Saturday, March 31, 2018

Statement from Cynthia Nixon on Cuomo's Big Ugly Budget Dealmaking

  Cynthia Nixon, candidate for Governor, released the following statement on the budget process at 8:05 PM:

Under Andrew Cuomo, the state budget process has routinely become known as the “Big Ugly,” and this budget sounds like it will be particularly ugly for everyday New Yorkers. Instead of an open and transparent process with a public debate on the issues, Cuomo’s budget cobbles together a series of backroom deals. When sexual harassment legislation was negotiated, the only woman legislative leader in the state was shut out of the room, but a man being investigated for sexual harassment was part of negotiations. A major policy change on school budgets that would undermine local control and give Governor Cuomo unprecedented power to veto local school budgets is being decided without any input from local voters or parents. And Governor Cuomo is allowing essential reforms like tax hikes on multimillionaires, bail reform, and early voting to drop off the table altogether. Andrew Cuomo promised to clean up the corruption in Albany, but instead he has doubled down on secretive backroom deal-making, in a process driven by whatever soundbite will make the Governor look good, not by the budget that is good for New York families and workers. No wonder it’s called the “Big Ugly.”

Lehman College Presents a Special Screening of CNN en Español Documentary “Deportados”

   Wednesday night was a special screening of the CNN Espanol Documentary “Deportados” at Lehman College. The film tells the story of those who immigrated to the United States either as children or adults to find a better life than they had. It chronics the lives of several people who had lived here for many years, either as they grew up, got married, had children, or served in the armed forces for the United States, but for one reason or another wound up being deported. Statistics were shown of the hundreds of thousands of people who were deported in 2013, and in 2015. This film concentrated on a few who were deported in 2017 under the new presidency of Donald Trump.

One person interviewed told of how he worked for others by bringing people across the border to the United states, saying that it is a big money business. Others interviewed included a woman who was married and had three children, but was deported because she came into this country illegally as a child. Another story was of an immigrant who had a work permit, and enlisted in the armed forces as he was told it would lead to permanent citizenship. After completing his enlistment he was jailed on a traffic accident and since he did not apply for citizenship he was deported. He said that the only way he could come back into the United States right now was in a coffin to be buried in any cemetery with full military honors.

There was a panel discussion after the movie moderated by Juan Carlos Lopez CNNE Senior Political Anchor. The panel included Congressman Adriano Espaillat, The co-producer of the film Ms. Cathy Reyes, CUNY Instructor Jose Higurera Lopez, Lehman Professor Ulises Gonzalez, and Lehman Dreamer Francisco Aquino Ramirez.

Congressman Espaillat said that he voted against what he called were CR's or Continuing Resolutions to keep the U.S. Government going even though they had some mention of the Dream Act and Aid to Puerto Rico, but in his words the bills were tied to other things he was against. Ms. Reyes said that there were others who were interviewed for the film, but declined after the filming for f\ear of reprisals when the film came out. All had the same feelings about how people have come from other countries in the past for a better life, and even today there are those like the Dreamers who have the same thoughts.

Above - The five panelist Congressman Adriano Espaillat, CUNY instructor Jose Higurera Lopez, ESPN film producer Cynthia Reyes, Lehman College Professor Ulises Gonzalez, Lehman student Francisco Aquino Ramirez, and moderator Juan Carlos Lopez CNNE Senior Political Anchor.
Below - Congressman Espaillat explains the difficulty of voting on bills in Washington. He said that he voted against Continuing Resolutions that had in them funding for Dreamers and aid to Puerto Rico because there were other things he did not want in them. 

