Saturday, May 19, 2018

Shoprite Supermarket Coming to Bruckner Commons

  A brand new Shoprite Supermarket will be replacing the former Key Food next to K Mart in the newly named Bruckner Commons Shopping Center on Bruckner Boulevard. This Shoprite Supermarket under the corporate name of Village Supermarkets should open in July as the 30th store owned by the Sumas family based in South Jersey. It will be the first Bronx Shoprite Store. Councilman Ruben Diaz Sr. and Assemblyman Luis Sepulveda joined members of the Sumas family and others from the corporate Shoprite office based in Wakefern New Jersey. 

  The occasion was the opening of the Shoprite hiring center. There will be 250 jobs created by the opening of this Bronx Shoprite store that will bring a wide variety of products and services that were not available to the area residents before. Shoprite is also a price and quality leader in the supermarket industry based in New Jersey, but with stores in several regional east coast states. In New York, Shoprite has stores on Long Island, Westchester and other northern counties, Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island, and now the Bronx. The store will be run by store manager Mr. Al Cimmino. More details about this new Shoprite Supermarket (and its features) will follow as the opening date draws close. 

Councilman Ruben Diaz Sr. introduces the new Shoprite store manager Mr. Al Cimmino.

Working Families Party Officially Nominates Cynthia Nixon for Governor

Cynthia Nixon calls for end to school-to-prison pipeline in Harlem as progressive activists commit to contact millions of voters to elect first female governor of New York

  In a show of massive grassroots power, the Working Families Party voted today to give Cynthia Nixon their ballot line and formally nominate her as their candidate for governor of New York.

“I am proud to officially accept the nomination for Governor of New York from the Working Families Party,” said Nixon. “I’m ready to work alongside the thousands of WFP members and activists who will knock on doors and organize in their communities for a New York that belongs to all of us, not just the few.”

Nixon outlined her progressive populist agenda for New York state and called for finally funding NY’s public schools in compliance with the Campaign for Fiscal Equity, strengthening and expanding rent laws across the state, enacting single-payer health care, and making New York a true sanctuary state.

“Racial segregation, chronic underfunding and the over-policing of our public schools are an unholy trinity that are making too many majority black and brown schools more like jails than institutions of learning,” said Nixon. “Let’s just imagine the outcry if this was happening in predominantly white schools.”

With active grassroots supporters in all corners of the state, the Working Families Party will help bring a broad base of support to Cynthia's campaign. Since its inception, the WFP has worked to pull the Democratic Party closer to its voters rather than its big corporate donors. The WFP has successfully campaigned for paid sick and family leave, a $15 minimum wage, criminal justice reform, and making millionaire’s pay their fair share.

“New York is a 2 to 1 Democratic state, and we need a Governor that is as true and blue as it’s people. Governor Cuomo has $31 million in the bank and counting, but we have each other, we have the power of the people. The calvary is not coming to save us, we are the calvary," Nixon said to a fired up crowd.

Earlier this week, Our Revolution, the Staten Island Democratic Association, and the Coalition for a District Alternative all announced their endorsement of Cynthia's bid for governor. In the last few weeks, she has been backed by the Broadway Democrats, Village Independent Democrats, and Three Parks Independent Democrats. This adds to an even longer list of endorsements, including Democracy for America, Daily Kos, New Kings Democrats (NKD), Council Member Carlos Menchaca, the Working Families Party, Make the Road Action, Citizen Action, and the New York Progressive Action Network.

Israeli National Sentenced for Cocaine Conspiracy and International Money Laundering Charges

  An Israeli national was sentenced yesterday in federal court in Boston for conspiring to transfer $2.5 million worth of cocaine from Colombia to Israel via Boston and to money laundering charges. 

Jalal Altarabeen, a/k/a Glal El Tarbin, a/k/a Jalal Salamah, a/k/a Abu Rasheed, 34, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Indira Talwani to four years in prison and three years of supervised release. The government previously administratively forfeited from Altarabeen nearly $1 million. In February 2018, Altarabeen pleaded guilty to one count of conspiring to possess with intent to distribute and to distribute more than five kilograms of cocaine and six counts of international money laundering. In February 2017, Altarabeen was extradited from Poland after being indicted with a co-conspirator. Altarabeen and the co-conspirator were previously charged in a federal criminal complaint in March 2016.
From October 2015 to April 20, 2016, Altarabeen and his co-conspirator conspired in Boston, Colombia, Poland, and elsewhere to distribute 50 kilograms of cocaine and to launder money internationally. They also negotiated to buy 50 kilograms of cocaine from an undercover officer posing as a drug trafficker. The undercover officer’s relationship with the co-conspirator began in 2008 and included a meeting in Nicosia, Cyprus.
Altarabeen and the co-conspirator agreed to pay the undercover officer $50,000 per kilogram to have the cocaine delivered in Israel. The undercover officer told the conspirators that the cocaine would be transported from Colombia to Boston and from Boston to Beersheba, Israel. Altarabeen agreed to make an advance payment of nearly $1 million to cover transportation costs, and he sent six wire transfers from Turkey totaling $999,972 to an undercover bank account in Boston. The undercover officer and Altarabeen agreed that Altarabeen would pay the $1.5 million balance after the receipt and sale of the 50 kilograms of cocaine.
Over several months, the undercover officer spoke with Altarabeen and the co-conspirator by telephone, WhatsApp, video Skype and in person.  They contacted the undercover officer using telephone numbers from Cyprus, Jordan, Israel, Palestine and Colombia, and discussed the drug transaction while in Bogota, Colombia, on Oct. 14, 2015, and Feb. 9, 2016. 

Speaker Corey Johnson, New York City Council Host “Call the Mayor” Fair Fares Digital Day of Action

  Speaker Corey Johnson and the New York City Council on Thursday hosted a digital day of action entitled “Call the Mayor” urging Mayor Bill de Blasio to include the Fair Fares proposal in the Fiscal Year 2019 budget. Fair Fares is a campaign to distribute MetroCards to low-income New Yorkers at a reduced rate. Fair Fares has the support of 47 out of 51 Council Members, the majority of citywide elected officials and borough presidents and over 60 community organizations.

Speaker Johnson, Council Members, advocates and fellow elected officials are showing their support on their social media platforms including Twitter, Facebook and Instagram profiles using the hashtag #FairFares. The goal of the digital day of action is to accumulate hundreds of tweets and shares across multiple platforms, reaching a wide range New Yorkers, while pressuring the de Blasio administration to include this policy change in the executive budget. Shortly after the campaign launch, both #FairFares and MetroCard were trending on Twitter in New York City.
“We need to make New York City more affordable, and we can do that by reducing travel fares for low-income citizens. This digital day of action is a 21st century way to show support for this life-changing proposal. I thank my colleagues in the Council, the advocates and fellow elected officials for joining us in this movement and demanding the Mayor include Fair Fares in this year’s budget,” said Speaker Corey Johnson.
“Low-income New Yorkers need #FairFares now. The constant rise in subway and bus fares has had a tremendous negative impact on working families.  In this day and age, no one should have to choose between a MetroCard and rent or food.  The Mayor must take action and join the Council in funding #FairFares in the Fiscal Year 2019 budget,” said Council Member Daniel Dromm, Chair of the Council’s Committee on Finance. 
“Subway access is a necessity for all New Yorkers, rich and poor. We must help our friends and neighbors who can’t afford a MetroCard. We must support Fair Fares. The time is now,” said Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez, Chair of the Council’s Committee on Transportation.

