Saturday, January 7, 2017

Owner Of Utah-Based Pharmaceutical Distributer Pleads Guilty To $100 Million Health Care Fraud Scheme

   Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that RANDY CROWELL, a/k/a “Roger,” pled guilty today before United States District Judge Edgardo Ramos to fraudulently distributing more than $100 million worth of prescription drugs obtained on a nationwide black market. CROWELL used a Utah-based wholesale distribution company to sell illicitly procured drugs to pharmacies, which in turn dispensed them to unsuspecting customers. As part of his guilty plea, CROWELL agreed to forfeit more than $13 million in personal profits from the scheme.

Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said: “Randy Crowell perverted for profit a health care system designed to get safe and effective medications to patients who need them. He exposed people with life-threatening illnesses to medicines they had no idea had been diverted from the normal stream of commerce, all the while defrauding healthcare companies and government benefit programs like Medicaid. Crowell has now pled guilty to a federal crime and has agreed to forfeit more than $13 million he made from his criminal scheme.”

According to the allegations contained in the Indictment and other documents filed in the case, as well as statements made during the plea proceedings:

From early 2010 until at least July 2012, CROWELL, who was the owner and operator of a licensed wholesale distributor of prescription medications based in St. George, Utah (“Wholesaler-1”), participated in a sophisticated scheme to defraud health insurance companies and government programs such as Medicaid out of hundreds of millions of dollars by trafficking prescriptions through a nationwide black market. CROWELL, through Wholesaler-1, purchased more than $100 million worth of prescription medications from this black market at a fraction of the legitimate prices for these drugs, before selling the same as new, legitimate bottles of medication to pharmacies all over the country.

To maximize their profits, CROWELL and his co-conspirators focused on some of the most expensive medications on the market, including those used to treat HIV/AIDS. The profitable scheme was potentially dangerous to the tens of thousands of patients ultimately receiving and taking these prescription drugs. As detailed below, many of the bottles purchased through the underground market and then distributed as safe, legitimate medications by CROWELL and Wholesaler-1 had in fact been previously dispensed to others, including individuals based in the Southern District of New York. To conceal the fact that they had been previously dispensed, the bottles were typically “cleaned” with hazardous chemicals such as lighter fluid before being transported and stored in conditions that were frequently insanitary and insufficient to ensure the safety and efficacy of the medication.


The fraudulent scheme charged in the Indictment operated by distorting the legitimate flow of medications from manufacturer to pharmacy. Rather than purchasing medications from manufacturers or legitimate authorized distributors at full price, scheme participants, including CROWELL, created and exploited an underground market for these same prescription drugs. Scheme participants targeted the cheapest possible source of supply for these drugs – Medicaid patients and other individuals who received these prescription drugs on a monthly basis for little or no cost, and who were then willing to sell their medicines rather than taking them as prescribed (the “Insurance Beneficiaries”).

Insurance Beneficiaries had prescriptions filled for medications each month at pharmacies across the country, including in Manhattan and the Bronx, and then sold their medications to low-level participants (“Collectors”) in the scheme who worked on street corners and bodegas and would pay cash – typically as little as $40 or $50 per bottle. Every major health care benefit program, including Medicaid, expressly prohibits a beneficiary from seeking care under such circumstances, and health care benefit programs would not have paid for the medications issued by pharmacies to the Insurance Beneficiaries had these health care benefit programs known that the Insurance Beneficiaries were selling their drugs to others, rather than taking them as prescribed.

Because the ultimate goal of the scheme was to resell these medications as new at full price, Collectors and other scheme participants used lighter fluid and other potentially hazardous chemicals to remove the patient labels affixed when the bottles were initially dispensed to the Insurance Beneficiaries. This process, referred to as “cleaning” the bottles, was dangerous, as these hazardous chemicals could infiltrate the bottles, rendering the medication unfit for human consumption.

