JACKSON-Tracie Yostpille, the Democrat candidate for mayor in Jackson has turned to the former Vice President of Cantone Research, a company that defrauded investors of millions of dollars from a failed real project to work on her political campaign.
Ray Cattonar, of Jackson, served as Vice President of Investments at Cantone Research, a firm that was convicted of stealing over $8,000,000 from investors who invested in a failed Florida condominium complex.
During that time, Cattonar was trying to sell a similar condo complex to developers to be built near Six Flags Great Adventure in Jackson. That project fell through after charges were filed by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority for stockbroker fraud against Cantone Research in 2015.
Cattonar’s vision of Cantone Research building a condominium complex in Jackson similar to the 168 unit complex the company was financing in Orlando, Florida, outside of Disneyworld fell through after CEO Anthony Cantone and his wife Christine were brought up on charges for defrauding investors.
Six Flags subsequently showed no interest in Cattonar’s plan for a similar 168 unit condominium complex, according to Cattonar. Cattonar said he had met with former Great Adventure President John Fitzgerald to pitch the project to the company unsuccessfully.
Cattonar’s firm sold investors $8,000,000 in promissory notes, but the project was never built, according to the New Jersey Office of the Attorney General. 170 investors lost their money with the failed Esplande at Millennia Condominium project.
Despite the fraud charges and eventual conviction which forced Cantone to pay restitution of $2,100,000, Cattonar remained with the firm, serving as their Senior Vice President of Finance until his termination with the company.
Cattonar is the second campaign staffer of Yostpille’s with connections to land developers, despite running an “anti-Lakewood, anti-development” campaign. When asked about Cattonar’s involvement in her campaign and his “Esplande at Six Flags” project, Yostpille refused to comment.
Yostpille also employs former Lakewood Democrat County Committeeman Mitch Seim on her campaign, a Lakewood insider and political operative who ran political campaigns for three of Lakewood’s former mayors in recent years.
Yostpille, a teacher in Monmouth County and Vice President of the Monmouth County branch of the NJEA has been criticized by her opponent Michael Reina over the company she has been keeping during the election cycle. In Reina’s most recent campaign mailer, he questioned her ties to Seim, attached with a photo of Seim celebrating an election victory with former Lakewood Mayors Marta Harrison, Ray Cole and Meir Lichtenstein. Also joining in the celebration with Seim was Steven Secare, the Lakewood Township attorney and PJ Waxman, a man Yeshiva World calls “the most powerful man in Lakewood“.