Former Mobile Phone Industry Manager Sentenced In Manhattan Federal Court To 30 Months 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 CHRISTOPHER GOFF was sentenced today to 30 months 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 GOFF and his co-conspirators resulted in the theft of over $50 million from consumers throughout the United States.  In January 2018, GOFF pled guilty to one count of participating in a conspiracy to commit wire fraud.  GOFF was sentenced today in Manhattan federal court by the U.S. District Judge Katherine B. Forrest. 

Manhattan U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman said:  “Christopher Goff conspired with others in an auto-subscribing scam that stole $50 million from unwitting consumers.  In return for lists of mobile phone users to victimize, Goff netted more than $350,000 in short-term gain – and a substantial term in prison.”
According to the Superseding Information filed in Manhattan federal court, trials in related proceedings, and statements made in connection with GOFF’s sentencing:
GOFF was an account manager for Mobile Messenger, a U.S. aggregation company in the mobile phone industry.  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, GOFF 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 involved two main players in the mobile 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 was essential to the scheme’s success.  GOFF participated in auto-subscribing through one of those content providers, Tatto, which was operated by co-conspirator Lin Miao. 
In or about 2010, Miao, who was the CEO of Tatto, decided to begin auto-subscribing mobile phone users to Tatto’s premium text messaging services in order to boost Tatto’s sagging revenues.  Miao and others built a computer program that could spoof the required consumer authorizations for premium text messaging services – i.e., a program that could generate the text message correspondence that one would ordinarily see if a consumer were genuinely signing up to receive the services, which was operational by in or about the middle of 2011.  In or about July 2011, Miao met with GOFF and asked him to provide large batches of phone numbers from Mobile Messenger’s databases in exchange for payment.  GOFF agreed to assist Miao and knew that Miao intended to subscribe consumers without their permission.  GOFF provided hundreds of thousands of mobile phone numbers to Miao by email from mid-2011 to mid-2012.  When sending the stolen phone numbers to Miao, GOFF hid his involvement in the scheme by using email addresses other than his work email address at Mobile Messenger.  Ultimately, Miao and other co-conspirators used the phone numbers that GOFF provided to auto-subscribe consumers.  In total, Miao and Tatto took more than $50 million from consumers via the scheme. 
GOFF received more than $350,000 from Miao for the phone numbers he provided.  GOFF used a shell company called 5 Tool Services and sent false invoices for consulting services that he never provided to Miao to hide his receipt of the money and role in the scheme.
In addition to the 30-month prison term, GOFF was sentenced to two years of supervised release and ordered to forfeit $352,799.56.
To date, seven defendants other than GOFF – Andrew Bachman, Miao, Michael Pajaczkowski, Erdolo Eromo, Jonathan Murad, Francis Assifuah, and Jason Lee – have pleaded guilty in connection with their participation in the fraud.  Two additional defendants, Fraser Thompson and Darcy Wedd, were convicted following three-week jury trials. 
Mr. Berman praised the investigative work of the IRS-CI and the FBI, 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:

Medical Supply Executive Sentenced To 36 Months In Prison For Her Role In A $30 Million Scheme To Defraud Medicare And Medicaid

  Geoffrey S.  Berman, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that MARINA BURMAN was sentenced today to 36 months in prison. BURMAN, the former president of a medical supply company, submitted approximately $3.4 million in fraudulent bills to the New York State Medicaid Program, falsely claiming to have dispensed adult diapers and other medical supplies that were not medically necessary and, in many cases, not dispensed at all.  BURMAN was sentenced today by United States District Judge Lorna G. Schofield.

U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman said:  “The Medicare and Medicaid programs are intended to provide essential medical care to the elderly and the needy, not to line the pockets of fraudsters and opportunists.  Ultimately, the real victims of Marina Burman and her co-conspirators’ crimes are U.S. taxpayers and needy patients with legitimate medical needs.  Today’s sentence sends a strong message that those who cheat Medicare and Medicaid will not go unpunished.”
According to the Indictment and other documents filed in federal court, as well as statements made during BURMAN’s plea proceeding and sentencing:
Between 2007 and 2013, BURMAN’s ex-husband and co-defendant, Aleksandr Burman, owned and operated six medical clinics in Brooklyn (the “Clinics”) that fraudulently billed Medicare and Medicaid approximately $30 million for medical services and supplies that were medically unnecessary or otherwise fraudulently billed.  Under New York State law, medical clinics must be owned and operated by a medical professional.  To circumvent this requirement, Aleksandr Burman, who was not a medical professional, hired doctors to pose as the nominal owners of each of the Clinics.  As part of the fraud, the doctors also signed medical charts falsely stating that they had examined patients, and wrote prescriptions and referrals for medically unnecessary tests and supplies, including the $3.4 million in adult diapers and other supplies dispensed by BURMAN’s medical supply company.  Instead of actually obtaining many of these supplies, patients exchanged their prescriptions for merchandise, such as bed linens, tablecloths, dishes, kitchen appliances, and other housewares.  In furtherance of the fraud, BURMAN also falsely held herself out to Medicare and Medicaid as the sole owner of the medical supply company and concealed the fact that she actually owned that company jointly with her then-husband, Aleksandr Burman.
In all, 11 defendants have been charged for their participation in this healthcare fraud scheme.  Aleksandr Burman pled guilty and on May 8, 2017, was sentenced to 120 months in prison. Two medical doctors (Mustak Y. Vaid and Ewald J. Antoine), two Clinic executives (Asher Oleg Kataev and Alla Tsirlin), and two individuals who helped run two of the Clinics and a related ambulette company (Ivan Voychak and Edward Miselevich) have pled guilty and are awaiting sentencing.  Three additional defendants – a doctor (Paul J. Mathieu), a physical therapist (Hatem Behiry), and an occupational therapist (Lina Zhitnik) – are scheduled to go to trial before Judge Schofield on November 26, 2018.  These three remaining defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
MARINA BURMAN, 55, of Manhattan, pled guilty to health care fraud and conspiracy to commit health care fraud, mail fraud, and wire fraud before Judge Schofield on November 14, 2017.  In addition to the prison term, Judge Schofield ordered BURMAN to forfeit six condominium apartments paid for with the proceeds of the healthcare fraud scheme, and to pay restitution of $3,415,363 to Medicaid.
Mr. Berman praised the outstanding investigative work of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Office of the Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and the New York State Office of the Medicaid Inspector General (“OMIG”).
Petition Filing Calendar for the 
Adopted by the Commissioners of Elections in the City of New York on May 8, 2018 **********************************************************************


