Saturday, August 6, 2016

A.G. Schneiderman Announces $100K Settlement With E-Retailer After Data Breach Exposes Over 25K Credit Card Numbers Must Pay $100K In Penalties And Reform Business Practices Following Massive Breach

Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman today announced a settlement with Provision Supply, LLC, d/b/a, involving a data breach resulting in the potential exposure of over 25,000 credit card numbers and other cardholder data. has agreed to pay $100,000 in penalties and to shore up its data security practices.
 “New Yorkers deserve an Internet marketplace that secures their personal information,” said Attorney General Schneiderman. “No one should be exposed to identity theft or financial fraud by simply buying something over the Internet. My office will continue working to help protect hardworking New Yorkers from credit card fraud.”
On August 7, 2014, a third party infiltrated website, which is based in Brooklyn, New York.  On June 05, 2015,'s merchant bank notified it that fraudulent charges were appearing on customer credit card accounts. Shortly thereafter, engaged a company to conduct a forensic investigation, which discovered and removed all the malware on the website. never provided notice to its customers or law enforcement about the breach, in violation of General Business Law § 899-aa, which requires notice be provided to affected individuals and various government agencies including Schneiderman’s office, in the most expedient time possible and without unreasonable delay.
Schneiderman’s office also found that violated Executive Law § 63(12) and General Business Laws §§ 349 and 350 by misrepresenting the safety and security of its website. advertised its website as “100% safe and secure,” and “utilizing the latest security technology available.” However, a forensics investigation revealed that’s website contained numerous security vulnerabilities. In particular, the investigation revealed that did not maintain a written security policy addressing information security problems; deploy effective web server and host based firewall configurations designed to prevent unauthorized access and exploitation of commonly known vulnerable outgoing computer network port(s); implement anti-virus and anti-malware software on any computer systems; monitor and/or review the site’s performance and security configuration, or otherwise conduct vulnerability and penetration testing; or maintain firewall logs, which prevented investigators from determining the frequency of attacker visits and related information.
The settlement requires to conduct thorough and expeditious investigations of any future data security breaches, provide prompt notice of data security breaches to affected New York residents and to New York law enforcement, maintain reasonable security policies and procedures designed to protect the personal information of consumers in accordance with New York State General Business laws, and to remediate the many security vulnerabilities contained in its website. must also train employees with the most up-to-date data security practices, and pay a $100,000 penalty.

Family Fun Day on East 204th Street by C-Town Supermarket

Friday, August 5, 2016

No Parking on West 238th Street Between Riverdale and Waldo Avenues

   The sign pit up on this pole on West 238th Street at the corner of Greystone Avenue says no parking  from 7 AM to 3 PM on Saturday. These signs were posted on both sides of the street from the beginning at Riverdale Avenue to the end of the street at Waldo Avenue today.
   Residents and merchants wanted to know the reason why. 
The Answer is that the Empire Subway Company is going to be digging in the street. No they are not putting in a subway line, but the Empire Subway Company is the construction arm of Verizon, and at a much lower cost to Verizon than if Verizon workers were to do the work. 

Crane Blocking Street - Here Today Gone Tomorrow

   At the June Community Board 8 Land Use meeting the Fieldston School located on Manhattan College Parkway surrounded by Riverdale Avenue, West 238th Street, and Greystone Avenue told the Land Use Committee of its plans to expand the school's Greystone Avenue building. This would mean the loss of parking on Greystone Avenue to be replaced by an equal amount of parking spaces on the school property. As you can see in the photo below that was not the case. In a letter to neighbors the school sent out dated August 1, 2016 the school said that Greystone Avenue would be completely closed from August 2nd to August 8th due to the construction.

Above - A view of the street closure looking north to the school on Greystone Avenue.
Below - A view of the street closure looking south to the school on Greystone Avenue.

There seem to have been complaints made to the community board, and as of this morning you can see that Greystone Avenue is once again open, and the huge crane is no where to be found.

Jews For Racial and Economic Justice Come tp Riverdale for Demonstration

   About 75 people led by Leo Ferguson an organizer of Jews of Color led a peaceful protest through the streets of Riverdale. They came from mostly other parts of the city to rally with a few Riverdalian's who are part of the group. They met at the Riverdale Monument at West 239th Street, and then proceeded to march west to Independence Avenue. They turned down Independence Avenue to West 237th Street turning onto Blackstone Avenue. Upon reaching West 239th Street they turned east and marched back to the monument where speeches were then given. During the march chants of 'Black Lives Matter', and 'Fire racist police officers' was often heard. 
   The marchers were given a police escort by the 50th Precinct, with the commanding officer and community affairs officers providing traffic control and safety for the marchers. Deputy Inspector O'Toole said that he and his officers were there to insure the safety of the marchers. 
   It should be noted that the marchers went right by the residence of Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz, and did not stop to protest there, as they were calling for better legislation to curtail the rash of police racism. That and the lack of noticeable Riverdale leaders in the march led many residents to look at the marchers, then continue what they were doing. The march and rally lasted a little over an hour as it was over when the night time came.  


Above and below - The protestors march through several Riverdale streets, as the police ensure their safety while marching.

Above - The marchers return to the West 239th Street monument to rally. 
Below - Leo Ferguson addresses the group at the Riverdale monument.

Bronx Chamber of Commerce invites you to join us at our SummerFest Membership Recognition Mixer

Voting Registration Deadline Approaching

   The next election day is on September 13th. On that day, we will vote in the primary for state and local elections.

In order to be eligible to vote on this day, you must register to vote by August 19th. If you have moved or changed your name since the last time you registered, you should re-register. Since the September 13th election is a primary, you must also be registered in a political party in order to vote in that party's primary (for example, only Democrats can vote in the Democratic primary and only Republicans can vote in the Republican primary). You can register for a party using a voter registration form.