Collectors then sold these second-hand drugs to higher-level scheme participants (“Aggregators”) who bought dozens, and sometimes hundreds, of bottles at a time from multiple collectors before selling them to higher-level scheme participants with direct access to legitimate distribution channels, including corrupt wholesale companies like Wholesaler-1. The corrupt wholesale companies, including Wholesaler-1, then resold the bottles as new, at full price, to pharmacies, including potentially the very same pharmacies that initially dispensed these medications. In so doing, and as described below, CROWELL and other corrupt wholesale companies intentionally misrepresented where these medications were coming from and, in particular, concealed the fact that these prescription drugs had been obtained from an illegal and illegitimate black market.


Central to the scheme’s success was the participation of corrupt, licensed wholesale distributors willing to buy the “second-hand” medications at a fraction of their legitimate price and then resell them as new to pharmacies that would in turn dispense these medications to unsuspecting patients. CROWELL and Wholesaler-1 were among the largest of these corrupt wholesalers.

Between 2010, when Wholesaler-1 was created by CROWELL, and July 2012, Wholesaler-1 had no legitimate sources of supply. Instead, CROWELL caused Wholesaler-1 to purchase exclusively from illegitimate sources – including the so-called “Aggregators” – who sold to CROWELL at substantially reduced rates, sometimes as much as 50 percent less than the price of acquiring these medications from legitimate sources. Consistent with their illegitimate origins, inbound shipments of prescription drugs frequently arrived at Wholesaler-1 improperly packaged in unsealed, unsecure cardboard boxes. On some occasions, bottles of medication arrived at Wholesaler-1 with the initial patient labels still affixed to them. On other occasions, bottles arrived having already been opened, or containing what appeared to be the wrong medication. At the direction of CROWELL, employees of Wholesaler-1 then inventoried these bottles, attempted to remove any bottles that still had patient labels affixed to them or were otherwise visibly used or damaged, and then arranged for the medications to be shipped out to Wholesaler-1’s customers – i.e., pharmacies all over the country, including pharmacies in Manhattan and the Bronx.

To effectuate the scheme – and, in particular, to convince pharmacies to buy these medications, and health care benefit programs to pay for them, CROWELL and others made false and fraudulent representations about the origins of these medications. Specifically, CROWELL and others acting at his direction created false and fraudulent documents known as “pedigrees” for these medications, which purported to document the legitimate movement of these medications bought and sold by Wholesaler-1 from a manufacturer to the pharmacy. In truth, none of the medications purchased or distributed by Wholesaler-1 had come from legitimate sources of supply, and the pedigrees created by Wholesaler-1 and signed by CROWELL were intentionally fabricated so that the medications could be sold, as new, to pharmacies and so that health care benefit programs would be duped into paying for these illegitimate second-hand drugs.

In order to evade detection, CROWELL took additional steps to conceal the unlawful nature of his activities, including using the name “Roger,” frequently changing or “dropping” the phones he used to communicate with co-conspirators, and paying co-conspirators through front or “sham” companies.

CROWELL pled guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud, which carries a maximum term of 10 years in prison. As a part of the plea, CROWELL also consented to the forfeiture of more than $13 million in scheme proceeds, including the full contents of Wholesaler-1’s primary operating account. CROWELL will be sentenced by Judge Ramos on May 11, 2017, at 12:30.

Mr. Bharara praised the investigative work of the New York FBI’s Health Care Fraud Task Force, which comprises agents, officers, and investigators from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the New York City Police Department, the New York State Insurance Fraud Bureau, U.S. Department of Labor, U.S. Office of Personnel Management’s Inspector General, U.S. Food and Drug Administration, U.S. Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General, New York State Office of Medicaid Inspector General, New York Health and Hospitals Corporation Inspector General, and the National Insurance Crime Bureau.

