Saturday, January 13, 2018

Acting Boss Of Bonanno Organized Crime Family And 9 Other Members Of La Cosa Nostra Charged In Manhattan Federal Court With Racketeering And Related Offenses


   Geoffrey S. Berman, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Angel M. Melendez, Special Agent-in-Charge of the New York Field Office of the Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Investigations (“HSI”), Michael C. Mikulka, the Special Agent-in-Charge of the New York Regional Office of the United States Department of Labor, Office of Inspector General, (“DOL-OIG”),Charles Brandeis, Special Agent-in-Charge of the U.S. Department of State’s Diplomatic Security Service, New York Field Office (“DSS”), and James P. O’Neill, the Commissioner of the New York City Police Department (“NYPD”), announced the unsealing of an Indictment charging 10 individuals with racketeering and other offenses in connection with the activities of the organized crime families of La Cosa Nostra.  The Indictment charges eight members of the Bonanno Family – Acting Boss JOSEPH CAMMARANO, JR., Consigliere JOHN ZANCOCCHIO, JOSEPH SABELLA, GEORGE TROPIANO, ALBERT ARMETTA, DOMENICK MINIERO, JOSEPH SANTAPAOLO, and SIMONE ESPOSITO – with racketeering conspiracy involving a wide range of crimes, including extortion, loansharking, wire and mail fraud, narcotics distribution, and conspiracy to commit murder.  Genovese Family member ERNEST MONTEVECCHI is charged with participating in that conspiracy as well.  Several of the defendants and Luchese Family member EUGENE CASTELLE are charged with conspiracy to commit extortion.  ARMETTA is additionally charged with assault resulting in serious bodily injury in aid of racketeering, and aiding and abetting the same.

Of the 10 defendants charged in the Indictment, nine were taken into federal custody this morning.  SANTAPAOLO was presented this morning before a United States Magistrate Judge in the Middle District of Pennsylvania.  The rest of the defendants will be presented before United States Magistrate Judge Barbara Moses later today.  The case has been assigned to United States District Judge Alvin K. Hellerstein. 
As alleged in the Indictment unsealed today in Manhattan federal court[1]:

La Cosa Nostra (“LCN”), also known as the “Mob” or the “Mafia,” operates through entities known as “Families.”  In the New York City area, there are five LCN Families, namely, the Bonanno Family, the Genovese Family, the Luchese Family, the Colombo Family, and the Gambino Family.  Members and associates of one La Cosa Nostra family at times work together with other La Cosa Nostra families in jointly undertaken criminal ventures.

The Bonanno Family, like other LCN Families, operates through a group of individuals known as “crews,” each of which are led by a “capo” or “captain.”  The crews are composed of “made” members, called “soldiers,” and trusted non-members called “associates.”  Above the Capos are the highest-ranking members – the Boss or Acting Boss, the Underboss, and the Consigliere, or counselor – who oversee the Family.

At times relevant to the Indictment, the defendants held the following positions with their respective LCN Families:  CAMMARANO was a captain and the Acting Boss of the Bonanno Family; ZANCOCCHIO was a captain and the Consigliere of the Bonanno Family; SABELLA was a captain of the Bonanno Family; TROPIANO was a soldier and an acting captain of the Bonanno Family; ESPOSITO was the Consigliere of the Bonanno Family; MINIERO, SANTAPAOLO, and ARMETTA were soldiers in the Bonanno Family; MONTEVECCHI was a soldier in the Genovese Family; and CASTELLE was a soldier in the Luchese Family.

Count One of the Indictment charges CAMMARANO, ZANCOCCHIO, SABELLA, TROPIANO, ARMETTA, MINIERO, SANTAPAOLO, ESPOSITO, and MONTEVECCHI with participating in a racketeering conspiracy.  Count Two charges ARMETTA with assault resulting in serious bodily injury in aid of racketeering, and aiding and abetting the same.  Count Three charges CAMMARANO, ZANCOCCHIO, SABELLA, TROPIANO, MINIERO, and CASTELLE with extortion conspiracy.