Monday, July 09, 2018..................................9 A.M. to 5 P.M. 
Tuesday, July 10, 2018..................................9 A.M. to 5 P.M. 
Wednesday, July 11, 2018.............................9 A.M. to 5 P.M. 
Thursday, July 12, 2018................................9 A.M. to 12 Midnight 

For Designating Petitions Filed on:    General Objections Must Be Filed by: 
Monday, July 09, 2018..........................Midnight, Thursday, July 12, 2018 
Tuesday, July 10, 2018..........................Midnight, Friday, July 13, 2018 
Wednesday, July 11, 2018.....................Midnight, Monday, July 16, 2018 
Thursday, July 12, 2018........................Midnight, Monday, July 16, 2018 

For General Objections Filed on:         Specifications Must Be Filed by:
Thursday, July 12, 2018......................Midnight, Wednesday, July 18, 2018 
Friday, July 13, 2018...........................Midnight, Thursday, July 19, 2018 
Monday, July 16, 2018.........................Midnight, Monday, July 23, 2018

Last day to file Certificate of Authorization of petition designation..............Monday, July 16, 2018
Last day to file Acceptance or Declination of petition designation..............Monday, July 16, 2018
Last day to fill Vacancy caused by declination of petition designation...........Friday, July 20, 2018
Last day to submit Proof of Service of Specifications.................Day after Specifications are Filed
Last day to institute Judicial Proceedings............Thursday, July 26, 2018 OR (3) business days with regard to designating petitions after BOE hearing where petition is invalidated. 

Board of Elections' HEARINGS ON DESIGNATING PETITIONS at the Executive Office, 42 Broadway, 6th Floor starting on TUESDAY, JULY 31, 2018 at 10 AM and continuing on WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 1, 2018, and THURSDAY, AUGUST 2, 2018 (if necessary). Interested parties should contact the Board’s Executive Office after the Commissioners’ Meeting on JULY 24, 2018 at 1:30 PM to obtain a detailed breakdown of the Hearing Schedule by Borough by checking the Board’s website: or calling (212) 487-5300. 

Friday, May 18, 2018

Bank Sentenced for Obstructing Regulators, Forfeits $368 Million for Concealing Anti-Money Laundering Failures

  Rabobank, National Association, a California subsidiary of the Netherlands-based Coöperatieve Rabobank U.A., was sentenced today before U.S. District Judge Jeffrey T. Miller for conspiring to impair, impede, and obstruct its primary regulator, the Department of the Treasury’s Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), by concealing deficiencies in its anti-money laundering program.

Judge Miller sentenced Rabobank to pay the statutory maximum fine of $500,000 after taking account of Rabobank’s forfeiture of $368,701,259 as well as a two-year term of probation.  Today’s half million dollar criminal fine coupled with Rabobank’s forfeiture of $368,701,259 stands as the largest monetary penalty paid by a criminal defendant in the history of the Southern District of California.  
In imposing sentence, Judge Miller noted that Rabobank’s conduct essentially amounted to “stiff-arming the OCC, and completely failing in its responsibility to its customers and the nation.”
“The U.S. Attorney’s Office is intent on securing the border and preventing the laundering of narco-dollars through financial institutions like Rabobank,” said U.S. Attorney Adam L. Braverman.  “In doing so we will safeguard our communities and protect our citizens from drug traffickers and corporate criminals alike.”
“Rabobank’s branches on the Mexican border processed hundreds of millions of dollars in suspicious transactions likely tied to international narcotics trafficking, organized crime, and money laundering,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General John P. Cronan. “Instead of filing reports that would have alerted law enforcement to the suspicious activity, as required by law, the bank looked the other way and then compounded its misconduct by conspiring to cover-up its failures and deceiving its regulator.  Today’s sentence and the related forfeiture demonstrate that the Department of Justice will use all the tools at our disposal to combat drug trafficking and transnational crime—including prosecuting financial institutions that turn a blind eye to illicit proceeds moving through their customers’ accounts.” 
“It is the responsibility of Homeland Security Investigations (“HSI”) to monitor and investigate activity which exploits the global infrastructure, to include financial systems.  This complex investigation revealed, and Rabobank admits, that Rabobank was aware of the extreme risk that it was processing hundreds of millions of dollars related to transnational crime and international money laundering – activity which plagues the Southwest Border,” said Dave Shaw, Special Agent in Charge for HSI in San Diego.  “This plea and significant forfeiture sends a strong message to financial institutions that this activity will not be tolerated.”
“Rabobank’s sentencing today is a victory for all Americans and sends a strong message about the need for transparency in banking and ultimately contributes to the fight against money laundering,” stated IRS Criminal Investigation’s Special Agent in Charge, Los Angeles Field Office, R. Damon Rowe. “IRS-Criminal Investigation works diligently with our law enforcement partners to ensure funds obtained through illegal means do not find their way into our financial institutions."
Today’s sentence follows Rabobank’s February 7, 2018, guilty plea for conspiring with several former executives to defraud the United States by unlawfully impairing and impeding the OCC’s ability to regulate the bank and  obstructing its examination of Rabobank’s Bank Secrecy Act/Anti-Money Laundering (BSA/AML) compliance program.  In connection with that guilty plea, Rabobank admitted that between 2009 and 2012 it implemented BSA/AML policies and procedures that precluded and suppressed legally-mandated investigations into potentially suspicious account activity, much of which was conducted by cross-border customers and through accounts that Rabobank had previously designated “High-Risk.” 
As a result of its BSA/AML failures, Rabobank admitted that certain customer accounts were involved in not less than $368,701,259 in suspicious transactions that were either unreported or untimely reported to the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), as required by the BSA.  These transactions along the southwest border included high-volume cash deposits and withdrawals, check transactions, electronic transfers, and wire transfers that were consistent with illegal activity such as trade-based money laundering, bulk cash smuggling, structuring, and the black market peso exchange. 
Rabobank’s branches in Imperial County were heavily dependent on cash sourced from Mexico – cash the bank knew was likely tied to narcotics trafficking and organized crime.  In particular, Rabobank’s Calexico, California branch, located approximately two blocks from the U.S.-Mexico border, was the highest performing branch in the Imperial Valley region due to its receipt of cash from Mexico.  Rabobank continued soliciting cash-intensive customers from Mexico, while failing to employ appropriate BSA/AML policies and procedures to address the heightened risk, until approximately May 2013, when Rabobank placed a moratorium on originating new account relationships for Mexico-based businesses entities.
Rabobank also admitted that the bank and its executives corruptly obstructed the OCC’s 2012 examination by responding to the OCC’s February 2013 initial report of examination with false and misleading information about the state of Rabobank’s BSA/AML program and by making false and misleading statements to the OCC regarding the existence of reports developed by a third-party consultant that described the deficiencies and resulting ineffectiveness of Rabobank’s BSA/AML program.  Rabobank also demoted or terminated two of its employees who provided information to the OCC. 
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Daniel C. Silva, Mark W. Pletcher, and David J. Rawls from the Southern District of California, and Trial Attorneys Kevin G. Mosley and Maria Vento of the Criminal Division’s Money Laundering and Asset Recovery Section.  The investigation team included HSI, IRS, and the Financial Investigations and Border Crimes Task Force (the “FIBC”), a multiagency Task Force based in San Diego and Imperial Counties, and funded by the Treasury Executive Office of Asset Forfeiture (“TEOAF”).  The investigation occurred in parallel with regulatory investigations by the OCC, Office of General Counsel, and FinCEN, Enforcement Division
Roseville, California
Conspiracy to Defraud the United States and (2) To Corruptly Obstruct an Examination of a Financial Institution – Title 18, United States Code, Section 371
Maximum penalties: $500,000 fine; a mandatory special assessment of $400; and a term of probation of at least one year, but not more than five years.
Homeland Security Investigations
Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation
TEOAF’s Financial Investigations and Border Crimes Task Force

