Sunday, February 18, 2018

Designating Petitions for Federal Office/Federal Primary Election, and Designating Petitions for State Primary Dates

Designating Petitions for Federal Office/Federal Primary Election:
Federal Primary: June 26, 2018

First date to circulate designating petitions for federal office is March 6, 2018.
Dates to file designating petitions are April 9, 2018 to April 12, 2018.
First date to circulate independent nominating petitions for federal office is June 19, 2018. 
Dates to file independent nominating petitions for federal office are July 24, 2018 to July 31 , 2018.

Opportunity to Ballot Petitions for Federal Office/Federal Primary Election: 
First date to circulate OTB petitions for federal office is changed to March 27, 2018. 
Last date to file OTB petitions is changed to April 19, 2018.

State Primary: September 11, 2018

Designating Petitions for State Primary 
First day to sign ................................................................ June 5, 2018 
Filing Dates....................................................................... July 9-July 12 
Last day to authorize ........................................................ July 16 
Last day to accept/decline................................................ July 16 
Last day to fill vacancy...................................................... July 20 
Last day to authorize substitution.................................... July 24

Opportunity to Ballot Petitions 
First day to sign ................................................................ June 26, 2018 
Last day to file OTB........................................................... July 19 
Last day to file OTB if designated candidate declines ...... July 26

Statewide Party Nominations............................ May 15-June 5, 2018



5th Assembly District (Graf) (Part of Suffolk); 
10th Assembly District (Lupinacci) (Part of Suffolk) 
17th Assembly District (McKevitt) (Part of Nassau); 
39th Assembly District (Moya) (Part of Queens) 
74th Assembly District (Kavanagh) (Part of New York); 
80th Assembly District (Gjonaj) (Part of Bronx) 
102nd Assembly District (Lopez) (Greene/Schoharie, Part of Albany/Columbia/Delaware/Otsego/Ulster) 
107th Assembly District (McLaughlin) (Part of Columbia/Rensselaer/Washington) 
142nd Assembly District (Kearns) (Part of Erie); 
32nd Senate District (Diaz) (Part of Bronx) 
37th Senate District (Latimer) (Part of Westchester)

February 15, 2018 Last day to file Certificate of Nomination §6-158(6) 
February 20, 2018 Last day to accept or decline nomination §6-158(7) 
February 20, 2018 Last day to authorize nomination §6-120(3) 
February 20, 2018 Last day to file Substitution to fill vacancy created by a declination §6-158(8) February 26, 2018 Last day to authorize substitution §6-120(3)

February 5, 2018 First day to sign §6-138(4) 
February 20, 2018 Last day to file petition §6-158(9) 
February 20, 2018 Last day to accept or decline nomination §6-158(11) 
February 21, 2018 Last day to file substitution to fill vacancy created by a declination §6-158(12)

March 2, 2018 Last day for state and county board to certify ballot §§ 4-112(1), 4-114 

March 30, 2018 Last day to mail (postmark) registration form §5-210(3) 
April 4, 2018 Last day for Board of Elections to receive mail registration form §5-210(3) 
April 14, 2018 Last day to register in person at the Board of Elections §5-210(3)

March 10, 2018 Last day to send out military ballots §10-108(1) 
April 17, 2018 Last day to postmark application by mail §8-400(2)(c) 
April 23, 2018 Last day to apply in person at board of elections for absentee ballot §8-400(2)(c) 
April 23, 2018 Last day to postmark absentee ballot §8-412(1) 
April 24, 2018 Last day to deliver absentee ballot in person at board of elections §8-412(2) 
May 1, 2018 Last day for board of elections to receive absentee ballot by mail §8-412(2) 
May 7, 2018 Last day for the board of elections to receive military ballots by mail §10-114(1)

March 23, 2018 32 Day Pre-Election 9 NYCRR § 6200.2(a) 
April 13, 2018 11 Day Pre-Election 9 NYCRR § 6200.2(a) 
May 21, 2018 27 Day Post-Election 9 NYCRR § 6200.2(a) 
April 10, 2018 24 Hour (other than Independent Expenditure) 9 NYCRR § 6200.2(g) 
March 25, 2018 Pre-Election Independent Expenditure 9 NYCRR § 6200.10(d)

