Monday, May 25, 2020

Governor Cuomo Announces State and Local Governments Will Provide Death Benefits for Frontline Workers Who Died From Covid-19


Renews Call for Federal Government to Provide Hazard Pay to Essential Public Workers

Confirms 1,249 Additional Coronavirus Cases in New York State - Bringing Statewide Total to 362,764; New Cases in 41 Counties

Governor Cuomo: "Today we're saying we honor that service and we're going to make sure that every government in the State of New York provides death benefits to those public heroes who died from COVID-19 during this emergency. I also believe the federal government should be doing the same, honoring the frontline workers, showing Americans that we appreciate what you did, that you showed up when it was hard, that you worked when it was hard, you appeared for duty when it was troubling to do so. And I'm sure many people were afraid to show up, but they showed up anyway, and they deserve not just words of thanks but actions that show the appreciation."

Cuomo: "And I think the federal government should dedicate federal funds and pay hazard pay to those workers who showed up. It's a way of saying 'Thank you, we understand what you did, we appreciate what you did.' And it's a way of showing Americans that when there is a next time, and there is a next time, that we truly appreciate those people who show up and do their duty."

 Amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that state and local governments will provide death benefits for frontline workers who died from COVID-19 during this emergency.

Governor Cuomo also renewed his call for the federal government to provide hazard pay for essential public workers on the front lines.

New York City Council Releases Recommendations for Opening NYC Beaches Safely 


  New York City Council Speaker Corey Johnson and Council Members representing neighborhoods with city beaches released guidelines and recommendations for the city to open beaches safely this summer. The guiding principle is to allow New Yorkers access to city beaches while providing for proper social distancing, both at the destination and on the way to and from beaches.
   
“Access to city beaches isn’t just a summer fun issue. It is an equity issue and a public health issue. All New Yorkers, not just those wealthy enough to travel out of the city, deserve access to the beach this summer. It’s going to take hard work and thoughtful planning, but we need to find a way to allow people to cool off at city beaches and to get to and from waterfront destinations safely. New Yorkers have done an amazing job coming together to flatten the curve and stop the spread so far. They deserve clear guidelines on how to safely enjoy city beaches as the summer heat approaches.” said Speaker Corey Johnson.   
“New York City needs to open its beaches in a safe manner. It is critical for our physical and mental well-being. Our multi-faceted plan proposes the necessary steps for us to safely open beaches and practice social distancing to protect beachgoers,” said Council Member Donovan J. Richards, Chair of the Council’s Public Safety Committee.
Recommendations:  
  • Beaches should be open for swimming and permit stationary/sunbathing activities. Capacity can be reduced by establishing marked off, safely distant, locations on the beach. Ropes could be used to block off areas, including for walking, transit or spaces needed for additional distancing. Markers like flags could be planted in the sand to designate areas where a person or small group can sit (can’t be more than a certain number of feet from a flag, and flags would be spaced in advance by the Department of Parks and Recreation at safe distances). Flags should be inexpensive and flexible, and preferably made out of sustainable materials with no negative impact on the beach environment. Beaches should include spacing for walking lanes. Where possible, beaches could designate separate entrances and exits to facilitate social distancing.  
  • Restaurants on or adjacent to beaches should be permitted to open. The City should work with restaurant owners to determine the best course of action within Department of Health and Mental Health (DOHMH) guidelines.   
  • Bathrooms should be kept open, same as NYC parks. They should be cleaned frequently.    
  • Soap and sanitizer must be in all bathrooms. In addition, there should be foot pedal operated soap and water and/or sanitizer hand washing stations throughout the beach area.  
  • Mask use should be required on boardwalks or whenever mobile on the beach (except for transit to water). Free masks should be made available to the public on a daily basis.  
  • Lifeguards should be provided with PPE (masks, gloves, respirator guards/facemasks). The city should work with DOHMH to determine how frequently lifeguards should be tested. They should be permitted to isolate with pay as needed, again under DOHMH guidelines.  
  • Use social/health ambassadors, including youth and other community partnerships, to educate the public on social distancing policy and mask requirements, instead of relying on NYPD for enforcement. Signage should educate beachgoers on social distancing, new beach use policies, and proper traffic flow. The signs should be multi-lingual. DOHMH should also prepare clear guidelines and multi-lingual educational material on social distancing and make it available to beach visitors. Parks has experience in crowd control that should be utilized.  
  • Beaches will need an increase in receptacles for masks, gloves, and other PPE to minimize litter cleanup at end of day.  
  • Increasing transportation options will increase the ability for social distancing. Some ideas to increase transportation options include implementing new bus lanes to facilitate additional frequency on high-traffic bus routes, expanding the number of bike racks at beach entrances, and pop-up protected bike lanes or bike-only streets on routes approaching beaches.  
  • Lastly, we must also be looking at non-beach alternatives for neighborhoods who aren’t near the beach. We must bring resources, such as misting machines in parks or open streets, to those communities as well.  