Arizona Men Charged In Manhattan Federal Court With $23 Million Fraud And Money Laundering Scheme In Connection With Purported Fundraising For Numerous Scam Political Action Committees

  Geoffrey S. Berman, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, and William F. Sweeney Jr., the Assistant Director in Charge of the New York Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”), announced today that WILLIAM TIERNEY, a/k/a “Bill Johnson,” and ROBERT TIERNEY were arrested this morning and charged with wire fraud conspiracy, mail fraud conspiracy, and money laundering conspiracy for their role in a nationwide, multi-year scheme to defraud donors to at least nine political action committees in the amount of more than $23 million.  The defendants are expected to be presented this afternoon in the District Court of Arizona.

U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman said:  “As alleged, the defendants secretly operated numerous political action committees, raising small-dollar donations from people who believed their hard-earned money would support the causes described in solicitation calls and mailings.  In reality, as alleged, these PACs were political action committees in name only – they engaged in no advocacy campaigns, education efforts, or political operations, and donated less than one percent of the money they raised to candidates for office, all while personally enriching the defendants.  Now, these so-called PACs are no longer defrauding donors, and the defendants have been charged with federal crimes.”      
FBI Assistant Director William F. Sweeney Jr. said: “The defendants, as alleged, capitalized on the sympathy and activism of those who sought to support awareness of various causes near and dear to their hearts.  Instead, virtually none of the money raised was used for its intended purpose, and the so-called political action committees served as nothing more than a front for an extensive personal fundraising campaign. Today's charges detail a scheme lacking in ethical oversight and laden with greed, but it all ends today

According to the Complaint[1] unsealed today in Manhattan federal court:

From 2014 up to the present, WILLIAM TIERNEY and ROBERT TIERNEY defrauded tens of thousands of donors to at least nine political action committees that they controlled, operated, and influenced.  The defendants founded and directly operated six PACs,[2] and managed, operated, or influenced three additional PACs[3] (“Scam PACs).  These nine Scam PACs – which collectively raised more than $23 million between 2014 and 2017, and more than $50 million in the past 10 years – were fraudulent entities, operated solely to enrich the defendants and their co-conspirators.
As alleged, the Scam PACs targeted victims across the country, raising funds on the basis of fraudulent representations that the donations would support voter education regarding, and the political campaigns of those who supported, various causes, including autism awareness, law enforcement, and pro-life causes—including through purported “coast to coast” education and advocacy campaigns, working with local groups and organizations, and “investing every penny . . . in the big races to come.”  In truth, virtually all of the money raised was either paid to the scheme participants or used to perpetuate the fraud through additional telemarketing, fundraising, and overhead expenditures.  During the relevant time period, less than one percent of all donor money to the Scam PACs was spent on political contributions. 
The defendants perpetrated the fraud through various deceptive means and methods.  For example, as alleged, the defendants created and utilized a web of shell pass-through entities to conceal and disguise their fraud.  Donated funds were transferred to these shell entities, which were given names that suggested activities related to marketing, consulting, and communications efforts, including for issue-specific causes – so that payments to the shell entities would appear to be for legitimate expenditures.  In at least one instance, a website was created for one of the shell entities, falsely stating that the entity provided direct marketing and political consulting services to trade associations, candidate campaigns, political action committees, and nonprofit organizations.  In fact, these and the other shell entities were created by the defendants and their co-conspirators, had no active operations or employees, were retained by no outside “clients,” and served only to funnel and disguise financial transactions involving money donated to certain Scam PACs.
WILLIAM TIERNEY also allegedly instructed two companies that made telemarketing solicitation calls for certain Scam PACs to create their own shell companies – which he referred to as “Stealth LLCs” – with names that concealed any discernible connection with their parent telemarketing vendors.  This prevented the Federal Election Commission (“FEC”), donors, and other members of the public from being able to learn from required FEC disclosure forms that multiple Scam PACs were in fact paying the same telemarketing vendors. 
As alleged, the scheme participants also used multiple fraudulent identities.  WILLIAM TIERNEY used the fake identity of “Bill Johnson” when meeting and corresponding with officials at certain fundraising call centers, including during meetings at which ROBERT TIERNEY was present.  Another fake identity, “Emma Smith,” was used in fundraising solicitations, and was described as a “Volunteer Coordinator” for one of the PACs; in fact, neither Emma Smith nor the position of “Volunteer Coordinator” actually existed.  The defendants also undertook efforts to avoid press coverage of the Scam PACs more generally, despite the Scam PACs’ claims in solicitation materials of national advocacy and awareness campaigns.
Donations to the Scam PACs during the relevant period totaled more than $23 million.  Approximately $109,000 of those donations were directed to political candidates and more than $3.5 million was paid to the defendants personally.
WILLIAM TIERNEY, 46, and ROBERT TIERNEY, 40, are each charged with one count of wire fraud conspiracy, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison; mail fraud conspiracy, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison; conspiracy to commit money laundering, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison; and conspiracy to engage in monetary transactions in property derived from specified unlawful activity, which carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison.
The statutory maximum and mandatory penalties are prescribed by Congress and are provided here for informational purposes only, as any sentencings of the defendants would be determined by the judge.
Mr. Berman praised the investigative work of the Special Agents of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, and thanked the Federal Bureau of Investigation for its assistance in the investigation.
If you think you are a victim of, or have information about, the scheme alleged in this press release, or if you are a victim of, or have information about, a similar scheme, you are encouraged to contact the FBI at 212-384-2135.
The charges contained in the Complaint are merely accusations.  The defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
[1] As the introductory phase signifies, the entirety of the text of the Complaint, and the description of the Complaint set forth herein, constitute only allegations, and every fact described should be treated as an allegation.

