Monday, August 31, 2020

Governor Cuomo Announces COVID-19 Hospitalizations, ICU Patients and Deaths Drop to New Lows

 

Hospitalizations Drop to 418—New Low Since March 16

ICU Patients Drop to 109—New Low Since March 15

1 COVID-19 Death in New York State Yesterday—New Low; No Deaths Reported in NYC

0.99 Percent of Yesterday's COVID-19 Tests were Positive; 24 Straight Days with Infection Rate Below 1 Percent

SLA and State Police Task Force Visits 1,110 Establishments; Observes 5 Establishments Not in Compliance

Confirms 656 Additional Coronavirus Cases in New York State - Bringing Statewide Total to 434,756; New Cases in 41 Counties

  Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that COVID-19 hospitalizations and ICU patients have dropped to new lows. Hospitalizations dropped to 418, a new low since March 16, and the number of patients in ICUs dropped to 109, a new low since March 15. Yesterday, one person was reported to have died from COVID-19 in New York State, which is the lowest single-day death toll. No deaths were reported in New York City. The number of new cases, percentage of tests that were positive and many other helpful data points are always available at forward.ny.gov.

"Yesterday we had the lowest number hospitalized and the lowest number in the ICU since this crisis began. One New Yorker passed away and that New Yorker's family is in our thoughts and prayers, but we should pause a moment on that fact. There was a time when we were going through this crisis when we literally had hundreds of people dying every day," Governor Cuomo said. "And I asked New Yorkers to understand the facts and to act responsibly and I said that what the future holds is determined by what New Yorkers do. Together we did flatten the curve and we saved lives."

Yesterday, the State Liquor Authority and State Police Task Force visited 1,110 establishments in New York City and Long Island and observed 5 establishments that were not in compliance with state requirements. A county breakdown of yesterday's observed violations is below: 

  • Queens - 5

Today's data is summarized briefly below: 

  • Patient Hospitalization - 418 (-11)
  • Patients Newly Admitted - 29
  • Hospital Counties - 32
  • Number ICU - 109 (-3)
  • Number ICU with Intubation - 51 (+4)
  • Total Discharges - 75,100 (+38)
  • Deaths - 1
  • Total Deaths - 25,328

Governor Cuomo and Labor Leaders Call on Congress to Provide $59 Billion to Address Catastrophic Budget Shortfalls Resulting from COVID-19 Pandemic

 

New York State and New York City Require Lifesaving Injection of Federal Funding to Avoid Setbacks to Vital Infrastructure Projects that Provide Employment for Thousands of Workers

Call on Congress to Repeal SALT

Cuomo, Labor Leaders: "Even if state and local governments cut expenses, increase taxes, and reduced services, the revenue shortfall would still be in the billions of dollars. Moreover, forcing state and local governments to take such actions would only further the pain and extend the period of time for the nation's economy to recover." 

  Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and prominent New York labor leaders today called on Congress to provide $59 billion to address catastrophic budget shortfalls that impact the jobs and livelihoods of thousands of workers in the state. The governor and labor leaders sent a letter to federal representatives enumerating the critical infrastructure projects that would be impacted without federal funding and the hospitals, schools and institutions that would be supported by it. New York State, New York City and other local governments face huge shortfalls due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. 

The governor and labor leaders also called on Congress to repeal the tax change that eliminated the State and Local Tax Deduction (SALT).

New York State requires $30 billion during the current fiscal year and next to avoid massive disruption. New York City requires $9 billion, local governments outside of New York City require $4.5 billion, the MTA requires $12 billion, and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey requires $3 billion. Federal funding would support:

  • Rebuilding JFK and LaGuardia Airports, which employ thousands of private sector workers
  • The MTA's $51 billion capital plan
  • East Side Access and new Penn Station

The full letter is available below: 

Dear Federal Representative:

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and its economic impact, New York State is in an impossible financial situation.

State and local governments are facing an approximate $59 billion shortfall this year and next. New York City, the Metropolitan Transit Authority, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey individually all face unmanageable shortfalls. Likewise, private sector businesses have seen lost revenue and tens of thousands of jobs lost. 