A.G. Schneiderman And Acting Tax Commissioner Manion Announce Felony Conviction Of Former CEO Of Multi-Million Dollar Energy Company

   Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman and Acting Commissioner of Taxation and Finance Nonie Manion today announced the plea and conviction of Gary Mole, 52, an Australian citizen and the former CEO of Glacial Energy Holdings (“GEH”), stemming from the underreporting of over $18.5 million dollars in taxable income by Glacial Energy of New York (“GENY”), a wholly owned subsidiary of GEH.  Mole pleaded guilty to Criminal Tax Fraud in the Second Degree, a class C felony. Co-defendant GENY was previously convicted of the same crime after pleading guilty on December 3, 2015.
“By diverting millions in income, this defendant showed no regard for the integrity of our tax system or for the many New Yorkers who would be left footing the bill. No matter how elaborate the scheme, those who seek to avoid paying their fair share of taxes will be caught and punished,” said Attorney General Schneiderman.
“This guilty plea should send a powerful reminder to every business owner: those who attempt to evade their tax obligations through criminal schemes will pay a price,” said NYS Tax Department Acting Commissioner Nonie Manion. “We will continue to work with the Attorney General’s Office and all of our law enforcement partners to ensure that violators face justice.”
According to prosecutors, from 2006 through 2008, Mole was the CEO and sole shareholder of GEH, an energy service company incorporated in Nevada. In approximately 2006, Mole allegedly began personally investing taxable revenue of GENY in a mining operation in the Democratic Republic of Congo (“DRC”), Generales Des Mines Au Congo SPRL, known as “Gemico.” Between January 1, 2006 and December 31, 2008 Mole diverted over $18.5 million in taxable revenue from GENY to Gemico. Mole instructed subordinates to wire money to bank accounts in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Switzerland, Lichtenstein, South Africa, and China, among others, all for the benefit of Gemico.
Mole and GENY then improperly deducted the monies invested in Gemico as consulting expenses on GENY’s tax returns for years 2006, 2007 and 2008, thereby understating GENY’s New York State taxable income by millions of dollars. In order to conceal and justify the false accounting of the payments to Gemico as consulting expenses, in 2007, Mole and a former employee at GEH created and backdated a consulting agreement between Gemico and Glacial and fake invoices from Gemico to Glacial. As a result of the fraud, Mole and GENY evaded a total of over $670,000 in New York State income taxes.
Mole and GENY were indicted by an Albany County Grand Jury in September  2015 and charged jointly with three counts of Criminal Tax Fraud in the Second Degree, a class C felony, and three counts of Offering a False Instrument for Filing in the First Degree, a class E felony.  GENY pleaded guilty on December 3, 2015 to the crime of Criminal Tax Fraud in the Second Degree, a class C felony, and agreed to pay full restitution to the New York State Tax Department. 
Today, Mole entered a plea of guilty to the crime of Criminal Tax Fraud in the Second Degree, a class C felony, in satisfaction of the pending indictment.  As a condition of his plea, he repaid $335,000 in restitution to the State of New York.  Mole, a citizen of Australia who is currently in the United States on a work visa, was sentenced to an unconditional discharge and agreed to satisfy the remaining restitution by entering a judgment against himself in favor of the New York State Tax Department. Mole pleaded guilty before Hon. Roger D. McDonough in Albany County Supreme Court.
This case arose out of a joint investigation by the Attorney General’s Taxpayer Protection Bureau and the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance. The case was subsequently referred to the Attorney General’s Criminal Enforcement and Financial Crimes Bureau for criminal investigation and prosecution. The Attorney General’s Office thanks the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance for its invaluable assistance.
The investigation was conducted by New York State Department of Taxation and Finance, Criminal Investigations Division Forensic Tax Auditor II William Welch with the assistance of the Attorney General investigators, under the supervision of Deputy Chief Investigator Antoine Karam. The Attorney General’s Investigations Bureau is led by Chief Dominick Zarrella.

Bronx Job Fair Thursday Jan 12th

New York City Councilwoman Vanessa Gibson and MidBronx Social Services will be hosting a job fair for dozens of employers and hundreds of job-seekers, Thursday, January 12 from 10 am – 3 pm.

