Saturday, February 11, 2017


   Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, James J. Hunt, the Special Agent-in-Charge of the New York Field Office of the Drug Enforcement Administration (“DEA”), and James P. O’Neill, the Commissioner of the New York City Police Department (“NYPD”), announced the unsealing of a complaint charging VICTOR PETERSON, 54, with selling fentanyl-laced heroin that resulted in the death of a 39-year-old Upper West Side man.

The complaint alleges that, on or about October 20, 2016, PETERSON distributed heroin laced with fentanyl that resulted in the death of Kevin Coombs, age 39, of Manhattan. The complaint also alleges that PETERSON sold heroin and crack cocaine to undercover NYPD officers on other occasions. PETERSON was arrested this morning and will be presented today before United States Magistrate Judge James L. Cott. PETERSON faces a mandatory minimum term of 20 years in prison.

Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said: “The opioid abuse epidemic has claimed far too many lives, and 39-year-old Kevin Coombs was one such life cut short. As alleged, Victor Peterson sold the fentanyl-laced heroin that tragically killed Kevin Coombs. Thanks to the outstanding partnership with the DEA and the NYPD, we continue to combat the deadly opioid crisis one alleged drug dealer at a time.”
DEA Special Agent-in-Charge James J. Hunt said: “Last year the CDC announced that there were over 52,000 fatal drug overdoses in the US; here in NYC, three people died everyday as a result of a drug overdose. DEA is focusing our enforcement efforts on major heroin and fentanyl distribution organizations, in addition to investigating and arresting the street dealers who sell the fatal dose that takes the life of another.”
Commissioner James P. O’Neill said: “The defendant in this case is facing the possibility of life in prison for allegedly selling fentanyl-laced heroin to a 39-year-old man who died of an overdose. Law enforcement is committed to investigating overdoses like this to hold those who sell these deadly opioids criminally responsible. I want to thank the NYPD detectives, DEA agents, and US Attorney Preet Bharara for their work that led to today’s arrest.”
According to the allegations in the Complaint[1] filed in federal court:
Kevin Coombs was found unresponsive by NYPD officers and paramedics on the afternoon of October 21, 2016. Coombs was transported to the hospital, but later died from an overdose of heroin and fentanyl. Prior to Coombs’s death, Coombs composed, but did not send, a text message to PETERSON in which Coombs stated, “Man that shit is so good. I literally just finished the last o[n]e.”

An NYPD undercover officer subsequently contacted PETERSON by cellphone and arranged to purchase narcotics. PETERSON sold the undercover officer crack cocaine on three occasions and heroin on one occasion in December 2016 and January 2017.

PETERSON, 54, of New York, New York, has been charged with one count of narcotics distribution resulting in the death of another, which carries a maximum sentence of life in prison, and a mandatory minimum sentence of 20 years in prison. PETERSON has also been charged with four counts of narcotics distribution, each of which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.

The maximum potential sentences in this case are prescribed by Congress and are provided here for informational purposes only, as any sentence for the defendant will be determined by the judge.

Mr. Bharara praised the outstanding work of the NYPD and DEA’s Tactical Diversion Squad for their investigative efforts and ongoing support and assistance with the case. The Drug Enforcement Administration's Tactical Diversion Squad (Group TDS-NY) comprises agents and officers from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the New York City Police Department, the New York State Police, and NYC Health and Hospitals Office of the Inspector General.

The prosecution of this case is being overseen by the Office’s Narcotics Unit. Assistant U.S. Attorney Andrew Thomas is in charge of the case.

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 descriptions of the Complaint set forth below constitute only allegations, and every fact described should be treated as an allegation.

