Saturday, May 13, 2017

“BMB” Gang Associate Sentenced To 15 Years In Prison In Connection With 2011 Shooting Of Eight People

  Joon H. Kim, Acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that ONEIL DASILVA, a/k/a “Soxx,” a/k/a “Bobby Soxx,” an associate of the violent Big Money Bosses (“BMB”) street gang, was sentenced today to 15 years in prison in connection with a shooting in 2011 at a backyard party in the Bronx, New York, during which eight people were shot, including a 13-year-old girl and a 14-year-old girl.  DASILVA pled guilty on December 8, 2016, before United States District Judge Alison J. Nathan, who also imposed today’s sentence.
Acting U.S. Attorney Joon H. Kim said:  “Oneil Dasilva, a Big Money Boss gang associate, terrorized his neighborhood in the Bronx, engaging in a reckless shooting spree that led to eight people, including two young teenagers, getting shot. For his crimes, Dasilva will now spend 15 years in a federal prison. Gang and gun violence must be confronted forcefully, as we did in this case with our law enforcement partners.”
According to the Indictment and other documents filed in the case, as well as statements made during the plea and sentencing proceedings:
DASILVA was an associate of BMB, a subset of the “Young Bosses,” or “YBz” street gang, which operates throughout New York City.  Between 2007 and 2016, members and associates of BMB committed numerous acts of violence against rival gang members in the Bronx and sold crack cocaine and marijuana.  
As part of his involvement in with BMB, on September 4, 2011, DASILVA opened fire at a backyard barbeque in the vicinity of 221st Street in the Bronx.  Eight people were shot, including a 13-year-old girl and a 14-year-old girl.  All of the victims survived.  
DASILVA was arrested in this case as a result of a multi-year investigation by the New York City Police Department’s Bronx Gang Squad (the “Bronx Gang Squad”), U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations Violent Gang Unit (“HSI”), the New York Field Division of the Drug Enforcement Administration (“DEA”), and the Joint Firearms Task Force of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (“ATF”) into gang violence in the Northern Bronx. DASILVA was charged in an Indictment unsealed on April 27, 2016 (United States v. Nico Burrell et al., 15 Cr. 95), charging 63 members and associates of BMB with racketeering conspiracy, narcotics conspiracy, narcotics distribution, and/or firearms charges.  To date, 47 of these defendants have pled guilty.
Mr. Kim praised the outstanding work of the NYPD’s Bronx Gang Squad, HSI, DEA, and ATF.  

Bronx Week Community Board Member Celebration

  Thursday night Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. invited all twelve Bronx Community Board members to a celebration of the members volunteer work for their respective community board. There are twelve Bronx Community Boards which can have up to fifty members which include the local City Council members (in a non voting position) if their council district overlap a community board. 
  There was a good turnout of Bronx Community Board members, and there were special treats for the board members to taste from various Bronx eating establishments. 

Above and Below - BP Diaz Jr. took some photos with board members who arrived before the ceremony.

Above - Members from Community Board 7.
Below - Members from Community Board 8.

Above - BP Diaz Jr. speaks with his coordinator of Bronx Community Boards Mr. Tom Lucania as the BP enjoys a piece of delicious Lloyd's Carrot Cake, one of the special treats of the night.
Below - Members of the Star of the Sea Cadets get ready to present the colors as the ceremony is about to start.

Acting Manhattan U.S. Attorney Announces $5.9 Million Settlement Against Real Estate Corporations Alleged To Have Laundered Proceeds Of Russian Tax Fraud

Defendant Prevezon Holdings Ltd. Agrees to Pay $5,896,333.65, Triple the Fraud Proceeds Alleged to Be Directly Traceable to the Defendants 

  Joon H. Kim, the Acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced today that the United States has settled a money laundering and civil forfeiture action against assets of 11 corporations, including some that own luxury residential and high-end commercial real estate in Manhattan. The Government’s complaint alleged that the defendant corporations laundered some proceeds of a $230 million Russian tax refund fraud scheme involving corrupt Russian officials that was uncovered by Sergei Magnitsky, a Russian lawyer who died in pretrial detention in Moscow under suspicious circumstances and was posthumously prosecuted by Russia.