There is no combination of state efforts that will address this financial crisis without federal assistance. Even if state and local governments cut expenses, increase taxes, and reduced services, the revenue shortfall would still be in the billions of dollars. Moreover, forcing state and local governments to take such actions would only further the pain and extend the period of time for the nation's economy to recover. Virtually all economists agree that forcing state and local governments to lay off employees and reduce services will negatively impact the national recovery. We saw that with the last fiscal crisis in 2007-2009, and we know that it will play out again.

Much damage has been done by this federal administration - policies like the SALT tax "reform" that increased taxes on New Yorkers, and discriminatory policies that tout "savings" while further marginalizing vulnerable New Yorkers. The federal administration has already achieved many of its political priorities in prior legislation passed in response to COVID. We cannot allow another piece of legislation to pass without protecting New Yorkers.

New York State requires $30 billion in funding in the current fiscal year and next to avoid massive disruption. Likewise, New York City requires $9 billion, local governments outside of New York City require $4.5 billion, the MTA $12 billion and the Port Authority $3 billion. The Port Authority's projects rebuilding LaGuardia and JFK Airports are currently employing thousands of private sector construction workers. The MTA's $51 billion capital plan will be on hold, and East Side Access and a revitalized Penn Station will be lost, maybe forever. We must not lose these jobs and these projects - they are necessary to cementing New York's economic future. Hospitals, schools and public employees have done heroic work during Covid and must now be protected, especially as we reopen schools and anticipate additional health challenges in the Fall.  The legislation must also repeal the damaging and offensive SALT tax "reform," which cost the people of the State of New York as much as an additional $15 billion each year.

DEC ANNOUNCES TEMPORARY CLOSURE OF THREE SHELLFISHING AREAS

 

Three North Shore Areas to be Closed Starting Sept. 4; Areas Expected to Reopen Sept. 10

  New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos today announced the temporary closure of three shellfishing areas on the north shore of Long Island during the upcoming Labor Day holiday period. These closures are imposed during busy holidays to protect public health from potentially contaminated shellfish associated with increased boating activity in shellfishing waters. Boaters are reminded to use pump-out facilities to help protect these waters. When boating, DEC encourages New Yorkers to get outside safely, locally, and responsibly during the State’s response to COVID-19, and to avoid busy waters.

“DEC closes shellfishing in these waters annually during the Labor Day holiday due to the heavy increase in recreational activities,” Commissioner Seggos said. “Responsible boating plays a major role in protecting our local waterways and DEC continues to urge boaters to be aware of the no-discharge zones in New York’s coastal waters and to use pump-out facilities to prevent impacts to our natural resources and protect public health.”

Since 1995, DEC has designated these areas as temporarily uncertified for the harvest of shellfish during the Fourth of July and Labor Day holidays. During peak holiday periods, discharges from marine sanitation devices (toilets) may contaminate nearby shellfish beds with pathogenic bacteria or viruses, rendering the shellfish unsafe for human consumption.

DEC will designate the following areas, all on the north shore of Long Island, as closed to the harvest of shellfish beginning at sunrise on Friday, Sept. 4, and continuing through Wednesday, Sept. 9:

445 acres in a section of Oyster Bay Harbor, town of Oyster Bay, Nassau County

50 acres in the area known as the Sand Hole, town of Huntington, Suffolk County

347 acres in northern Port Jefferson Harbor, town of Brookhaven, Suffolk County

Shellfish harvesting is expected to resume in these areas on Thursday, Sept. 10. If poor weather causes fewer boaters to visit these areas, DEC may rescind the closure and reopen the areas earlier to harvesting. A recorded message advising the public about temporary closures of any shellfishing areas in New York State is accessible 24 hours a day by calling (631) 444-0480. The recorded message also advises harvesters when such areas have reopened. Information, including maps showing the affected areas, is available on DEC’s website.

New York State is encouraging boaters to engage in responsible recreation during the State’s ongoing response to COVID-19. The particular practice of “rafting” where multiple vessels tie up with each other should be avoided since this can increase the chance of disease transmission. DEC recommendations incorporate guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the New York State Department of Health for reducing the spread of infectious diseases and encourage New Yorkers to recreate locally, practice physical distancing, show respect, and use common sense to protect themselves and others. For more information about engaging in responsible recreation this summer, visit DEC's website.

