New Milford Loan Shark Sentenced to 2 Years in Federal Prison
Deirdre M. Daly, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that JAMES BRODERICK III, 59, of New Milford, was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Janet Bond Arterton in New Haven to 24 months of imprisonment, followed by three years of supervised release, for his role in an extortion conspiracy.
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, members of the New Milford Police Department received a 911 call and responded to a local hotel where they found the victim of this extortion scheme, beaten and bloodied, in a room at the hotel. The victim had been stabbed eight times in back, causing internal injuries, and had suffered severe fractures to his skull and facial bones. The investigation revealed that members of the Hells Angels motorcycle club had stabbed the victim and beaten him with a hammer in connection with this extortion scheme.
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 and Hammer were arrested on May 27, 2016.
On December 7, 2016, BRODERICK pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to participate in the collection and attempted collection of an extension of credit by extortionate means.
On December 2, 2016, Hammer, of New Milford, pleaded guilty to the same charge. On June 1, 2017, he was sentenced to 30 months of imprisonment.
This matter was investigated by the FBI Violent Crime Task Force, New Milford Police Department and Connecticut State Police Western District Major Crime Squad. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael J. Gustafson.