Statement from IDC Leader Jeff Klein

  The Independent Democratic Conference outlined a bold agenda, One New Yorker, and we’re proud that we were able to achieve so much of it in this year's budget. After releasing several investigations, we stepped up for NYCHA tenants who live with lead paint, mold and deplorable conditions by delivering $250 million and crucial oversight pursuant to an Executive Order. We ensure that straphangers no longer face delays by funding the MTA's Subway Action Plan, and require the City to pay its share. We build upon the SAFE Act by removing guns from dangerous domestic violence abusers. We put in crucial protections for union workers to ensure their right of collective bargaining. We shield our taxpayers from harmful changes made by the federal government, while continuing our middle-class tax cut to ensure New Yorkers prosper. We are one New York, and this budget reflects that.

Assemblymember Pichardo: State budget increases education funding, looks out for Bronx families

           Assemblymember Victor M. Pichardo (D-Bronx) announced that he helped pass the 2018-19 state budget, which makes a $26.6 billion investment in education – an increase of $914 million over last year. The budget also provides additional funding for college opportunity programs to support Bronx students hoping to make their college dreams a reality.
 “A sound education provides the foundation our kids need to meet the challenges of the 21st-century economy. We must ensure that all students, no matter where they live or who they are, have a fair shot at success and that starts with fully funding our schools,” Pichardo said. “This was a tough budget to balance, but I fought to ensure that it expands opportunities for Bronx families and supports students from pre-K through college.”
  The state budget increases Foundation Aid by $618 million – for total of $17.8 billion – and invests a total of $96.6 million in local libraries, an increase of $1 million over last year. Public libraries are a vital resource for job seekers, students and the community as a whole, Pichardo noted.
  To help close the opportunity gap for young men and boys of color in the Bronx, Pichardo successfully helped secured over $18 million to continue supporting President Obama’s My Brother's Keeper initiative. The program focuses on building community engagement resources that increase academic strength and social capital for underachieving young men of color.
  Pichardo also fought to ensure the budget invests in higher education and helps more Bronxites go to college. It includes a measure spearheaded by Pichardo ensuring students attending proprietary colleges are eligible to apply for scholarship opportunities under the Enhanced Tuition Awards program. Pichardo recently successfully fought to pass this legislative measure in the Assembly.
  “As the cost of higher education continues to climb, it’s imperative that we expand scholarship programs so that every student has the opportunity to attend college” said Pichardo. “It’s about financial equity for students. So I fought tooth-and-nail to make sure it wasn’t lost in the budget shuffle.”
   An additional measure would make all students attending a public, private or other certified degree-granting institution eligible for the New York State STEM Incentive Program.
  The budget also restores $23.8 million to support college opportunity programs, which help academically and financially disadvantaged students succeed in college. The plan allocates:

$35.5 million for the Higher Education Opportunity Program (HEOP);
$32.2 million for the Educational Opportunity Program (EOP);
$28.1 for the Search for Education, Elevation, and Knowledge (SEEK) program; and
$1.3 million for the College Discovery program.
 Pichardo helped secure $15 million for the Zoos, Botanical Gardens and Aquariums Program, which offers grants through the state Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. This funding will help ensure the Bronx Zoo continues to be an educational resource for students and families alike, noted Pichardo.
 In addition, the budget provides a $6 million funding increase in the Foster Youth Initiative and restores $2.5 million to the CUNY Accelerated Study in Associate Program (ASAP), which helps covers tuition and non-tuition related expenses such as textbooks, transportation assistance and tutoring assistance. The budget also provides $902,000 in total funding for CUNY Child Care Centers.


  While we applaud Assemblyman Pichardo for having these numbers so quickly about education, but we have a few questions for the good assemblyman.

Assemblyman Pichardo, how can a student learn in a current NYCHA building where there is lead paint, no heat or hot water, mold, roaches, mice and other vermin, as well is the case in many of the other buildings in your district with the same poor living conditions?

Assemblyman Pichardo, with Mayoral control of the public schools a failure, as most of the public schools in your district are below citywide statistics how can you tell a parent to send their children to a public school in your district?

Assemblyman Pichardo, with such poor public schools how can you expect students to get into a college, junior college, or let along graduate from high school on time?  