Boaters should be aware that Oyster Bay Harbor, the Sand Hole, and Port Jefferson Harbor are designated as no-discharge zones in their entirety. A no-discharge zone is a designated body of water where the discharge of treated or untreated boat sewage is prohibited. Boaters in these areas should utilize the following pump-out facilities:

Oyster Bay Harbor (West Harbor, town of Oyster Bay): One pump-out boat is operated by the town of Oyster Bay at no cost to boaters. Hours of operation are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekends. Contact the pump-out boat via marine radio VHF channel 9 or by cell phone at (516) 375-9864. In addition, the town provides two pump-out stations on floats near the Oyster Bay Marine Center and Waterfront Park and a land-based pump-out in the town marina at Theodore Roosevelt Park.

The Sand Hole (Lloyd Neck, town of Huntington): Although there are no facilities within the Sand Hole, boaters should contact Town of Oyster Bay pump-out boat as noted above. There also is a land-based pump-out facility at Powle’s Marine Center in Cold Spring Harbor. In addition, boaters traveling from town of Huntington waters can request the services of the town’s pump-out boat (no fee) by calling on marine radio VHF channel 9. There are also a number of land based pump-out facilities at marinas in Northport Harbor and Huntington Harbor.

Port Jefferson Harbor (town of Brookhaven): The town of Brookhaven operates a pump-out boat (no fee) in Port Jefferson Harbor. Hours of operation are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Boaters may contact the town’s pump-out boat via marine radio VHF channel 73. In addition, the town provides a pump out station on its transient dock, east of the boat launch ramp, west of the charter fishing vessels.

full list of No Discharge Zones in New York State, including other Long Island waters, can be found on DEC’s website.

Council Member Ruben Diaz Sr. - PUBLIC HOUSING LEADERS IN NYC, WHO SUPPORTED TRUMP SAY THERE BEEN DECEIVED, WERE THEY?

 What You Should Know

By Councilman Rev. Ruben Diaz
District 18, Bronx County

  You should know that during the Republican National Convention, held Monday August 24 to Thursday August 27 of this year, leaders representing four (4) different New York City Public Housing Developments came out in defense of President Donald Trump.
 
It is important for you to know that these four (4) NYCHA public housing leaders in New York City are all Democrats, one is African American, and three are Hispanic. All four (4) appeared praising the work and contributions of President Donald Trump’s administration. While at the same time, these four (4) criticized New York City’s Mayor Bill de Blasio and the Democratic Party for the disastrous conditions in NYC’s public housing.
  
Carmen Quiñones, Tenant Leader of “Frederick Douglas Houses” in Harlem, Claudia Perez, Tenant Association President at “Washington Houses,” Manuel Martinez, head of the resident’s association at South Jamaica Houses” and Ms. Judy Smith, a NYCHA resident
 
You should also know that when the Republican National Convention ended, much criticism and pressure began on these four (4) people for having recorded the video in favor of President Trump. Carmen Quiñones, Claudia Perez, and Manuel Martinez later retracted and released statements, where they claimed, that they were used and that they never willfully endorsed President Trump.
 
One of them, the African-American, Judy Smith, did not retract her statements. She stood firm, testifying that she did know what she was doing and that her support for President Donald Trump remained firm.
 
My advice to the three Hispanic leaders who, according to them, “were deceived” should sit down and watch the video again (see link below)They all appear very comfortable and sure of their statements in favor of President Trump. They don't seem as if they were coerced, nervous or unsure of their statements. It is disheartening to believe that at this stage our community would have leaders that are so easily coerced and fooled as if they were naïve little children.  It’s as if they have no control over what they say, and then have to retract and blame others later.   This my dear readers is shameful.
 
 
I am Councilman Rev. Rubén Díaz, and This is What You Should Know.

AG James and Coalition of Elected Officials Demand Delay, Reforms to, and Removal of Over 4,700 Homes from Tax Lien Sale to Protect New York Homeowners

 

  New York Attorney General Letitia James and a group of 57 elected officials urged New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio to delay the city’s annual tax and water lien sale in order to protect homeowners as the COVID-19 crisis continues. In a letter to Mayor de Blasio, Attorney General James and other elected officials called for the removal of more than 4,700 Class 1 Properties, or residential buildings with three or fewer units, from the tax lien sale scheduled for September 4, 2020. As New Yorkers are still facing significant financial burdens due to the pandemic, including these homes in the tax lien sale will only exacerbate the economic crisis and result in homeowners — mostly in communities of color — potentially losing their homes during this time.

