Saturday, September 23, 2017

Engel: Republicans Should Not Vote on Graham-Cassidy Without CBO Score

  Congressman Eliot L. Engel, a top member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, issued the following statement:

“Today, I signed a letter with 56 of my Democratic colleagues calling on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to wait for a complete analysis by the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) before holding votes on the GOP’s newly minted Trumpcare 3.0 bill, also known as Graham-Cassidy.

“This issue is simply too important to be dealt with in a haphazard, rushed manner. Our health care sector makes up one sixth of our economy, and tens of millions could lose their insurance if this bill becomes law. We need to know exactly how many people the Graham-Cassidy plan covers and what happens to their premiums. To proceed without that information would be the height of irresponsibility. 

“CBO score or no CBO score, there are some things we can be sure of: this new version of Trumpcare will decimate Medicaid, allow insurers to jack up premiums based on your health history, and strip consumers of vital protections that ensure you get value for your money.

This bill, like its predecessors, is a disaster and Senate Republicans should not be allowed to pass it without all of the gory details being made public.”  

Con Edison Never Ending High Pressure Gas Line Work

This could be almost any intersection in the Bronx, however it is the corner of Johnson Avenue and West 235th Street. The photo above is of a Con Edison outside contracted crew putting in new larger high pressure gas pipes. This intersection, and almost all of Johnson Avenue and surrounding streets to the Henry Hudson Parkway service road were dug up by a Con Edison contracted crew two years ago to put in new high pressure gas pipes, so why does this section of a three block radius in the heart of the business district have to be redone now? The only comments I got was 'Why are you taking our picture'? If you look close the worker in the hole appears to be scratching his head  trying to figure out what to do as the other worker stands nearby. The New York State Public Service Commission stated in a report that of the outside contractors Con Edison is using seventy-five percent have no experience in this type of work. That could be one of the reasons a lot of the work has to be redone by a second crew or Con Edison workers themselves. 

Just look at the condition of the street which was milled and repaved last year. The street foundation is cut like a cake, and will probably start to cave in from the heavy trucks that go over it in a few years like other streets have already done after being opened up for construction. By the way where is Councilman Cohen?

Watch Out For That Leaning Fence

  Things are getting pretty bad when your city council members and mayor are voting to allow for public urination, and setting up a committee to end the cabaret laws. Then there are the District Attorney's who want not to prosecute turnstyle jumpers. What is this city coming to? 

  After two construction workers dying on two different construction sites here is another careless example of what a developer on Johnson Avenue two houses away from Congressman Engel's office is doing.

Above - You can see the flimsy work done on this wood fence to hide what went on in tearing down the house that use to be on this property. There still remains a huge old tree on the property which must be taken down before any new construction can take place.
Below - From this angle you can see just how stable the last two panels of this fence is. with every gust the wall is in danger of falling down. 

  So where is the Councilman Cohen? Protesting a homeless shelter he says is going into Sams Carpet on Webster Avenue across from PS 20. While there is no construction going on at the carpet store, there is however at the empty former Feggs location at 3600 Jerome Avenue which Councilman Cohen suggested to Community Board 7 in August as an alternate site to the Webster Avenue site across from PS 20. What construction is going on at the former Feggs site you may ask, alterations for a homeless shelter according to the site supervisor.

Construction workers at the former Feggs site on Jerome Avenue doing alterations for a homeless shelter.

Friday, September 22, 2017

Florida Resident Sentenced To Prison For Preparing Fraudulent Tax Returns

Caused IRS Loss of More than $1.2 Million

   Joon H. Kim, the Acting United States for the Southern District of New York, and Stuart M. Goldberg, Acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General of the Justice Department’s Tax Division, announced that DAMYON SHULER was sentenced today in White Plains federal court to 18 months in prison for filing false tax returns.  SHULER pled guilty in April before U.S. District Court Judge Nelson S. Román, who also imposed today’s sentence.

According to documents filed with the court, from February 2010 through March 2011, SHULER, 47, of Orange City, Florida, approached relatives and others and told them that he could claim slave reparations on their behalf by filing tax returns with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), for which he charged a $4,000 to $5,000 fee.  SHULER then filed 30 returns with the IRS on behalf of other taxpayers, claiming bogus refunds of between $48,184 and $61,300 on each return. 
To generate the fraudulent refunds, SHULER reported fake capital gains income and taxes paid on that income in the exact same amount.  He also attached to each return a form falsely reporting that a Treasury Department office or program identified as “Overpayment of Black Invest Taxes” had paid the taxes to the IRS.  To conceal that he prepared these returns, SHULER did not list himself as the preparer.  SHULER also filed a fraudulent 2009 income tax return for himself claiming a refund of $46,685 based on the same scheme.  In total, SHULER’s fraudulent refund scheme led to losses of more than $1.2 million.   
In addition to the term of prison imposed, U.S. District Court Judge Nelson S. Román ordered SHULER to serve one year of supervised release and to pay restitution to the IRS in the amount of $1,180,150.
Mr. Kim thanked IRS Criminal Investigation for its work on the investigation.

