NEW MILFORD, Conn. -- A New Milford man was sentenced to more than two years in prison for taking part in an extortion scheme that left a man beaten and stabbed by members of the Hells Angels, according to Deirdre M. Daly, U.S. Attorney for the District of Connecticut.
Howard Hammer, 45, was sentenced to 30 months in prison Thursday, followed by three years of supervised release for his role in the extortion scheme. He had pleaded guilty on Dec. 2 to one count of conspiracy to participate in the collection and attempted collection of an extension of credit by extortionate means.
According to court documents, a loan shark named James Broderick of New Milford lent an individual $1,500 in late December 2015, with an understanding that the individual would pay back the $1,500, plus an additional $500 in interest, within four days. When the individual did not pay the money, Broderick asked Hammer to help him collect on the loan.
Hammer sent texts to the victim, threatening to harm him if he didn't pay back the loan. He also sent screen shots of the texts to Broderick, an discussed taking the victim's car as either payment or punishment, according to Daly.
On Jan. 25, 2016, New Milford Police responded to a local hotel where they found the victim beaten and bloodied, according to Daly. He had been stabbed eight times in the back, causing internal injuries, and had suffered fractures to his skull and facial bones. Daly said that an investigation revealed that members of the Hells Angels had stabbed him and beaten him with a hammer in connection with the extortion scheme.
Hammer was arrested in connection with the scheme on May 27, 2016. Broderick was also arrested, and pleaded guilty on Dec. 7 to the same charge that Hammer did. He is awaiting sentencing.
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