“Now is the time to support hardworking homeowners, not saddle them with undue financial burden,” said Attorney General James. “The tax lien sale has a disproportionate impact on communities of color and will only exacerbate the financial hardships so many are already facing in the middle of a pandemic. It’s incumbent on government to protect the people — not kick them when they’re already down — and I urge Mayor de Blasio to take action immediately.”

Every year, the New York City Department of Finance (DOF) holds a tax lien sale, whereby the tax liens on properties for unpaid property taxes and water bills are sold off in an auction. The terms imposed by the tax lien sale on New Yorkers are dramatic: mandatory five percent surcharges, legal fees, and a nine or 18 percent interest rate that compounds daily. These additional fees can quickly turn a relatively small tax lien into an overwhelming financial burden, eventually pushing homeowners into foreclosure.

The buildings included in the sale every year are disproportionately located in communities of color. In fact, according to the Coalition for Affordable Homes, the city is six times more likely to sell a lien on a property in a majority Black neighborhood and two times more likely to sell a lien on a property in a majority Hispanic neighborhood than in a majority white neighborhood.

The city generally conducts vigorous outreach to property owners to ensure residents in debt to the city are aware that they are in jeopardy of entering the lien sale process and knowledgeable about alternative payment plans. This year, however, because of the severe constraints that COVID-19 has placed on outreach efforts, much of this work was not done at nearly the same levels as in years past. In addition, Mayor de Blasio only just announced on August 23, 2020 that the sale would in fact occur on September 4, 2020, giving New Yorkers only a fraction of the time to plan. As a result, many vulnerable families and individuals may not have any information about how to remove their homes from the sale or even be aware that their property is included in the sale.

Attorney General James has long advocated for reforms to the lien sale program to address some of its gravest injustices and renews those calls today, including:

  • Eliminating water and sewer lien sales for low and middle-income occupants of one-to-three family homes (there are currently 2,639 Class 1 properties on the list that have water debt only);
  • Creating a “Homeowner Advocate” position who would help homeowners navigate different agencies involved in the tax lien sale (no such position currently exists); and
  • Excluding nonprofits and houses of worship from both the water and the property tax lien sale (there are currently 49 non-profit properties on the list, all resulting from water debt).

The letter was signed by a coalition of 57 elected officials, representing New Yorkers at the federal, state, and city level.

The manes are not listed, because a few are seeking reelection or higher office.

Kicking Off Labor Rights Week, Comptroller Stringer Announces $2 Million in Stolen Prevailing Wages Returned to Workers During COVID-19 Pandemic AUGUST 31, 2020

 

Launches “Know your Rights" virtual workshops in collaboration with workers’ rights advocates, community organization and consulates during Labor Rights Week (August 31 - Sept 4)

Bureau of Labor Law recoups unpaid wages with interest for workers regardless of their immigration status, whether or not they still live in New York City

   New York City Comptroller Scott M. Stringer kicked off Labor Rights Week by announcing that nearly $2 million in stolen prevailing wages has been returned to more than 100 workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. Comptroller Stringer also launched a series of “Know Your Rights” virtual events in collaboration with labor rights groups, community organizations, the Consulate of Mexico and Latin American Consulates Coalition. All events commence on August 31 and the series will culminate on September 4, 2020.

The Comptroller’s Bureau of Labor Law enforces prevailing wage and benefit rates for construction and building service workers employed by contractors on City public work projects. When companies on these public contracts fail to pay the proper wages and benefits, the Comptroller enforces the law to recover the money owed to workers and ensures that they receive the money through outreach. Amid the economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Comptroller’s office launched a phone banking campaign in April to return unclaimed wages to workers cheated out of pay. Since March, the Comptroller’s Office has returned nearly $2 million to more than 100 workers.

“I always say that in my office, every week is Labor Rights Week. I believe that workers are their own best advocates when they know their rights, which is why community-based partnerships are so important,” said Comptroller Stringer. “My office is as committed to the enforcement of prevailing wages as we are in connecting workers with the pay they are rightfully owed. The economic fallout of COVID-19 has made this work more important than ever, and I am proud that our redoubled efforts have brought justice to more than 100 workers during these past few challenging months.”