Heroin Trafficker Sentenced To 12 Years For Heroin Overdose Deaths

   Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that ROOSEVELT WILLIAMS, a/k/a “Mumsie,” 59, was sentenced to a term of 12 years in prison, and forfeiture of over $100,000 in drug proceeds and property, for his extensive heroin dealing in and around Poughkeepsie, New York. As set forth in WILLIAMS’s plea agreement, and the materials submitted in connection with sentencing, the distribution of that heroin resulted in both fatal and non-fatal overdoses. He was sentenced today in White Plains federal court by U.S. District Court Judge Nelson S. Román. On November 10, 2016, Tony Reynolds, 58, was sentenced, also by Judge Román to a term of 13 years in prison, and to forfeit $5,000 in drug proceeds, for his role in distributing heroin with WILLIAMS.
U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara stated: “Roosevelt Williams sold what became notorious in and around Poughkeepsie as a highly potent brand of heroin. And even as overdoses from Williams’s heroin grew, he continued to sell. For his cold-hearted drug dealing that contributed to the devastation of heroin abuse in our communities, the Court has handed down a stiff sentence of 12 years in prison. We hope this prosecution gives some measure of closure and comfort for the victims’ families, and we thank the Drug Enforcement Administration and our many local law enforcement partners for their extraordinary efforts on this case.”
According to the Complaints and Information filed in White Plains federal court, as well as statements made in connection with the plea and sentencing proceedings:
Over the course of several months, WILLIAMS and Reynolds conspired to sell significant quantities of a highly potent brand of heroin, dubbed “Empire” by a stamp on each bag sold, which had a devastating impact on users in and around Poughkeepsie, New York. The Empire brand became notorious among heroin users in the area as being particularly strong and posing a high risk of overdose. Even as this reputation and the number of overdoses grew, the defendants continued to sell significant quantities of Empire heroin virtually every day.

From at least in or about November 2015 through December 2015, law enforcement engaged in controlled purchases of Empire heroin on five occasions. Each of these sales was made by either WILLIAMS or Reynolds. Law enforcement recovered over $100,00 in cash and two firearms from WILLIAMS’s residence.

A.G. Schneiderman Announces Settlement Of Martin Act Case Against Former AIG CEO Maurice R. Greenberg And Former AIG CFO Howard I. Smith

