FROM THE TIMES HERALD RECORD
Kenneth Nakdimen of Monsey pleaded guilty Thursday, May 25 in federal court to committing voter fraud in the 2014 Bloomingburg village election.
Nakdimen, 64, partnered with developer Shalom Lamm to build the Chestnut Ridge housing project in Bloomingburg. In December, Lamm and Nakdimen, along with Volvy Smilowitz of Monroe, were charged with conspiracy to corrupt the electoral process, also known as voter fraud.
Federal prosecutors say they filed falsified voter registrations, paid for voter registrations and offered bribes for registrations and votes, all to swing the 2014 village election in an effort to seat a mayor and trustees who would be favorably disposed toward their project. On Thursday, Nakdimen admitted that was all true.
The developers had started buying properties in and around Bloomingburg in 2006, with the goal of building the Chestnut Ridge project and reaping millions of dollars in profit, prosecutors said.
At the time of the arrests, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York said “the defendants, and others working on their behalf, developed and worked on a plan to falsely register numerous people who were not entitled to register and vote in Bloomingburg, because they actually lived elsewhere. People the defendants falsely sought to register to vote in Bloomingburg included those who never intended to live in Bloomingburg, those who had never kept a home in Bloomingburg, and indeed, some who had never even set foot in Bloomingburg in their lives.”
Lamm and Smilowitz have pleaded not guilty.
In court on Thursday it came out that Nakdimen had reached a deal with prosecutors to serve 6-12 months in prison and pay a fine in the range of $2,000-$20,000 in exchange for his guilty plea. It will be up to the judge to accept or reject that agreement at sentencing, which is set for Sept. 7. The charge carries a maximum sentence of five years imprisonment and fines up to $250,000.