The fair will be open to those looking for part and full-time employment in a wide variety of jobs.

Admission is free to those who bring two forms of ID, multiple copies of their resume and who dress professionally.

Employment opportunities with city agencies, nonprofits, businesses and unions will be available.

No pre-registration required. For more information contact Stacy @ (718) 410-6735;

Friday, January 6, 2017

Senator Diaz Statement about Legislator Leaders Too Busy to Attend Governor’s State of the State Addresses

   Senator Reverend Ruben Diaz has released the following statement:

“Kudo’s to New York State Senate Leader John Flanagan and Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie for publicly admitting that they will be too busy to attend Governor Andrew Cuomo’s 6 Different State of the State Addresses next week.  

I hope that Democratic Conference Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins follows their lead and lets the people know how her busy schedule will not allow her to attend.

It is well known that Governor Cuomo will not let Independent Democratic Conference Leader Jeff Klein to be too busy to attend.”

I am Senator Reverend Rubén Díaz and this is what you should know.

Editor's Note: 

The good Senator Reverend Ruben Diaz has not said if he will be to busy working for the people of his district or to busy relaxing somewhere during the Governor's State of the State Address. 


Snow expected to create slippery road conditions Saturday

Below freezing temperatures expected through Monday, with single digit wind chill values Saturday night and Sunday

January 6, 2017– The New York City Emergency Management Department today issued a travel advisory for Saturday, January 7. According to forecasts, light snow is expected to begin early Saturday morning and continue through Saturday evening. A total of two to three inches of snow is expected.  New Yorkers are advised to exercise caution when driving, walking, or biking, and allow for additional travel time as roads may be slippery.

NYC Emergency Management also urged New Yorkers to be prepared for below freezing temperatures throughMonday, January 9. Temperatures Friday night are expected to be in the low twenties, with wind chill values in the teens. High temperatures Saturday are forecast to be in the mid to upper twenties with wind chill values in the teens. Temperatures are expected to drop into the teens on Saturday night, with wind chill values as low as single digits. Temperatures are expected to be in the upper twenties Sunday, but wind chill values remain in the single digits. Forecast lows Sunday night are in the teens. Temperatures remain below freezing Monday, with highs expected to be in the upper twenties. Temperatures are forecast to return above freezing on Tuesday, with highs expected to be above forty. New Yorkers are asked to be prepared for an extended period of below freezing temperatures.

Safety tips:

Exercise caution and avoid slippery surfaces; some ice may not be visible. Wear sturdy boots that provide traction to reduce slipping. Use handrails when using stairs. Seniors should take extra care outdoors to avoid slips and falls from icy conditions.

When driving in snowy or icy conditions:

·         Drive slowly. Vehicles take longer to stop on snow and ice than on dry pavement.
·         Use major streets or highways for travel where possible.
·         Install good winter tires that have adequate tread. All-weather radials are usually adequate for most winter conditions.
·         Four-wheel drive vehicles may make it easier to drive on snow-covered roads, but they do not stop quicker than other vehicles.
·         Know your vehicle’s braking system. Vehicles with anti-lock brakes require a different braking technique than vehicles without anti-lock brakes in icy or snowy conditions.
·         If you are driving and begin to skid, ease your foot off the gas and steer in the direction you want the front of the car to go. Straighten the wheel when the car moves in the desired direction. If you have an anti-lock braking system (ABS), apply steady pressure to the brake pedal. Never pump the brakes on an ABS equipped vehicle.
·         Try to keep your vehicle’s gas tank as full as possible.
·         Keep the name and phone number of at least one local towing service in your car in case you break down or become stuck.
·         If you get stuck on the road, stay with your car and contact a towing company.