Greenberg Admits To Initiating, Participating, And Approving Two Fraudulent Transactions Committed By AIG While CEO
Greenberg And Smith Agree To Return Multi-Million Dollar Bonuses They Received While The Frauds Were On AIG’s Books
When Combined With Previous SEC Settlement, Greenberg Will Have Disgorged Nearly Every Dollar In Bonuses He Received During The Period Of The Fraud
   The Office of Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman announced today that it has reached a settlement of the Office’s securities fraud suit under the Martin Act against Maurice R. (“Hank”) Greenberg, the former CEO of American International Group, Inc. (“AIG”), and Howard I. Smith, AIG’s former Chief Financial Officer.  The lawsuit, People v. Maurice R. Greenberg and Howard I. Smith, Index No. 401720/05 (New York County Supreme Court), was brought by Attorney General Eliot Spitzer in 2005, following the admission by AIG that the company had engaged in certain improper reinsurance transactions while Mr. Greenberg was the company’s CEO and Mr. Smith the CFO, including two sham deals--known as the GenRe and Capco transactions--that materially misrepresented AIG’s loss reserves and misstated its underwriting results, respectively, during the period 2000 to 2004.  
Attorney General Schneiderman said, “Today's agreement settles the indisputable fact that Mr. Greenberg has denied for twelve years: that Mr. Greenberg orchestrated two transactions that fundamentally misrepresented AIG's finances. After over a decade of delays, deflections, and denials by Mr. Greenberg, we are pleased that Mr. Greenberg has finally admitted to his role in these fraudulent transactions and will personally pay $9 million to the State of New York.” 
Mr. Greenberg’s and Mr. Smith’s full statements can be found here and here.
AIG was also an original defendant in the Attorney General’s suit. In 2006, AIG reached a prompt settlement with the Attorney General’s Office, and paid $1.6 billion to settle the matter. Mr. Greenberg and Mr. Smith, however, refused to settle or to acknowledge any personal responsibility for the transactions.
For over twelve years, Messrs. Greenberg and Smith refused to admit that the GenRe and Capco transactions were improper, or that they were responsible for the transactions.  Attorney General Schneiderman took the case against Greenberg and Smith to trial in September 2016, and the defendants were compelled to testify about these matters in open court.  Now, Mr. Greenberg acknowledges that he personally initiated, participated in and approved these transactions. Mr. Smith admits to having played a similar role. In addition, they have agreed to give up over $ 9.9 million that they received as performance bonuses from 2001 through 2004, the period when these sham transactions were reflected on AIG’s books. Combined with Mr. Greenberg’s previous settlement with SEC, Mr. Greenberg’s $9 million payment under today’s agreement will require him to relinquish virtually every dollar paid to him in bonuses during that time.
From 2005 until 2016, Mr. Greenberg and Mr. Smith delayed a trial of the State’s claims against them by engaging in extensive motion practice and eight pre-trial appeals. They maintained for over a decade that the Attorney General’s office lacked the legal authority to pursue the claims against them, and that there was insufficient evidence of their involvement in the reinsurance transactions to even warrant a trial. Over time, their arguments were substantially rejected by the New York Supreme Court, the New York Supreme Court Appellate Division, First Department and the New York Court of Appeals. In the process, the courts have confirmed that New York’s Martin Act is not preempted by federal securities laws, and that the Attorney General has the power to obtain disgorgement by corporate executives of money they have received as a result of frauds committed by their companies, when the executives participated in or had knowledge of the frauds. 
Beginning in September 2016, after the Court of Appeals rejected the second of defendants’ appeals to that Court, the Attorney General’s Office began the trial of its case before Justice Charles E. Ramos. After Messrs. Greenberg and Smith testified, the trial was recessed to allow the parties to explore a final, non-appealable resolution of the case with the assistance of mediators Kenneth Feinberg and Camille Biros. Through that process, the parties reached a final settlement. As part of the settlement, Mr. Greenberg acknowledges that he personally initiated, participated in and approved these transactions. Mr. Smith admits to having played a similar role. They also have acknowledged that the effect of the transactions was to inaccurately portray AIG’s true financial results, and that AIG correctly restated the GenRe transaction upon finding that it did not transfer risk – a point Mr. Greenberg has vigorously disputed for years. In addition, they have agreed to give up $9.9 million that they received as performance bonuses from 2001 through 2004, the period when these sham transactions were reflected on AIG’s books. When combined with Mr. Greenberg’s previous settlement with SEC, Mr. Greenberg’s $9 million payment under today’s agreement will disgorge virtually every dollar paid to him in bonuses during that time.

A.G. Schneiderman Announces Settlements With Mobile App Developers For Failure To Disclose Data Collection Practices

