Former longtime executive director of RLDC disbarred

BY MICHAEL CASTELLUCCIO

Aaron Troodler, the Ramapo Town attorney who served as Christopher St. Lawrence’s executive director of the Ramapo Local Development Corp (RLDC) has been disbarred by the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court of New York. On March 7, 2017, he plead guilty to federal offenses including securities fraud, conspiracy to commit securities fraud, and wire fraud. He still awaits sentencing on December 12 in U.S. District court. 

Troodler was admitted to the bar on January 12, 2000. He served as an assistant town attorney for the Town of Ramapo, and from 2008 to June 2015 he also worked for Supervisor St. Lawrence as the executive director of the RLDC. According to the Nov. 1 disbarment order from the court, “From in or about February 2013 to in or about June 2015, St. Lawrence and the respondent (Troodler) were part of a group that defrauded investors concerning municipal bonds issued by the Town and the RLDC by making false statements and by omitting material facts about both the RLDC’s liquidity and the respondent’s certifications of the official statements relating to RLDC’s bond offering.”

The group referred to is St. Lawrence’s Gang of Four that includes St. Lawrence, Troodler, lead Town Attorney Michael Klein and Finance Director Nathan Oberman. To date, both St. Lawrence and Troodler have been found guilty of 20 federal offenses in court and pleadings, and Klein and Oberman are awaiting the scheduling of their court cases to answer charges brought against them by the SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission).

Following Troodler’s plea agreement, and his lawyer’s notification of the NY Supreme Court of his convictions, the five judges of the Appelate Division have ordered the following regarding Troodler’s standing as an attorney at law:

  1. Aaron Troodler’s name will be stricken from the roll of attorneys and counselors-at-law.
  2. He is disbarred, effective March 7, 2017.
  3. He is ordered to “desist and refrain from practicing law in any form, either as principal or as agent , clerk, or employee of another.”

It’s assumed that Troodler’s plea and cooperation with the prosecution that found St. Lawrence guilty of 20 federal counts on May 19, 2017, will be mitigating factors in the sentence delivered by Judge Cathy Seibel in December. Before that, on Monday, November 27, Judge Seibel will deliver the sentence for Christopher St. Lawrence.

An historic note: On April 14, 2016, the press release from Preet Bharara regarding this case explained its landmark status. “Today, this Office has brought what is believed to be the first ever municipal bond-related criminal securities fraud charges against public officials. As alleged, Christopher St. Lawrence and N. Aaron Troodler kicked truth and transparency to the curb, selling over $150 million of municipal bonds on fabricated financials. In doing so, they defrauded both the citizens of Ramapo and thousands of municipal bond investors around the country.”

Originally published by www.preserve-ramapo.com