LOS ANGELES — Aaron Troodler, the former lawyer convicted of fraud in the Ramapo, N.Y., case, will not see the inside of a jail cell after receiving only a fine and probation.
Troodler, a former Ramapo Local Development Corp. executive director and assistant town attorney who pleaded guilty to his role in concealing financial information from investors, must pay a $20,000 fine and a “special assessment” of $200.
He received his sentence on Jan. 2 in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York in Manhattan.
Troodler was indicted in April 2016 along with former RLDC president Christopher St. Lawrence who has also been convicted and is set to start a 30-month prison sentence in March. The two were found guilty of having “cooked the books” to hide the strain in the town’s finances caused by the financing of a nearly $60 million baseball stadium.
Troodler cooperated in the case against St. Lawrence after his guilty plea, and a jury brought back the guilty verdict against St. Lawrence in May 2017.
The government did not oppose the probation office’s recommendation of a $25,000 fine and three years of supervised release for the 44 year-old Troodler, who was last year disbarred as a result of his felony conviction.
Judge Cathy Seibel decided on a lower fine but agreed with the probation.
Troodler submitted numerous letters of support to the court, and his attorneys painted him as a “devoted husband and father of four children” who played a relatively minor role in the scheme, which was mainly orchestrated by St. Lawrence. Further, in contrast to St. Lawrence, Troodler admitted his guilt and spared prosecutors the work and expense of a trial, his lawyers said.
“His decision to plead guilty is meaningful,” his attorneys at Blank Rome wrote. “The government has stated that it believes this case to be the ‘first municipal bond-related criminal securities fraud prosecution’ in the United States. Given the government’s acknowledgment of the novelty of this type of prosecution, Troodler could have insisted on “putting the government to the test” by exercising his right to a trial. However, Troodler pled guilty.”
Troodler, St. Lawrence, and two other individuals continue to face the possibility of civil penalties in a case brought against them by the Securities and Exchange Commission. That case had been put on hold pending the outcome of the criminal proceedings, but the SEC has said it will continue.