In January, the Attorney General issued a report that uncovered practices and abuses that prevent New York consumers from accessing tickets at affordable prices – or even accessing them at all. The investigation revealed that illegal ticket bots, which can instantly snatch up thousands of tickets, are one major reason why ticketing is a rigged system. In response to the Attorney General’s report, the state legislature passed a bill this week that will imposes stiff penalties on the ticket brokers who use these illegal bots. While this legislation is a major step forward, the Attorney General will continue pushing for additional measures to ensure that New Yorkers can find affordable ways to see their favorite concerts and sporting events.
The Attorney General has worked tirelessly to help New York families rebuild after the devastating housing crisis, and has fought for legislation which would address so-called “zombie properties” – vacant and abandoned homes that drag down property values and threaten the safety of neighborhoods. This weekend, the legislature passed a bill that would help crack down on this continued problem by requiring banks to maintain these abandoned properties--a significant step forward in helping to fight blight and revitalize neighborhoods that are still recovering from the housing crash across the state.
Attorney General Schneiderman announced that Law360, a legal publication company, agreed to stop using mandatory non-compete agreements for its employees. The company required a majority of its employees to sign non-compete agreements that prohibited them, for one year after leaving the company, from working for any media outlet that provides legal news. Reports have found that these employee contracts keep wages down, inhibit innovation, and thwart workers’ career advancement. Read the Wall Street Journal story here.
The Attorney General announced the felony conviction and sentencing of Caterina M. Curatolo, a scammer who obtained more than $87,000 in benefits by falsely claiming to be a Hurricane Sandy victim. An investigation by the Attorney General’s office revealed that Curatolo engaged in an elaborate scheme to defraud government agencies, private insurance companies, and a charitable organization by representing herself as a Sandy evacuee. Curatolo pleaded guilty and was ordered to pay over $87,000 to New York City and the American Red Cross. Read the New York Daily News story here.
Attorney General Schneiderman reminded New Yorkers of common scams that occur during the summer and offered tips to protect consumers against abuse. Scam artists are known to prey on New Yorkers, particularly during the summer months, as consumers embark on home improvement projects and plan family vacations. The Attorney General urged New Yorkers to notify his office of any summer scams by contacting his Consumer Complaint Hotline at 1-800-771-7755 or online at ag.ny.gov. For more tips, read the consumer guide here.