New Milford Loan Shark Pleads Guilty
Deirdre M. Daly, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that JAMES BRODERICK III, 58, of New Milford, pleaded guilty today in New Haven federal court to a federal extortion charge.
According to court documents and statements made in court, in late December 2015 to early January 2016, BRODERICK lent an individual approximately $1,500 with an understanding that the individual was required to pay BRODERICK $1,500, plus an additional $500 in interest, within four days of the initial loan. When the individual failed to pay the loan within four days, BRODERICK asked Howard Hammer to assist him in collecting on the loan. Hammer then sent text messages to the victim that threatened harm to the victim if he failed to pay his debt. Hammer took screen shots of the threatening text messages and forwarded them to BRODERICK. BRODERICK and Hammer also discussed taking the victim’s car either as payment for the debt or as punishment for failure to pay the debt.
On January 25, 2016, the victim suffered permanent bodily injury in connection with this conduct.
BRODERICK also made several extortionate loans to a second victim. When the victim was unable to repay the usurious interest amounts, which were at least 10 percent of the principal per week, BRODERICK repeatedly threatened to use force to collect the debt. Over the course of three years, BRODERICK collected more than $20,000 in interest payments from this second victim.
BRODERICK pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to participate in the collection and attempted collection of an extension of credit by extortionate means, which carries a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years and a fine of up to $250,000.
BRODERICK is scheduled to be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Janet Bond Arterton on March 1, 2017.
BRODERICK and Hammer were arrested on May 27, 2016. BRODERICK is released on a $200,000 bond.
Hammer, of New Milford, pleaded guilty to the same charge on December 2, 2016. He awaits sentencing, and has been detained since his arrest.
This matter is being investigated by the FBI Violent Crime Task Force, New Milford Police Department and Connecticut State Police Western District Major Crime Squad. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Tracy Lee Dayton.