FORMER EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF THE RAMAPO LOCAL DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION PLEADS GUILTY TO SECURITIES FRAUD AND CONSPIRACY CHARGES
PRESS RELEASE– Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that N. Aaron Troodler, the former Executive Director of the Ramapo Local Development Corporation (“RLDC”), pled guilty today before U.S. District Judge Cathy Seibel to conspiring with Ramapo Town Supervisor Christopher St. Lawrence to commit securities fraud as a result of a scheme to defraud investors in municipal bonds issued by the RLDC and the Town of Ramapo (the “Town”). This case is believed to be the first conviction for federal securities fraud in connection with municipal bond issuances.
U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said: “As we said at the time of his arrest, N. Aaron
Troodler defrauded both the citizens of Ramapo and thousands of investors around the country, helping to sell over $150 million of municipal bonds on fabricated financials. Today, Troodler
has admitted to committing securities fraud. This guilty plea, in what we believe to be the first municipal bond-related criminal securities fraud prosecution, is a big step in policing and
bringing accountability to the $3.7 trillion municipal bond market.”
According to the allegations contained in the Superseding Information to which
Troodler pled guilty today and the related Indictment of Troodler’s co-conspirator, Town Supervisor Christopher St. Lawrence: As of August 2015, the Town had more than $128 million in outstanding bonds that had
been issued for various municipal purposes, while the RLDC, a corporation created and owned by the Town under state law, had issued $25 million in bonds to pay for the construction of Provident Bank Park (now Palisades Credit Union Park), a minor league baseball stadium in Ramapo.
The Indictment and Superseding Information charge that St. Lawrence and Troodler lied to investors in the Town’s and RLDC’s bonds in order to conceal the deteriorating state of
the Town’s finances and the inability of the RLDC to make scheduled payments of principal and interest to holders of its bonds from its own money.