 New Yorkers are also encouraged to take the following precautions during extreme cold:

·         Stay indoors as much as possible.
·         If you have to go outdoors, wear dry, warm clothing and cover exposed skin. Keep fingertips, earlobes, and noses covered.
  • Wear a hat, hood, or scarf, as most heat is lost through the head.
·         Shivering is an important first sign that the body is losing heat. Shivering is a signal to return indoors.
·         Drinking alcohol may make you think you feel warmer, but it actually increases your chances of hypothermia and frostbite.
·         Follow your doctor’s advice about performing hard work in the cold if you have heart disease or high blood pressure. Cold weather puts an extra strain on the heart. Remember, your body is already working hard just to stay warm, so don’t overdo it.

Health problems resulting from prolonged exposure to cold include hypothermia, frostbite and exacerbation of chronic heart and lung conditions. If you suspect a person is suffering from frostbite or hypothermia, call 911 to get medical help. While waiting for assistance, help the person by getting them to a warm place if possible, removing any damp clothing and covering them with warm blankets. Recognize the signs and symptoms of hypothermia and frostbite:

·         Hypothermia is a life-threatening condition where the body temperature is abnormally low. Symptoms can begin gradually and get worse without the person realizing how serious it is. Early symptoms include shivering, dizziness, trouble speaking and lack of coordination. Signs of moderate to severe hypothermia include sluggishness, drowsiness, unusual behavior, confusion, and shallow breathing.
  • Frostbite is a serious injury to a body part frozen from exposure to the cold. It most often affects extremities like fingers and toes or exposed areas such as ears or parts of the face.  Redness and pain may be the first warning of frostbite. Other symptoms include numbness or skin that appears pale, firm, or waxy.

Homeless Services

A Code Blue Weather Emergency notice is issued when the temperature drops to 32 degrees or below. No one seeking shelter in New York City will be denied. Anyone who sees a homeless individual or family out in the cold should call 311 immediately and an outreach team will be dispatched to assist them. Code Blue Weather Emergencies includes the following options for the homeless:

·         Shelters: During a Code Blue, unsheltered homeless adults can access any shelter location for single individuals. Shelter is available system-wide to accommodate anyone brought in by outreach teams or walk-ins.
·         Drop-in centers: All drop-in centers are open 24 hours a day when Code Blue procedures are in effect, taking in as many as people as possible for the duration of inclement weather. Drop-in staff can also make arrangements for homeless individuals at other citywide facilities.
·         Safe havens and stabilization beds: Chronically homeless individuals may be transported to these low-threshold housing options, where they may go directly from the street to a bed.
Safe Home Heating Tips
Improper use of portable heating equipment can lead to fire or dangerous levels of carbon monoxide. Take precautions to ensure you are heating your home safely.
Fire safety tips:
·         Make sure you have a working smoke alarm in every room. Test them at least once a month and change the batteries twice a year.
·         Use only portable heating equipment that is approved for indoor use. Space heaters are temporary heating devices and should only be used for a limited time each day.
·         Keep combustible materials, including furniture, drapes, and carpeting at least three feet away from the heat source. Never drape clothes over a space heater to dry them.
·         Never leave running space heaters unattended, especially around children. Always keep an eye on heating equipment. Turn it off when you are unable to closely monitor it.
·         Plug space heaters directly into a wall outlet. Never use an extension cord or power strip. Do not plug anything else into the same outlet when the space heater is in use. Do not use space heaters with frayed or damaged cords.
·         If you are going to use an electric blanket, only use one that is less than 10 years old from the date of purchase. Also avoid tucking the electric blanket in at the sides of the bed. Only purchase blankets with an automatic safety shut-off.
Prevent carbon monoxide poisoning:

·         Carbon monoxide comes from the burning of fuel. Therefore, make sure all fuel-burning devices such as furnaces, boilers, hot water heaters, and clothes dryers are properly vented to the outdoors and operating properly. If you are not sure, contact a professional to inspect and make necessary repairs.
·         Make sure you have a working carbon monoxide detector. Most homes and residential buildings in New York City are required by law to have carbon monoxide detectors installed near all sleeping areas. Owners are responsible for installing approved carbon monoxide detectors. Occupants are responsible for keeping and maintaining the carbon monoxide detectors in good repair.
·         If you have a working fireplace keep chimneys clean and clear of debris.
·         Never heat your home with a gas stove or oven, charcoal barbecue grill, kerosene, propane, or oil-burning heaters. Kerosene heaters and propane space heaters are illegal in New York City.
·         The symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning are non-specific and include headache, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, sleepiness, trouble breathing, and loss of consciousness. Severe poisonings may result in permanent injury or death.
If a carbon monoxide detector goes off in your home get outside immediately and call 911. If you suspect carbon monoxide poisoning, get outside immediately and call 911.
What to Do if You Lose Heat or Hot Water at Home
Building owners are legally required to provide heat and hot water to their tenants. Hot water must be provided 365 days per year at a constant minimum temperature of 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Heat must be provided during the “Heat Season”, between October 1st and May 31st under the following conditions:
·         Between the hours of 6 AM and 10 PM, if the outside temperature falls below 55 degrees, the inside temperature is required to be at least 68 degrees Fahrenheit.
·         Between the hours of 10 PM and 6 AM, if the outside temperature falls below 40 degrees, the inside temperature is required to be at least 55 degrees Fahrenheit.
Any New York City tenant without adequate heat or hot water should first speak with the building owner, manager, or superintendent. If the problem is not corrected, tenants should call 311. For the hearing impaired, the TTY number is (212) 504-4115. The center is open 24-hours a day, seven-days a week. You may also file a complaint via mobile app, 311MOBILE, or online at 311ONLINE.
The Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) will take measures to ensure that the building owner is complying with the law. This may include contacting the building’s owner and/or sending an inspector to verify the complaint and issue a violation directing the owner to restore heat and hot water if appropriate. If the owner fails to comply and does not restore service, HPD may initiate repairs through its Emergency Repair Program and bill the landlord for the cost of the work. HPD also may initiate legal action against properties that are issued heat violations, and owners who incur multiple heat violations are subject to litigation seeking maximum litigation penalties and to continued scrutiny on heat and other code deficiencies.
Take measures to trap existing warm air and safely stay warm until heat returns, including:
  • Insulate your home as much as possible. Hang blankets over windows and doorways and stay in a well-insulated room while the heat is out.
  • Dress warmly. Wear hats, scarves, gloves, and layered clothing.
  • If you have a well-maintained working fireplace and use it for heat and light, be sure to keep the damper open for ventilation. Never use a fireplace without a screen.
  • If the cold persists and your heat is not restored call family, neighbors, or friends to see if you can stay with them.
  • Do not use your oven or fuel-burning space heaters to heat your home. These can release carbon monoxide, a deadly gas that you cannot see or smell.
  • Open your faucets to a steady drip so pipes do not freeze.
If You Need Emergency Heating Assistance
The Human Resources Administration (HRA) administers the federal Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP), which can help low-income renters and homeowners with heating bills and other energy expenses. HEAP can help with:

·         Regular heating bills from a variety of heat sources (even if heat is included in your rent or you live in subsidized housing).
·         Emergency payments to keep you from losing your heat.
·         Replacing damaged furnaces, boilers and heating units.

Eligibility for HEAP is based on your household income, family size and energy costs. If you are homebound and need help with your heating bills, you can call the NYC Heat Line at 212-331-3150 to arrange a home visit. For more information, call 311.

For more winter weather safety tips, visit New Yorkers are also encouraged to sign up for Notify NYC, the City’s free emergency notification system. Through Notify NYC, New Yorkers can receive phone calls, text messages, and/or emails alerts about winter weather conditions and other emergencies. To sign up for Notify NYC, call 311, visit, or follow @NotifyNYC on Twitter.

Assemblyman Dinowitz Calls on United States Postal Service to Replace Bronx Mailboxes!