[2] Grassroots Awareness PAC, Americans for Law Enforcement PAC, National Campaign PAC, Voter Education PAC, Action Coalition PAC, and Protect Our Future PAC.

[3] Life and Liberty PAC, Republican Majority PAC, and PAC.  These three PACs originally were founded by others.

Acting A.G. Underwood Announces That New York Will Continue The Fight To Protect Retirees From Financial Advisors Who Put Their Own Financial Gain Before Clients' Best Interests

Acting Attorney General Barbara D. Underwood today announced that New York will continue to defend crucial regulations that require retirement investment advisors to put the interests of their clients above their own financial gain, asking the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals to reconsider a decision denying states’ motion to intervene in Chamber of Commerce of the USA, et al. v. U.S. Department of Labor, et alThe motion for reconsiderationwas filed by the Attorneys General of New York, California, and Oregon. The Obama-era regulations, known collectively as the Fiduciary Rule, enshrined into federal law commonsense standards for professionals who give investment advice to people saving for retirement.
“The Fiduciary Rule is critical to protecting New Yorkers and Americans – ensuring that financial advisors act in their clients’ best interests, rather than their own,” said Acting Attorney General Underwood. “We will continue to fight to protect families that are saving for retirement.”
A three-judge panel of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals on a vote of 2-1 recently struck down the Fiduciary Rule. As a result, the Attorneys General filed a motion to intervene before that three-judge panel on April 26, 2018. Their motion was denied, also on a 2-1 vote. The Attorneys General now are asking the panel to reconsider its decision. 
The Fifth Circuit’s decision to vacate the Fiduciary Rule will deprive millions of Americans of basic safeguards as they seek financial advice about their retirement investments. It will cost hardworking Americans who are saving for retirement tens of billions of dollars. The Court wrongly held that the Department of Labor lacked authority to require financial advisors for holders of Individual Retirement Accounts to act in their clients’ best interests and the decision conflicts with decisions of three other courts, including the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals, that have upheld the Fiduciary Rule. 

News From Congressman Eliot Engel

Engel Statement on Anniversary of Brown vs. Board of Education Decision

“Sixty-four years ago today, in the landmark Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka decision, the Supreme Court struck down the doctrine of ‘separate but equal’ as inherently unequal and unconstitutional. This ruling helped launch the civil rights movement that led to desegregation and the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

“Unfortunately, the work of the civil rights movement is still in jeopardy today. We owe it to all children to ensure that our schools are free from discrimination and that students have equal access to a quality education. On this anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education, we must rededicate ourselves to the fight against discrimination and the promotion of educational equality.”  

Engel Statement on One Year Anniversary of Mueller Investigation

On the first anniversary of the Mueller investigation into the Trump Russia Scandal, but President Trump’s complaints about the length of the inquiry ring hollow. Compared to the duration of other high-profile investigations, Special Counsel Mueller’s inquiry barely registers.  The Republican Benghazi Committee dragged on for more than two years and found nothing more than the multiple other investigations into the same matter. Iran-Contra, Whitewater, and Watergate all lasted years. So, the idea that Special Counsel Mueller should observe some arbitrary deadline set by the subject of the investigation – Donald Trump, himself – is preposterous.

“Yet, even though Special Counsel Mueller’s investigation is comparatively short, the seriousness of the allegations is already clear. Mr. Mueller is racking up convictions and indictments, and all indications suggest there are more to come. President Trump and his Republican allies must not interfere or take any steps to obstruct justice in any way. Frankly, it’s past time for Congress to pass legislation guaranteeing that the Special Counsel can do his job free from political interference.”

Engel Condemns Trump’s Domestic Gag Rule

“When you visit your doctors, you trust that they are providing you with all of the facts and unbiased counsel about your health. The Trump Administration wants to change that. 

“They have unveiled a policy that will bar providers that specialize in reproductive health, like Planned Parenthood, from even providing information about abortion to patients if those providers receive federal family planning funds. 

“Denying people comprehensive, unbiased information about all of their health care options is unconscionable. Every person deserves to have complete information when making decisions about their health. This latest attack on health care doesn’t just threaten Americans’ well-being—it gets in between patient and provider, where the Trump Administration has no business being.”

Engel Legislation to Tackle Opioid Epidemic Advances to Full House
The Poison Center Network Enhancement Act extends the U.S. poison center program for five years. Since 2011, U.S. poison centers have handled nearly 200 cases each day involving opioid misuse.

Yesterday the House Energy and Commerce Committee approved the Poison Center Network Enhancement Act, legislation co-authored by Congressman Eliot L. Engel and Congresswoman Susan Brooks, for consideration by the full House of Representatives. This legislation will reauthorize the nationwide poison center program for an additional five years. 

Since 2011, U.S. poison centers have handled nearly 200 cases daily involving opioid misuse. Poison centers have also helped detect trends in the opioid epidemic, and experts have educated Americans about ways they could potentially save the lives of their loved ones. The Upstate New York Poison Center, for example, used the New York State Fair to educate New Yorkers about proper use of naloxone, the overdose reversal drug.

This bill will ensure that these important activities continue.

“Most of us already know about much of the work poison centers do, but many may not know about the critical role poison centers are playing in the fight to end the opioid crisis,” Engel said. “It is absolutely essential that this work continues. In Westchester County, 124 people died due to opioids in 2016. In the Bronx, more New Yorkers died of overdoses than in any other borough. We must do more to end this epidemic, and I am proud to see this important bill moving forward as part of that effort.”


Over 1/4 of 19,000 lane miles of city streets have been repaved since 2014, an unprecedented pace; on Staten Island, over 42 percent of streets have been repaved

  Mayor Bill de Blasio today announced that thanks to a ten-year investment of $1.6 billion in street repaving, New York City had this week paved its 5,000th lane-mile since 2014. That’s over 1/4 of the 19,000 total lane-miles citywide, long enough for a road to Las Vegas and back. The increased repaving has driven down potholes 44 percent. The Mayor made the announcement while visiting a Department of Transportation yard on Staten Island, where 42 percent of roadways have been resurfaced in the last four years.

“Smoother streets have meant fewer potholes. We paved it forward with a big investment in repaving, and the men and women of the DOT have delivered,” said Mayor de Blasio. “We will keep up this pace, and bring on new equipment, new asphalt and new ways to avoid the frustration of newly paved streets getting dug up.”

“For nearly a decade and a half prior to the de Blasio Administration, the streets of Staten Island and New York City suffered the structural fatigue of disinvestment," said Staten Island Borough President James Oddo. “I remember the first one-on-one formal presentation I made on this issue to the Mayor at Staten Island Borough Hall in October 2014. We asked for an extraordinary effort. What has resulted since that meeting has been more than that — it has been historic. Our job is far from done, including closing the back door of ‘street cuts,’ but the improvement in our roads is tangible, noticeable and most appreciated. The Administration’s sustained commitment to Pave, Baby, Pave is something to herald from Tottenville to St. George and across this metropolis.”    