Global Telecommunications Company And Its Subsidiary To Pay More Than $965 Million In Penalties In Massive Bribery Scheme Involving Uzbek Official

Third Largest-Ever Global FCPA Resolution

  Joon H. Kim, the Acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York (“SDNY”), Kenneth A. Blanco, the Acting Assistant Attorney General for the Criminal Division of the Department of Justice (“DOJ”), Don Fort, Chief of the Criminal Investigation Division, Internal Revenue Service (“IRS-CI”), and Patrick J. Lechleitner, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (“HSI”) Washington, D.C., Field Office, announced today the filing of criminal charges against Telia Company AB (“Telia”), a multinational telecommunications company headquartered in Sweden, whose securities traded publicly in New York from 2002 until 2007, and its Uzbek subsidiary, Coscom LLC  (“Coscom”), for conspiring to violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (“FCPA”) by paying more than $331 million in bribes to a government official in Uzbekistan. 

Mr. Kim also announced that in connection with the filed charges, Coscom pled guilty today before UnitedStates District Judge George B. Daniels, and SDNY and DOJ entered into a deferred prosecution agreement (“DPA”) with Telia.  Pursuant to the DPA, Telia admitted to participating in the charged conspiracy.  Telia will pay a total criminal penalty of $274,603,972 to the United States, which includes a $500,000 criminal fine and $40 million in criminal forfeiture that Telia agreed to pay on behalf of Coscom.  Telia also agreed to implement rigorous internal controls and cooperate fully with the Government’s ongoing investigation, including its investigation of individuals.

In related proceedings, Telia reached a settlement with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) and the Public Prosecution Service of the Netherlands (“PPS”).  Under the terms of its civil resolution with the SEC, Telia agreed to pay $457,169,977 in disgorgement of profits and prejudgment interest.  Finally, Telia agreed to pay the PPS a criminal penalty of $274 million, which, together with the criminal penalty paid to the United States, yieldstotal criminal penalties of $548,603,972.  Because the SEC agreed to credit the $40 million paid in criminal forfeiture against the civil settlement amount, the total criminal and regulatory penalties to be paid by Telia is $965,773,949.
Acting U.S. Attorney Joon H. Kim said:  “Today, we announce one of the largest criminal corporate bribery and corruption resolutions ever, with penalties totaling just under a billion dollars.  Swedish telecom company Telia and its Uzbek subsidiary Coscom have admitted to paying, over many years, more than $331 million in bribes to an Uzbek government official.  Telia, whose securities traded publicly in New York, corruptly built a lucrative telecommunications business in Uzbekistan, using bribe payments wired around the world through accounts here in New York City.  If your securities trade on our exchanges and you use our banks to move ill-gotten money, then you have to abide by our country’s laws.  Telia and Coscom refused to do so, and they have been held accountable in Manhattan federal court today.” 

Acting Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Blanco said:  “This resolution underscores the Department’s continued and unwavering commitment to robust FCPA and white-collar criminal enforcement.  It also demonstrates the Department’s cooperative posture with its foreign counterparts to stamp out international corruption and to reach fair, appropriate and coordinated resolutions.  Foreign and domestic companies that pay bribes put honest companies at a disadvantage and distort the free and fair market and the rule of law.  Today’s resolution reflects the significant efforts of law enforcement, the Criminal Division and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York to bring such companies to justice, and to maintain a competitive and level playing field for companies to do business, create jobs and thrive.”

IRS-CI Chief Don Fort said:  “Today marks the second resolution of proceedings against corporate entities who have engaged in a global bribery scheme of government officials.  It also further demonstrates the dedication we have to identifying illegal financial transactions being used for bribery in the international community.  It is important that the global economy remain on a fair playing field and IRS-CI will remain committed in our efforts to dismantle these kinds of corrupt financial schemes.”

HSI Special Agent in Charge Patrick J. Lechleitner said:  “Today’s resolution marks a win against a foreign corruption scheme where millions of dollars in bribery funds were paid to Uzbekistan officials and laundered through the U.S. financial system.  HSI, working hand in hand with our partners at IRS Criminal Investigation, leveled the playing field for publicly traded companies by exposing these corrupt practices and helped the U.S. government collect nearly $275 million in criminal penalties.”