Set forth below is a chart containing the names, ages, residences, charges, and maximum penalties for the defendants.  The maximum potential sentences are prescribed by Congress and are provided here for informational purposes only, as any sentencing of the defendants will be determined by the judge.

Mr. Berman praised the outstanding investigative work of HSI, DOL-OIG, DSS, NYPD, and the Special Agents of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York.  Mr. Berman also thanked the New York City Business Integrity Commission and the Nassau County District Attorney’s Office for their assistance in the investigation.

The case is being prosecuted by the Office’s Violent and Organized Crime Unit.  Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jason M. Swergold and Jessica Greenwood are in charge of the prosecution. 

The charges contained in the Indictment are merely accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

United States v. Joseph Cammarano, Jr., et al., 18 Cr. 15 (AKH)
DEFENDANT
AGE
CHARGES
MAXIMUM PENALTY
JOSEPH CAMMARANO, JR., a/k/a “Joe C”
58

RICO Conspiracy; Extortion Conspiracy


20 years in prison for each count
JOHN ZANCOCCHIO, a/k/a “Porky”
60

RICO Conspiracy; Extortion Conspiracy


20 years in prison for each count
JOSEPH SABELLA, a/k/a “Joe Valet”
52

RICO Conspiracy;
Extortion Conspiracy

20 years in prison for each count
GEORGE TROPIANO, a/k/a “Grumpy”
68

RICO Conspiracy;
Extortion Conspiracy

20 years in prison for each count
ALBERT ARMETTA, a/k/a “Al Muscles”
48

RICO Conspiracy;
Assault in Aid of Racketeering

20 years in prison for each count
DOMINECK MINIERO
85

RICO Conspiracy;
Extortion Conspiracy

20 years in prison for each count
JOSEPH SANTAPAOLO, a/k/a “Joey Blue Eyes”
66


RICO Conspiracy


20 years in prison
SIMONE ESPOSITO
47

RICO Conspiracy

20 years in prison
ERNEST MONTEVECCHI, a/k/a “Butch”
72


RICO Conspiracy


20 years in prison
EUGENE CASTELLE, a/k/a “Boobsie”
57


Extortion Conspiracy


20 years in prison
 [1] As the introductory phase signifies, the entirety of the text of the Indictment, and the description of the Indictment set forth herein, constitute only allegations, and every fact described should be treated as an allegation.



Mobile Phone Industry Executive Sentenced In Manhattan Federal Court To 5 Years In Prison For Role In Multimillion-Dollar Consumer Fraud Scheme


  Geoffrey S. Berman, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that FRASER THOMPSON was sentenced today to five years in prison for his participation in a fraudulent scheme to charge mobile phone customers millions of dollars in monthly fees for unsolicited, recurring text messages without the customers’ knowledge or consent – a practice known as “auto-subscribing.”  The fraud committed by THOMPSON and his co-conspirators resulted in the theft of over $100 million from consumers throughout the United States.  THOMPSON was convicted by a jury on September 5, 2017, following a three-week trial, and was sentenced today in Manhattan federal court by the Honorable Katherine B. Forrest. 

Manhattan U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman said:  “This was a gross ‘main street’ fraud.  Fraser Thompson and his co-defendants engaged in ‘auto-subscribing,’ forcing mobile phone users to pay for unsolicited and unwanted text messaging services.  They ripped off everyday cellphone users, $10 a month, netting over $100 million in illegal profits, of which Thompson personally received over $1.5 million.  Thanks to the diligence of the IRS and FBI, consumers are being safeguarded and perpetrators of large-scale criminal frauds are being arrested, prosecuted, and convicted.”
According to the Superseding Indictment filed in Manhattan federal court, the evidence presented at trial, and statements made in connection with THOMPSON’s sentencing:

THOMPSON was the Senior Vice President of Strategic Operations at Mobile Messenger, a mobile aggregation company.  In the relevant time period, mobile aggregators like Mobile Messenger compiled, or “aggregated,” charges for premium text messaging services – such as monthly horoscopes, celebrity gossip, and trivia facts – on consumers’ mobile phone bills.  Between 2011 and 2013, THOMPSON and others engaged in a massive scheme to defraud ordinary consumers by placing unauthorized charges for premium text messaging services on their cell phone bills, through a practice known as auto-subscribing.
The auto-subscribing scheme essentially involved two main players in the cell phone industry: mobile aggregators, such as Mobile Messenger, and content providers, which sent consumers the unwanted text messages that ultimately resulted in them being billed for services they had not authorized.  Mobile Messenger worked with four different content providers in the scheme, each of which were essential to the scheme’s success.  THOMPSON participated in auto-subscribing through two of those content providers, CF Enterprises and DigiMobi, which were operated by one of THOMPSON’s co-conspirators, Eugeni Tsvetnenko, a/k/a “Zhenya.” 
The plan to auto-subscribe with Tsvetnenko came about in early 2012, in connection with discussions between THOMPSON and three other Mobile Messenger executives, co-conspirators Darcy Wedd, Erdolo Eromo, and Michael Pajaczkowki, a/k/a “Paj,” about how to increase revenue at Mobile Messenger in the wake of the decreasing profitability of premium text messaging services.  Tsvetnenko had been kicked off Mobile Messenger’s aggregation platform in the past due to suspicious subscribing practices, including past incidents of auto-subscribing.  Nevertheless, in early 2012, THOMPSON, Wedd, Eromo, and Pajaczkowski agreed to allow Tsvetnenko to establish two new content providers, CF Enterprises and DigiMobi, to conduct a scheme to auto-subscribe on Mobile Messenger’s aggregation platform. 
THOMPSON, Wedd, Eromo, and Pajaczkowski agreed to a revenue split with Tsvetnenko, pursuant to which Tsvetnenko would keep approximately 70% of the auto-subscribing proceeds generated by CF Enterprises and DigiMobi, and the remaining 30% of the auto-subscribing proceeds would be divided evenly among THOMPSON, Wedd, Eromo, and Pajaczkowski.  THOMPSON, Wedd, Eromo, and Pajaczkowski also devised a method of receiving and distributing the auto-subscribing money through multiple layers of shell companies, in an effort to conceal the nature and purpose of the money.  These auto-subscribing activities with Tsvetnenko, which began in approximately April of 2012, and continued into 2013, resulted in hundreds of thousands of mobile phone users being auto-subscribed through Mobile Messenger.  THOMPSON, moreover, personally received over $1.5 million in fraud proceeds as a result of his participation in the illegal scheme.
The auto-subscription scheme, through all of the content providers that it involved, affected millions of consumers and generated over $100 million in criminal proceeds. 
To date, seven defendants, Andrew Bachman, Lin Miao, Pajackowski, Eromo, Jonathan Murad, Francis Assifuah, and Jason Lee have pled guilty in connection with their participation in the fraud.  One additional defendant, Wedd, was convicted by a jury on December 15, 2017, following a two-week trial. 
In addition to the prison term, THOMPSON was sentenced to three years of supervised release, and ordered to forfeit $1,552,114.56.
Mr. Berman praised the investigative work of the Internal Revenue Service - Criminal Investigations and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and expressed his sincere gratitude to the Federal Trade Commission for their support and assistance with the investigation. 

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:

Two Men Charged With Fraud In Connection With Hurricane Sandy Cleanup


  Geoffrey S. Berman, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Angel M. Melendez, Special Agent-in-Charge of the New York Field Office of the Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Investigations (“HSI”), Michael C. Mikulka, Special Agent-in-Charge of the New York Regional Office of the United States Department of Labor, Office of Inspector General (“DOL-OIG”), Charles Brandeis, Special Agent-in-Charge of the U.S. Department of State’s Diplomatic Security Service, New York Field Office (“DSS”), and James P. O’Neill, the Commissioner of the New York City Police Department (“NYPD”), announced the unsealing of an Indictment charging RICHARD GRIFFIN and FRANK GILLETTE with mail fraud and conspiracy to commit mail fraud in connection with New York City’s Hurricane Sandy cleanup efforts.

The defendants were taken into federal custody this morning and will be presented before United States Magistrate Judge Barbara Moses later today.  The case has been assigned to United States District Judge Lorna G. Schofield. 