Speaker Johnson, Council Member Treyger, and Public Safety Committee Chair Richards Call on the State Senate to Pass Legislation to Prohibit Sexual Contact Between Police and People Held in Custody

Renewed Call Comes After State Assembly Passes Bill Closing Consent Loophole

   Taking action to protect the rights of individuals who come into contact with law enforcement, Council Speaker Corey Johnson, Council Member Mark Treyger, and Public Safety Committee Chair Donovan Richards today renewed their call for the State Senate to prohibit sexual contact between police officers and individuals in their custody. The Council will hold a hearing on a resolution urging the State to pass this important legislation and stand up for civil rights.

Currently, a state statute exists that prohibits sexual contact between corrections or parole officers and the individuals in their custody. However, it does not explicitly indicate the legality of such contact between police officers and those who they detain or take into custody.
Council Member Mark Treyger introduced a resolution, now Res. 177, shortly after a related incident in October 2017. Two NYPD officers were ultimately charged with rape after engaging in sexual activity with an 18-year old woman whom they had taken into custody.
“This antiquated loophole creates a dangerous lack of accountability regarding sexual assault and rape, and sets an unacceptable precedent regarding the power that officers can wield. The NYPD needs to maintain its integrity so that our community members can trust them. Officers are obligated to protect people in their custody, who cannot consent to sexual activity,” said Speaker Corey Johnson. “The Council urges the State Senate to consider and pass this legislation swiftly – we cannot afford to delay this any longer.”
“The power dynamic that exists between a law enforcement official and an individual in their custody precludes any possibility of meaningful consent being given free from coercion. Our laws must be aligned with basic common sense and decency,” said Council Member Mark Treyger. “I call on the State Senate to pass this legislation, and I thank Speaker Johnson and my colleagues for their support.”
“When an officer has a person’s freedom in the palm of their hands, that person is in no position to make a reasonable and thoughtful decision on consent,” said Council Member Donovan Richards, Chair of the Committee on Public Safety. “Any officer who uses this power for their own personal gain is violating public trust and abusing the power given to them by the City of New York. I am honored to stand with Speaker Johnson and Council Member Treyger to call on the State Senate to pass this legislation and close this nonsensical loophole.”

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Bronx Armed Robber Pleads Guilty To Murder

  Geoffrey S. Berman, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that DWAINE COLLYMORE, a/k/a “Twin,” pled guilty yesterday to murdering Carlos Vargas, and shooting at a second man, during an attempted robbery on April 28, 2016, inside 2466 Marion Avenue in the Bronx, New York.  COLLYMORE faces a maximum term of life in prison, and will be sentenced before Chief United States District Judge Colleen McMahon.

U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman said:  “Dwaine Collymore has admitted to murdering Carlos Vargas during a botched robbery.  We will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to ensure that murderers are held to account for their crimes.”
According to the Indictment and other documents filed in the case, as well as statements made during the plea proceeding, on April 28, 2016, COLLYMORE and another man attempted to rob the occupants of an apartment located at 2466 Marion Avenue in the Bronx, where Carlos Vargas and others were engaged in selling small quantities of marijuana.  The victims resisted, and in the ensuing struggle COLLYMORE stunned Vargas and knocked him to the ground.   COLLYMORE then fired a shot at a second victim (“Victim-2”).  Victim-2 was not struck, but fell to the ground and played dead.  Believing he had already killed Victim-2, COLLYMORE then leaned over Vargas and fired a single shot into Vargas’s head at close range, killing him.
Mr. Berman praised the outstanding work of the investigators of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, the New York City Police Department’s 46th Precinct Detective Squad, and the United States Marshals Service.  

Manhattan U.S. Attorney Announces Criminal Charges Against U.S. Bancorp For Violations Of The Bank Secrecy Act

Charges to Be Deferred For Two Years Under an Agreement Requiring U.S. Bancorp to Admit Its Conduct and Pay Penalty of $528 Million

  Geoffrey S. Berman, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced criminal charges against U.S. Bancorp (“USB”) consisting of two felony violations of the Bank Secrecy Act (“BSA”) by its subsidiary, U.S. Bank National Association (the “Bank”), the fifth largest bank in the United States, for willfully failing to have an adequate anti-money laundering program (“AML”) and willfully failing to file a suspicious activity report (“SAR”). The case is assigned to United States District Judge Lewis A. Kaplan. 