In the stipulation of settlement filed with U.S. District Judge William H. Pauley III today, which is still subject to approval by the Court, one of the defendant corporations, Prevezon Holdings Ltd., agrees to pay $5,896,333.65 to resolve the Government’s claims against all defendants. This payment represents triple the value of the proceeds that the Government alleged could be traced directly from the Russian treasury fraud to the defendants ($1,965,444.55), and more than ten times the amount of proceeds the Government alleged could be traced directly to property in New York (approximately $582,000).

Acting Manhattan U.S. Attorney Joon H. Kim said: “We will not allow the U.S. financial system to be used to launder the proceeds of crimes committed anywhere – here in the U.S., in Russia, or anywhere else. Under the terms of this settlement, the defendants have agreed to pay not just what we alleged flowed to them from the Russian treasury fraud, but three times that amount, and roughly 10 times the money we alleged could be traced directly into U.S. accounts and real estate.”

The Government’s lawsuit alleged as follows:

In 2007, a Russian criminal organization engaged in an elaborate tax refund fraud scheme resulting in a fraudulently obtained tax refund of approximately $230 million from the Russian treasury. As part of the fraud scheme, members of the organization stole the corporate identities of portfolio companies of the Hermitage Fund, a foreign investment fund operating in Russia. The organization’s members then used these stolen identities to make fraudulent claims for tax refunds.

In order to procure the refunds, the criminal organization fraudulently re-registered the Hermitage companies in the names of members of the organization, and then orchestrated sham lawsuits against these companies. These sham lawsuits involved members of the organization as both the plaintiffs (representing sham commercial counterparties suing the Hermitage companies) and the defendants (purporting to represent the Hermitage companies). In each case, the members of the organization purporting to represent the Hermitage companies confessed full liability in court, leading the courts to award large money judgments to the plaintiffs.

The purpose of the sham lawsuits was to fraudulently generate money judgments against the Hermitage companies. Members of the organization purporting to represent the Hermitage companies then used those money judgments to seek tax refunds. The basis of these refund requests was that the money judgments constituted losses eliminating the profits the Hermitage companies had earned, and thus the Hermitage companies were entitled to a refund of the taxes that had been paid on these profits. The requested refunds totaled 5.4 billion rubles, or approximately $230 million.

Members of the organization who were officials at two Russian tax offices corruptly approved the requests within one business day, and approximately $230 million was disbursed to members of the organization, purportedly on behalf of the Hermitage companies, two days later.

After perpetrating this fraud, members of the organization undertook illegal actions in order to conceal this fraud and retaliate against individuals who attempted to expose it. After learning of the lawsuits against its portfolio companies, Hermitage retained attorneys, including Russian lawyer Sergei Magnitsky, to investigate. Magnitsky and other attorneys for Hermitage uncovered the refund fraud scheme, and the complicity of Russian governmental officials in it, and were subject to retaliatory criminal proceedings against them. Magnitsky was arrested and died approximately a year later in pretrial detention. An independent Russian human rights council concluded that Magnitsky’s arrest and detention were illegal, that Magnitsky was denied necessary medical care in custody, that he was beaten by eight guards with rubber batons on the last day of his life, and that the ambulance crew that was called to treat him as he was dying was deliberately kept outside of his cell for more than an hour until he was dead.

Members of the criminal organization, and associates of those members, have also engaged in a broad pattern of money laundering in order to conceal the proceeds of the fraud scheme. In a complex series of transfers through shell corporations, the $230 million from the Russian treasury was laundered into numerous accounts in Russia and other countries. A portion of the funds stolen from the Russian treasury passed through several shell companies into Prevezon Holdings, Ltd., a Cyprus-based real estate corporation that is a defendant in the forfeiture action. Prevezon Holdings laundered these fraud proceeds into its real estate holdings, including investment in multiple units of high-end commercial space and luxury apartments in Manhattan, and created multiple other corporations, also subject to the forfeiture action, to hold these properties.