Assemblyman Pichardo there are many more questions to ask you, and we would like to sit down with you to interview you. Is that possible? You have our e-mail, please let us know when this can happen, and before the September Primary please?


Praising the New State Budget That 'Stays True to Our New York Values, Puts Families First' 

   I am proud of the new $168.3 billion 2018-19 state budget that I helped pass, which includes a nearly $1 billion increase in education funding, invests in infrastructure and transportation repairs, protects New Yorkers from federal tax changes and institutes meaningful sexual harassment policy reforms.
 Because of a sizable budget deficit, we had to make some tough decisions. But we fought hard for a spending plan that stays true to our New York values. This budget gives all New Yorkers a voice.

 From the public school student who deserves every chance to reach for the stars, to the tenant whose quality of life has been sacrificed for far too long, to the hardworking parents struggling to put their kid through college and the family torn apart by the opioid crisis, we’re here for you. It’s our responsibility to look out for you and to build a better New York. This blueprint moves us forward.
Thwarting federal tax changes
 This budget also includes measures that help blunt the impact of the federal tax plan, which increases taxes on many middle-class families by restricting state and local tax deductibility.

 Taxpayers who donate to newly created state-operated funds designed to help improve health care and education can claim these contributions as deductions on their state and federal tax deductions, as well as claim a state tax credit equal to 85 percent of the donation amount.

 School districts and local governments would be allowed to create similar charitable funds that would offer local property tax deductions equal to a percentage of the contribution amount.
 The new federal tax bill represents a multipronged attack on New Yorkers, raising taxes on hardworking families and threatening our economic future. This new state budget includes measures to limit the law’s impact and protect New Yorkers from its devastating effects.
Tax cuts for middle-class families
 The budget also continues phasing in middle-class tax cuts, which are projected to save families $4.2 billion annually by 2025, and continues the local property tax relief credit.

 Saving for the future can be an uphill battle when more and more families are struggling just to make ends meet. These families deserve a break, which is why this year’s budget continues these vital tax cuts.

Investing in education
 The new budget provides $26.6 billion in education funding, an increase of $914 million – or 3.6 percent – over the previous year.
 To support students in underserved communities, it includes a $50 million increase to help high-need schools – including struggling schools, districts with large numbers of English language learners (ELLs) and districts with increasing numbers of homeless students – become community schools.

 The budget also provides $7.6 billion in funding for higher education and the Excelsior Scholarship program, because a student’s ability to pay should never determine where their educational journey ends.
Protecting NYCHA tenants
 NYCHA tenants deserve better than the horrific living conditions they find themselves in, including 80 percent of them being without heat this past winter. This budget invests $250 million to make capital repairs, including replacing and updating heating equipment, and other critical maintenance projects.

Combating the opioid crisis, substance use disorders

 To combat the opioid epidemic and create a road to recovery, thebudget establishes the $100 million Opioid Stewardship Fund to help curb the epidemic by creating a partnership with the pharmaceutical industry to expand prevention, treatment and recovery programs for individuals with substance use disorder.
Standing up against sexual harassment
 Harassment and sexual misconduct are too often known of, but not spoken about for fear of retaliation. This budget takes overdue steps to correct that, giving victims the power they deserve to pursue justice and making sure the perpetrators of these degrading acts are held accountable.”
Measures includes legislation to ensure employers have comprehensive policies to combat sexual harassment in the workplace; a measure barring confidentiality clauses in any settlement except when specifically requested by the victim, and a ban on mandatory arbitration agreements for claims of sexual harassment.

 I am proud that working with my fellow Assembly members and the Assembly leadership, we have managed to craft a working budget that is both fair and progressive, one that serves both the needs and dreams of the people of our great state, and especially its families.

Don't forget to vote in the special election on April 24th.