As alleged in the Indictment unsealed today in Manhattan federal court[1]:

Hurricane Sandy

From in or about October 2012 through in or about November 2012, the East Coast of the United States was hit by Hurricane Sandy, the second-largest Atlantic storm in recorded history at that time.  The effects of Hurricane Sandy were felt in approximately 24 states, displacing tens of thousands of people from their homes, leaving more than eight million people without power, causing tens of billions of dollars in damage, and killing at least 160 people. 

The Tri-State area of New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut was hit particularly hard, with record storm surges that devastated the coastal areas of the region and left lower Manhattan underwater and without power.

Cleanup Efforts

On or about October 30, 2012, President Obama declared Hurricane Sandy a major disaster in New York, which made federal funding available to New York State and local governments for, among other things, debris removal and cleanup. 

In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, the New York City Department of Sanitation (“DSNY”) contracted with private vendors (the “Vendors”) to remove over 280,000 cubic yards of debris left on the roadways and rights-of-way throughout the five boroughs of New York City.  The Federal Emergency Management Agency reimbursed DSNY for 90% of the cost of the debris removal performed in the wake of Hurricane Sandy.

In order to monitor the work performed during the cleanup effort, DSNY required the Vendors to submit certain paperwork (“Time Certificates”) that tracked the particular machines used and the date and time of usage.  At the end of the project, DSNY paid the Vendors based on the information contained in the Time Certificates.

The Scheme

At all times relevant to the Indictment, RICHARD GRIFFIN and FRANK GILLETTE, the defendants, owned and operated subcontractors that were hired to assist a Vendor in Hurricane Sandy debris removal efforts (“Subcontractor-1” and “Subcontractor-2,” respectively). GRIFFIN and GILLETTE submitted and caused to be submitted fraudulent Time Certificates (“Fraudulent Time Certificates”) to DSNY, which purported to show debris removal that Subcontractor-1 and Subcontractor-2 performed during the Hurricane Sandy cleanup effort, but which in fact was not performed.  As a result of submitting Fraudulent Time Certificates, GRIFFIN and GILLETTE obtained over $80,000 in fraudulent payments from DSNY through one of the Vendors.


Set forth below is a chart containing the names, ages, residences, charges, and maximum penalties for the defendants.  The maximum potential sentence is prescribed by Congress and is provided here for informational purposes only, as any sentencing of the defendants will be determined by the judge.

Mr. Berman praised the outstanding investigative work of HSI, DOL-OIG, DSS, NYPD, and the Special Agents of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York.

The case is being prosecuted by the Office’s Violent and Organized Crime Unit.  Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jason M. Swergold and Jessica Greenwood are in charge of the prosecution. 

The charges contained in the Indictment are merely accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

DEFENDANT
AGE
CHARGES
MAXIMUM PENALTY
RICHARD GRIFFIN
48

Mail Fraud Conspiracy;
Mail Fraud In Connection with a Presidentially Declared Major Disaster


 30 years in prison  for each count
FRANK GILLETTE
45

Mail Fraud Conspiracy;
Mail Fraud In Connection with a Presidentially Declared Major Disaster


 30 years in prison  for each count


[1] As the introductory phase signifies, the entirety of the text of the Indictment, and the description of the Indictment set forth herein, constitute only allegations, and every fact described should be treated as an allegation.

TWO BRONX DAYCARE WORKERS INDICTED FOR STEALING NEARLY $130,000 FROM NON-PROFIT ORGANIZATION


One Defendant Allegedly Used Funds for Clothes, and A Funeral
  Bronx District Attorney Darcel D. Clark and Department of Investigation Commissioner Mark G. Peters today announced that two Bronx women who held board member positions at now-shuttered East Tremont Head Start Alumni Day Care Center have been charged with Grand Larceny and related crimes for stealing tens of thousands of dollars from the non-profit for their personal use. 

 District Attorney Clark said, “The defendants betrayed the trust of the organization they had long been board members of, together allegedly stealing nearly $130,000. Their reckless actions contributed to the closing of this daycare, resulting in children and workers who had to be placed in other facilities. We will not tolerate rip-offs of government funds.” 

