The document shows that federal agents reached out to more sources in this probe than initially reported. And it states a federal grand jury is issuing subpoenas.
The grand jury subpoenas go beyond the electronic records and boxes of papers the FBI and Rockland District Attorney’s Office detectives seized on May 15 during a more than seven-hour raid on Ramapo Town Hall.
Those records involved the financing and construction of the Boulders’ minor-league baseball stadium, which was supported by a $25 million bond guaranteed by Ramapo and its taxpayers through the Ramapo Local Development Corp., or LDC.
Officials told The Journal News the investigators are reviewing documents to determine whether Town Supervisor Christopher St. Lawrence overstated assets, such as incoming revenue, for the bonds and their refinancing.
Pannone Lopes Devereaux & West LLC, Ramapo’s bond counsel, issued the report disclosing the town assets and other details on Tuesday in advance of the sale of one-year bond anticipation notes.
The town this week refinanced some debt with 4.7 percent interest on the $31.2 million refinancing, with the new bond anticipation note needing to be repaid in May 2014. The short-term notes come after the town backed off a 25- to 30-year bond following the May 15 raid, which drew publicity and effected the sale of long-term bonds.
The report also states it has been issued a subpoena for information on bond financing by the town and the LDC dating from January 2009.
The report says investigators seized documents from other sources on bonds and securities issued by Ramapo since 2009, as well as on town bank deposits from January 2013.
Investigators also seized documents and electronic data from the Town Attorney’s Office relating to “correspondence with the town’s auditors concerning the town’s 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012 financial statements, and the transfer of funds held by the town or the corporation (LDC) to or from Provident Bank between March 2013 and May 15, 2013,” according to the report.
Provident Bank also provided the LDC and the town with millions of dollars in financing for a 126-unit housing complex on Elm Street outside Spring Valley.
The town’s financial adviser, Environmental Capital, on May 17 told the town the FBI would likely ask for information and documents relating to the investigation, according to the report.
The adviser was told it was being contacted as a potential witness and has agreed to cooperate, the report states.
Officials have told The Journal News investigators also are looking into the movement of money among accounts, possible commingling of funds and whether the LDC generated money and repaid the town. Among the documents taken were emails from St. Lawrence, Town Attorney Michael Klein and Finance Officer Nat Oberman.
One town critic, former Legislator Bruce Levine, said that based on the report, federal investigators were “clearly seeking what statements the town or individuals in the town made about the fiscal condition of the town on security filings.”
He said false filings can amount to security fraud and additional charges when sent through the mail or on the Internet.
“You can’t lie or deceive on these filings or with the auditors and the banks when seeking loans,” Levine said. “They want to know what the town’s official statements were.”
St. Lawrence has declined to comment on the investigation or what records were seized. He previously stated the town filings followed all laws.