Friday, March 30, 2018

Genovese Organized Crime Family Associate Convicted Of Murder Conspiracy And Other Racketeering Offenses

  Geoffrey S. Berman, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced the conviction in Manhattan federal court of SALVATORE DELLIGATTI, a/k/a “Fat Sal,” a/k/a “Jay,” for racketeering conspiracy, conspiracy to commit murder in aid of racketeering, attempted murder in aid of racketeering, murder-for-hire conspiracy, participation in an illegal gambling operation, and a firearms offense.  The jury convicted DELLIGATTI yesterday on all six counts of the Indictment following a three-week trial before U.S. District Judge Katherine B. Forrest. 

U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman said:  “Salvatore Delligatti, in order to increase his standing in the Genovese Family, recruited a group of hitmen to murder an individual.  But Delligatti’s hitmen were caught red-handed by the Nassau County Police Department and the Nassau County District Attorney’s Office before they could carry out their hit.  Delligatti now stands convicted of this foiled murder plot and other crimes he committed with the Genovese Family.  We thank our partners in Nassau County and at the FBI.”
According to the Indictment, other filings in Manhattan federal court, and evidence presented in court during the trial:
From at least in or about 2008 through in or about May 2016, DELLIGATTI was an associate of the Genovese Organized Crime Family of La Cosa Nostra.  During this period, DELLIGATTI conspired with others to participate in and conduct the affairs of the Genovese Family through a pattern of racketeering activity that included a murder conspiracy, an extortion conspiracy, and the operation of an illegal sports betting business.  For example, as part of DELLIGATTI’s participation in the Genovese Family, DELLIGATTI committed the following crimes:     
From in or about May 2014 through in or about June 2014, DELLIGATTI conspired with Robert DeBello, a “made” soldier, and Ryan Ellis, an associate of the Genovese Family, to murder a neighborhood “tough guy” from the Whitestone section of Queens.  DELLIGATTI sought and obtained permission from DeBello to murder the intended victim.  However, instead of carrying out the murder himself, as DeBello had authorized him to do, DELLIGATTI hired a crew of hitmen from the Bronx to ambush and kill the intended victim at his residence.  DELLIGATTI provided the hitmen with a loaded .38 revolver and a get-away vehicle, and offered to pay them several thousand dollars for the murder.  As a result of wiretap surveillance of DELLIGATTI by the Nassau County Police Department and the Nassau County District Attorney’s Office, the crew of hitmen was apprehended in the get-away vehicle just a few blocks from the intended victim’s residence on June 8, 2014.  In their vehicle, law enforcement recovered the loaded revolver, a spray bottle containing a bleach solution, and other materials.
From in or about April 2014 through in or about May 2014, DELLIGATTI and others in the Genovese Family, including DeBello and Ellis, participated in a conspiracy to use threats of violence and economic harm to extort the owners and promoter of a night club located on the rooftop of a hotel in Queens.  
From at least in or about 2013 through in or about 2015, DELLIGATTI participated with others in the Genovese Family, including DeBello and Ellis, in a large-scale bookmaking and sports betting operation that took bets from bettors in Manhattan and Queens, among other locations, and made use of an offshore wireroom.  During and in furtherance of this gambling operation, DELLIGATTI and Ellis brought envelopes filled with cash to DeBello, the “made” soldier with whom they were committing these crimes.
DELLIGATTI, 40, was found guilty of conspiring to participate in the Genovese Family through a pattern of racketeering activity, conspiring to murder and attempting to murder Joseph Bonelli in aid of racketeering, conspiring to commit murder-for-hire, possessing a firearm in furtherance of those crimes of violence, and participation in an illegal gambling operation.  DELLIGATTI faces a maximum potential sentence of life in prison.  DELLIGATTI is scheduled to be sentenced by Judge Forrest on August 16, 2018.  
DELLIGATTI’s co-defendants, Robert DeBello and Ryan Ellis, previously pled guilty before Judge Forrest to racketeering conspiracy offenses for their roles in the murder conspiracy, the extortion conspiracy, and the illegal gambling operation that are described above.
Mr. Berman praised the outstanding investigative work of the Nassau County Police Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.  He also thanked the Nassau County District Attorney’s Office and the United States Department of State, Diplomatic Security Service, for their assistance with the prosecution.