Voter registration forms are available at the Board of Elections offices,

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Manhattan U.S. Attorney Charges 46 Leaders, Members, And Associates Of Several Organized Crime Families Of La Cosa Nostra With Wide-Ranging Racketeering Charges

  Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Diego Rodriguez, Assistant Director in Charge of the New York Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”), William J. Bratton, Commissioner of the New York City Police Department (“NYPD”), and James A. McCarty, Acting District Attorney for Westchester County, announced today the unsealing of an Indictment charging 46 defendants for their alleged roles in a sprawling and long-running racketeering conspiracy composed of leaders, members, and associates of the Genovese, Gambino, Luchese, Bonanno, and Philadelphia Organized Crime Families of La Cosa Nostra (“LCN”), who worked together to engage in a multitude of criminal activities throughout the East Coast of the United States between Springfield, Massachusetts, and Southern Florida (the “East Coast LCN Enterprise” or the “Enterprise”).  The defendants are charged with racketeering conspiracy, arson, illegal trafficking in firearms, and conspiracy to commit assault in aid of racketeering. 
Thirty-nine of the defendants charged were taken into custody today.  During the arrests, law enforcement officers recovered, among other items, three handguns, a shotgun, gambling paraphernalia, and more than $30,000 in cash.
Two defendants, CONRAD IANNIELLO and PASQUALE MAIORINO, a/k/a “Patty Boy,” were already in federal custody on other charges.  Another defendant, JOHN LEMBO, was already in custody on state charges and will be transferred to federal custody.  Six defendants, JOSEPH MERLINO, a/k/a “Joey,” PASQUALE CAPOLONGO, a/k/a “Patsy,” a/k/a “Pat C.,” a/k/a “Mustache Pat,” a/k/a “Fish,” FRANK TRAPANI, a/k/a “Harpo,” CARMINE GALLO, CRAIG BAGON, BRADLEY SIRKIN, a/k/a “Brad,” were arrested this morning in Florida, and will be presented in federal court in West Palm Beach later today.  Two defendants, FRANCESCO DEPERGOLA, a/k/a “Frank,” and RALPH SANTANIELLO were arrested this morning in Massachusetts, where they face additional federal charges, and will be presented in federal court in Springfield, Massachusetts later today.  All other defendants arrested today will be presented in Manhattan federal court before U.S. Magistrate Judges Barbara Moses, Frank Maas, and Gabriel W. Gorenstein this afternoon.  Two defendants, NICHOLAS DEVITO, a/k/a “Nicky,” and ANTHONY CIRILLO, surrendered today.  One defendant, HAROLD THOMAS, a/k/a “Harry,” is expected to surrender in the next few days.  Three defendants, ANTHONY CAMISA, a/k/a “Anthony the Kid,” LAURENCE KEITH ALLEN, a/k/a “Keith Allen,” and WAYNE KREISBERG remain at large.  The case is assigned to United States District Judge Richard J. Sullivan.
Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said: “Today’s charges against 46 men, including powerful leaders, members and associates of five different La Cosa Nostra families, demonstrate that the mob remains a scourge on this city and around the country.  From loansharking and illegal gambling, to credit card and health care fraud, and even firearms trafficking, today’s mafia is fully diversified in its boundless search for illegal profits.  And as alleged, threatening to assault, maim and kill people who get in the way of their criminal schemes remains the go-to play in the mob’s playbook.”
FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge Diego Rodriguez said:  “The indictment reads like an old school mafia novel, where extortion, illegal gambling, arson and threats to ‘whack’ someone are carried out along with some modern-day crimes of credit card skimming. But the 40-plus arrests of mob associates, soldiers, capos, and a boss this morning show this isn’t fiction. As alleged, Genovese, Gambino, Luchese, and Bonanno LCN crime families are still carrying out their criminal activities from Mulberry Street here in New York City to areas of Springfield, Massachusetts. The FBI, working with our task force partners from the New York Police Department, are just as steadfast investigating and rooting out organized crime as wise guys are to bringing it our streets. We thank all our partners on this multi-year investigation, including the FBI field offices from New Haven, Newark, Miami and Boston for their assistance with operations.”
NYPD Commissioner William J. Bratton said:  “The charges applied today to these 46 individuals deal a significant blow to La Cosa Nostra, which the NYPD is committed to putting out of business.  As alleged, in typical mob fashion, the rackets ran from Springfield to South Florida and left no scheme behind. These mobsters seemed to use every scheme known to us, from arson, to shake-downs, violence, health care fraud, and even untaxed cigarettes to keep the racket going.  I want to thank my friends Preet Bharara and Diego Rodriguez for their work at the Justice Department and FBI for making today’s case possible and their collaborative efforts during my tenure as Commissioner of the NYPD.”   
Westchester County Acting District Attorney James A. McCarty said: “I want to congratulate the prosecutors and investigators whose combined efforts resulted in today’s indictment.  Those charged with these crimes believe they can commit them at will, undetected and without consequence.  These dedicated members of law enforcement through their actions, have made it clear that those individuals who commit these crimes will be rooted out.”
According to the allegations in the Indictment[1], which was filed in Manhattan federal court, and other publicly filed documents:
The instant charges are the culmination of a multi-year joint investigation conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”), FBI-NYPD Organized Crime Task Force, the Westchester County District Attorney’s Office, the New York City Police Department (“NYPD”), and this Office.  The evidence includes thousands of hours of consensual recordings obtained by a cooperating witness (“CW-1”) and an FBI Special Agent working in an undercover capacity (“UC-1”).  CW-1 worked under PASQUALE PARRELLO, a/k/a “Patsy,” believed to be a Genovese Capo in charge of a crew based out of a restaurant that bears his name in the Bronx, New York (Pasquale’s Rigoletto, hereinafter “Rigoletto”).  At one point, with PARRELLO’S approval, CW-1 began working under JOSEPH MERLINO, a/k/a “Joey,” believed to be the Boss of the Philadelphia Crime Family, who resided in southern Florida for part of the year.  UC-1 worked under EUGENE O’NOFRIO, a/k/a “Rooster,” a Genovese Acting Capo in charge of crews on Mulberry Street in New York, New York, and Springfield, Massachusetts.  As evidenced by the consensual recordings made by CW-1 and UC-1, the myriad criminal schemes pursued by PARRELLO, MERLINO, O’NOFRIO, and their underlings were in many respects intertwined.
The Enterprise charged in the Indictment is composed of leaders, members, and associates of the Genovese, Gambino, Luchese, Bonanno, and Philadelphia Crime Families of LCN, who worked together and coordinated with each other to engage in a multitude of criminal activities throughout the East Coast of the United States, including in Springfield, Massachusetts, the Bronx and Manhattan, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and Southern Florida.  The members of the Enterprise have been involved in gambling, extortionate collection of loans, other extortion activities, arson, conspiracies to commit assaults in aid of racketeering, trafficking in unstamped and cigarettes, gun trafficking, access device fraud, and health care fraud.  The members of the Enterprise include, but are not limited to, PASQUALE PARRELLO, a/k/a “Patsy,” a/k/a “Pat,” JOSEPH MERLINO, a/k/a “Joey,” EUGENE O’NOFRIO, a/k/a “Rooster,” CONRAD IANNIELLO, ISRAEL TORRES, a/k/a “Buddy,” ANTHONY ZINZI, a/k/a “Anthony Boy,” ANTHONY VAZZANO, a/k/a “Tony the Wig,” a/k/a “Muscles,” ALEX CONIGLIARO, FRANK BARBONE, RALPH BALSAMO, PASQUALE MAIORINO, a/k/a “Patty Boy,” JOHN SPIRITO, a/k/a “Johnny Joe,” VINCENT CASABLANCA, a/k/a “Vinny,” MARCO MINUTO, PAUL CASSANO, a/k/a “Paul Cassone,” DANIEL MARINO, JR., a/k/a “Danny,” JOHN LEMBO, a/k/a “Johnny,” MITCHELL FUSCO, a/k/a “Mitch,” REYNOLD ALBERTI, a/k/a “Randy,” VINCENT TERRACCIANO, a/k/a “Big Vinny,” JOSEPH TOMANELLI, a/k/a “Joe,” AGOSTINO CAMACHO, a/k/a “Augie,” NICHOLAS DEVITO, a/k/a “Nicky,” ANTHONY CASSETTA, a/k/a “Tony the Cripple,” NICHOLAS VUOLO, a/k/a “Nicky the Wig,” BRADFORD WEDRA, MICHAEL POLI, a/k/a “Mike Polio,” PASQUALE CAPOLONGO, a/k/a “Patsy,” a/k/a “Pat C.,” a/k/a “Mustache Pat,” a/k/a “Fish,” ANTHONY DEPALMA, a/k/a “Harpo,” a/k/a “Harp,” JOHN TOGNINO, a/k/a “Tugboat,” MARK MAIUZZO, a/k/a “Stymie,” JOSEPH DIMARCO, HAROLD THOMAS, a/k/a “Harry,” RICHARD LACAVA, a/k/a “Richie,” VINCENT THOMAS, a/k/a “Vinny,” ANTHONY CAMISA, a/k/a “Anthony the Kid,” FRANK TRAPANI, a/k/a “Harpo,” ANTHONY CIRILLO, CARMINE GALLO, JOSEPH FALCO, a/k/a “Joe Cub,” FRANCESCO DEPERGOLA, a/k/a “Frank,” RALPH SANTANIELLO, LAURENCE KEITH ALLEN, a/k/a “Keith Allen,” CRAIG BAGON, BRADLEY SIRKIN, a/k/a “Brad,” and WAYNE KREISBERG, the defendants.
To protect and expand the Enterprise’s business and criminal operations, members and associates of the Enterprise assaulted, threatened to assault, and destroyed the property of people who engaged in activity that jeopardized: (i) the power and criminal activities of the Enterprise and the power and criminal activities of their respective LCN Families; (ii) the power of leaders of the Enterprise; and (iii) the flow of criminal proceeds to the leaders of the Enterprise.  Members and associates of the Enterprise promoted a climate of fear in the community through threats of economic harm and violence, as well as actual violence, including assault and arson.  Members and associates of the Enterprise generated or attempted to generate income for the Enterprise through firearms trafficking, extortion, operating illegal gambling businesses, health care fraud, credit card fraud, selling untaxed cigarettes, making extortionate extensions of credit, and other offenses.  Members and associates of the Enterprise at times engaged in criminal conduct or coordinated their criminal activities with leaders, members, and associates of their respective LCN Families.  At other times, members and associates of the Enterprise met with leaders, members, and associates of their respective LCN Families to resolve disputes over their criminal activities.
Enterprise members PASQUALE PARRELLO, a/k/a “Patsy,” a/k/a “Pat,” JOSEPH MERLINO, a/k/a “Joey,” and EUGENE O’NOFRIO, a/k/a “Rooster,” the defendants, supervised and controlled other members of the Enterprise engaged in illegal schemes, including those that were the objects of the conspiracy.  At various times, members and associates of the Enterprise (including those who are leaders, members, and associates of different LCN families) met, coordinated, and worked together with PARRELLO, MERLINO, and O’NOFRIO, and each other, as well as other members and associates of their respective LCN Families, to engage in criminal activity.
To avoid law enforcement scrutiny, members and associates of the Enterprise conducted meetings surreptitiously, typically using coded language to make arrangements for meetings, and meeting at rest stops along highways and at restaurants.
Certain members and associates of the Enterprise engaged in and conspired to engage in the following violent crimes: 
Arson of Vehicle Belonging to Victim-1
In early 2011, an individual (“Victim-1”) operated an illegal gambling establishment on Saw Mill River Road, Yonkers, New York, which was around the corner from a similar establishment (the “Yonkers Club”) run by ANTHONY ZINZI, a/k/a “Anthony Boy,” and other associates of the charged Enterprise.  ZINZI and others paid PARRELLO tribute from the profits from the Yonkers Club. 
While PARRELLO was on federal supervision stemming from a federal conviction in this Court, the Yonkers Club struggled.  Indeed, Victim-1’s club was more successful than the Yonkers Club.  ZINZI suggested to other members of the conspiracy that they light Victim-1’s vehicle on fire while it was outside of Victim-1’s club.  Then, on or about March 7, 2011, co-defendant MARK MAIUZZO, a/k/a “Stymie,” and others not charged in the above-referenced Indictment located Victim-1’s vehicle, poured gasoline into the vehicle, and lit it on fire.