Mr. Berman also announced an agreement (the “Agreement”) under which USB agreed to accept responsibility for its conduct by stipulating to the accuracy of an extensive Statement of Facts, pay a $528 million penalty, and continue reforms of its BSA/AML compliance program. Assuming USB’s continued compliance with the Agreement, the Government has agreed to defer prosecution for a period of two years, after which time the Government will seek to dismiss the charges.  The Agreement is pending review by the Court.  The penalty shall be collected through the Bank’s forfeiture to the United States of $453 million in a civil forfeiture action also filed today, with the remaining $75 million satisfied by the Bank’s payment of a civil money penalty assessed by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (the “OCC”).
U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman stated:  “U.S. Bank’s AML program was highly inadequate.  The Bank operated the program ‘on the cheap’ by restricting headcount and other compliance resources, and then imposed hard caps on the number of transactions subject to AML review in order to create the appearance that the program was operating properly.  The Bank also concealed its wrongful approach from the OCC.  As a result, U.S Bank failed to detect and investigate large numbers of suspicious transactions.  With today’s resolution, the Bank has accepted responsibility for its criminal conduct and committed to completing the reform of its AML program.”
The OCC, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (“FinCEN”), and the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (”FRB”) have also reached agreements with the Bank to resolve related regulatory actions.  For purposes of its action, which was also filed today, FinCEN is represented by this Office’s Civil Division.  FinCEN’s agreement with the Bank requires the Bank to pay an additional $70 million for civil violations of the BSA, and it includes further admissions by the Bank, including that the Bank filed more than 5,000 currency transaction reports with incomplete and inaccurate information, which impeded law enforcement’s ability to identify and track potentially unlawful behavior.  FinCEN’s agreement with the Bank is pending review by the Court.
According to the documents filed today in Manhattan federal court:
USB’s Failure to Maintain an Adequate AML Program
From 2009 and continuing until 2014, USB willfully failed to establish, implement, and maintain an adequate AML program.  Among other things, USB capped the number of alerts generated by its transaction monitoring systems, basing the number of such alerts on staffing levels and resources, rather than setting thresholds for such alerts that corresponded to a transaction’s level of risk.  The Bank deliberately concealed this from the OCC, the Bank’s primary regulator. 
USB was well aware that these practices were improper, were resulting in the Bank missing substantial numbers of suspicious transactions, and were placing the Bank at risk of regulatory action.  Bank documentation from as early as 2005 acknowledged that alert limits were based on staffing levels and, as a result, a risk item for the bank.  For example, in a December 1, 2009,F memo from the Bank’s then AML Officer (the “AMLO”) to the then Chief Compliance Officer (the “CCO), the AMLO explained that while the Bank was experiencing significant increases in SAR volumes, the Bank’s staff was “stretched dangerously thin” and warned that a “regulator could very easily argue that this testing should lead to an increase in the number of queries worked.”  The Bank conducted below-threshold testing (“BTT”), which consisted of investigating a limited number of transactions that fell outside alert limits to see if thresholds should be adjusted so that more alerts would be investigated.  The Bank’s BTT regularly found that SARs should have been filed on more than 25 percent, and as much as 80 percent, of the tested transactions.  Rather than increase resources and lower thresholds to detect such suspicious activity, as repeatedly requested by the responsible AML employees, the Bank instead decided to stop conducting BTT altogether.