USPS Refuses to Release Details or Timeline on Plan to Implement Replacements

   In an altogether unsurprising turn of events the United States Postal Service of the Bronx has yet to rectify the not-so-recent decision to remove a large number of mailboxes from the Bronx. The vast majority of removed mailboxes have yet to be replaced. These mailboxes were removed well over a month ago at the beginning of the 2016 holiday season in an effort by the USPS to address fishing problems that have been plaguing the area. Currently, only a few select locations have seen their mailboxes replaced and the office of Assemblyman Dinowitz, along with the offices of several other local elected officials, continue to receive regular calls from constituents unable to send mail.

“Removing the mailboxes without informing anyone was problem enough, but the USPS has compounded this problem by maintaining an attitude of indifference towards elected officials attempting to get more information and to the public as a whole. The USPS has refused to respond to basic questions, let alone a plan or timeline for the implementation of new or retrofitted mailboxes, and it has been over a month since this happened,” said Assemblyman Dinowitz. “This is a situation that could have been managed had my office and other elected officials been contacted and informed this would be happening. We could have worked together to make sure people could still get their mail out while these mailboxes were being replaced. Sadly, the USPS decided it was not important to keep us in the loop, nor do they seem to think this is important enough issue to address in a timely fashion.“

Suggestions made by local elected officials that the USPS implement temporary collection stations in areas with no mailboxes have gone unheeded.

In 2017, it can be easy to forget how heavily many of us still rely on mail just to function normally. Rent checks, money orders, and bills, are all still largely sent through the mail by many, particularly by seniors. While it can often be a simple matter for many of us to take the time to travel to the post office, the elderly, the disabled or the sick who have difficulty traveling cannot always do so.

News From Congressman Eliot Engel

Engel Highlights New Report: GOP’s ACA Repeal Would Cost New York 130,700 Jobs in 2019 Alone

  Congressman Eliot L. Engel, a top member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, announced that a new report finds Republicans’ repeal of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) would cause New York to lose 130,700 jobs in 2019 alone, while the U.S. overall would lose 2.6 million jobs.

The report details how the consequences of ACA repeal would reach far beyond the health care system, with considerable costs for state economies.

“This new report shows that ACA repeal wouldn’t just strip away affordable health coverage from millions of Americans. It would also kill jobs and hinder economic growth in New York and across the country,” Engel said

In addition to job loss, the report analyzes how ACA repeal would affect each state’s economic output. The report finds that repealing the ACA would shrink New York’s economy by more than $89 billion from 2019 to 2023.

“This report confirms that the people of New York simply cannot afford the disastrous GOP plot to repeal the ACA,” Engel said. “Democrats will not stand by and allow Republicans to dismantle the health and financial security of so many hard-working American families.”

The report, prepared by the nonpartisan Commonwealth Fund and George Washington University’s Milken Institute School of Public Health, analyzes the economic impact of the repeal of two specific provisions of the Affordable Care Act: the premium tax credits for individuals in the ACA Marketplaces and the Medicaid expansion. 

Engel Statement on House Passage of REINS Act and Midnight Rule Relief Act

Congressman Eliot L. Engel, a leading member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, issued the following statement in response to this week’s House passage of the REINS Act and the Midnight Rule Relief Act:

“To hear House Republicans tell it, clean air, safe consumer products, worker protections, and useful medicines have made America less competitive. All the REINS Act and the Midnight Rule Relief Act would do is destroy the progress we made under President Obama while making it impossible to keep our drinking water clean, or to protect our supermarkets from contaminated food, or to keep our worksites safe.

“The USDA, OSHA, and EPA are not ‘job killers.’ They’re life savers. That is why I will continue to oppose both of these bills, along with coming attacks on the Affordable Care Act, Social Security, Medicare, the Paris Climate Agreement, and the many other advances we’ve made in the last 8 years.”