The Mexican Consulate in New York hosts Labor Rights Week every year just before Labor Day. This year’s Labor Rights Week will be a virtual event and will take place from August 31 through September 4, 2020. An MOU is signed every two years in commitment to the partnership between the Comptroller’s office and the Mexican Consulate to promote labor rights and advocate for workers. The Mexican Consulate has similar MOUs with New York State and the United States Departments of Labor. For the Comptroller’s office, the object of the MOU is to ensure workers are aware of their rights to prevailing wages on City-funded public work sites.

During Labor Rights Week the Comptroller’s Bureau of Labor Law will participate in the “Know Your Rights” virtual workshops below:

  • August 31, 11:00 AM – Mexican Consulate Labor Rights Week “Kickoff” event via Zoom and Facebook Live
  • September 1, 5:00 PM – St. Jerome HANDS Community Center in the Bronx via Zoom
  • September 2, 5:30 PM – Mixteca Organization via Zoom
  • September 3, 6:00 PM – NYC Comptroller’s office via Zoom and Facebook Live
  • September 4, 6:00 PM – La Colmena, Staten Island via Zoom and Facebook Live
  • September 4, 11:00 AM – Mexican Consulate & CLACNY via Zoom and Facebook Live

Kyle Bragg, President of 32BJ SEIU, said: “As Comptroller, Scott Stringer has consistently stood up for the rights of workers. We strongly commend  the Comptroller’s Bureau of Labor Law for overcoming challenges related to the COVID-19 pandemic to restore to more than 100 workers $2 million in stolen wages they should have received under prevailing wage, especially at a time when so many families are hurting. We strongly support ongoing efforts by his office to put lost wages back in the hands of families that need them., especially at this time.”

Steve Choi, Executive Director of the New York Immigration Coalition, said: “With immigrants representing more than half of our front line workers and thousands ineligible for relief, it is vital that workers receive every cent owed them. Even during the best of times, rampant wage theft remains a reality for all too many hard-working New Yorkers. We applaud the Comptroller’s efforts through the covid-19 pandemic recouping $2 million in stolen prevailing wages for more than 100 hundred workers regardless of their immigration status and ensuring all workers get the compensation they deserve for their labor.”

Jennifer Sun, Co-Executive Director of Asian Americans for Equality, said: “We at AAFE would like to thank Comptroller Stringer for ensuring that workers receive the wages they are owed, especially during the COVID-19 crisis, when so many low-income families are struggling financially. Through good economic times and bad, employers must meet their obligations to the hard working men and women who make our city run day in and day out, often at their own peril. AAFE is happy to partner with the Comptroller’s Office during Labor Rights Week to make sure all of our communities know about their labor rights.”

Maf Misbah Uddin, Founder and President of the Alliance of South Asian American Labor, said: “The Alliance of South Asian American Labor (ASAAL) is proud to continue it’s partnership with our people’s Comptroller Scott Stringer, all labor-based groups, and our concerned citizens to fight for economic justice for workers. Wage theft is a serious crime and we all must do everything in our power to protect the workers in getting their fair share of pay that they earned regardless of their immigration status. We commend the Comptroller’s office for overcoming all challenges through the pandemic and bringing justice to more than 100 workers during this public health crisis.”

Jonathan Westin, Executive Director of New York Communities for Change, said: “Employers across the City continue to cheat workers out of their hard-earned wages. We applaud Comptroller Stringer for standing up and helping workers who are owed thousands of dollars in compensation. We will continue to work hand in hand with the Comptroller to combat wage theft across the city,” said

Jo-Ann Yoo, Executive Director of the Asian American Federation, said: “Workers, who have always been vulnerable, are hurting more than ever, and the economic fallout from the Covid-19 pandemic has barely begun. It is even more critical in this economic climate that contractors who take public dollars do right by their workers and pay their workers fairly. We thank Comptroller Stringer for championing workers, especially during these tentative economic times, and for holding publicly funded contractors accountable and commend his bureau of labor law for their tirelessly efforts that lead to returning $2 millions in prevailing wages to more than 100 workers through the pandemic. We are happy that workers have an opportunity to claim their stolen wages and we will work with our pan-Asian member agencies to spread the word to the Asian community.”

