“In light of reports that Mr. and Mrs. Markowitz are involved in an ongoing law enforcement investigation, out of an abundance of caution, the campaign will donate the full amount of their contributions to charities helping New Yorkers recovering from Hurricane Sandy,” Schneiderman spokesman Damien LaVera told the Daily News.
Moses “Mark” Stern, the troubled real estate investor and businessman from Monsey who is at the center of this week’s corruption bombshell, had been a contact for Schneiderman in the Hasidic community during his 2010 campaign. Schneiderman denies continuing contact with Stern thereafter, although Rockland sources have said the two are actually friends.
According to reports in NYC newspapers, Stern had collected dirty laundry on local politicians and bragged to his friends about his influence in the political game. Stern’s legal troubles began in 2010 when fallout from a failed $126 million loan from Citibank began to catch up with him.
A forgery complaint and other problems led Stern toward becoming an FBI informant in the case that led to the arrest of Bronx GOP Chair Jay Savino, Spring Valley Mayor Noramie Jasmin and Deputy Mayor Joseph Desmaret, NYC Councilman Dan Halloran, Queens GOP Vice Chair Vince Tabone, and State Senator Malcolm Smith.