Conspiracy to Assault and Assault of Victim-2
On or about June 5 and 6, 2011, PARRELLO ordered ZINZI and Ronald “The Beast” Mastrovincenzo (now deceased) to assault a panhandler (“Victim-2”) in the area of Arthur Avenue and Fordham Road, Bronx, New York.  ZINZI and Mastrovincenzo enlisted the help of ISRAEL TORRES, a/k/a “Buddy,” and others.  Victim-2 had been bothering some female customers in the parking lot nearby Rigoletto, and these women complained to PARRELLO. 
ZINZI, TORRES, Mastrovincenzo, and others, on PARRELLO’s orders to “break” Victim-2’s knees, went looking for Victim-2.  Eventually, Victim-2 was beaten by Mastrovincenzo and CW-1 (prior to CW-1’s cooperation with the Government).   A New York State wiretap revealed that after the beating, Mastrovincenzo told ZINZI, in sum and substance: “[r]emember the old days in the neighborhood when we used to play baseball? . . . A ball game like that was done.”  After the beating, TORRES and ZINZI helped Mastrovincenzo and CW-1 in hiding and disposing of evidence. 
Conspiracy to Extort Victim-1
PASQUALE CAPOLONGO, a/k/a “Patsy,” a/k/a “Pat C.,” a/k/a “Mustache Pat,” a/k/a “Fish,” a Luchese associate and longtime bookmaker, placed large bets on behalf of several “professional gamblers,” to help conceal their status as professionals.  CAPOLONGO also placed bets himself as a gambler.  In 2011, CW-1 gave CAPOLONGO access to gambling accounts controlled by individuals known as bookmakers so that CAPOLONGO could place bets on those accounts on behalf of professional gamblers.  In turn, CW-1 received approximately 10 percent of the winnings and was also responsible to the bookmaker for the losses.  As part of this arrangement, in late 2011, CAPOLONGO obtained betting accounts on Victim-1’s book through CW-1.  In December 2011, CAPOLONGO, on behalf of his bettors, won approximately $30,000 from sports wagers CAPOLONGO placed in Victim-1’s book.  Victim-1 refused to pay CAPOLONGO. 
On or about December 12, 2011, CW-1 met with PARRELLO and explained that CAPOLONGO won approximately $30,000 on sports wagers and that CW-1 was unable to collect because Victim-1 was refusing to pay despite CW-1’s affiliation with PARRELLO.  CW-1 asked PARRELLO to intervene on his behalf and sought assistance in collecting the approximately $30,000 debt from Victim-1.  PARRELLO agreed to help collect the debt.  
Between about December 2011 and March 2014, PARRELLO sent ZINZI, TORRES, VINCENT TERRACCIANO, a/k/a “Big Vinny,” and others to threaten and intimidate Victim-1, and collect the money for the debt.  On one such occasion, PARRELLO told them: “You get Buddy [TORRES] and let Buddy go there and choke him [Victim-1], choke him.  I want Buddy to choke him, choke him, actually choke the motherfucker…and tell him, ‘Listen to me…next time I’m not gonna stop choking… I’m gonna kill you.’” 
Conspiracy to Extort Victim-3
Victim-3 was working as a bookmaker and had accounts with defendant JOHN TOGNINO, a/k/a “Tugboat,” who worked under by ALEX CONIGLIARO.  CONIGLIARO suspected that Victim-3 had allowed professional bettors to place bets and, as a result of their winning bets, CONIGLIARO owed approximately $400,000 to the winning bettors. 
On or about February 21, 2012, PARRELLO summoned Victim-3 to Rigoletto.  There, CONIGLIARO, PARRELLO, and IANNIELLO confronted Victim-3 in a small room in the basement of the restaurant, threatening and intimidating him.  Ultimately, CONIGLIARO refused to pay the money owed.
Conspiracy to Extort Victim-4
An unindicted co-conspirator (“CC-1”) operated a gambling club in the Bronx, New York.  CC-1 was affiliated with PARRELLO, and, from in or about 2012 to in or about 2013, CC-1 paid PARRELLO approximately $500 per week in tribute in connection with the Bronx gambling club.  Another individual, Victim-4, owed tens of thousands of dollars to CC-1.  PARRELLO directed CW-1 to find Victim-4 to collect the money.  TORRES and co-defendant JOHN SPIRITO, a/k/a “Johnny Joe,” a made member of the Bonanno family, tried to get a picture of Victim-4.  The plan was to identify Victim-4, bring Victim-4 to an isolated area, and confront Victim-4 about the debt.
Conspiracy to Extort Victim-5
Victim-5 was a gambler who gave CW-1 access to gambling accounts.  As a result, Victim-5 incurred a debt that he did not pay.  At the same time, Victim-5 separately owed money to defendants VINCENT CASABLANCA, a/k/a “Vinny,” and PASQUALE MAIORINO, a/k/a “Patty Boy,” members of the Luchese and Bonanno crime families, respectively.  PARRELLO worked with others, including members of the Genovese and Bonanno crime families, to ensure that Victim-5 paid the debt.  Among other things, PARRELLO stated, in a recorded conversation, that members of PARRELLO’s crew should:
[C]ut his [Victim-5’s] fuckin’ tire.  That way he has to change the tire.  So then you know you can catch up with him. Give him a flat.  Take the air out of the tire, whatever the fuck you got to do.  Then you catch up with him because then he’s there, ya know, he’s got to get it fixed, he can’t go nowhere, and then you surround the mother fucker.  That’s how yous do it.
PARRELLO further stated, “go ahead, get this motherfucker.  Don’t make a mistake.  Get your fuckin’ money.”  Co-defendant ZINZI provided an icepick to use to slash the tire of Victim-5’s car in order to carry out PARRELLO’s order.  Eventually, Victim-5 agreed to make weekly payments on Victim-5’s outstanding debt. 
Conspiracy to Assault Victim-6
On or about January 22, 2013, Genovese associate and defendant ANTHONY VAZZANO, a/k/a “Tony the Wig,” a/k/a “Muscles,” was stabbed in the neck by Victim-6 during an altercation at a bar in the Bronx, New York (the “Bar”).  VAZZANO was at the Bar with Mastrovincenzo and others when the stabbing occurred.  After that, associates of PARRELLO’s crew, including Mastrovincenzo and TORRES, among others, at PARRELLO’s direction, agreed to assault Victim-6 in retaliation for the stabbing.  During one such conversation, TORRES stated that they would “whack” and “maim this mother fucker [Victim-6].”  PARRELLO instructed Mastrovincenzo to “keep the pipes handy and pipe him, pipe him, over here [gesturing to the knees], not on his head.”     