The Mayor also announced several investments and innovations coming to DOT’s paving efforts:

Reining in street cuts for utility work – A newly paved street can last 10 to 20 years. But too often, repaved streets are quickly marred by utility “street cuts."  Starting in July, the DOT will dramatically reduce street cuts for repairs for a full two years after a street is repaved on Staten Island (the current permit-hold time is 18 months, with any repairs made during that time requiring significant and costly restoration of the street at the utility’s expense). If successful, the policy will be applied citywide.  Going forward, DOT will also meet regularly with National Grid and Con Edison to better plan and coordinate any disruptive work they plan on city roadways.

New paving equipment – As part of the City’s increased investment in paving, DOT announced that it has made a $36 million investment in its fleet of street paving equipment – including new trucks, milling equipment and steamrollers -- that have increased the productivity and efficiency of its Roadways work crews.

Rubberized asphalt – After a recent successful pilot along Fingerboard Road on Staten Island, DOT will be looking to expand the use of innovative roadway materials that combines recycled crumb rubber with liquid asphalt.  Rubberized streets appear to suffer fewer cracks and also offer quieter drives.

Red asphalt – DOT will expand the use of red asphalt for dedicated bus lanes.  Bus lanes paved with red asphalt are more cost-effective: they last longer and completely eliminate the need for street painting and touch-ups.

High-Performance Asphalt Overlay – After the successful conversions of Manhattan’s First Avenue and Fordham Road in the Bronx, DOT will explore the transformation of the City’s concrete roadways with a new overlay of asphalt.  Concrete roads with an asphalt layer reduce traffic noise and are less expensive to repair.

DOT indicated major streets in every borough that will be repaved in the last six weeks of the current fiscal year that ends on June 30, including:

  • Third and Fifth Avenues in Manhattan
  • Castle Hill and Lafayette Avenues in the Bronx
  • Northern and Vernon Boulevards in Queens
  • Rochester and Troy Avenues in Brooklyn
  • Arden Avenue and Todt Hill Road on Staten Island

“5,000 miles of repaved roadways is a really big deal, and it is definitely something worth celebrating,” said City Council Speaker Corey Johnson. “Ensuring our roads are safe and well taken care of has always been a priority for the City Council and I applaud Mayor de Blasio and DOT for making this investment in street repaving.”

“Thanks to Mayor de Blasio’s unprecedented investment in paving over the last four years, we have reached this significant milestone while at the same time seeing potholes and pothole complaints decline dramatically – by more than fifty percent,” said DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg. “As our paving crews now transition from potholes to road repaving, we ask that New York drivers give them the necessary space and maintain a safe speed as we try to pave as many streets during these warm weather months.”

“Thank you to DOT for getting this much-needed work done on Staten Island,” said Congress Member Dan Donovan.  “I look forward to our future collaboration to address Staten Island’s transportation needs.”

“Since my colleagues and I worked with the administration to drastically increase the budget for street repaving and to emphasize long-term restorations over patchwork repairs, nearly half of the roads on Staten Island have been repaved,” said Council Minority Leader Steven Matteo.

“That is no small feat, especially given the dilapidated state our roads were in when this Mayor took office. Borough President Oddo, Mayor de Blasio and Commissioner Trottenberg rightfully deserve credit for this great work and I look forward to continue working with them to keep these efforts going."

In 2015, the Mayor announced a $1.6 billion commitment to resurface roads all over the city over ten years. DOT repaved 1,265 lane miles in FY16, and 1,324 lane miles in FY17.  So far in FY18, crews have resurfaced over 1,000 lane-miles.  It is the highest three-year output of paved lane-miles in DOT’s recorded history.

DOT both procures and produces asphalt at its two plants for resurfacing and filling potholes. In 2017, DOT used nearly 1.3 million tons of asphalt.   For information about DOT’s ongoing work to address potholes and maintain the City’s road network, please visit

Pothole conditions should be reported immediately to The Daily Pothole or to 311


We left in the Comments from the Republican Staten Island Borough President, Congressman, and City Council member.

It is nice to see that almost half of the streets in Staten Island have been repaved. So Democratic Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., the Democratic Bronx Congressional delegation, and most importantly the Democratic Bronx City Council delegation, what about the pothole, structural fatigue of disinvestment, and utility construction damaged streets of the Bronx?


  The de Blasio Administration today announced that New York City, together with a coalition of 20 other cities and counties across the nation and the United States Conference of Mayors, has submitted an amicus brief to help defeat a Trump Administration lawsuit seeking to invalidate three California state laws. Among other things, the Trump Administration is suing for greater access to sensitive information that states and local governments collect from immigrant members of the community in the course of delivering services to all residents. Amici filed their brief in United States v. California to support California’s effort to limit the information it turns over, arguing that disclosing the information would erode the trust it has built with residents—including in vulnerable immigrant communities—that is necessary to effectively protect the safety and health of all residents.

“In New York City, we have shown how welcoming immigrants has helped make this the safest big city in the country,” said NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio. “We are all better off when we have policies in place that ensure residents are willing to report crime and assist the police, complain about unsafe conditions, send their children to school, and seek medical treatment. In New York, we will vigorously defend against any effort to undermine our local laws to protect the confidential information of our resident immigrants.”  

“While this lawsuit specifically targets the state of California, it is in reality an attack on all state and local governments across the country that have adopted policies that encourage immigrant residents to share confidential information essential to effective law enforcement and necessary to access important social services. These policies have proven effective in keeping our states and cities safe and enhancing the quality of life of our communities,” said Zachary W. Carter, Corporation Counsel of the City of New York.

Council Member Ruben Diaz announces the celebration of “Abrazo Boricua in New York.”

  Councilman Rev. Rubén Díaz, in conjunction with New York State Senator Luis Sepulveda, Assemblymen Marcos Crespo, Victor Pichardo, and City Council Member Rafael Salamanca will celebrate the Annual “Abrazo Boricua in New York.”

"Abrazo Boricua" is an entirely free annual banquet for the first 500 people, and it will take place at the Maestros Caterers Restaurant, located at 1703 Bronxdale Avenue, Bronx, New York, on Thursday, June 7, 2018, from 7:00 p.m. to 12:00 a.m. This event will honor the many contributions that the Puerto Rican community has made for the State and City of New York.

During this Banquet, Councilman Rubén Díaz together with elected officials will be presenting Proclamations and Recognitions to distinguish members of the Puerto Rican community.

For more information, please call Leila Martinez at 718-792-1140.


  Mayor de Blasio announced 19 new appointments to the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City Board of Advisors. These new members bring with them skills and knowledge from philanthropy, finance, design, technology, hospitality and other industries key to the City’s ongoing growth and success. For over 20 years, the Board of Advisors has provided expertise and critical support for the Fund as it pursues its goal of creating innovative and evidence-based approaches to address the City’s most pressing challenges. Board members act as advocates for the work of the Mayor’s Fund and are committed to making our City more equitable.