An OCC examiner assigned to the Bank repeatedly warned USB officials, including the AMLO, of the impropriety of managing the Bank’s monitoring programs based on the size of its staff and other resources.  Knowing that the OCC would find USB’s resource-driven alert limits to be improper, Bank officials, including the CCO, deliberately concealed these practices from the OCC.  For example, a Bank employee deliberately excluded references to resource limitations from the minutes of an internal Bank meeting for fear that the OCC would disapprove of the Bank’s practices, and in order to protect himself and his supervisor from adverse consequences.  Indeed, the AMLO described USB’s AML program to another senior manager as an effort to use “smoke and mirrors” to “pull the wool over the eyes” of the OCC.
USB also failed to monitor Western Union (“WU”) transactions involving non-customers of the Bank that took place at Bank branches.  The Bank processed WU transactions involving non-customers even though they would not be subject to the Bank’s transaction monitoring systems.  Even when Bank employees flagged specific non-customer transactions raising AML-related concerns, the transactions went uninvestigated.  It was not until July 1, 2014, that the Bank implemented a new policy that prohibited WU transactions by non-customers.
In the course of this investigation, the Bank analyzed the impact of its deficient monitoring practices.  For just the six months prior to taking steps to remedy the practices, the Bank’s analysis resulted in the generation of an additional 24,179 alerts and the filing of 2,121 SARs.
USB’s Failure to Timely File Suspicious Activity Reports Relating to Scott Tucker
From October 2011 through November 2013, the Bank willfully failed to timely report suspicious banking activities of Scott Tucker, its longtime customer, despite being on notice that Tucker had been using the Bank to launder proceeds from an illegal and fraudulent payday lending scheme using a series of sham bank accounts opened under the name of companies nominally owned by various Native American tribes (the “Tribal Companies”).  From 2008 through 2012, Tucker’s companies extended approximately five million loans to customers across the country, while generating more than $2 billion in revenues and hundreds of millions of dollars in profits.  Most of this money flowed through accounts that Tucker maintained at the Bank.
USB employees responsible for servicing Tucker’s ongoing account activity disregarded numerous red flags that Tucker was using the tribes to conceal his ownership of the accounts.  For example, Tucker spent large sums of monies from accounts in the names of Tribal Companies on personal items, including tens of millions of dollars on a vacation home in Aspen and on Tucker’s professional Ferrari racing team.  USB also received subpoenas from regulators investigating Tucker’s businesses.  In September 2011, after news organizations published reports examining Tucker’s history and questionable business practices, the Bank reviewed Tucker’s accounts, and an AML investigator reported to supervisors, among other things, that “it looks as though Mr. Tucker is quite the slippery individual” who “really does hide behind a bunch of shell companies.”  Based on its findings, the Bank closed the accounts in the names of the Tribal Companies but failed to file a SAR.
The Bank also left open Tucker’s non-tribal accounts and opened new ones, allowing over $176 million more from his illegal payday business to flow into the Bank.  Despite also learning of an April 2012 Federal Trade Commission lawsuit against Tucker and the Tribal Companies, the Bank did not file a SAR regarding Tucker until served with a subpoena by this Office in November 2013.
On October 13, 2017, Tucker was convicted in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York of various offenses arising from his payday lending scheme. The Government intends to recommend that the amounts forfeited by USB be distributed to victims of Tucker’s scheme, consistent with the applicable Department of Justice regulations, through the ongoing remission process.
Mr. Berman praised the outstanding investigative work of the Special Agents at the United States Attorney’s Office and thanked the OCC for its assistance with the investigation.  Mr. Berman also thanked FinCEN for its partnership with this Office.