A chart listing the companies named as defendants in the lawsuit is attached.

Mr. Kim praised the outstanding investigative work of ICE HSI New York’s El Dorado Task Force.

Prevezon Holdings, Ltd.
Prevezon Alexander, LLC
Prevezon Soho USA, LLC
Prevezon Seven USA, LLC
Prevezon Pine USA, LLC
Prevezon 1711 USA, LLC
Prevezon 1810, LLC
Prevezon 2009 USA, LLC
Prevezon 2011 USA, LLC
Ferencoi Investments, Ltd.
Kolevins Ltd.

Owner Of Utah-Based Pharmaceutical Wholesale Distributor Sentenced To 60 Months In Prison For Role In $100 Million Black Market Medication Scheme

  Joon H. Kim, the Acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that RANDY CROWELL, a/k/a “Roger,” was sentenced today to 60 months in prison for fraudulently distributing, through his Utah-based wholesale distribution company, more than $100 million worth of prescription drugs obtained through a nationwide black market. The defendant distributed the drugs in question, which were predominantly used to treat HIV/AIDS, to pharmacies, where they were dispensed to unsuspecting patients. As part of his sentence, CROWELL also agreed to forfeit more than $13 million in personal profits from the scheme and was ordered to pay an additional $65 million in restitution to Medicaid. CROWELL pled guilty on January 6, 2017, to one count of conspiracy to commit healthcare fraud before United States District Judge Edgardo Ramos, who also imposed today’s sentence.
Acting Manhattan U.S. Attorney Joon H. Kim said: “For more than two years, Randy Crowell personally profited from perverting a system designed to ensure patients receive safe and effective medication. He victimized healthcare companies and government benefit programs, as well as countless people suffering from life-threatening illnesses. The recipients of Crowell’s black market medications had no way to know that the medicines they purchased at pharmacies might be dangerous.”
CROWELL’s sentence marks the culmination of a six-year investigation by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in conjunction with the Federal Bureau of Investigation into a massive, nationwide healthcare fraud scheme involving the resale of black market medications worth more than $500 million. Including CROWELL, 57 defendants have been charged and convicted for their roles in the scheme. Through these prosecutions, hundreds of millions in restitution and criminal forfeiture have been recovered for victims, including Medicaid.
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. 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 unsanitary and insufficient to ensure the safety and efficacy of the medication.
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 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. 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.
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, 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.
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 – 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 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.
In addition to the term of imprisonment, CROWELL, 56, of Henderson, Nevada, was sentenced to three years of supervised release, ordered to forfeit $13,046,635.00, and ordered to pay restitution of $65 million to Medicaid.
Mr. Kim praised the investigative work of the FBI.

Former Harlem Restaurant Owner Pleads Guilty To Engaging In Multimillion-Dollar Ponzi Scheme

Hamlet Peralta Told Investors He was Financing Large Wholesale Liquor Purchases, and Instead Used Money to Fund His Lavish Lifestyle and to Pay Back Other Investors