According to the allegations contained in the criminal Informations, which was filed today in Manhattan federal court, the statement of facts set forth in the DPA, and other publicly available information:

Between approximately 2007 and 2012, Telia and Coscom, through various executives, employees, and affiliated entities, paid more than $331 million in bribes to illegally obtain telecommunications business in Uzbekistan.  The bribes were paid to an Uzbek government official who was a close relative of a high-ranking government official and who exercised influence over Uzbek telecommunications industry regulators.  Telia and Coscom structured and concealed the bribes through various payments to a shell company that certain Telia and Coscom management knew was beneficially owned by the foreign official.  The bribes were paid on multiple occasions over a period of approximately five years so that Telia could enter the Uzbek market and Coscom could gain valuable telecom assets and continue operating in Uzbekistan. 

Under the direction and control of the Uzbek government official, more than $331 million in bribery proceeds were laundered through accounts held in various countries around the world.  The illicit funds were transmitted through financial institutions in the Southern District of New York before they were deposited into accounts in those countries.

This resolution, reached in coordination with the SEC and authorities in the Netherlands, marks the second such resolution by a major international telecommunciations provider for bribery in Uzbekistan.  On February 18, 2016, Amsterdam-based VimpelCom Limited and its Uzbek subsidiary, Unitel LLC, also entered into resolutions with the United States and admitted to a conspiracy to make more than $114 million in bribery payments to the same Uzbek government official between 2006 and 2012.  The investigation has thus far yielded a combined total of more than $1.76 billion in global fines and disgorgement, including more than $500 million in criminal penalties to the United States.  In related actions, the United States has also filed civil complaints seeking the forfeiture of more than $850 million held in bank accounts in Switzerland, Belgium, Luxembourg, and Ireland, which constitute bribe payments made by VimpelCom, Telia, and a third telecommunications company to the Uzbek official, or funds involved in the laundering of those corrupt payments. 
Coscom was charged with, and pled guilty to, one count of conspiring to violate the anti-bribery provisions of the FCPA.  Telia was charged in a one-count Information with conspiracy to violate the anti-bribery provisions of the FCPA.

Mr. Kim thanked the Fraud Section of the DOJ’s Criminal Division for their collaboration, and praised the efforts of IRS-CI, the IRS Global Illicit Financial Team, and HSI in the investigation.  He also thanked the SEC’s Division of Enforcement for its significant assistance and cooperation in the investigation.  Mr. Kim also thanked law enforcement colleagues within the PPS, the Swedish Prosecution Authority, and the Office of the Attorney General in Switzerland, as well as law enforcement colleagues in Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, France, Ireland, the Isle of Man, Latvia, Luxembourg, Norway, Switzerland, the Isle of Man, and the United Kingdom.  Mr. Kim also thanked the Department of Justice’s Office of International Affairs for its significant assistance in this matter.  The SEC referred the matter to the DOJ and also provided extensive cooperation and assistance.

Following A.G. Schneiderman Investigation, Walgreens Restructures Rite Aid Acquisition To Address Competition Concerns

