Former Spring Valley Mayor Noramie Jasmin gets 4-year sentence in bribery case

Friday, August 7, 2015

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. -- A former mayor convicted of taking bribes was sentenced Friday to four years in prison by a judge who said she had betrayed the residents of her troubled New York village, especially young women looking for a role model.

The ex-mayor, Noramie Jasmin, was also ordered to return $15,000 of her salary to the village and to forfeit her bribe receipts.

Jasmin was the mayor of Spring Valley in 2012 when an FBI operative gave her $5,000 and a 50 percent stake in a purported development project in exchange for her support. The operative was Moses Stern, a developer who had pleaded guilty in a fraud case and was working for the FBI to win leniency at his sentencing.

The sting was part of a federal corruption investigation that has led to the conviction of six politicians including former state Sen. Malcolm Smith, who was found guilty of trying to buy his way onto the New York City mayoral ballot.

Prosecutor Jessica Feinstein told federal Judge Colleen McMahon that Jasmin had shown "an extraordinary comfort with bribery and extortion." She suggested a prison term of more than eight years.

McMahon said that would be "massively excessive for a fairly petty one-off scheme."

But she told Jasmin, "Your willingness to be sucked into this, your enthusiastic participation in it and your leadership of the little enterprise ... are really depressing."

The judge said Spring Valley residents "had faith in you, believed in you, looked up to you" and Jasmin had let them down, especially young women, "in a community where there are not a whole lot of role models."

Spring Valley, about 35 miles north of New York City, has high crime and poverty rates. About a third of its residents come from Haiti, as does Jasmin.

Jasmin, 51, refused an opportunity to speak before sentencing. She would not comment afterward.

Her attorney, Benjamin Ostrer, he criticized the government's use of a sting and said Friday was "a sad day for all of us."

Besides Jasmin and Smith, others who were convicted or pleaded guilty in the wide-ranging case were former New York City Councilman Daniel Halloran, former Queens Republican leader Vincent Tabone, former Bronx Republican leader Joseph Savino and Joseph Desmaret, who was Jasmin's deputy mayor in Spring Valley.