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City seeks to debar tax sale bid-rigger

More than a year after the last defendant in a bid-rigging scheme admitted to his part in the multimillion-dollar conspiracy, Baltimore’s spending panel has been asked to debar him and his daughter to prevent them from participating in May’s tax-sale auction.

Unlike his convicted co-conspirators, Harvey M. Nusbaum, a Baltimore County lawyer who is serving a year in federal prison, never agreed to debarment. Therefore, on the agenda for Wednesday’s Board of Estimates meeting, City Solicitor George A. Nilson has recommended both Nusbaum and his business-affiliate daughter, Taci Himmelfarb, be debarred and suspended until the debarment proceeding can be completed.

Nusbaum’s co-conspirators, Jack W. Stollof and Steven L. Berman, received sentences of probation for their violations of the Sherman Antitrust Act.

Three other lawyers, John Reiff, Anthony De Laurentis and Terry Turer, confessed first and were granted amnesty by federal prosecutors. Like Stollof and Berman, all three have agreed to debarment.

Reiff testified openly about his and the others’ roles at Nusbaum’s sentencing almost a year ago. Bar Counsel Glenn M. Grossman has declined to comment on any disciplinary proceedings against the lawyers with amnesty, two of whom have continued to practice in Baltimore.