A.G. Schneiderman, Together With Federal Trade Commission, Demanded That Rite Aid Retain Additional New York Stores To Preserve Retail Pharmacy Chain Competition 
Walgreens Will Now Only Acquire 272 Stores In NY, Compared To Original 456 Stores
Schneiderman: New Yorkers Deserve The Lower Prices, Greater Choices, And Better Service That Result From Vigorous Competition
  Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman announced today that, following his office’s investigation into Walgreens’ proposed acquisition of thousands of Rite Aid stores in New York and across the country, Walgreens has restructured the acquisition to address concerns that it would limit retail competition in the New York area.  Walgreens and Rite Aid are the second- and third-largest retail pharmacy chains in the U.S, serving huge numbers of New York consumers, as well as businesses that purchase drug coverage for their employees. Walgreens initially proposed to acquire 2,186 stores from Rite Aid, including 456 Rite Aid stores in New York State. 
To resolve competitive concerns raised by Attorney General Schneiderman and the Federal Trade Commission, Walgreens agreed to acquire fewer stores in New York State and the New York City metropolitan region than it originally had planned. Walgreens will now acquire 272 stores in New York State, with Rite Aid retaining 327 stores across the state. Additionally, Walgreens will acquire 34 fewer stores in New Jersey and 13 fewer stores in Connecticut than initially proposed, allowing Rite Aid to maintain a significant footprint in the New York City metropolitan region, and preserving Rite Aid as a competitive force in the region. 
“Retail pharmacy chains fill the majority of prescriptions in many areas of New York State,” Attorney General Schneiderman said. “Vigorous competition between pharmacy chains keeps down the cost of filling a prescription, which benefits New York consumers and businesses by preserving choice and keeping costs low. We’ll continue to keep close tabs on consolidation in the retail pharmacy space to ensure New Yorkers get the lower prices, greater choices, and better service they deserve.”
Walgreens initially sought to acquire Rite Aid in its entirety in November 2015.  A 19-month review of that transaction by the Federal Trade Commission, Attorney General Schneiderman, and several other states identified significant competitive issues posed by the transaction, and Walgreens and Rite Aid abandoned the merger in June 2017.  Shortly thereafter, Walgreens announced that it intended to acquire 2,186 stores from Rite Aid, but, in response to the competitive concerns presented by Attorney General Schneiderman, the FTC, and other states, Walgreens will now acquire 254 fewer Rite Aid stores.
The June 2017 transaction proposed by Walgreens and Rite Aid also included an agreement granting Rite Aid the option to purchase generic drugs through an affiliate of Walgreens at a low cost for a ten-year period.  After discussion with federal and state antitrust regulators, that agreement was amended to allow Rite Aid greater latitude to pursue outside business relationships over the course of the agreement.    

Bronx Chamber of Commerce's Hispanic Heritage Luncheon honors Bronx Hispanic Leaders

Bronx Chamber of Commerce 2017 Bronx Biz & Information Expo | Thursday, October 5th, 11:00 am-5:00 pm, at The Mall at Bay Plaza


New York’s 529 College Savings Program Lowers Fees, Allows Higher Maximum Balance & Eliminates Minimum Contribution 

  Beginning in September, New York’s 529 College Savings Program will offer more investment options, lower costs, raise the maximum allowable balance and eliminate the $25 minimum contribution, State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli announced today. 

“Now’s the time to take advantage of the improvements we’re making to New York’s 529 College Savings Program,” DiNapoli said. “We’re making it easier for New Yorkers of all income levels to invest in their loved one’s future, as the cost of obtaining a college education continues to rise. NY’s 529 College Savings Program can help offset some of those costs.” 

Six new investment portfolios are being added to the Direct Plan's three age-based options. This will smooth the transition steps from more aggressive to more conservative investments as the beneficiary nears college age. More information can be found in the plan’s brochure here

In addition to the new investment options, DiNapoli said program fees will be reduced. The total asset-based fee for all Direct Plan portfolios will drop to 0.15 percent, meaning participants will pay $1.50 in program fees each year for every $1,000 invested in the plan. The maximum account balance will be increased from $375,000 to $520,000 for both the Direct and Advisor Plans to more accurately reflect rising college costs. 

Another significant enhancement is that the minimum contribution of $25 will be eliminated for Direct Plan participants so individuals of all incomes can open accounts and contribute as much as they can afford.  

New York’s 529 College Savings Program currently includes two separate 529 plans: the Direct Plan sold directly by the program and the Advisor Plan, sold exclusively through financial advisors. The Advisor Plan has different investment options and higher fees and expenses as well as financial advisor compensation.

The Comptroller of the State of New York and the New York State Higher Education Services Corp.are the Program Administrators and are responsible for implementing and administering New York’s 529 College Savings Program.

Read or download the Direct Plan disclosure booklet hereor go to:

Ascensus Broker Dealer Services Inc., serves as program manager and, in connection with its affiliates, provides recordkeeping and administrative support services and is responsible for day-to-day operations of the Direct Plan. The Vanguard Group Inc., serves as the investment manager. Vanguard Marketing, distributes and underwrites the Direct Plan.

For more information about New York’s 529 College Savings Program Direct Plan, obtain a Disclosure Booklet and Tuition Savings Agreementat nysaves.orgor by calling 877-NYSAVES (877-697-2837). This includes investment objectives, risks, charges, expenses and other information. 


New emergency notification app now available – giving New Yorkers access to real-time emergency updates on severe weather, public health hazards, transit disruptions, and more

  New York City’s official emergency communications program is making it easier than ever to be informed about emergencies. The New York City Emergency Management Department and the Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications today launched the Notify NYC app – the City’s first emergency notification mobile application. With the new Notify NYC app, New Yorkers can get information about emergency events and important City services, based on location. The new app is available for free download for Apple or Android devices, and offers real-time emergency updates on events from hurricanes and blizzards, to major traffic and mass transit disruptions, public health hazards, school closings, and unscheduled parking rule suspensions.

