Corruption case against Ramapo town supervisor in final stretch

Posted: Updated:
WHITE PLAINS -

After 17 days of testimony and a slew of witnesses, the federal securities fraud trial against Ramapo Town Supervisor Christopher St. Lawrence is in its final stretch.

The defense opted not to call any witnesses, so closing arguments began as soon as prosecutors rested their case on Tuesday.

Federal lawyers continued to paint St. Lawrence as a liar and a schemer who would do whatever was necessary to get millions of dollars in low interest loans from investors to build the ballpark in Ramapo that they repeatedly called his "pet project.”

They accused him of cooking the books on multiple occasions to make the town's finances appear rosier than they were.  They also told the jury their smoking gun was a secretly recorded tape where St. Lawrence could be heard laughing about alleged lies he told representatives from a credit ratings agency and saying, “We're going to have to be magicians to get their numbers." 

In his closing argument, St. Lawrence's defense attorney painted him as a public servant who selflessly devoted his life to Ramapo for 16 years. He insists no fraud was committed, all the bonds have been paid on time and that in no way did St. Lawrence pocket a dime of taxpayer money. He stressed to the jury St. Lawrence was innocent of the 22 counts against him, and as town supervisor he wasn't the only one making all the decisions in the town about its finances.

Closing arguments will resume on Wednesday. The jury could begin deliberations late Wednesday or Thursday morning at the latest.

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