  Joon H. Kim, the Acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that HAMLET PERALTA pled guilty today to wire fraud in connection with his scheme to obtain money from investors by fraudulently representing that he was using their investments to further a profitable, multimillion-dollar wholesale liquor business. PERALTA pled guilty before United States District Judge Katherine B. Forrest. Sentencing has been scheduled for September 8, 2017, at 10:00 a.m.
Acting Manhattan U.S. Attorney Joon H. Kim said: “Hamlet Peralta swindled millions of dollars from unsuspecting investors who trusted him because of his reputation in the community as a business owner and restaurateur. As Peralta has now admitted, instead of being an honest broker, he stole their money and used it to fund his own lavish lifestyle and to further a massive Ponzi scheme.”
According to the Complaint and Indictment filed in Manhattan federal court and today’s plea proceeding:
From 2013 through 2014, PERALTA solicited more than $12 million from multiple investors by falsely representing that the investors’ money would be used to engage in wholesale liquor distribution for a profit. He made these promises both orally and in written contracts. To bolster the supposed bona fides of his fictitious business, he provided investors with forged invoices and other documentation, purporting to establish the high volume of liquor he both bought from licensed wholesalers in New York and sold to wholesale and retail clients for a profit.
In truth and in fact, however, PERALTA misappropriated the millions of dollars in investments he received. He took out much of the money in cash and used some of it to both support his lifestyle and rehabilitate a failing restaurant he owned. Because he purchased very little liquor and had no profits with which to pay back investors, he then began borrowing large sums of money from new investors on the false promise that he was investing that money in the liquor business, and used that money to repay prior investors.
In or about 2013, for example, PERALTA told a prospective investor (“Investor-1”) who was a frequent customer at PERALTA’s restaurant and who had become friendly with PERALTA that he (PERALTA) owned a separate business called West 125th Street Liquors and that he had been approved as an exclusive wine distributor to a major national restaurant supply company (the “Restaurant Supply Company”) that was beginning a wholesale wine business. PERALTA told the investor that he would receive significant interest on his investments, based on profits from the wholesale liquor distribution business. In truth and in fact, however, PERALTA did not own West 125th Street Liquors, and he had not been approved to be a distributor for the Restaurant Supply Company. Indeed, neither PERALTA nor West 125th Street Liquors ever supplied anything to the Restaurant Supply Company. PERALTA also provided vestor-1 with fake documentation on the Restaurant Supply Company’s letterhead, falsely representing that the Restaurant Supply Company would be electronically transferring PERALTA $1,826,350 within seven days.
Investor-1 provided PERALTA with more than $3.5 million over the course of the next year, a substantial portion of which was used to pay back other investors. Ultimately, PERALTA owed Investor-1 approximately $2 million. In all, PERALTA, who obtained approximately $12 million from investors, failed to pay back millions of dollars of that money.
PERALTA, 37, of the Bronx, New York, has pled guilty to one count of wire fraud, which carries a maximum term of 20 years in prison. The maximum potential sentence is prescribed by Congress and is provided here for informational purposes only, as any sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the judge.
Mr. Kim praised the investigative work of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the NYPD Internal Affairs Bureau.

A.G. Schneiderman Announces Joint $54 Million Settlement With Carecore Resolving Allegations Company Submitted Millions In False Claims To Medicaid

NYs Medicaid Program To Receive Over $7.6 Million In Restitution As Part Of Joint State-Federal Settlement

  Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman announced today that New York, along with 20 other states, has reached an agreement in principle to join the federal government in a settlement with CareCore National LLC (CareCore), now part of eviCore healthcare that was unsealed today. CareCore provides utilization management services including determinations of medical necessity to New York Medicaid Managed Care Organizations (MCOs).  The agreement settles allegations that CareCore instituted a scheme to auto-approve or Process As Directed (PAD) hundreds of radiology service requests on a daily basis, deeming those diagnostic services as reasonable and medically necessary, even though there had been no evaluation of those cases by the appropriate medical personnel. CareCore will pay the federal government $54 million, of which $18 million will go to the state Medicaid programs, to resolve allegations that CareCores fraudulent PAD program caused false claims to be submitted to government health care programs. Of the $18 million, New Yorks Medicaid Program will recover over $7.6 million.    
 “Companies that overbill Medicaid are undermining efforts to help some of our neediest citizens. Since 2011, my office has secured over $1 billion in restitution for Medicaid, and we will continue to vigorously safeguard the integrity of this incredibly vital program,” said Attorney General Schneiderman. 
Specifically, the agreement in principle resolves allegations that from January 1, 2005 through June 13, 2013, CareCore developed and implemented the “PAD” program through which CareCore improperly approved over 200,000 prior authorization requests which CareCore initially determined could not be approved based on the information provided.  The states’ settlement in principle mirrors the federal settlement agreement regarding CareCore’s conduct that is the subject of the settlement. The federal settlement agreement was filed in federal court and contained CareCore’s admissions and acceptance of responsibility for conduct including: 
  • Starting in at least 2007 through June 13, 2013, CareCore developed the “PAD” program, and thereafter the “PAD” Program consisted of its Clinical Reviewers improperly approving certain prior authorization requests awaiting physician review on the Medical Queue without having obtained any new objective medical information about the requests, and without a Medical Director having independently reviewed the prior authorization requests. 
  • From 2007 through June 13, 2013, these “padded”requests were then transmitted to CareCore’s client insurers, including MCOs, as preauthorized requests.  
  • From 2007 through June 13, 2013, when CareCore approved these padded requests, CareCore made a representation that it had appropriately reviewed the requests when it knew it had not. Thus, those padded requests incorporated CareCore’s false representation that it had approved a case after completing the required review process.
The settlement in principle resolves claims that CareCore auto-approved the requests in an effort to keep up with the volume of preauthorization requests for diagnostic radiology services and to avoid a contractual monetary penalty per case for untimely reviews.  The settlement in principle also resolves claims that this practice caused false or fraudulent claims to be submitted to and reimbursed by the State’s Medicaid program, including through its contracted MCOs, for diagnostic procedures that were not properly authorized as medically reasonable or necessary in a manner consistent with the policies and procedures set forth by New York’s Medicaid program and its contracted MCOs, using federal and state funds provided through Medicaid Managed Care.  
The settlement in principle resolves allegations asserted in a qui tam action brought by a whistleblower in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. A multi-state team, which included New York’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit, participated in the investigation and conducted the settlement negotiations with CareCore on behalf of the states. The team also included representatives of the Florida, Georgia and Ohio Medicaid Fraud Control Units. The states coordinated their investigation in conjunction with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York. 

A.G. Schneiderman Announces $4.19 Million In Settlements With Six Companies That Illegally Purchased And Resold Hundreds Of Thousands Of Tickets To Concerts And Other NY Events

Five of the Companies Regularly Used Illegal Bots To Procure Tickets For Sale On The Secondary Market
One Broker Purchased 1,012 Tickets To A U2 Concert At Madison Square Garden In 1 Minute
  Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman today announced settlements with six ticket brokers that illegally purchased and resold hundreds of thousands of tickets in New York State since 2011, including on popular ticket resale platforms like StubHub and Vivid Seats. 
Five of the companies – Renaissance Ventures, LLC (d/b/a Prestige Entertainment) of Connecticut, Ebrani Corp (d/b/a Presidential Tickets) of New York, Concert Specials, Inc. of New York, Fanfetch Inc. of New York and BMC Capital Partners, Inc. of New York – violated New York’s ticket laws by using illegal software (known as ticket “bots”) to purchase large numbers of tickets on websites such as before the tickets could be obtained by consumers.  After obtaining the tickets illegally, resellers then resold them at a large profit to New York consumers, among others. Five of the companies – Prestige Entertainment, Presidential Tickets, Concert Specials, Fanfetch and JAL Enterprises, LLC (d/b/a Top Star Tickets) of Massachusetts – each illegally sold tickets to events in New York over the last several years without first obtaining the required license. 
The settlements require that the companies and their principals maintain proper ticket reseller licenses if they wish to resell tickets to New York events, abstain from using bots, and pay penalties for having operated illegally. The settlements require the six companies to pay a combined total of $4.19 million in disgorged profits and penalties to the State. 
The Attorney General also announced a settlement with a seventh company, Componica, LLC of Iowa, that developed software libraries used by ticket bots to try to get around tests that websites use to determine if a user is a human or a bot (often referred to as “CAPTCHA” tests).  Componica has agreed to not develop or use software to bypass security measures on ticketing websites.
“Unscrupulous ticket resellers who break the rules and take advantage of ordinary consumers are one of the major reasons why ticketing remains a rigged system,” said Attorney General Schneiderman. “We will continue to fight to make ticketing a more fair and transparent marketplace, so fans have the opportunity to enjoy their favorite shows and events. Anybody who breaks the law will pay a steep price.” 
Attorney General Schneiderman’s investigation found that Prestige Entertainment ran one of the largest ticket purchasing and reselling operations in the United States. Prestige Entertainment used at least two different bots and thousands of credit cards and Ticketmaster accounts to purchase tickets to New York shows. Prestige Entertainment also bought IP addresses from online IP proxy services to evade detection of its bots by retail ticket marketplaces such as  Prestige Entertainment used all of its illegal advantages to great effect, purchasing huge quantities of tickets to popular shows. For example, Prestige Entertainment purchased 1,012 tickets to a 2014 U2 Concert at Madison Square Garden in 1 minute.    
Prestige Entertainment paid $3,350,000, Concert Specials paid $480,000, Presidential Tickets paid $125,000, BMC Capital paid $95,000, Top Star Tickets paid $85,000, and Fanfetch paid $55,000.
Since releasing its report on the concert and sports ticket industry titled Obstructed View: What’s Blocking New Yorkers From Getting Tickets in January 2016, the Attorney General’s office has now announced settlements with 15 businesses involved in the illegal ticket trade, including resellers, facilitators, and software developers, for a total of $7.1 million. The office’s broader investigation into the secondary ticketing industry remains ongoing.
In 2016, New York enacted legislation called for by Attorney General Schneiderman that added criminal penalties for bot use to the existing civil penalties.  That law took effect in February 2017.  The settlements announced to date involved misconduct committed before the new law took effect.