“It’s crucial that New Yorkers know what’s going on around the city, especially in an emergency,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “This new app will make it easier than ever to stay informed and get alerts about what’s happening – both nearby and citywide.”

“A key step to being prepared is staying informed,” said NYC Emergency Management Commissioner Joseph Esposito. “With the new app, Notify NYC offers New Yorkers more ways to receive information than ever before. Download the app to get free alerts about the emergencies and updates that matter most to you, and choose how you want to receive them.”

“In an emergency situation, we want New Yorkers to have the information they need in the palm of their hands.” That’s why Notify NYC app is a game-changer, providing real-time emergency notifications and crucial updates based on geolocation,” said Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications Commissioner Anne Roest. “We’re proud to have partnered with Emergency Management to build an app that will be such a valuable resource for so many.”

The Notify NYC app is the latest upgrade to the Notify NYC program – the City’s free, official source for information about emergency events and important City services. The new app has several key features:

·         Users can receive messages based on their current location, allowing alerts to follow New Yorkers as they travel throughout the five boroughs. New Yorkers can also include up to five addresses to receive alerts specific to where they and their families live, work, or go to school.
·         A new “receive all” mode allows users to access all emergency notifications, regardless of location or topic.
·         A new map feature provides detailed information about the locations of emergencies in relation to a user’s location. 

The Notify NYC mobile app is available for free download from iTunes or Google Play. Search for “Notify NYC.” Notify NYC website subscribers who do not download the new app will continue to receive their selected email notifications.


The new mobile app was developed by DoITT in partnership with NYCEM based on user experience with the Notify NYC website, which was first implemented by DoITT in 2007. Notify NYC mobile is the first “push” application developed by DoITT, and the first app developed by the agency’s specialized “Insource Team,” which works on detail to agencies to manage special technology projects. DoITT’s Notify NYC Insource Team first embedded at NYCEM  in 2016, and included a technical lead, a Java backend developer, Android and iOS developers, a UX/UI designer, a business analyst, and quality assurance analysts.

Notify NYC started as a pilot program in December of 2007 as a means to communicate localizedemergency information quickly to City residents. Since its inception, Notify NYC has sent out more than 9,400 notifications about local emergencies, and its subscribership has grown to more than half a million New Yorkers. To sign up for Notify NYC, New Yorkers can call 311,, or follow @NotifyNYC on Twitter. Subscribers can receive alerts in several ways: phone, email, SMS, fax, and Twitter. Non-English speaking subscribers have access to a link in which the same message is listed in 13 different languages, audio format, and American Sign Language (ASL). Notify NYC’s multilingual messages span a variety of emergency situations, including pre-scripted mass transit alerts, fire department activity, missing person(s) alerts, public health and safety notifications, utility alerts, weather alerts, drills and exercises, alternate side parking updates, downed trees notifications, and Combined Sewer Overflow advisories.

Notify NYC is just one way the City of New York seeks to communicate urgent information to City residents. In addition to sending e-mails, text messages, tweets, and phone calls, NYC Emergency Management has the ability to activate NYC’s Emergency Alert System (EAS), which sends information immediately via television and radio, and Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA), which send critical emergency updates to all equipped cell phones in NYC. To learn more about the Notify NYC program or to sign up, visit or call 311.

Below are examples of notifications released this week that will now be available via the app with the new mapping and geolocation features:

Coastal Flood Advisory: Notified 9/20/17 at 4:20 p.m.

The National Weather Service has extended the Coastal Flood Advisory for southern Queens until Thursday, 9/22 at 12:00 AM. The affected area includes the Atlantic Ocean beaches and along the South Shore Bays. Tidal departures of 1-2 feet above normal are expected.

During a Coastal Flood Advisory, minor flooding of the most vulnerable shore roads and/or properties is possible. Coastal residents should be alert for later statements and take action to protect property.

For more information, please visit

To view this message in American Sign Language (ASL), العربية, বাঙালি中文, Français, Kreyòl Ayisyen, Italiano, 한국어, Polski, Pусский, Español, اردو or ייִדיש :

Ferry Disruption: Notified 9/18/17 at 9:13 p.m.

Due to the United Nations General Assembly, NYC Ferry riders should expect service disruptions from Tuesday, 9/19 to Monday, 9/25. The US Coast Guard is enforcing a full closure of the East River on 9/19 from 9:15 AM to 8:00 PM near United Nations Headquarters, specifically betweenEast 35th Street and the Queensboro Street Bridge.