Former Chairman And CEO Of Movie Production Company Arrested On Fraud Charges


    Geoffrey S. Berman, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, and William F. Sweeney Jr., the Assistant Director-in-Charge of the New York Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”), announced the unsealing of a Complaint in Manhattan federal court charging WILLIAM SADLEIR, the former chairman and chief executive officer of Aviron Pictures, LLC, a movie production and distribution company based in Los Angeles, California, with engaging in multiple fraudulent schemes relating to investments made by a New York-based investment fund (the “Fund”) in Aviron Pictures, LLC and its affiliated entities (collectively, “Aviron”). 
SADLEIR is expected to be presented lbefore U.S. Magistrate Judge Alexander F. MacKinnon in Los Angeles federal court.
United States Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman said:  “As alleged, William Sadleir orchestrated a massive fraud, embezzling approximately $14 million of investor funds from his film company to pay for a Beverly Hills estate, among other fraudulent acts.  Thanks to the dedicated work of our law enforcement partners at the FBI, Sadleir will be held accountable for his behind-the-scenes misdeeds.”
FBI Assistant Director William F. Sweeney Jr. said:  “William Sadlier, the chairman and CEO of Aviron Pictures, is charged today for his alleged role in a nearly $30 million fraud scheme.  He allegedly even went so far as to pose as a female employee of the sham New-York based company he created to further his illegal activity.  Today’s arrest serves as a reminder of the FBI’s dedication to holding people accountable for egregious financial crimes of this nature.”
According to the allegations contained in the Complaint[1] unsealed today in Manhattan federal court:
The Fund is a publicly traded, closed-end investment fund.  Shares in the Fund trade on the New York Stock Exchange.  As of in or about December 2019, the Fund had approximately $649.1 million in assets.
WILLIAM SADLEIR was the chairman and chief executive officer of Aviron, and oversaw its operations from in or about 2015 until in or about December 2019.  Aviron participated in the distribution of a number of films in the United States, including My All American (2015), Kidnap (2017), The Strangers: Prey at Night (2018), A Private War (2018), Destination Wedding (2018), Serenity (2019), and After (2019).
SADLEIR engaged in two fraudulent schemes relating to an approximately $75 million investment made by the Fund in Aviron.
In one of the schemes (the “Advertising Scheme”), SADLEIR misappropriated millions of dollars in funds from Aviron that had been invested in Aviron by the Fund.  SADLEIR represented to the Fund that this money had been invested by Aviron in pre-paid media credits with the advertising placement company MediaCom Worldwide, LLC (“MediaCom”), which is a subsidiary of the advertising and media agency GroupM Worldwide Inc. (“GroupM Worldwide”).  Instead, SADLEIR, using the bank account for a sham entity he had created, illicitly transferred out of Aviron over $25 million of those funds.  Specifically, SADLEIR created a sham New York-based company called GroupM Media Services, LLC (the “Sham GroupM LLC”) designed to appear as if it was the legitimate entity, GroupM Worldwide, and a corresponding bank account in the name of that sham entity.  SADLEIR then used a significant portion of those illicitly transferred funds for his personal benefit, including to purchase a private residence in Beverly Hills for approximately $14 million.  SADLEIR then falsely represented to the Fund that Aviron had purchased an approximately $27 million balance in pre-paid media credits with MediaCom that were available to promote future Aviron films, and pledged a portion of those credits to the Fund as collateral for additional loans, when in fact the claimed credits did not exist due to SADLEIR’s misappropriation.  As part of these false representations, SADLEIR also created a fake identity of a purported New York-based female employee of the Sham GroupM LLC named “Amanda Stevens” who corresponded with a representative of the Fund, ensuring the Fund that Aviron had an approximately $27 million balance in pre-paid media credits with the Sham GroupM LLC.  In fact, SADLEIR himself posed as Amanda Stevens when engaging in email exchanges with a representative from the Fund.
In the other scheme (the “UCC Scheme”), SADLEIR engineered the illicit and fraudulent sale and refinancing of assets worth an estimated $3 million that secured the Fund’s loans to Aviron.  The Fund had secured its investment in Aviron by, among other means, obtaining UCC liens in 2017 and 2018 on certain intellectual property and other assets relating to Aviron’s films.  In 2019, SADLEIR used the forged signature of one of the Fund’s portfolio managers on releases to remove the Fund’s UCC liens on certain of these secured assets in order to sell or refinance them without the Fund’s consent, thus depriving the Fund of its collateral on outstanding loans, loans on which Aviron ultimately defaulted.         
SADLEIR, 66, of Beverly Hills, California, was charged in the Complaint with two counts of wire fraud and one count of aggravated identity theft.  The wire fraud charges each carry a maximum prison term of 20 years.  The aggravated identify theft charge carries a mandatory sentence of two years in prison.
The maximum and minimum potential sentences in this case are prescribed by Congress and are provided here for informational purposes only, as any sentence will be determined by the judge. 
Mr. Berman praised the investigative work of the FBI.  Mr. Berman also thanked the SEC Division of Enforcement, which brought a separate civil action.
The charges are just the latest in a string of prosecutions by this Office – unrelated to today’s – of individuals either in the entertainment industry or victimizing individuals or entities in the entertainment industry, or both.  The Office successfully prosecuted former radio host Craig Carton, musician Daniel Hernandez (aka “Tekashi 6ix 9ine”), musician and actor Earl Simmons (aka “DMX”), hacker Christian Erazo (for theft of intellectual property from recording artists), and fraudster concert impresario William McFarland.  The Office also has pending charges against Behzad Mesri, an Iranian national who had previously hacked computer systems for the Iranian military (for allegedly infiltrating HBO’s systems and stealing proprietary data, including scripts and plot summaries for unaired “Game of Thrones” episodes), and against nine leaders, members, and associates of the Tehran-based Mabna Institute (for a massive hacking campaign that allegedly included among its victims two major U.S. media and entertainment companies).
The allegations contained in the Complaint are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Sunday, May 24, 2020