“To address the challenges facing our city, we need all New Yorkers pushing for progress together – including those in our robust private sector,” said Mayor de Blasio. “I welcome these new members to the Mayor’s Fund board and thank them for their commitment to making New York City the fairest big city in America.”

"We depend on New York City's civic leaders to partner with government to make our city more vibrant and equitable,” said First Lady Chirlane McCray, Chair of the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City. “Today, I'm excited to welcome true New York citizens, some of the best and the brightest, to help us continue the tremendous work of civic engagement promoted by the Mayor's Fund."

“I am pleased to welcome this dynamic group of civic-minded New Yorkers to the Mayor’s Fund.  They and their fellow Board members reflect the diversity of New York City’s public and private sector leadership, along with their collective dedication to creating a better future for all New Yorkers,” said Tishman Speyer President and CEO Rob Speyer, Chair of the Board of Advisors for the Mayor's Fund to Advance New York City.

Founded in 1994, the Mayor’s Fund is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization which annually works with an average of over 80 City programs, projects and initiatives; over 300 institutional funders; and more than 100 community-based organizations. The Mayor’s Fund and its partners advance a diverse set of initiatives that address needs across the five boroughs, with a particular focus on improving the lives of vulnerable New Yorkers and New Yorkers in need. The Fund has made strategic investments to promote mental health services for all New Yorkers, increase workforce development opportunities for young New Yorkers, and meet the needs of New York City’s diverse immigrant community. Additionally, when critical needs have emerged locally or beyond the city, the Mayor’s Fund has served as the vehicle to capture and direct New Yorkers goodwill and resources. Recently, the Mayor’s Fund has supported relief work in response to the unprecedented natural disasters that hit Puerto Rico, Texas and the Caribbean, including collecting $1.7 million in aid for residents displaced by Hurricane Maria.

“Through public-private partnerships, the Mayor’s Fund has driven progress  over the past four years to build program models that deliver equity and reflect New York values – from helping  immigrant New Yorkers access the tools they need to become citizens, to bringing mental health services  into disadvantaged neighborhoods to putting New Yorkers on a career path . None of this work happens without the thought leadership and expertise of our Board of Advisors. We value their contributions and look forward to building upon this success,” said Mayor’s Fund To Advance New York City Vice Chair Gabrielle Fialkoff, Senior Advisor to the Mayor and Director of the Mayor’s Office of Strategic Partnerships. 

“For almost 25 years the Mayor’s Fund has benefited from the support, guidance and partnership of New York City business and civic leaders, as we’ve helped develop innovative solutions to our city’s most intractable challenges,” said Darren Bloch, Executive Director of the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City. “We are thrilled to welcome this new class of members to our board. Each of these individuals are well versed in the challenges of our city and the promise and opportunity that New York City uniquely holds. I have no doubt they will be valuable partners in our work, and we are immensely grateful for their service and generosity.”

The new members are:

  • Ellen Alemany, Chairwoman and CEO of CIT Group: Ellen Alemany was named as chairwoman and CEO of CIT in 2016 and is leading the company’s evolution as a leading national bank serving the middle market and small business. Formerly, she was head of The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) Americas, and held several senior positions during her tenure at Citigroup, including executive vice president for Commercial Business and president and CEO of CitiCapital. She also serves on the boards of Fidelity National Information Services, Inc., The Center for Discovery, Operation Hope and the Partnership for New York City.

  • Jay G. Badame, President, AECOM Tishman and AECOM Hunt: Jay Badame currently serves as chair of the Board of the Regional Alliance for Small Contractors, Co-Chairman of the Building Trades Employers’ Association, vice chairman of the New York Building Foundation and trustee of the Citizens Budget Commission.

  • Charles Bendit, Co-CEO, Taconic Investment Partners: In addition to founding Taconic, Charles Bendit founded CBC properties where he acquired, repositioned, and managed more than one million square feet of office properties in New York City and Washington, D.C. Mr. Bendit has been actively involved in the educational community serving as Regent of the New York State Board of Education, and a member of the Board of Advisors of the George Washington University School of Business. 

  • Neil Blumenthal, co-founder and co-CEO, Warby Parker: Neil Blumenthal is a co-founder and co-CEO of Warby Parker which was named the most innovative company in the world by Fast Company in 2015. Prior to launching Warby Parker in 2010, Neil served as director of VisionSpring, a nonprofit social enterprise that trains low-income women to start their own businesses selling affordable eyeglasses to individuals living on less than $4 per day in developing countries. He was named a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum and one of the 100 Most Creative People in Business by Fast Company. He serves on the board of RxArt and on the United Nations Foundation Global Entrepreneurs Council. A native of New York City, Neil received his BA from Tufts University and his MBA from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

  • Richard Born, Co-Owner, BD Hotels: Richard Born co-owns the largest portfolio of independent hotels in New York, spanning 28 properties and 5,000 rooms in Manhattan and Brooklyn. BD properties has been at the forefront of the city’s boutique hospitality scene for the past three decades. Among their properties are the first Pod Hotel, opened in 2007, and the historic and infamous Chelsea Hotel, which they expect to open in 2019.

  • Valentino DCarlotti, Executive Vice President & Global Head of Business Development, Sotheby’s:Valentino D. Carlotti, has been a partner since 2006 with Goldman Sachs where he began in 1994. He joined Sotheby’s executive management team in October 2017. He currently serves as a trustee on the boards of Carnegie Hall, the Guggenheim Museum, American Ballet Theatre, Jazz at Lincoln Center, the Studio Museum in Harlem, The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Guild Hall, MLT, and the Boys’ Club of New York.

  • Debra Martin Chase, Founder and owner, Martin Chase Productions: Debra Martin Chase is an American Motion picture and television producer. After receiving her law degree, she practiced law before transitioning to the film industry in the late 80s. Throughout her career she has produced movies such as Courage Under Fire, The Princess Diaries and The Cheetah Girls. She has served on the Board of Directors of the United Friends of Children; the Women at NBCUniversal Advisory Board; and the Advisory Board of Columbia College of Chicago. Currently she sits on the board of the New York City Ballet, Mount Holyoke College and Second Stage Theater.

  • Kenneth Daly, COO for National Grid’s US Electric business: Kenneth Daly leads the delivery of safe, reliable electricity service to 3.3 million customers across New York, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island. For the past seven years, Mr. Daly was the president and COO of the New York business of National Grid. He serves on the Board of Trustees of Saint Francis College, has been an adjunct professor there for 25 years, and has been the director of the St. John’s University Executive-in-Resident Program since 1992. Mr. Daly is also a member of the David Rockefeller ‘Fellows Program,’ the Long Island Energeia Partnership, and serves on the Boards of the, NYC Partnership, Ridgewood Savings Bank, Advanced Energy Research and Technology Center (AERTC), and the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA). 