Deputy Chief of Strategic Enforcement/Intergovernmental Relations Division and Chief of Child Abuse/Sex Crimes Bureau 

  Bronx District Attorney Darcel D. Clark today announced that Carmen J. Facciolo has joined the Office as Deputy Chief of Strategic Enforcement/Intergovernmental Relations Division, and Rachel Ferrari will be Chief of the Child Abuse/Sex Crimes Bureau. 

  District Attorney Clark said, “These new additions to our Office bring a scope of experience that will enhance our excellent staff and help us to give the people of the Bronx the criminal justice system they deserve, with intelligence-driven prosecutions, collaboration with our law enforcement partners and criminal justice stakeholders; and pursuing justice for the most vulnerable and traumatized victims.” 

  In his new position, Mr. Facciolo will collaborate with federal, state and local agencies on crime strategies and will develop partnerships with criminal justice advocates. 

  His most recent position was as a senior policy advisor with the U.S. Department of Justice, where he helped manage the DOJ’s efforts to support prosecutors, law enforcement and other criminal justice agencies. He directed DOJ’s Violence Reduction Network efforts in Compton, CA.

  Ms. Ferrari will head the Child Abuse/Sex Crimes Bureau, in the Special Victims Division, when she joins the Office later this month. 

  Her most recent position was Deputy Chief of the Manhattan District Attorney’s Child Abuse Unit, where she supervised and trained attorneys on child abuse cases, oversaw caseloads and investigations and advised on legal and ethical issues, among other duties.

  Ms. Ferrari served for 15 years in the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, prosecuting approximately 30 trials, including murder, rape and long term sexual abuse of children. In her 10 years in the Child Abuse Unit, she prosecuted felony cases of sexual and physical abuse of children and conducted long-term investigations of abuse at schools, institutional caretakers and religious organizations.


 Defendant Slashed CO at Rikers While Waiting to Be Sent to Prison for Over 25 Years

  Bronx District Attorney Darcel D. Clark today announced that Bahsid McLean has been indicted on Attempted Assault for stabbing a NYC Department of Correction officer at Rikers Island, where McLean was waiting to be sent to state prison for killing his mother and severing her head. 

  District Attorney Clark said, “This defendant continued his vicious ways behind bars, assaulting a Correction Officer. If he is convicted of this brutal crime, we will ask that he serve the maximum 15 years, to run consecutively to his 25 years-to-life sentence for murdering his mother.” 

   District Attorney Clark said McLean, 26, was arraigned yesterday before Bronx Supreme Court Justice William Mogulescu and is due back in court on July 10, 2017. McLean was indicted on Attempted Assault in the first degree and related charges. If convicted on the top charge, McLean could face up to 15 years in prison. He also has a pending assault case involving the slashing of an inmate at Rikers.