AB Mobile LLC And Bizness Apps Inc. Agree To Post Privacy Policies And Disclose Data Collection Practices
Schneiderman: New Yorkers Have A Right To Know If A Company Collects And Uses Their Personal Information
  Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman today announced settlements with mobile application (“apps”) developers AB Mobile Apps LLC and Bizness Apps LLC for their failure to disclosure their data collection practices in a privacy policy.  Both companies have agreed to clearly inform users in a privacy policy about their policies and procedures with respect to user information, among other reforms.
“New Yorkers have a right to know if a company collects and uses their personal information,” said Attorney General Schneiderman. “In an age where data itself has become a commodity, companies must post privacy policies in a way that clearly and conspicuously discloses their data collection practices.”
The purpose of a privacy policy is to inform users about what, if any, personal information is collected, used and disclosed in the use of a product or service. This information aids consumers in making informed decisions about companies with whom they entrust their personal information.
Both companies responded promptly to the NYAG investigation and added a privacy policy to its apps, or otherwise removed the apps from the Apple and Google platforms so that they are no longer available to download.
Both companies also agreed clearly inform users in a privacy policy about the policies and procedures with respect to user information for each of its apps. Such policies and procedures may be appropriate to the nature and scope of its activities and the sensitivity of the covered data, and make explicit, at a minimum, what user information is collected; how it is stored and for how long; whether it will be disclosed to third parties and under what circumstances; what safeguards are in place to protect the information from unauthorized disclosure; how updates to the privacy policy will be communicated to the customer; and whether the customer has the option to opt-out of the collection of the user information, or review, edit or delete the information.
The NYAG did not find that these developers misused their customers’ personal information or disclosed it to third parties.  However, failure to disclose how a company collects, uses and discloses customers’ personal information in a privacy policy is a deceptive trade practice, New York Executive Law § 63(12) and New York General Business Law § 349.
AB Mobile Apps, LLC
AB Mobile Apps, LLC (“AB Mobile”) is a Michigan limited liability company owned by Wendell Adams.  AB Mobile develops apps on its own, or at the request of clients, which can be downloaded for free on Apple iTunes App Store and/or the Google Play Android App Store.  The NYAG determined that the following AB Mobile apps lacked a privacy policy or any statement as to how AB Mobile collects, uses, or discloses a user’s personal information: “Ask a Lawyer: Legal Help,” “Ask a Criminal Defense Lawyer,” “My Lawyer: Legal Advice,” “Ask a Personal Injury Lawyer,” “Insurance Help,” “Insurance Quotes and Questions,” “Trucker App & GPS for Truckers,” “Couple Counseling & Chatting,” “Teacher App & Grade Book,” “Chiropractic Help,” “Quit Smoking: Learn to Stop Smoking Today!,” “Stop Smoking: A free quit smoking program,” “Flowchart by Hapman,” “Deburring by CLM Vibetech,” “Buy Local,” “The Grotto at Capone’s,” “Home Design by Jacks,” “Home Improvement: Culver,” “AutoCare” (or, on the iTunes App Store, “com.absmallbusinessmarketing.autoCare”), “Pirates: The Pirate Game,” “Text Timer,” “Write Music by Stedman,” “Foreign Car Services,” “Falling Zombies,” “8 Bit Birds,” “Drink Mixer,” “Clear Messenger,” “Great Lakes Pondscapes,” “Traveler: Travel App & Helper,” and “Popcorn Popper!” Additionally, the NYAG determined that while apps “Recipes by Ingredients,” “Diet Plan(s),” and “Stock Screener: Stock Analyst” contained a hyperlink to a privacy policy, the policy failed to contain specific information as to what information is collected, used and disclosed.
Bizness Apps, Inc.
Bizness Apps, Inc. (“Bizness Apps “) is a California corporation owned by Andrew Gazdecki with a similar business to AB Mobile.  The NYAG determined that the following apps lacked a privacy policy or any statement as to how Bizness Apps collects, uses, or discloses a user’s personal information: “Seattle Pipeline,” “My Mechanic,” “Bizness Apps Preview App,” “Top Flight Elite Basketball,” “The Lost Friends,” “Tacolicious,” “Mobilize Reseller Conference,” “Mobile Lounge,” “Leslie Norman & Associates,” “Papa Fotis,” “El Burito Redlands,” and “Gutergrund-OPG8.” Another app, “Vacation Valley Cabin Rentals,” was available in two versions on Google/Android and only one version displayed a privacy policy.


Graduation rate rises to 72.6 percent and dropout rate hits low of 8.5 percent with largest improvements for Hispanic and Black students

   Mayor de Blasio and Chancellor Carmen Fariña today announced that New York City’s four-year high school graduation rate hit a historic high in 2016 – 72.6 percent. The dropout rate fell to the lowest ever – 8.5 percent. The improvements in both graduation and dropout rates were highest for Hispanic and Black students. Every single borough saw its graduation rate increase and dropout rate decrease – with the highest increase in graduation rate in the Bronx.

Mayor de Blasio and Chancellor Fariña’s Equity and Excellence for All agenda will build on this progress, ensuring that by 2026, 80 percent of students graduate high school on time and two-thirds of graduates are college ready.  Equity and Excellence for All is building a path from pre-K to college and careers for every child in every neighborhood in New York City.

“Our public schools are unquestionably the strongest they’ve ever been – we’re graduating more students than ever before, and we are on track to reach our Equity and Excellence for All goal of 80 percent of students graduating on time,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “From Day 1, we’ve believed in the promise of our public schools as the ladder to success for all New Yorkers, and we are raising the bar at every school in every zip code.” 