  • Vijay Dandapani, President & CEO, Hotel Association of New York City: Vijay Dandapani is a hotel industry veteran, recognized in 1998 as one of Crain’s New York Business top 100 minority business leaders in New York City. In 2002, the Asian American Business Development Center, New York selected him as one of 50 outstanding Asian Americans in Business. He is an alumnus of the grad program at Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration and an Aga Khan Foundation Scholar.

  • Gigi Ganatra Duff, Vice President of Public Relations and Corporate Affairs, Nordstrom Inc.: Gigi Ganatra Duff is a veteran in strategic marketing, brand development, and communications within the fashion, hospitality and real estate industries. Ms. Duff oversees external and internal communications for Nordstrom, Nordstrom Rack, HauteLook and Trunk Club. Nordstrom supports the communities they serve through Nordstrom Cares which supports local and national organizations that support kids and empower youth.  Ms. Duff is responsible for the strategic development of Nordstrom Cares and will lead community efforts for Nordstrom as they open their first Nordstrom store in New York City.  Previously Ms. Duff led Communications and Cares initiatives for HSNI and was head of Global Brand Communications for Starwood Hotels.  She currently serves on the foundation board for Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital.

  • Jeffrey Gural, Chairman of GFP Real Estate LLC.: Jeffrey Gural, along with his son and nephew, is responsible for acquisitions, management and leasing of the 10 million square feet of real estate under their umbrella of companies. He is also the former chairman of the Board of Directors of the Times Square Alliance, a Trustee of the New School, and a member of the Board of Directors of the UJA-Federation, among others.

  • Jill Iscol, President, IF Hummingbird Foundation: For almost three decades Dr. Jill Iscol has supported and participated in numerous non-profit organizations, including Bank Street College, Prep for Prep, Facing History and Ourselves, Stand for Children and Acumen. She was founding co-chair of City Year New York and continues to provide strategic advice to many non-profit advisory boards, including Teachers College, Columbia University, International Refugee Assistance project and NEST, enabling them to become stable, sustainable and successful, impacting lives around the globe. Currently, she serves on the Council on Foreign Relations Women’s Advisory Council. Dr. Iscol is an appointed member of the New York State Commission on National and Community Service and author of Hearts on Fire: Stories of Today’s Visionaries Igniting Idealism into Action.

  • Charles McCall, CEO, Astoria Energy LLC and Astoria Energy II LLC: Charles McCall oversees two significant energy companies in New York City in his roles as CEO, Partner, and General Manager, having led the development, financing, construction and managing the operations of companies that produce over 13% of the electricity consumed in New York City. Prior to joining Astoria, Mr. McCall held various director-level positions with PSEG Power LLC.

  • Keith Mestrich, President & CEO, Amalgamated Bank: Keith Mestrich is president and chief executive officer of Amalgamated Bank, a values-based financial institution with over $4 billion in commercial assets and a trust and investment management business with over $40 billion in custody and investment assets under management. Under Mr. Mestrich’s leadership, Amalgamated has undertaken a number of initiatives to underscore its mission of social responsibility, including its support of a $15 minimum wage (and its becoming the first bank to raise its minimum wage to $15 for all employees), its acceptance of IDNYC as an alternative form of ID to open a bank account, and the company’s certification as a B Corp, recognizing for-profit companies that meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency.  Mr. Mestrich currently serves on the Board of The Democracy Alliance, The Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt Institute, and is on the Leadership Council for NY Habitat for Humanity.

  • Henry Muñoz, Chairman and CEO, Muñoz & Company: Henry Muñoz is a nationally respected voice in the discourse about Latino culture and identity upon American Society in the 21st Century, and leads one of the largest and oldest minority-owned design practices in the country. Mr. Muñoz is also founder of The Dream.US, which has raised over $100 Million in scholarships for DREAMers.     

  • JoAnn Murray, Chief Human Resources Officer, Condé Nast: During Ms. Murray’s tenure, she has built strong partnerships with brand leaders to ensure Condé Nast retains its position as an employer of choice and a place for dynamic talent in the competitive world of media. Murray is a passionate advocate for the education and empowerment of young women, and is actively involved with the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and is a volunteer for St. Judes and the American Cancer Society.

  • Deven Parekh, Managing Director, Insight Venture Partners: Mr. Parekh manages investments in vertical and horizontal software and consumer internet companies globally. He serves as Board Chair for Bullhorn, DrillingInfo, Turnitin and Ministry Brands. He is a member of the Board of Directors for Appriss, Campaign Monitor, Fanatics, Diligent, 1stdibs, Vela, Chrono24, LetGo, and Wallapop. He is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the Economic Club of NY and the Greater NY Partnership. He was nominated by President Obama, and confirmed by the U.S. Senate to serve on the Overseas Private Investment Corporation Board. He is a member of the Board of the Tisch New York MS Research Center and the Board of Trustees and Executive Committee for the Ethical Culture Fieldston School. In addition, he is chairman emeritus of Publicolor, a New York City based non-profit organization that focuses on inner city schools.

  • Morris Pearl, Chair, Patriotic Millionaires: Morris Pearl serves as chair of the Patriotic Millionaires, a group of hundreds of high-net-worth Americans who are committed to making all Americans, including themselves, better off by building a more prosperous, stable, and inclusive nation. The group focuses on promoting public policy solutions that encourage political equality, guarantee a sustaining wage for working Americans, and ensure that millionaires, billionaires, and corporations pay their fair share of taxes. Previously, Mr. Pearl was a managing director at BlackRock, one of the largest investment firms in the world.  His work included the Maiden Lane transactions and assessing governments’ potential losses from bank bailouts in the United States and in Europe.

  • Marilyn Simons, President, Simons Foundation: Founded in 1994, the Simons Foundation is one of the country’s leading private funders of basic scientific research. In addition to co-founding and serving as President of the Simons Foundation, Marilyn brings more than 25 years of experience actively supporting nonprofit organizations in New York. She is vice president of the board of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, an outstanding U.S. research facility specializing in molecular biology and genetics, and a board member of the Turkana Basin Institute, a research institution that supports scientific projects in the Turkana Basin, Kenya. She also serves as chair of the Stony Brook University Women’s Leadership Council.  Simons is a member of the board of trustees of the LearningSpring School, a New York City based school for children diagnosed on the autism spectrum, and the East Harlem Scholars Academy in New York City.

The new members will join the existing members of the board:

Janet Bell
Barry Berke
Barbara Bowen
Steve Buscemi
Mitch Draizin
Harold Fetner
Marian Fontana
Charlene Gayle
George Gresham
Jon Halpern

Louis Hernandez

Amabel James
Carol Lewis
John McAvoy
Charles McCall
Mary McCormick
Cheryl McKissack
Ron Moelis
Mike Muse
Sean Parker
Ron Perelman
Steven Rubenstein
William Rudin
Chris Shelton
Edward Skyler
Jerry Speyer
Robert Speyer
Mary Alice Stephenson
Stuart Suna
Kenneth Sunshine
Jonathan Tisch
Jeff Wilpon
Steven Witkoff