  According to the investigation, the incident occurred in the West Facility of Rikers Island on December 14, 2016, when McLean used a small weapon to stab Correction Officer Matthew Hines near the eye. Hines sustained a laceration near the eye, briefly lost consciousness and sustained other injuries in the ensuing assault, including a fractured nose. 

   At the time, McLean was being held at Rikers after being convicted on November 4, 2016, of fatally stabbing his mother, Tanya Bird, on February 25, 2013 and dissecting her body. McLean took “selfie” photos with the victim’s severed head. He was sentenced on that case on December 5, 2016, to 25 years to life in prison for the murder and one and one-third years for the dissection to run consecutively. 

An indictment is an accusatory instrument and not proof of a defendant’s guilt.

New Analysis Shows New York City’s Economy Continues to Produce

NYC’s economy grew at 2.3% in the first quarter of 2017, outpacing the national economy
Unemployment reached a record low, but nearly half of job growth came from low-wage industries
Comptroller’s Office Includes New Set of Leading Economic Indicators which indicate if the economy will grow over the next 6 to 12 months
  New York City’s economy continued to grow in the first three months of 2017 while unemployment reached a record low, according to a new Quarterly Economic Update released today by New York City Comptroller Scott M. Stringer. The new economic analysis showed the City’s economy expanded 2.3 percent in the first quarter of 2017 and highlighted strong job creation, which brought the City’s unemployment rate to 4.3 percent – a record low, and below the national rate of 4.7%.
While New York’s economy is robust, the report highlighted data that could indicate long-term challenges. Although unemployment fell to the lowest rate on record, concerns remain about the type of jobs created. Continuing a years-long trend, roughly 48 percent of the jobs added in the first quarter of 2017 were in low-wage industries, which pay an average of just $42,000 per year. In addition, venture capital investment in New York City fell almost 45 percent year-over-year, reaching just $1.5 billion – the fourth consecutive quarterly decline.
“After a few quarters of bumpy growth, our economy has gotten onto more solid footing. We’re growing jobs, but too many are in low-wage areas. The real estate market is heating up, but unevenly. And we’re seeing national trends pull venture capital investment in the City down.” New York City Comptroller Scott M. Stringer said. “With more and more uncertainty coming out of Washington every day, we need to prepare now, while our economy is strong, for whatever comes next.”
For the first time, the Comptroller’s report includes a new set of leading economic indicators for New York City, which tend to indicate where the economy will be in the next six months to a year. The indicators point to continued growth this year. Released every three months, the Comptroller’s Quarterly Economic Update tracks economic indicators for our City and reports on the health of New York City’s economy in the national context. The report includes data on economic growth, unemployment, average wages, business activity, and real estate indicators.
Findings include:
New York City’s economy grew at the beginning of 2017
  • The City’s economy grew 2.3 percent in the first quarter of 2017, up from 1.8 percent at the end of 2016.
  • The City’s economy outpaced the nation, clocking in expansion 1.5 percentage points higher than the national economy.
Unemployment drops, but low-wage jobs are on the rise 
  • In the first quarter, the City added 32,300 private sector jobs — the largest increase since the third quarter of 2014. 
  • This increase brought the City’s unemployment rate to 4.3 percent — the lowest on record — and 0.4 percent below the nation’s unemployment rate. 
  • Most of these new jobs, however, were low-wage industries, which have average salaries of just $42,000. Low-wage industries accounted for 47.8 percent of job creation, followed by medium-wage (35.7 percent) and high-wage (16.5 percent). This continues a years-long trend of dominant low-wage job creation. 
  • In addition, the City’s employment-to-population ratio rose to a record-high of 57.7 percent, up from 56.4 percent in the last quarter of 2016
Wages jumped, while income from other sources fell 
  • Personal income taxes withheld from paychecks, which are used as a proxy for wages, grew 7.2 percent year-over-year to about $2.7 billion.
  • Average hourly earnings, another proxy for personal income, increased by 3.4 percent year-over-year to $35.05 in the first quarter of 2017.
  • In contrast, estimated tax payments — which reflect trends in non-wage income, including interest, rental income, and capital gains — fell 18.9 percent year-over-year to just $656 million.
Venture capital investment continued to drop 
  • Venture capital investment in the New York Metro Area dropped 44.9 percent in the first quarter of 2017 to just $1.5 billion. This represents the fourth consecutive quarter of falling venture capital investment in New York.
  • In addition, the New York Metro Area fell to fourth place in overall venture capital investment, being surpassed by the New England region.
  • The number of venture capital deals in New York fell to 154 from 178 a year ago, and the New York Metro Area’s share of venture capital investment fell from 17.2 percent to 10.7 percent year-over-year. 
New York’s housing market showed mixed signs 
  • New commercial leasing activity in Manhattan exceeded 7.6 million square feet, 16 percent higher than the first quarter of 2016.
  • Despite this increase, Manhattan’s overall office vacancy increased to 9.4 percent.
  • Residential real estate in Manhattan improved, with average sales prices, average price per square foot, and the number of sales increasing compared to the first quarter of 2016. The listing inventory, however, increased 6.6 percent and the absorption rate grew to 6.1 months.
  • Housing market conditions tightened in Brooklyn and Queens. Both boroughs saw prices increase, sales expand, and inventories drop.
Leading economic indicators point to growth
  • Business conditions in the New York City Metro Area improved between the end of 2016 and the beginning of 2017.
  • The ISM six-month outlook rose to 71 percent in the first quarter of 2017, the highest level of optimism since mid-2015.
  • Initial unemployment claims in New York City fell for the tenth consecutive quarter, decreasing 3.5 percent year-over-year.
  • Total building permits in New York City almost tripled year-over-year, signaling a demand in construction and an increase in construction jobs. This increase coincided with the agreement on a program to replace the expired 421-a tax abatement.