Gun Trafficking
Between about January and March 2012, MITCHELL FUSCO, a/k/a “Mitch,” sold eleven firearms on three separate dates to CW-1.  Mastrovincenzo also sold guns to CW-1 and the Enterprise, including six firearms on five separate occasions between 2012 and 2013.  During a June 27, 2012 consensually recorded conversation, PARRELLO asked CW-1 if the guns were “clean” and directed CW-1 to “get some nines.”
On or about August 20, 2012, CW-1 met with Mastrovincenzo and ZINZI.  During this recorded meeting, Mastrovincenzo asked CW-1 and ZINZI how many guns he should get, and ZINZI told Mastrovincenzo, “at least a hundred.” 
Additional Criminal Activity
In addition to the violent crimes described above, members and associates also conspired to, and in some cases did, work together and coordinate with each other to perpetrate a number of other crimes.
a.         Loansharking.  Members of the East Coast LCN Enterprise, including, but not limited to, PARRELLO, O’NOFRIO, HAROLD THOMAS, VINCENT THOMAS, a/k/a “Vinny,” FRANCESCO DEPERGOLA, a/k/a “Frank,” and RALPH SANTANIELLO, the defendants regularly made and took extortionate loans (“loansharking”) as part of the business of the East Coast LCN Enterprise.  In connection with one such loan, HAROLD THOMAS said to AGOSTINO CAMACHO, a/k/a “Augie,” who owed an outstanding debt to HAROLD THOMAS: “If you don’t have my money the first of the month you will never hear another sound I give you [my] word on that. . . . If you miss don’t call me.  You’ve had enough breaks.  I’ve just given you the biggest break in your life. . . . [I]n about a minute I’m going to go over to the car and take the fucking pistol and I’m going to kill you.”
b.         Gambling.  Illegal gambling was a significant part of the regular course of business of certain members of the East Coast LCN Enterprise.  Dozens of members of the Enterprise engaged in two different types of illegal gambling activities as a way to generate money for the Enterprise: (1) casino-style club gambling and (2) sports gambling.  
i.          Casino-Style Club Gambling.  At various times relevant to the Indictment, PARRELLO, TORRES, ZINZI, VAZZANO, CAMACHO, and MAIUZZO, a/k/a “Stymie,” the defendants operated the above-mentioned Yonkers Club.  Several nights a week, the Yonkers Club held poker tournaments, dice tournaments, and took bets on horse races.  The owners of the Yonkers Club (the “House”) took a percentage of the gambling proceeds.  Additionally, the Yonkers Club generated profits through the installation of illegal poker machines. 
ii.         Sports Gambling.  At various times relevant to the Indictment, multiple members of the East Coast LCN Enterprise operated several gambling operations as a way to enrich the Enterprise. Members of the Enterprise, playing different roles in the sports gambling operations, utilized gambling websites based in the United States and abroad to keep track of wagers and proceeds. 
c.         Cigarettes.  Receiving, causing others to receive, and profiting from the purchase of contraband cigarettes was part of the regular business of certain members of the East Coast LCN Enterprise, including, but not limited to, PARRELLO, O’NOFRIO, TORRES, ZINZI, VAZZANO, SPIRITO, CASABLANCA, REYNOLD ALBERTI, a/k/a “Randy,” TERRACCIANO, JOSEPH TOMANELLI, a/k/a “Joe,” CAMACHO, NICHOLAS DEVITO, a/k/a “Nicky,” NICHOLAS VUOLO, a/k/a “Nicky the Wig,” BRADFORD WEDRA, HAROLD THOMAS, RICHARD LACAVA, a/k/a “Richie,” and VINCENT THOMAS, the defendants.  At various times relevant to the Indictment, these defendants obtained, caused others to obtain, and profited from the obtaining of, hundreds of cases of contraband cigarettes, which did not bear a stamp evincing payment of applicable cigarette taxes, with a street value of more than approximately $3 million. 
d.         Credit Card Fraud Conspiracy.  In or around 2012, PARRELLO, TORRES, PASQUALE MAIORINO, a/k/a “Patty Boy,” JOHN LEMBO, a/k/a “Johnny,” and ALBERTI, the defendants, and others known and unknown, conspired to obtain and use a credit card “skimmer” — a small device that captures and retains unwitting credit card owners’ personal identifying information — to steal credit card information and use the information to create new fraudulent credit cards which could, in turn, be used to make unauthorized purchases. 
e.         Health Care Fraud.  At various times relevant to the Indictment, PARRELLO, MERLINO, RALPH BALSAMO, CAMACHO, DEVITO, MICHAEL POLI, a/k/a “Mike Polio,” CARMINE GALLO, BRAD SIRKIN, a/k/a “Brad,” and WAYNE KREISBERG, the defendants, were involved in a scheme targeting providers of health insurance (the “Victim Insurers”), by causing, and causing others to cause, corrupt doctors to issue unnecessary and excessive prescriptions for expensive compound cream (“Prescription Compound Cream”) that were then billed to the Victim Insurers.  Had the Victim Insurers known the fraudulent nature of the scheme — that wrongful kickbacks were paid to doctors to write, and to patients to request and receive, unnecessary and excessive prescriptions for the Prescription Compound Cream — the Victim Insurers would not have issued reimbursements for the Prescription Compound Cream.
A chart containing the ages, residency information, and charges against the defendants, as well as the maximum penalties they face is attached.  The maximum penalties are prescribed by Congress and are provided here for informational purposes only, as any sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the judge.
Mr. Bharara praised the work of the Federal Bureau of Investigation in this case. He thanked the NYPD for their assistance. Mr. Bharara also noted that the investigation is continuing.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Amanda Kramer, Abigail Kurland, Jessica Lonergan, and Jonathan Rebold, along with Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Lauren Abinanti of the Westchester County District Attorney’s Office, are in charge of the prosecution.  The case is being handled by the Office’s Violent and Organized Crime Unit.
The charges contained in the Indictment are merely accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
DEFENDANT            AGE  RESIDENCe       CHARGES               MAX SENT.