As a result of these restrictions, NYC Ferry riders should anticipate delays and temporary closures from at Pier 11/Wall Street & East 34th Street terminals. The Midtown Shuttle Bus will pick up riders on East 34th Street & 1st Avenue instead of the ferry terminal. All routes are subject to change with little or no notice as a result of heavy traffic conditions.

For more information and service updates, visit

Road Closure – Planned: Notified 9/17/17 at 3:33 p.m.

Due to the United Nations General Assembly, expect significant traffic delays throughout Manhattan from Monday (9/18) through Friday (9/22). Anticipate traffic disruptions, various street closures, and an increased presence of emergency personnel. Use of public transportation
is highly encouraged during this period.

Notify NYC is just one way the City of New York seeks to communicate urgent information to City residents. In addition to sending e-mails, text messages, tweets, and phone calls, NYC Emergency Management has the ability to activate NYC’s Emergency Alert System (EAS), which sends information immediately via television and radio, and Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA), which send critical emergency updates to all equipped cell phones in NYC. To learn more about the Notify NYC program or to sign up, visit or call 311.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Trinitarios Gang Member Sentenced To 30 Years In Prison For Murder Of 16-Year-Old Boy

  Joon H. Kim, the Acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that JUAN MARTINEZ, a/k/a “KJ,” was sentenced today by United States District Judge Paul A. Engelmayer to a term of 30 years in prison for his participation in a racketeering conspiracy and in the murder of 16-year-old Ka’Shawn Phillips on September 5, 2005.  MARTINEZ was a member of the Yonkers faction of the violent Trinitarios gang (the “Trinitarios Gang”).

Acting Manhattan U.S. Attorney Joon H. Kim said:  “On a Labor Day weekend 12 years ago, Juan Martinez recruited a hit squad of his fellow Trinitarios Gang members to murder 16-year-old Ka’Shawn Phillips, who had earlier been involved in a fistfight with Martinez.  The Trinitarios Gang members recruited by Martinez brutally shot, beat, and stabbed Phillips to death in the middle of the street.  While nothing can bring Phillips back, we hope his family finds a measure of solace in the justice achieved by today’s sentence.  Together with our law enforcement partners, we will continue to aggressively prosecute all those who engage in these senseless acts of violence in our communities.”

In imposing sentence, Judge Engelmayer noted the “savagery of the attack,” and observed that Martinez was “personally responsible for the slaughter” of Phillips and that Martinez’s crime was “as wrongful and evil as a crime can be.”

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

The Trinitarios Gang was a violent gang that was formed in the New York state prison system in the early 1990s and subsequently spread to the streets.  JUAN MARTINEZ, a/k/a “KJ,” was a member of the Yonkers faction of the Trinitarios Gang.  On September 5, 2005, MARTINEZ – who was 30 years old at the time – was involved in a fistfight with Ka’Shawn Phillips at a pickup basketball game in Yonkers.  MARTINEZ retaliated first by attacking Phillips with a machete, and then by enlisting members of the Bronx faction of the Trinitarios Gang to attack Phillips.  Armed with guns, knives, and swords, a mob of Trinitarios Gang members shot, beat, and stabbed Phillips to death.  He was 16 years old.

In addition to the prison term, MARTINEZ, 42, of Yonkers, New York, was sentenced to five years of supervised release. 
Since 2009, as part of “Operation Patria” and “Operation Green Haze,” this Office has charged at least a combined 149 members and associates of the Trinitarios Gang.
Mr. Kim praised the work of the New York City Police Department’s Bronx Gang Squad, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives’ Joint Firearms Task Force, the Drug Enforcement Administration, and Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations.

Former Attorney Sentenced To More Than 3 Years In Prison For Defrauding Investors Of More Than $1 Million

   Joon H. Kim, the Acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, and William F. Sweeney Jr., Assistant Director-in-Charge of the New York Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”), announced that BRANDON LISI was sentenced today to 38 months in prison for his role in a scheme to defraud at least four individual investors in real estate transactions of more than $1 million.  LISI pled guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud on April 3, 2017, for his role in the fraud.  LISI entered the guilty plea before U.S. District Judge Katherine Polk Failla, who imposed today’s sentence.