Bankruptcy Attorney Pleads Guilty In Manhattan Federal Court To Embezzlement From A Bankruptcy Estate

  Geoffrey S. Berman, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that PINCUS DAVID CARLEBACH, a bankruptcy attorney, pled guilty today in Manhattan federal court to embezzling funds from a client’s bankruptcy estate.  From January 2016 through February 2016, CARLEBACH, whose client was in bankruptcy proceedings in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York, caused the transfer of $30,000 in estate assets to himself for his own use.  CARLEBACH pled guilty before U.S. District Judge Jesse M. Furman to one count of embezzlement from a bankruptcy estate.

Manhattan U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman stated:  “Pincus David Carlebach abused his position as a bankruptcy attorney for his own financial gain.  As he admitted in Manhattan federal court today, Carlebach caused the unlawful transfer of $30,000 from his client’s bankruptcy estate to himself.  Our Office is committed to prosecuting those who misuse positions of trust for their own gain, including attorneys who do so in violation of their professional duties.”       
CARLEBACH, 57, of Brooklyn, New York, faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison and three years of supervised release.  The statutory maximum 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. Berman praised the Office of the United States Trustee for the Southern District of New York and the United States Marshals Service for their work on the case. 

CEO And President Of Premium Ticket Resale Business Pleads Guilty To Running Multimillion-Dollar Ponzi Scheme

  Geoffrey S. Berman, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that JASON NISSEN pled guilty today to defrauding victims of more than $60 million by falsely representing that he was using the victims’ money to further a profitable, multimillion-dollar wholesale ticket business.  NISSEN pled guilty before U.S. District Judge Paul A. Engelmayer, and is scheduled to be sentenced on August 21, 2018.

Manhattan U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman said:  “As he admitted in court today, Jason Nissen’s pitch to investors about access to premium sports and entertainment tickets was a sham.  His investment scheme was really a Ponzi scheme.  Now he awaits sentencing for his admitted swindle.”        
According to allegations in a Complaint and other documents filed in federal court, as well as statements made in public court proceedings:
Since at least in or about 2010, JASON NISSEN has operated a ticket resale business (the “Ticket Company”) through which NISSEN purchased large quantities of premium tickets for sporting and entertainment events, and then resold such tickets for a profit.
The Ticket Company is a ticket resale business located in Manhattan, New York, of which NISSEN was the chief executive officer and president.  The Ticket Company’s website stated that “[The Ticket Company] is an industry leader in providing VIP access and premium tickets to all concerts, Broadway theatre, red carpet premieres and sporting events worldwide . . . the Ticket Company stocks one of the largest revolving inventories for sports, concerts, and theatre worldwide.”
From at least in or about 2015 to in or about May 2017, NISSEN defrauded multiple investors in ticket deals arranged by the Ticket Company of tens of millions of dollars.  NISSEN represented to these investor victims that he would use their money to purchase bulk quantities of premium tickets to sporting and entertainment events such as the Super Bowl (football), the World Cup (soccer), the U.S. Open (tennis), and “Hamilton” (Broadway musical), and then resell the tickets at a profit.  However, in truth and in fact, NISSEN used the victims’ money in large part to repay other victims and to enrich himself. 
To further perpetuate his fraudulent scheme and to raise additional sums from victims, NISSEN falsified financial documents and inflated accounts receivable ledgers, which NISSEN presented to certain victims as purported proof that their money was being used to purchase premium tickets for resale. 
In total, JASON NISSEN defrauded victims of more than $60 million.     
NISSEN, 45, of Roslyn, New York, 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. Berman praised the investigative work of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