Alberti, Reynold     47   Bronx, NY       18 U.S.C. § 1962(d)           20 years

Allen, L. Keith      46   Costa Rica         18 U.S.C. § 1962(d)            20 years

Bagon, Craig         56   Boca Raton, FL  18 U.S.C. § 1962(d)           20 years

Balsamo, Ralph       46   Bronx, NY       18 U.S.C. § 1962(d)            20 years

Barbone, Frank       44   Queens, NY      18 U.S.C. § 1962(d)            20 years

Camacho, Agostino    40   Yonkers, NY     18 U.S.C. § 1962(d)        20 years

Camisa, Anthony      24   Unknown         18 U.S.C. § 1962(d)           20 years

Capolongo, Pasquale  67  W Palm Beach, FL 18 U.S.C. § 1962(d)   20 years

Casablanca, Vincent  49   Bronx, NY       18 U.S.C. § 1962(d)          20 years

Cassano, Paul           37   Nanuet, NY      18 U.S.C. § 1962(d)          20 years

Cassetta, Anthony    48   Belmar, NJ      18 U.S.C. § 1962(d)           20 years

Cirillo, Anthony     51 Englewood Cliffs,NJ 18 U.S.C. § 1962(d)   20 years

Conigliaro, Alex     56    Staten Island, NY 18 U.S.C. § 1962(d)    20 years

Depalma, Anthony     70  Stony Point, NY  18 U.S.C. § 1962(d)   20 years

Depergola, Francesco 60  Springfield, MA  18 U.S.C. § 1962(d)   20 years

Devito, Nicholas        64  Monticello, NY   18 U.S.C. § 1962(d)   20 years

DiMarco, Joseph       46  Bronx, NY        18 U.S.C. § 1962(d)     20 years

Falco, Joseph           72  Bronx, NY        18 U.S.C. § 1962(d)     20 years

Fusco, Mitchell      52  Yonkers, NY      18 U.S.C. § 1962(d)      20 years
                            18 U.S.C. § 922(a)(1)(A) & 18 U.S.C. 2           5 years

Gallo, Carmine       38  Delray Beach, FL 18 U.S.C. § 1962(d)   20 years

Ianniello, Conrad    72  In Custody            18 U.S.C. § 1962(d)   20 years

Kreisberg, Wayne     39  Parkland, FL      18 U.S.C. § 1962(d)   20 years

LaCava, Richard       67  Pelham, NY       18 U.S.C. § 1962(d)   20 years

Lembo, John            50  In Custody          18 U.S.C. § 1962(d)   20 years

Maiorino, Pasquale   56  In Custody        18 U.S.C. § 1962(d)   20 years

Maiuzzo, Mark          37  Scarsdale, NY   18 U.S.C. § 1962(d),  20 years
                                    18 U.S.C. § 844(h) & 18 U.S.C. § 2         10 years

Marino, Jr., Daniel  49  Short Hills, NJ  18 U.S.C. § 1962(d)      20 years

Merlino, Joseph      54  Boca Raton, FL   18 U.S.C. § 1962(d)   20 years

Minuto, Marco   80 Upper Saddle River, NJ 18 U.S.C. § 1962(d)   20 years

O’Nofrio, Eugene     74  East Haven, CT      18 U.S.C. § 1962(d)   20 years

Parrello, Pasquale   72  Tuckahoe, NY         18 U.S.C. § 1962(d),  20 year
                                                                    18 U.S.C. § 1959(a)(6) 20 years
Poli, Michael        31  Bronx, NY                18 U.S.C. § 1962(d)   20 years

Santaniello, Ralph   49  Longmeadow, MA   18 U.S.C. § 1962(d)   20 years

Sirkin, Bradley      54  Boca Raton, FL        18 U.S.C. § 1962(d)   20 years

Spirito, John        34  Bronx, NY                 18 U.S.C. § 1962(d)   20 years