Bronx Chamber of Commerce - Prestigious Bronx Business And Leadership Opportunity

Prestigious Bronx Business
And Leadership Opportunity
For the first time, Members and Friends of the Bronx Chamber of Commerce have the opportunity and are requested to nominate successful professionals to serve on the Board of Directors of The Bronx Chamber of Commerce.

The members of the Board of Directors are prominently featured for special recognition in the Annual Bronx Business Directory & Resource Guide with their name, title, company, and photo. The members of the Board of Directors are also listed on the official stationery and website of the Bronx Chamber of Commerce.

The Board of Directors of the Bronx Chamber of Commerce is the policy making body of the Bronx Chamber of Commerce. The members of the Board of Directors are prominent individuals and professionals in the business community and highly recognized for their business acumen, integrity and ethics.

Following are specific duties and responsibilities of the members of the Board of Directors:

 I.    Serve as an Ambassador and promote membership to the Bronx Chamber of Commerce to business associates, colleagues, and vendors with the clear understanding that a strong and successful Bronx Chamber of Commerce directly benefits each individual member and the entire business community of The Bronx.
 II.    Attend at least 2 quarterly meetings of the Board of Directors which usually take place in conjunction with another event sponsored by the Bronx Chamber of Commerce such as a Heritage Luncheon, Business Expo or Annual Holiday Party.
 III.  Serve as an example to the membership by attending networking events, greet attendees and speak highly of the Bronx Chamber of Commerce.
 IV.  Serve on at least one or more committees of the Bronx Chamber of Commerce to interact with fellow members to share ideas, common interests and promote the Strategic Plan of the Bronx Chambers of Commerce.
 V.   Provide financial support to the Bronx Chamber of Commerce as a Corporate Sponsor or Small Business Sponsor and/or encourage other members to be a Corporate Sponsor or Small Business Sponsor.
To process your nominations, please forward name, contact information and biography up to 150 words for each nominee before June 1, 2017.  
Please forward your nominations to Nunzio Del Greco, President and CEO via email:
The Bronx Chamber of Commerce is one of the most influential, professional and successful organizations and voice for over 30,000 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.
I look forward to receiving your nominations!
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"