A.G. Schneiderman Announces Record Number Of Data Breach Notices For 2017

Hacking Continues to Drive the Explosion of Data Breaches; 2017 Saw Exposure of Personal Records of 9.2 Million New Yorkers – Quadruple the 2016 Number
AG Schneiderman to Introduce Legislation to Require Companies like Facebook to Provide Notification if Users’ Personal Info is Misused; AG Also Calls on Albany to Pass His SHIELD Act
AG Offers Tips for NY Consumers and Businesses to Protect Themselves
  Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman released “Information Exposed: 2017 Data Breaches in New York State,” documenting the record number of data breach notices filed with his office in 2017.  In 2017, companies and other entities reported 1,583 data breaches to NYAG, exposing the personal records of 9.2 million New Yorkers – quadruple the number of New Yorkers impacted in 2016.
Attorney General Schneiderman announced that he would introduce legislation to require Facebook and other social media sites to notify his office and New York consumers when they learn that users’ personal data was obtained and misused in violation of the law or the platform’s terms of service.
Attorney General Schneiderman also urged the State legislature to pass his Stop Hacks and Improve Electronic Data Security Act (SHIELD Act), which was introduced by Attorney General Schneiderman last fall and would close major gaps in New York’s data security laws. Under the SHIELD Act, companies would have a legal responsibility to adopt “reasonable” administrative, technical, and physical safeguards for sensitive data; the bill also would expand the types of data that trigger reporting requirements.
“Data breaches can cause personal crises for New Yorkers every time they happen – driving down credit scores and destroying financial lives,” said Attorney General Schneiderman. “We saw a record number of data breaches in 2017, jeopardizing the personal information of 9.2 million New Yorkers. My office will continue to hold companies accountable for protecting the personal information they manage – but it’s also time for Albany to bring our laws into the 21st century and ensure that New Yorkers are not needlessly victimized by weak data security and criminal hackers.”
As detailed in today’s report, New Yorkers’ exposed information consisted overwhelmingly of social security numbers, accounting for 40% records exposed, followed by financial account information (such as credit card numbers), accounting for 33% of records exposed. Hacking was the leading cause of the data security breaches at 44%, with another 25% of breaches due to negligence. 2017 saw an increase of more than 23% in the total number of reported security breaches affecting New York residents from the previous year, and the number of New Yorkers who had their records exposed more than quadrupled from 2016, increasing by 7,691,025, largely due to the Equifax breach. In 2017, the exposure rate of New Yorkers’ personal information was the highest since NYAG started receiving data breach notices in 2006. 
General Business Law § 899-aa
In 2005, General Business Law § 899-aa was added to New York State Business Law requiring any person or commercial entity conducting business in New York State to report a data security breach involving “private information” to the NYAG, among other state agencies. State Technology Law § 208 also requires governmental entities to report breaches of private information. “Private information” is defined as including a consumer’s name in combination with a social security number, financial account information, or driver’s license number. The reports must be timely and done without unreasonable delay. 
Hacking & Negligence Continue As Main Causes of Data Breaches 
In 2017, hacking accounted for over 44% of data security breaches, up from 40% in the previous year. It accounted for 94% of the total personal information exposed, largely as a result of the mega-breach at consumer reporting agency Equifax. (See Figures 1 and 2.) Employee negligence, which consists of a combination of inadvertent exposure of records, insider wrongdoing, and the loss of a device or media, accounted for 25% of reported breaches.  
Social Security Numbers and Financial Account Information are Hackers’ Primary Targets
Social security numbers and financial account information represented the information most frequently exposed in 2017, accounting together for 73% of breaches. Social security numbers were exposed in 40% of reported breaches and financial account information accounted for 33% of total breaches in 2017. (See Figures 3 and 4.) While the percentages for the other categories of exposed information are not as high, some still account for a sizable percentage of total personal records exposed; for instance, driver’s license numbers figured in 9% of reported breaches. (See Figure 4.)
Two Mega-breaches in 2017
There were two mega-breaches (a breach that affects over 100,000 New Yorkers) in 2017. Most notably, the breach at consumer reporting agency Equifax, which compromised the social security numbers of over 145 million people in the United States, including 8,447,840 in New York. Intruders accessed the Equifax computer system after the company failed to patch a known vulnerability in its web application software. The next most voluminous breach was at Gamestop, discovered by the company on April 18, 2017, in which over 111,000 New Yorkers had their financial information exposed to hackers. 
Additionally, over 30,000 New Yorkers had their financial information exposed after large breaches at the Online Traffic School, Polish & Slavic Federal Credit Union, InterContinental Hotels Group, and Spiraledge, Inc. Eleven more breaches that compromised between 10,000 and 30,000 New Yorkers’ personal information were reported in 2017. Following those, the most common breaches compromised relatively fewer numbers of New Yorkers’ personal information. 
More Breach Events Affect a Small Number of Consumers Rather than a Large Number of Consumers
In 2017, the majority of breaches affected “only” one to nine people per breach, with about two-thirds of breaches affecting under 100 people per breach. Compared to 2016, in 2017 there were 55 more breaches that affected just one personal record and 83 more that affected between two and ten personal records. Thus, while the record number of records exposed in 2017 was a result of one large mega-breach at a multinational company (i.e., Equifax), it is clear that breaches come in all sizes, and no organization is exempt from the risk of a data breach. 