 Department of Investigation Commissioner Peters said, “These defendants used this Cityfunded nonprofit like their personal ATM, pocketing tens of thousands of dollars, in some cases, to pay for shopping at Macy’s and QVC, rent, and even a funeral. As the board chair and treasurer of this nonprofit, these defendants exploited their insider access and disregarded their duty to help the low-income children that East Tremont Head Start was supposed to serve. DOI was pleased to partner with the Bronx District Attorney’s Office to stop the criminal conduct uncovered in this investigation.” 

 District Attorney Clark said defendants, Paulette New, 63, of Southern Blvd., and Angela Grindley, 56, of Morgan Ave., were indicted on third-degree Grand Larceny and third degree Criminal Possession of Stolen Property. New was additionally indicted on second degree Grand Larceny and second-degree Criminal Possession of Stolen Property. Both defendants were arraigned today before Bronx Supreme Court Justice Steven Barrett. They were released and are due back in court on January 30, 2018. If convicted of the top charge, New faces a maximum of five to 15 years in prison and Grindley faces a maximum of twoand-a-third years to seven years in prison.

 According to the investigation, from April 2011 to April 2015, New, who was the chairperson of the board of the East Tremont Head Start Alumni Day Care Center, improperly used approximately $100,000 of the Center’s funds. The defendant allegedly frequently withdrew money from the Center’s account from ATM machines and made several transfers to her bank account, using much of the money to purchase personal items from televised home shopping sites QVC and HSN. She also allegedly used the Center’s fund to pay for her sister’s funeral.

 According to the investigation, starting in 2013, Grindley, who was on the board as the daycare’s treasurer, allegedly received more than $29,000 from the nonprofit.

 The investigation was conducted with DOI’s Office of Inspector General for City-funded not-for-profits.

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

NYLCV'S MARCIA BYSTRYN DISAPPOINTED BY GOVERNOR'S SINGLE USE BAG TASK FORCE REPORT


 

Bystryn: There are only two acceptable recommendations: a fee on both plastic and paper bags or a hybrid model that bans plastic bags and institutes a fee on paper

 Chair of New York’s Plastic Bag Task Force, State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos, issued the Task Force's (88 page) comprehensive report outlining eight potential solutions to address the scourge of plastic bag waste in the state. The report was sent to Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature for consideration. In response, NYLCV President Marcia Bystryn, who was a member of the Task Force, issued the following statement: 
  As a member of the Plastic Bag Taskforce, I have consistently maintained there are only two acceptable recommendations: a fee on both plastic and paper bags or a hybrid model that bans plastic bags and institutes a fee on paper. It is the long-held position of the environmental community that a successful solution must include a fee component on all single-use bags. Improving recycling will not achieve this effect. The current recycling market is insufficient to handle even the paltry amount of film plastic that is currently recycled, let alone the full amount of film plastic we generate. We must instead focus on reducing the number of plastic bags produced. We know from countless examples around the world that when consumers take responsibility for their actions by bringing their own bag or paying a fee to cover their environmental impact, single-use bag consumption drops precipitously. I am disappointed the final report fails to convey this position. Therefore, I dissent from the Task Force's final report. 

MAYOR DE BLASIO RELEASES MONUMENTS COMMISSION’S REPORT, ANNOUNCES DECISIONS ON CONTROVERSIAL MONUMENTS


Carefully considered recommendations from Mayoral Advisory Commission on City Art, Monuments and Markers resulted in decisions on several controversial monuments, as well as guidelines for future situations

  Mayor de Blasio announced decisions on several monuments on City properties, made after careful consideration of the recommendations and guidelines laid out in a report provided by the Mayoral Advisory Commission on City Art, Monuments and Markers.

“Thousands of New Yorkers got involved in this process, and there’s been an important conversation going on across the city,” said Mayor de Blasio. “Reckoning with our collective histories is a complicated undertaking with no easy solution. Our approach will focus on adding detail and nuance to – instead of removing entirely – the representations of these histories. And we’ll be taking a hard look at who has been left out and seeing where we can add new work to ensure our public spaces reflect the diversity and values of our great city.”