Bronx Chamber of Commerce - BEST OF THE BRONX AWARDS MAY 22, 2017

Save The Date:
Monday, May 22, 2017 

Trump Links at Ferry Point
11:00 am - 8:00 pm
Best of the Bronx
2017 Golf Outing
Members and Friends of the Bronx Chamber of Commerce are requested to nominate companies or organizations to receive Special Recognition and Distinguished Awards at the Best of the Bronx 2017 Golf Outing in following categories:
  • Bronx Business Man of the Year
  • Bronx Business Woman of the Year
  • Best of The Bronx Award of the Year
Please forward your nominations on or beforeFebruary 28, 2017 to Nunzio Del Greco, President and CEO via email:

Nunzio Del Greco
President and CEO
Bronx Chamber of Commerce
"The Network For Business Success"
1200 Waters Place, Suite 106
Bronx, NY 10461
"You never know where your next big deal is going to come from"!

Bronx Chamber of Commerce - BRONX BUSINESS AWARDS MARCH 9, 2017

Save The Date:
Thursday, March 9, 2017 Marina del Rey Caterers
5:30 pm - 10:30 pm
Bronx Business Awards
2017 Gala Celebration
Members and Friends of the Bronx Chamber of Commerce are requested to nominate companies or organizations to receive Special Recognition and Distinguished Awards at the Bronx Business Awards 2017 Gala Celebration in following categories:
  • Developer of the Year
  • MWBE Company of the Year
  • Non-Profit Organization of the Year
  • Health Provider of the Year
  • Educational Institution of the Year
  • Made in The Bronx Award of the Year
Please forward your nominations on or before January 16, 2017 to Nunzio Del Greco, President and CEO via email:
Nunzio Del Greco
President and CEO
Bronx Chamber of Commerce
"The Network For Business Success"
1200 Waters Place, Suite 106
Bronx, NY 10461
"You never know where your next big deal is going to come from"!

Town Hall Meeting re: GWB Bus Station Project

Dear Friends and Neighbors,
I would like to invite you to this town hall regarding the George Washington Bridge Bus Station. Please come to find out and ask questions about where the project stands and how it will benefit the community. 


Ydanis Rodriguez
Chair, Council Transportation Committee
District 10: Washington Heights, Inwood, Marble Hill

Comptroller Stringer Audit Finds Subway WiFi and Cell Service Fully Functioning at 150 Stations

Auditors tested WiFi and cell service at subway stations in Manhattan, Queens, and the Bronx
   A new audit  released today by New York City Comptroller Scott M. Stringer showed that WiFi and cell service equipment installed in 150 underground subway stations by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) and Transit Wireless is fully functioning. The stations tested, which had service installed as part of Phases 1, 2, 3, and 4 of Transit Wireless’ contract with the MTA, serve the 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, A, B, C, D, E, F, G, J, L, M, N, Q, R, 42nd Street Shuttle, and Z lines in Manhattan, Queens, and the Bronx.
The audit also found that the “Subway Reads” program – a partnership between the MTA, Transit Wireless, and Penguin Random House that allows subway riders to download short stories and book excerpts – was functioning in all 150 stations that auditors visited.
“This audit shows that New York City is moving into the future, that we can be underground but don’t have to disconnect from the world,” New York City Comptroller Scott M. Stringer said. “Bringing WiFi and cell service into our mass transit system will boost productivity, increase safety, and make commutes more enjoyable. Right now, the MTA’s program is on track, and that’s no doubt something to celebrate.”
Between June 28, 2016 and November 6, 2016 auditors visited 150 underground subway stations and tested internet access and cell service on laptops and cell phones. Tests included placing phone calls, sending text messages, visiting social media websites, streaming online video and audio content, sending emails, and downloading content from the “Subway Reads” program.
Under its contract, Transit Wireless has until the end of 2017 to install WiFi and cell service in the remaining underground subway stations. In its response to the audit, the MTA indicated, as well as recently announced publicly, that the agency was on schedule to bring wireless communication to the remaining stations by the end of December 2016 – a full year early. The Comptroller’s Office plans to test the entire system once final installation is verified.
To read the full audit – and see a list of subway stations that were tested – click here.