Terracciano, Vincent 40  Yonkers, NY         18 U.S.C. § 1962(d)   20 years

Thomas, Harold       71  Bronx, NY             18 U.S.C. § 1962(d)   20 years

Thomas, Vinny        69  Bronx, NY            18 U.S.C. § 1962(d)   20 years

Tognino, John        74  Bronx, NY             18 U.S.C. § 1962(d)   20 years

Tomanelli, Joseph    70  Yonkers, NY      18 U.S.C. § 1962(d)   20 years

Torres, Israel       66  Queens, NY           18 U.S.C. § 1962(d),     20 years
                                                                 18 U.S.C. § 1959(a)(6) 20 years

Trapani, Frank       63  Boca Raton, FL       18 U.S.C. § 1962(d)   20 years

Vazzano, Anthony     51  Brewster, NY     18 U.S.C. § 1962(d)   20 years

Vuolo, Nicholas      71  Bronx, NY            18 U.S.C. § 1962(d)   20 years

Wedra, Bradford      61  Mt. Vernon, NY   18 U.S.C. § 1962(d)   20 years

Zinzi, Anthony       73  Bronx, NY             18 U.S.C. § 1962(d),  20 years
                                          18 U.S.C. § 844(h) & 18 U.S.C. § 2     10 years

[1] The charges contained in the Indictments are merely accusations and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Bronx Tax Preparer Pleads Guilty To $500,000 Tax Fraud, Aggravated Identity Theft And Passport Fraud

   Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, and Shantelle P. Kitchen, Special Agent in Charge of the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation (“IRS-CI”), announced that REBECCA BAYUO pled guilty today to charges related to her preparation and filing of false and fraudulent income tax returns that resulted in inflated refunds to taxpayers, and her use of stolen identities to collect fraudulent tax refunds.  BAYOU’s conduct resulted in a loss to the United States government of more than $500,000.  BAYUO pled guilty to aiding and assisting in the preparation of false and fraudulent United States income tax returns, theft of government funds, passport fraud, and aggravated identity theft before U.S. District Court Judge John G. Koeltl.
Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said: “Rebecca Bayuo used her Bronx tax preparation business to file fraudulent tax returns for her clients, costing the government over $500,000 in lost tax revenue.  Bayou went beyond simply falsely overstating expenses, business losses, and charitable gifts, also using stolen identifying information to claim false minor dependents.”
IRS-CI Special Agent in Charge Shantelle P. Kitchen said: “Today, Ms. Bayuo is held accountable for the frauds she committed, including using stolen identities on tax returns she prepared for her clients and on her own tax returns.  IRS-Criminal Investigation remains committed to investigating individuals who allegedly prepare false tax returns to obtain fraudulent refunds.  We are especially vigilant when it comes to schemes involving stolen identities, as these frauds victimize not only law-abiding taxpayers, but specifically the individuals whose identities were stolen.”
According to the allegations contained in the Indictment filed against BAYUO, and statements made in related court filings and proceedings:
BAYUO owned and operated a tax preparation business located in the Bronx, New York.  From 2010 through 2012, BAYUO prepared and submitted to the IRS false and fraudulent tax returns for her clients that resulted in increased tax refunds by fabricating or overstating unreimbursed employment expenses, gifts to charity, and business losses.  BAYUO also charged clients additional fees to use stolen identifying information of minors, including names, dates of birth, and social security numbers, to claim false minor dependents on their tax returns to increase the taxpayers’ refund amount.
In addition, from 2010 through 2014, BAYUO used stolen identifying information to file fraudulent income tax returns that generated tax refunds to which BAYUO was not entitled.  Finally, BAYUO used the stolen identifying information of one victim to illegally obtain a United States passport, which she used to travel internationally on multiple occasions from 2007 through 2014.
BAYUO, 45, of Bronx, New York, pled guilty to one count of aiding and assisting in the preparation of false and fraudulent United States income tax returns, which carries a maximum sentence of three years in prison; one count of theft of government funds, which carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison; one count of passport fraud, which carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison; and one count of aggravated identity theft, which carries a mandatory, consecutive term of two years in prison.  The maximum potential sentences are prescribed by Congress and are provided here for informational purposes only, as any sentencing of the defendant will be determined by a judge.
In pleading guilty, BAYUO agreed to forfeit to the United States a sum of money no less than $102,865.67 and to pay restitution to the IRS in the amount of $575,000.  
She is scheduled to be sentenced by Judge Koeltl on December 2, 2016, at 11:00 a.m.


   Candidate for the Bronx’s 78th Assembly District, Ischia Bravo, castigated her opponent Assemblyman José Rivera for being the least productive member of the New York State legislature. Her words follow a report released by Politico today on those legislators who have backed the least amount of legislation this year.

According to the Politico article, Rivera has reportedly not introduced any legislation in the 2016 session and only a single bill in the past four years. This is by far the lowest amount of legislation of any Assembly person.

“The people of the 78th District deserve better than an absentee representative,” Bravo said in a statement. “Assemblyman Rivera is not doing his job, and it's time we put someone in Albany who will actually do the work. There is too much that needs to be done to have someone asleep at the wheel.”

Bravo highlights there are many public servants who work for free; while Rivera is paid by taxpayer funds to essentially do nothing.
“True public servants don't have the luxury of doing nothing – we have to work for the people,” stated Bravo. “As your Assemblywoman, I will fight to bring affordable housing, better education, and good-paying jobs to our district. I will be a tireless advocate for our community, and my office will always be open to anyone who needs help. It’s time for a change - so let's move forward together towards a brighter future for our district.”
Bravo faces Rivera in the September primary, and is encouraging all residents to take an active role in improving their elected representation in Albany.  The Politico article elaborates that Rivera is the only elected official, of the 211-member State Legislature, not to sponsor a bill this year. 

