrender to the Bureau of Prisons on November 2.
Mr. Bharara praised the outstanding investigative work of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Rockland County District Attorney’s Office, and Chief Paul Modica and the Spring Valley Police Department.
This case is being handled by the Office’s White Plains Division and Public Corruption Unit. Assistant United States Attorneys Douglas B. Bloom and Jessica K. Feinstein are in charge of the prosecution.
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