“Our record-high graduation and the record-low dropout rates are a testament to the hard work of our students, their families, and our educators,” said Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña. “Our focus has always been on the work going on in every classroom, and that’s where it’s going to stay. While this is a day to celebrate progress, we’re working harder than ever to improve instruction and provide equity and excellence for all students.”

The rates below are the graduation and dropout percentages among the cohort of all students who entered 9th grade in the fall of 2012. All percentage point changes are comparisons to the previous year.

·         The graduation rate rose to 72.6 percent, a 2.1 point gain
·         The dropout rate fell to 8.5 percent, a 0.5 point decrease

Graduation rates improved across all ethnicities, with Hispanic and Black students posting the highest gains:

·         Hispanic students’ graduation rate increased to 66.9 percent, a 2.9 point gain
·         Black students’ graduation rate increased to 68.1 percent, a 2.6 point gain
·         Asian students’ graduation rate increased to 85.6 percent, a 0.6 point gain
·         White students’ graduation rate increased to 82.1 percent, a 0.1 point gain

Dropout rates fell or remained the same across all ethnicities:

·         Hispanic students’ dropout rate fell to 11.2 percent, a 0.7 point decrease
·         Black students’ dropout rate fell to 8.8 percent, a 0.6 point decrease
·         Asian students’ dropout rate fell to 4.6 percent, the same as last year
·         White students’ dropout rate fell to 4.8 percent, a 0.4 point decrease

Graduation rates increased and dropout rates fell in every borough. The largest improvement in graduation rates was in the Bronx:

2016 # Cohort
% 2016 Grad
% 2015 Grad
Pt. Diff
2016 # Cohort
% 2016 Dropout
% 2015 Dropout
Pt. Diff
Staten Island

Graduation rates also increased at the City’s 31 Renewal high schools. The graduation rate increased to 59.3 percent, a 4.8 percent increase – more than double the citywide increase in graduation rate. The dropout rate was 18.6 percent, a 0.8 point increase.

Earlier this school year, Mayor de Blasio and Chancellor Fariña announced:

·         The highest-ever postsecondary enrollment rate – 55 percent of the Class of 2015.
·         The highest-ever number of New York City students taking and passing Advanced Placement exams in 2016 with an 8.4 percent jump in students taking at least one AP and 8.2 percent jump in students passing at least one AP over the previous year.
·         The highest-ever college readiness rate – 37 percent of all students, and 51 percent of graduates, in the Class of 2016 graduated high school on time and met CUNY’s standards for college readiness in English and math.
·         The highest-ever percentage of high school juniors taking the SAT – 52 percent. All juniors will be able to take the SAT free of charge during the school day this school year.

The progress extends to elementary and middle school grades – students made substantial gains on the most recent State English and math exams. For the first time, City students are now outperforming their New York State peers in English. 

Mayor de Blasio and Chancellor Fariña’s Equity and Excellence for All initiatives are building a pathway to success in college and careers for all students. Our schools are starting earlier – free, full-day, high-quality pre-K for every four-year-old through Pre-K for All. They are strengthening foundational skills and instruction earlier – Universal Literacy so that every student is reading on grade level by the end of 2nd grade; and Algebra for All to improve elementary- and middle-school math instruction and ensure that all 8th graders have access to algebra. They are offering students more challenging, hands-on, college and career-aligned coursework – Computer Science for All will bring 21st Century computer science instruction to every school, and AP for All will give all high school students access to at least five Advanced Placement courses. Along the way, they are giving students and families additional support through College Access for All, Single Shepherd, and investment in Community Schools.

More information on New York City’s graduation and college readiness and rates can be found at

These figures show how Mayoral Control of the public schools has not worked the past 15 years, and should be replaced with a more accountable local public school system. New York City public school children are doomed not to succeed which been shown during the 15 years of Mayoral Control and the charts above.
Politics comes first, and the children last.
It's time to end Mayoral Control.