Acting U.S. Attorney Joon H. Kim said:  “As he previously admitted, Brandon Lisi, a former attorney, misled clients into investing over $1 million in real estate properties.  These investments yielded no profit for investors, because Lisi and his co-defendant simply pocketed the funds.  Now Brandon Lisi faces time in federal prison for his fraud.”  
FBI Assistant Director William F. Sweeney Jr. said:  “Financial crimes have the potential to turn lives upside down and inside out.  The victims in this case deserve to see justice served. As evidenced by today’s sentence, they will.  May this be a reminder to others that this type of behavior won’t go unpunished.”
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in related court proceedings:
LISI, a former attorney, and his co-conspirator, a practicing attorney, built relationships of trust with victim investors and then induced those investors to put money into fraudulent business deals.  Through the course of the scheme, LISI and his co-conspirator made false representations and failed to disclose material information to investors, all in an effort to induce them to hand their money over to invest in these purported deals.  LISI further caused another individual, acting at his direction, to make false statements in bankruptcy court in an effort to forestall foreclosure on one of the properties LISI had obtained.   Although LISI promised his victims large returns on their investments, he and his co‑conspirator used the invested funds for personal use, through substantial cash withdrawals, payments to relatives, and transfers to pay off personal debts.
Ultimately, the victims of this scheme lost nearly all of the money they had invested, which was more than $1 million in total. 
In addition to the prison term, LISI, 43, of Melville, New York, was sentenced to three years of supervised release, and ordered to forfeit $1,438,358 and to pay $1,438,358 in restitution.
Mr. Kim praised and thanked the Federal Bureau of Investigation for their outstanding investigative work. 
If you believe you were a victim of this crime, including a victim entitled to restitution, and you wish to provide information to law enforcement and/or receive notice of future developments in the case or additional information, please contact the Victim/Witness Unit at the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, at (866) 874-8900.  For additional information, go to


Defendant Allegedly “Raped” Two Women Could Face 50 Years In Prison If Convicted Of Top Counts 

  Bronx District Attorney Darcel D. Clark today announced that a female inmate on Rikers Island has been indicted for first-degree Aggravated Sexual Abuse and a host of other charges for attacks on three fellow inmates. Many of the sexual abuse incidents were captured on video. 

   District Attorney Clark said, “This case is horrific for many reasons: the defendant allegedly sexually brutalized an inmate in view of a surveillance camera, she was able to enter a locked area to savagely beat another inmate, and the defendant allegedly caused an inmate to break a wrist to stop her from reporting the abuse. Fortunately, the witness was not intimidated and informed my office. 

  “No matter why these women are in jail, they cannot and must not be treated as less than human.” 

  District Attorney Clark said the defendant, Alexandria James, 23, was arraigned today before Bronx Supreme Court Justice George Villegas and bail was set at $50,000. She is due back in court on January 10, 2017. She was indicted on two counts of first-degree Aggravated Sexual Abuse, three counts of third-degree Aggravated Sexual Abuse, 20 counts of first degree Sexual Abuse,28 counts of Forcible Touching, 28 counts of third-degree Sexual Abuse, three counts of Attempted Assault second-degree, two counts of second-degree Assault, two counts of third-degree Assault; two counts of third-degree Intimidating a Victim or Witness, three counts of first-degree Stalking, two counts of third-degree Stalking, second-degree Menacing, 14 counts of third-degree Menacing, three counts of first-degree Harassment and 23 counts of second-degree Harassment. If convicted of the top counts, she could face 50 years in prison.

  According to the investigation, between October 10, 2016 and April 16, 2017, the defendant, while housed in the Rose M. Singer Center, sexually abused two women on numerous occasions. On April 15th and 16th, 2017, while the defendant was housed in a segregated cell with another inmate, the defendant allegedly subjected the inmate to two days of assaults, culminating in penetrating her while wearing a makeshift phallic device. The cell was under video observation and all the incidents were recorded.

  According to the investigation, the defendant attacked another inmate on several occasions in October and November, 2016 including one in which she beat the inmate and tore hair out of her head after gaining access to a locked area where the inmate was working, and another in a shower area where she penetrated the inmate while wearing the phallic device.

  The defendant is also charged with assaulting an inmate whom the defendant believed had told jail officials about the sexual abuse. On November 25, 2016, the defendant pushed the inmate and she fell and broke her wrist. That inmate sent a letter to the Bronx District Attorney’s Office in February, 2017, and the Rikers Island Prosecution Bureau began an investigation in April, 2017.

  District Attorney Clark thanked Department of Correction Investigation Division Investigator Ingris Martinez, Investigators Scott Frank and Daniel Monaco of the DOC Correction Intelligence Bureau, and Bronx DA Detective Investigators Timothy Gernon and Monisara Brahm for their assistance in this case.