Long Island Home-School Tutor Charged With Enticement

  Geoffrey S. Berman, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, and James P. O’Neill, the Commissioner of the New York City Police Department (“NYPD”), announced the arrest and the filing of federal charges yesterday against JEFFREY WEBER.  The Complaint charges that WEBER communicated with an individual he believed to be a 13-year-old girl via email and text messages, and made plans to meet the girl at a diner in Manhattan and then go to her apartment to engage in sexual activity.  WEBER was arrested yesterday when he arrived at the designated meeting place to meet the girl, and was presented before United States Magistrate Judge Debra Freeman in Manhattan federal court.

U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman said:  “As alleged, Jeffrey Weber, a home-school tutor who has constant interaction with children, made arrangements through text messaging and emails to meet with what he thought was a 13-year-old girl to engage in sexual activity.  Thankfully he was corresponding with an undercover law enforcement officer and not a young girl, but his alleged intentions are no less insidious.  This Office, along with our partners at the NYPD, remain committed to keeping child predators off the streets.”
NYPD Commissioner James P. O’Neill said:  “The suspect in this case—a 59-year-old Long Island man—is accused of sending sexually-explicit texts and emails to an investigator posing as a 13-year-old girl.  But this crime wasn't confined to cyberspace.  The man was arrested yesterday at a diner in Manhattan, where his plan was to meet the underage girl and take her elsewhere for sex.  I want to thank the members of the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, whose expertise identified and put an end to this predator’s activities.”
According to the allegations in the Complaint filed in Manhattan federal court:[1]
Between January 30, 2018, and February 14, 2018, WEBER, using email and text messages, engaged in sexually explicit communications with a law enforcement agent who was acting in an undercover capacity and posing as a 13-year-old girl.  During these communications, WEBER discussed various sexual acts he wished to perform on the girl and made a plan to meet the girl at a diner in Manhattan and to then go to the girl’s nearby apartment for the purpose of engaging in sexual activity.  On February 14, 2018, Weber was arrested at the diner where he planned to meet the girl.  In an email with who he thought was the 13-year-old girl, WEBER said that he was employed as a tutor, working in the homes of at-risk youth.
WEBER, 59, of the Seaford, New York, is charged with one count of attempted enticement, which carries a maximum sentence of life in prison.  The maximum potential sentence in this case is prescribed by Congress and is provided here for informational purposes only, as any sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the judge
Mr. Berman praised the NYPD’s Computer Crime Squad, which is part of the Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force, for their outstanding investigative work.
The charges contained in the Complaint are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
[1] As the introductory phrase signifies, the entirety of the text of the Complaint, and the description of the Complaint set forth herein, constitute only allegations, and every fact described should be treated as an allegation.

A.G. Schneiderman Announces Settlement With Company Over Misleading Solicitations For Insurance Products

Trustage Insurance Agency Mailed Solicitations for Insurance Policies that Appeared to Come from New Yorkers’ Credit Unions – Some Consumers May Have Signed Up Without Understanding That They Agreed to Have Premiums Deducted Automatically From Their Credit Union Accounts
Company Must Reform Its Business Practices, Pay $75,000 in Restitution, Penalties, Costs, and Fees
  Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman announced a settlement with Iowa-based Trustage Insurance Agency, which mailed solicitations for Accidental Death and Dismemberment policies that appeared to come from New Yorkers’ credit unions. Trustage is a wholly owned subsidiary of CMFG Life Insurance Company, which markets a variety of insurance products to credit union members, including Accidental Death and Dismemberment policies. The settlement requires Trustage to make a number of changes to its solicitations based on concerns raised by the Attorney General’s office, and pay $75,000 in restitution, penalties, costs, and fees.
The Attorney General’s investigation revealed that Trustage’s Accidental Death and Dismemberment policy solicitations mailed to consumers prominently featured the logo of consumers’ credit unions and did not make clear that the solicitations were from Trustage. The solicitations contained other features that, coupled with the credit union logos, may have caused consumers to sign, complete, and return the policy enrollment form without fully understanding that they were signing up for a policy and were agreeing to have premiums deducted automatically from their credit union savings or checking account. For example, the solicitations featured prominent language advising consumers that their signature was requested on the enclosed “STATEMENT OF BENEFITS” and directed consumers to “SIGN and RETURN” in large red letters at the top of the page.
“New Yorkers have a basic right not to be misled by those seeking their business,” said Attorney General Schneiderman. “This settlement ensures full restitution for impacted consumers, as well as key reforms to Trustage’s business practices.”
The settlement requires Trustage to make a number of reforms to its solicitations for insurance products, including:
  • Prominently including its logo at the top of any solicitation.
  • Clearly and conspicuously disclosing that the solicitation is for an insurance product offered by Trustage.
  • Requiring consumers to supply the account number from which they are authorizing Trustage to deduct premiums.
Pursuant to the settlement, Trustage will pay $75,000 to be used for restitution to any consumers who were harmed by the solicitations and file complaints within the next six months. Any remaining funds will be retained as penalties, costs, and fees.
Consumers who believe they may be entitled to a refund should notify the Attorney General’s office by filing a complaint online or by calling 1-800-771-7755.