Bronx Chamber of Commerce - ATTRACT NEW BUSINESS in the BRONX


Promote your company and Salute the distinguished Honorees at the Bronx version of the Academy Awards at the BRONX BUSINESS AWARDS 2017 Gala Celebration scheduled for Thursday, March 9, 2017 5:30 - 10:30 pm at the elegant Marina del Rey Caterers, 1 Marina Drive, Bronx, NY 10465.

Please forward advertising copy as soon as possible and no later than February 16, 2017.

Preliminary list of advertisers include:
  • Apple Bank
  • At&T External Affairs
  • Bay Plaza Community Center, LLC
  • Berkley College
  • Country Bank
  • Entergy
  • Ensign Engineering
  • Flushing Bank
  • Grassi & Cp.
  • Green Street Solar
  • Health and Hospital Corp.
  • INDA
  • Madison Square Garden
  • Metro Optics Eyewear
  • ResCare, Inc.
  • Ridgewood Savings Bank
  • RiteCheck Cashing
  • Trump Golf Links at Ferry Point
  • The New York Yankees
  • The Woodlawn Cemetery 
I hope you plan on attending 2017 Gala! Take Advantage of the Early Reservation Discount for paid reservations before February 24, 2017. 
Excitement for this fabulous event continues to grow each day.
The distinguished honorees are:
John Catsimatidis, Red Apple Group
Ensign Engineering
The Woodlawn Cemetery

Ridgewood Savings Bank

Montefiore Medical Center
Metro Optics

To make reservations, advertise and or sponsor, click on the following link: 2017 Gala RSVP form  

Members are encouraged to donate their promotional items to the Gift Bag given to each guest. For more information contact Phil Cardone at (718) 828-3900 or email:
The Bronx Chamber of Commerce is one of the most influential, professional and successful organizations and voice for businesses in Bronx County. Professionals and companies are drawn to the successful companies and active members affiliated with The Bronx Chamber of Commerce. Membership includes businesses ranging from large corporations, Cultural Institutions, Universities and Colleges, Hospitals and Medical Centers, non-profits, and mid-sized to small companies.
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"!

Friday, February 10, 2017


  Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. asked all 12 Bronx Community Boards to set up Veterans committees to help serve the many veterans that live throughout the Bronx.  One Community Board which already had set up such a committee was Bronx Community Board 7. 

  Today CB 7 held a well attended breakfast titled "Soaring Heights Eagle and Wind Beneath My Wings Awards"  which were given out to many veterans who served in the various armed forces. 

  Elected officials on hand to speak and give out the awards were Congressman Adriano Espaillat, Deputy Bronx Borough President Aurelia Greene, State Senator Gustavo Rivera, State Assembly Members Jeffrey Dinowitz, Mark Gjonaj, and Victor Pichardo, City Councilmembers  Ritchie Torres and Fernando Cabrera, and Bronx District Attorney Darcel Clark.  

Above - The many beautiful awards which were presented to the honored veterans.
Below - Bronx Community Board 7 Veterans Committee Chair Ms. Robyn Saunders and Senior Services Chair Ms. Nora Feury co-hosted the award event.

Above - There was a table set up for that soldier who did not return home from war, and who was still considered to be Missing In Action.
Below - Congressman Espaillat is seated with Bronx DA Clark. Assembly members Gjonaj and Dinowitz are seated at the next table.

Above - Councilman Torres and Assemblyman Pichardo were seated together.
Below - Mr. Joseph Binder a World War Two veteran who will turn 100 this April was a Soaring Heights Eagle Award recipient.

Above - State Senator Gustavo Rivera, Below - Assemblyman Mark Gjonaj were a couple of the elected officials to speak, honoring the veterans not only in attendance but all veterans.

Above - Assemblyman Victor Pichardo gives Linda Perdroso the daughter of Sgt. Perdreso her father's award posthumously.
Below - Councilman Ritchie Torres stands with his award recipient Shawn C. Kingston, Veterans Outreach, James A. Peters VA Hosp.

Bronx CB 7 Chair Adaline Walker Santiago, Deputy Bronx BP Aurelia Greene, CB 7 Senior Services Chair Nora Feury, CB 7 Veterans Chair Robyn Saunders, and Ms. Darlene Brown-Williams NYC Veterans Services.