“That is absolutely shameful,” says Bravo.
In February 2016 Bravo, the former Executive Director of the Bronx County Democratic Committee, launched her bid to represent the 78th Assembly District of the Bronx, covering the areas of Kingsbridge, Belmont, Fordham and Bedford Park.  She previously served the people of the Bronx as Executive Director of the Bronx Democratic Party for 7 years while under the leadership of the current Speaker of the New York State Assembly, Carl Heastie.

NYS Assembly Members Mark Gjonaj & Luis Sepulveda - Van Nest Family Day

    Proudly invite you to the 2016
 Van Nest Family Day! 
Saturday, August 6, 2016
 1:00pm to 4:00pm  

Van Nest Park (Van Nest Avenue & Unionport Road).

Come joins us at this spectacular event.
We hope to see you there!

Assemblymember Michael Blake - Afro Cultural Parade

   The African community is the fastest growing demographic in the Bronx. The National Ghana Parade Council, the National Council of Ghanaians Association, the African Friends of Us, and Aduana Kuo of North America will host the Afro Cultural Parade & Festival.  The event will take place on Saturday, August 13th in Crotona Park in The Bronx from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

This year’s theme, “Youth Empowerment,” will focus on positioning African youth in diaspora for greatness and leadership. With the current social climate, the affiliated organizations with this year’s festival are creating opportunities for youth through mentorship, job opportunity, and development to engage the next generation of leaders.

Join as we showcase our traditional Durbar procession, host dynamic local and international African artists, and provide a platform for our vendors sell everything from fabric to native foods.

Through community programming, we are #BuildingABetterBronx.


Rep. Engel On Zika Cases in U.S.

  Congressman Eliot L. Engel, top Democrat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee and a senior member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Health Subcommittee, released the following statement on recent developments surrounding the Zika virus:

“Reports of the first locally transmitted cases of Zika on the continental United States serve as a reminder that action to address this virus is long overdue. This distressing news comes on the heels of the first reported case of microcephaly in New York City.

“As public health experts have said for months, Zika is not a distant threat. Yet House Republicans left town for the summer without passing legislation which can be signed into law, and would protect Americans during this public health crisis. Instead, the GOP put forward a meager package that would have robbed funding from other public health programs, undercut the Clean Water Act, and made it more difficult for women to access contraception, thus impeding prevention efforts. When the GOP plan failed to move forward, Republicans rebuffed Democratic efforts to compromise.

“Federal agencies urgently need more resources to conduct research, control mosquito populations and educate Americans about this health emergency. Congress must provide those resources so we can finally mount the response needed to tackle the Zika virus head-on.”

Council Member Andrew Cohen - Upcoming Events

 All participants must MAKE AN APPOINTMENT IN ADVANCE 


  Assemblyman Luis Sepulveda and Senator Ruben Diaz announced Tuesday, Aug. 2 a proposed settlement with the management of the sprawling Parkchester South Condominiums over its efforts to impose a 15.19 percent maintenance increase on unit owners there.

  Under the terms of the proposed settlement still being worked out, unit owners who meet documented requirements of financial hardship would have the maintenance increase spread out over four years.

  The announcement of the proposed settlement came at a Town Hall meeting held by the two legislators at at St. Paul's Church gymnasium at 1891 Degraw Avenue that drew a crowd of concerned unit owners.  

   Assemblyman Sepulveda, who is an attorney, and Senator Diaz, a unit owner who is lead plaintiff, filed a lawsuit in Bronx state Supreme Court on March 23against the Parkchester South Condominium's management over the maintenance hike management said it needs for structural repair work. The court has barred management from evicting any of the 8,286 unit owners for failure to pay the increase until the outcome of the court case.

   "During the last several months through litigation, we have met with the attorneys for the Parkchester board and the Parkchester management to discuss a resolution of the massive increase in maintenance to the owners of the units," said Sepulveda.

   "We've gone back and forth in several court appearances. We have exchanged legal information, and we have requested that they provide us with financial information throughout this process. As a result of this, the attorneys and management have come back with a settlement proposal for the unit owners," he continued. 

   The settlement proposal is premised on the income of individuals, and on what percentage of their income goes to paying their mortgage, their maintenance and other expenses, Sepulveda said.

  "The main point of the proposal is that rather than a one-time 15.19 percent charge, we're going to break it down into percentages for four years," Sepulveda said. "I believe this will help alleviate some of the concerns of people who are living on fixed incomes and those who truly cannot afford to pay such a large increase in maintenance."
   Sepulveda warned that "We are going to continue to litigate unless we can reach a final resolution that's helpful to those individuals who are truly in need financially."

   Parkchester management has said it needs the one-time increase to cover the cost of repairs for serious structural problems. Once work is finished in 2017, it has indicated maintenance fees would return to 2015 levels.

   Assemblymember Sepulveda noted that Parkchester management has also agreed to provide certain financial documents to help determine various issues, including the bidding process and selection of contractors to determine if management used the most cost effective measures.

   "We have an accountant who has been reviewing the information to see if there are any problematic issues financially," said Sepulveda. "We haven't uncovered anything yet -- and we hope that we don't. But we intend to remain vigilant throughout this process."

   Senator Diaz stated that "While I am grateful for every effort to try to resolve this matter so that the families, the senior citizens, the disabled, and all of our neighbors in Parkchester South may receive some financial relief and have a more reasonable way to pay their bills, I remain concerned that last year's budget and the projected budget for 2016 have not yet been shared with the condo owners and residents.

  "Transparency remains a key factor," Diaz continued. "We all need to be able to review those documents to see where and how the money was spent, and will be spent."

  The  huge city-within-a-city, built by the Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. toward the end of the Great Depression, is now home to large numbers of South Asians, comprised of Pakistani, Bangladeshi and Indians. Some 20 percent or so residents are African-American and Latino.