Samelys Lopez Calls on Ritchie Torres to Return Bigot Billionaire's $, But Does She Have Her Own Problems?


Ritchie Torres cannot claim to have the moral authority, while his campaign is funded by Billionaire Bigot Daniel Loeb.

   Samelys L√≥pez called on Councilmember Ritchie Torres to return all donations from billionaire bigot, Daniel Loeb. As reported by the Daily News this past November, Daniel Loeb, a hedge fund manager and prominent supporter of charter schools, gave Ritchie a maxed-out donation of $2800. At last week's City Limits' debate, Samelys called on Ritchie and all other candidates to return contributions from bigots and real estate developers.

In 2017, Loeb accused NY State Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, who is African-American, of having done “more damage to people of color than anyone who has ever donned a hood” over a disagreement concerning charter schools. 

Ritchie Torres has raised nearly $200,000 from the real estate industry, has less than 6% of his money coming from small donors, and has an average donation of over $300.

EDITOR'S NOTE:
Upon going over Samelys Lopez Financial Disclosure Statement 3/31/2020 we find only a report of $5,000.00 from the Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez PAC 'Courage for Change' dated 2/24/2020. On 3/8/2020 we reported that we received an e-mail from the 'Courage for Change' PAC that it had given 15th Congressional candidate Samelys Lopez $20,000.00. We would like to know where the missing $15,000.00 went candidate Samelys Lopez. 
We have been unable to question Candidate Samelys Lopez on anything, because we have not been allowed by candidate Samelys Lopez's boyfriend who we now see is on the Lopez for Congress payroll, a is receiving $3,000.00 per month as a campaign staffer. That is seen below for February and March 2020. With three more months to go to the June election candidate Lopez's boyfriend will have received a total of $15,000.00 not counting any election day monies he may receive. Maybe that is where the missing $15,000.00 went.

Recipient information 
Recipient name 
BELTZER, MICHAEL 
Recipient city and state 
BRONX, NY, 104732314 
Transaction information 
Amount 
$3,000.00 
Disbursement date 
February 1, 2020 
Report year 
2020 
Filing date 

Description 
CAMPAIGN STAFF SALARY 
Purpose category 
ADMINISTRATIVE 
Memo 

Memo code 
false 
Reported on 
Form 3 on line 17 
Committee information 
Name 
LOPEZ FOR THE PEOPLE 

Recipient information 
Recipient name                                              BELTZER, MICHAEL 
  

Recipient city and state 
BRONX, NY, 104732314 
Transaction information 
Amount 
$3,000.00 
Disbursement date 
March 1, 2020 
Report year 
2020 
Filing date 

Description 
CAMPAIGN STAFF SALARY 
Purpose category 
ADMINISTRATIVE 
Memo 

Memo code 
false 
Reported on 
Form 3 on line 17 
Committee information 
Name 
LOPEZ FOR THE PEOPLE