The commission’s recommendations emphasize additive measures and public dialogue to ensure monuments and markers on City property are given accurate and inclusive historical context. Their report, which lays out a process for evaluating monuments or markers that may create controversy and strong public response in the future, can be found here.

The Mayor embraces the commission's additive approach, its focus on careful historical analysis, and the open public process it recommends, and has instructed City agencies to translate the commission's recommendations into workable city procedures.

In addition to creating guidelines that can be applied to future scenarios, the commission’s report made recommendations on specific actions for four monuments and markers on City property. The Mayor’s decisions for City action on these specific sites are below:

·      J. Marion Sims statue (5th Ave/103rd Street, Manhattan)
The City will relocate the statue to Green-Wood Cemetery and take several additional steps to inform the public of the origin of the statue and historical context, including the legacy of non-consensual medical experimentation on women of color broadly and Black women specifically that Sims has come to symbolize. These additional steps include: add informational plaques both to the relocated statue and existing pedestal to explain the origin of the statue, commission new artwork with public input that reflects issues raised by Sims legacy, and partner with a community organization to promote in-depth public dialogues on the history of non-consensual medical experimentation of people of color, particularly women.

·  Canyon of Heroes/Henri Philippe P├ętain plaque (Broadway, Lower Manhattan)
The City will keep all markers memorializing ticker-tape parades in place and explore opportunities to add context such as wayfinding, on-site signage, and historical information about the people for whom parades were held. The Downtown Alliance has also partnered with the Museum of the City of New York to research more detailed biographical information on the individuals with markers along Broadway, and will make this information accessible through an app and web page.

·     Columbus Circle
The City will keep the monument in place and take additive measures to continue the public discourse, including placing new historical markers in or around Columbus Circleexplaining the history of Columbus and of the monument itself, and commissioning a new monument, at a location in the city not yet determined, recognizing Indigenous peoples.

·     Theodore Roosevelt statue (American Museum of Natural History)
The City will keep the monument in place and partner with the museum to provide additional context on-site through signage and educational programming, which can offer multiple interpretations of the sculpture, the artist’s intentions, and the nature of the piece as part of the history of AMNH. The Department of Cultural Affairs will explore commissioning a new artwork in the vicinity to further those dialogues.

Any permanent changes to City property – including relocation or addition of plaques and new work – must undergo a formal approval process by the Public Design Commission.

The commission’s report makes a powerful argument for expanding the histories that are represented on City property through historical research and education, and by adding to the communities, individuals, and histories that are represented in statues, monuments, and markers. To support this effort, the Department of Cultural Affairs will commit up to $10 million in capital funds over the next four years to create new permanent artwork honoring various communities that are underrepresented on City property.

The determination process for these new works will include extensive public engagement, as well as in depth historical research. The Ford Foundation has announced a grant of $250,000 to establish the NYC Public History Project, supporting academic review of items on City property, New York City history, how these two intersect, and where there are opportunities to expand the history represented on public property to reflect the shared past of New Yorkers more fully.

The report also makes several recommendations regarding the potential for monuments to serve as anchors for curricula and other educational initiatives – an opportunity to examine how history is made, who gets to tell it, and how it’s represented publicly. The City will partner with nonprofit groups, educational institutions, and community organizations to foster additional public dialogue around specific monuments, as well as the City’s collection more broadly. In collaboration with DOE, Parks, DCLA, PDC and others, students in the city will be encouraged to actively engage with art, monuments, and markers through their studies of history, art, and society.

Throughout the review period, the commission also conducted extensive engagement with the public: more than 500 individuals attended public hearings, with nearly 200 offering verbal testimony, and an online survey received more than 3,000 responses. A summary of the public engagement process can be found at nyc.gov/monumentscommission. The report recommends a framework for addressing future controversies regarding items on City-owned property based on this robust dialogue. Using public property as a site to explore and challenge the ways that people and their experiences are – or are not – represented in our collective histories presents an opportunity to spark dialogue and bring people together in an effort to foster a more inclusive understanding of what binds us together as a society. The commission’s recommended evaluation processes for art, monuments, and markers on City property embrace this vision for fostering public dialogue, creating new curricula, and promoting a more inclusive version of our shared past.