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


Defendants Allegedly Assaulted Rival Gangs And Innocent Victims; Murdered Teen Over Two Dollars In 2016 Robbery; Robbed Family Out Shopping On Christmas Eve 2014, Stabbed Son 

  Bronx District Attorney Darcel D. Clark today announced that 20 members of the Slattery Avenue Boys gang have been indicted in a Conspiracy that caused a wave of bloodshed in the Fordham/Mount Hope neighborhoods over four years that included two murders, assaults on rival gangs and brutal crimes against innocent victims.  

  District Attorney Clark said, “The violence allegedly wrought by these defendants was fierce and prolific, and left surviving victims irreparably damaged. These young defendants chose the gang life and this case shows how it will lead to either death or prison.” 

  District Attorney Clark said the defendants are variously charged in a 41-count indictment including Conspiracy, Reckless Endangerment, Criminal Possession of a Weapon, Attempted Murder, Gang Assault, Assault and Robbery. If convicted of the top charge of first-degree Conspiracy, they face a minimum of 15 to 25 years and a maximum of life in prison. 

  Ten of the defendants were already incarcerated and seven were arrested and arraigned on Sept. 12, 2017 before Bronx Supreme Court Justice Robert Neary. Three are still being sought.

  According to the investigation, members of the gang, which began as a dance/rap crew in Slattery Playground on East 183rd Street between Valentine and Ryer Avenues, stepped up their battles with rivals in 2013. On August 2, 2013, Juan Calderon, Jahkim Wright and Abraham Moore allegedly shot and killed Khaleed Adams in retaliation for a shooting that left Calderon’s brother paralyzed. On December 28, 2015, in Jimmy Jazz Clothing Store on East Fordham Road, Wright and Moore allegedly stabbed an opposing gang member in the torso, eviscerating part of his bowel.

  According to the investigation, on June 17, 2016, Tristan Ortiz allegedly acted in concert with another to stab random victim Carl Ducasse, 17, to death when he refused to give them two dollars

  On Christmas Eve 2014, a man and his 19-year-old daughter, 16-year-old son and his three young children were out Christmas shopping when Tyquan McNeil, Joshua Castro and another individual allegedly demanded the family’s property. During the course of the robbery, the teen son was stabbed twice in the back.

  According to the investigation, on February 3, 2015 Wright, Tyrell Griffin, Will Jetter and Laron Hudson and others had gathered for a wake following the death of a fellow Slattery Boys member. During the wake they went to a nearby bodega where they allegedly stabbed an innocent bystander—puncturing his lung--whom they believed to be a rival gang member.

  On March 16, 2017, inside a Rikers Island jail, Nasir Cooper allegedly slashed a fellow inmate multiple times in the head, face and body.

  District Attorney Clark thanked Detectives Michael Delgardo and Patrick Nichols of the NYPD Gun Violence Suppression Unit for their work in the case. 

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

DEFENDANTS Juan Calderon, 24 Jahkim Wright a/k/a “Jah”, 23 Abraham Moore a/k/a "Abe", 23 Tyrell Griffin a/k/a "Tye", 23 Will Jetter, 21 Laron Hudson a/k/a "Yungie", 25 Tristan Ortiz a/k/a "Wizzy", 20 Joshua Castro, 19 Nasir Cooper a/k/a "Nas", 20 Jon Arce a/k/a "Jon Jon", 19 Tyquan McNeil a/k/a "Ty Gz",20 Christian Salcedo a/k/a "Sandy", 18 John Doe, 16 John Doe, 15 Joseph Valdez, 18 Jeffrey Valdez a/k/a "Charlie Balla", 19 Shameek Mitchell a/k/a "Sha", 24 Joel DeJesus a/k/a "Ha", 22 Daniel Vega a/k/a "Doofy", 23 Curtis Wilson a/k/a "Gilly", 20

The indictment variously charges the defendants with the following: 
 One of count first-degree Conspiracy, one count of second-degree Conspiracy, two counts of third-degree Conspiracy and one count of fourth-degree Conspiracy.
 One count of first-degree Reckless Endangerment 
 Six counts of second-degree Criminal Possession of a Weapon and four counts of fourthdegree Criminal Possession of a Weapon 
 Six counts of Attempted Murder second-degree 
 One count of first-degree Gang Assault and one count of second-degree Gang Assault 
 Two counts of first-degree Assault and four counts of second-degree Assault
 One count of first-degree Robbery, two counts of second-degree Robbery and one count of third-degree Robbery
 One count of Attempted Robbery in the Second-Degree 
 One count of fifth-degree Criminal Possession of Stolen Property 
 Four counts of Attempted Assault in the First-Degree 
 One count of fourth-degree Criminal Mischief