This Report Echoes Trends Identified in Prior Reports
In 2016, NYAG reported a record 1,281 data breaches notices, representing a 60% increase over the 2015 reporting year. The 2016 breaches exposed the personal records of 1.6 million New Yorkers, representing a threefold increase over the prior year. The 2017 breaches shattered those records. There were also a higher number of breaches affecting smaller amounts of people than in 2016. In 2014, NYAG issued a comprehensive report entitled, “Information Exposed: Historical Examination of Data Security in New York State.” The 2014 report analyzed the data breach reports the office received between 2006 to 2013 and how they impacted New Yorkers. 
The Attorney General’s Office recommends that organizations follow these simple steps to help protect sensitive personal information against unauthorized disclosures:
  • Understand Where Your Business Stands: The first step toward an effective data security policy is to understand what information your business requires for its operation, what data has already been collected and stored, how long the data is needed, and what steps have been taken to ensure security. Organizations should review how sensitive data is acquired, how sensitive information is being shared with third parties, and what access controls are in place. 
  • Identify and Minimize Data Collection Practices: Put simply, data that does not exist cannot be stolen or lost. Collect only information that you need, store it only for the minimum time that you need it, and deploy data minimization tactics wherever possible. For example, if your company uses a point-of-sale system, ensure that expiration dates are not stored with credit card numbers. Reduce the use of highly sensitive data points, such as social security numbers, unless absolutely necessary, and minimize the length of retention for such data. Delete any information you no longer need.
  • Create an Information Security Plan That Includes Encryption: Creating a comprehensive Information Security Plan is a necessary endeavor. Studies show that entities with an effective plan will articulate not only technical standards, but will incorporate training, awareness, and detailed procedural steps in the event of data breaches. Encryption of sensitive information should be an element of any plan. Read more about what a comprehensive security plan should include in NYAG’s 2014 report.
  • Implement an Information Security Plan: Successful implementation of a thoughtfully designed plan can be one of the most effective ways to minimize the risk of a data breach. Elements to consider when implementing a plan include ensuring employees are aware of the plan and conducting regular reviews to ensure the plan continues to conform with evolving best practices.
  • Take Immediate Action in the Event of a Breach: Remember to investigate all security incidents immediately and thoroughly. In the event of a breach, the law may require you to notify consumers, law enforcement, state Attorneys General, credit bureaus, and other businesses. 
  • Offer Mitigation Products in the Event of a Breach: While not required by law, New Yorkers affected by a data breach should be provided with mitigation services for free. These include credit monitoring, which provides alerts whenever an application for new credit is submitted to a consumer credit reporting agency, and a security freeze, which blocks new credit accounts. The cost of clearing up the consequences of identity theft can easily reach into the thousands of dollars and require hundreds of hours attending to administrative burdens.  
The Attorney General’s Office suggests that consumers guard against threats in the following ways:
  • Create Strong Passwords for Online Accounts and Update Them Frequently. Use different passwords for different accounts, especially for websites where you have disseminated sensitive information, such as credit card or Social Security numbers. 
  • Carefully Monitor Credit Card and Debit Card Statements Each Month. If you find any abnormal transactions, contact your bank or credit card agency immediately. 
  • Do Not Write Down or Store Passwords Electronically. If you do, be extremely careful of where you store passwords. Be aware that any passwords stored electronically (such as in a word processing document or cell phone’s notepad) can be easily stolen and provide fraudsters with one-stop shopping for all your sensitive information. If you hand-write passwords, do not store them in plain sight. 
  • Do Not Post Any Sensitive Information on Social Media. Information such as birthdays, addresses, and phone numbers can be used by fraudsters to authenticate account information. Practice data minimization techniques. Don’t overshare.
  • Always Be Aware of the Current Threat Landscape. Stay up to date on media reports of data security breaches and consumer advisories.  
The Attorney General’s Office recommends taking the following steps if you believe you have been victimized by a data security breach: 
  • User Names and Passwords: Change user names and passwords immediately on the relevant account and monitor the account for unusual activity. If you use the same user name or password on other accounts, change those as well.  
  • Credit Card Numbers: For breaches involving credit card numbers, social security numbers, and other sensitive numbers, create an Identity Theft Report by filing a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission and printing your Identity Theft Affidavit. You can call the Federal Trade Commission at 1-877-438-4338 or complete the form onlinehere. Use the Identity Theft Affidavit to file a police report and create your Identity Theft Report. An Identity Theft Report will help you deal with credit reporting companies, debt collectors, and any fraudulent accounts that the identity thief opened in your name. You may also want to put a fraud alert and/or security freeze on your credit report by notifying each of the credit reporting agencies (Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian). A security freeze is the strongest protection for your credit and remains on your credit file until you remove it or choose to lift it temporarily when applying for credit services. 

Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams - A Message on the Observances of Holy Week and Passover

As Holy Week continues, I hope this is a truly meaningful Good Friday to all Christian communities observing in Brooklyn. I also offer my deepest wishes for a happy Easter to all those celebrating in and around the borough. 

Tonight also marks the first night of Passover. Jewish communities in and around Brooklyn will begin to celebrate this festive season, and I wish everyone a zissen Pesach. 
Our diverse communities of faith help bring Brooklyn together. I take this opportunity to once again thank all of our religious leaders, regardless of their faith, for working together as One Brooklyn. In unity, we're helping to build a safe place to raise healthy children and families in every corner of the borough. Let us all join together to celebrate the hope and renewal of this season.


P.S. Save the dates for these upcoming events, which I am proud to support, at and around Brooklyn Borough Hall; please contact our office for additional information 
visit our Bulletin Board to post items that can be shared across One Brooklyn:
Monday, April 2nd to Saturday, April 21st (Select Dates)

Tuesday, April 3rd

Wednesday, April 4th
Wednesday, April 4th to Monday, April 16th (Select Dates)

Wednesdays, April 4th to April 25th

Thursday, April 5th to Wednesday, May 16th (Select Dates)

Monday, April 9th to Friday, April 13th

Wednesdays, from April 18th to May 2nd

Thursday, April 19th

Every Monday through Thursday

Every Monday through Friday 

Every Tuesday

Every Wednesday

Second Wednesday of Every Month

Second Thursday of Every Month

Second Friday of Every Month

Third Monday of Every Month
Brooklyn Borough Hall | | |

209 Joralemon Street, Brooklyn, NY 11201