Since 2014, Comptroller Stringer’s office has assessed more than $30 million in prevailing wage violations and paid over $15 million to employees who were cheated out of their wages. It has also debarred 60 contractors who took advantage of workers – setting an office record.

MAYOR DE BLASIO ANNOUNCES PLAN TO FULFILL THE OBAMA FOUNDATION PLEDGE TO REFORM POLICING

 

 Mayor de Blasio today announced New York City’s plan to fulfill The Obama Foundation pledge to address use of force in policing. The Mayor took the pledge in June of this year, which included a commitment to review police use of force policies, engage communities by including a diverse range of input, report the findings of the review, and reform police use of force policies. The Mayor’s plan focuses primarily on areas that have a critical impact on use of force: community, transparency and accountability. 

“We’ve shown we can change this city these past nearly seven years. Now we are showing it again,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “Reform goes beyond just changing policies. It means improving transparency, increasing accountability, and ensuring community engagement is centered in our approach.”

 

"Over the past nearly seven years, our NYPD officers have worked tirelessly to carry out a series of cutting edge reforms, all geared toward increasing fairness, impartiality and accountability in policing and to deepen our ties with those we serve in every New York City neighborhood. Our work to deepen these critical efforts across all aspects of the NYPD continues," said Police Commissioner Dermot Shea.

 

The plan to fulfill The Obama Foundation pledge builds off major NYPD reforms already undertaken throughout the Mayor’s tenure, including: 

 

·         Distributing body-worn-cameras to all officers

·         Overhauling use-of-force policies, publishing an annual comprehensive report, and creating a Force Investigation Division

·         Instituting new implicit bias, de-escalation and crisis intervention team training

·    Publishing annual data on discipline, increasing penalties and requiring counseling for officers involved in DWI incidents, domestic violence incidents, and requiring mandatory dismissal for repeat offenders

·         Publishing the trial calendar on the NYPD website

·      Instituting Precision Policing, which focuses enforcement on the relative few that drive crime in this city, while allowing the NYPD to continue reducing its enforcement footprint by tens of thousands of arrests and summonses each year and at the same time driving crime to historic lows

 

Key plan elements: 

 

·       Bring the community in: incorporate community members into the instruction of classes and panel discussions at the Police Academy

·     Involve the community in developing key policies and strategy: establish formal committees of community members to assist in developing crime prevention, policing strategies, and NYPD policies

·       Public input: involve the public in developing and evaluating key policies and initiatives by inviting public comment

·     Community feedback: gather and incorporate community feedback through regular surveys 

·      Expanded use of CompStat: introduce a broader range of indicators in CompStat, such as measuring the relationship with the community

·   Diversity in the Department: continue to build and support a more diverse workforce by understanding barriers through robust engagement, and creating recommendations to address them

·         Operationalizing transparency: add interactive dashboards and other data visualizations of metrics, such as information about Department diversity and Department composition by race, gender, age, and other demographic information

·       Accountability: release an NYPD disciplinary matrix, which will promote fairness, transparency and accountability for officers and promote trust with the public

 

Herbalife Agrees To Pay $123 Million To Resolve Foreign Corrupt Practices Act Case

 

  Audrey Strauss, the Acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York (“SDNY”), and Acting Assistant Attorney General Brian C. Rabbitt of the Criminal Division of the United States Department of Justice (“DOJ”) announced today the filing of criminal charges against HERBALIFE NUTRITION, LTD. (“HERBALIFE”), a multinational corporation headquartered in Los Angeles, for conspiring to violate the books and records provisions of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (“FCPA”).  The charges arise out of a decade-long scheme by HERBALIFE to falsify books and records and provide corrupt payments and benefits to Chinese government officials for the purpose of obtaining, retaining, and increasing HERBALIFE’s business in China.  In connection with the filed charges, SDNY and DOJ entered into a deferred prosecution agreement (“DPA”) with HERBALIFE.  Pursuant to the DPA, HERBALIFE admitted to participating in the charged conspiracy and will pay a criminal fine of $55,743,093.

Acting U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss said:  “As admitted in the deferred prosecution agreement entered into today, Herbalife approved the extensive and systematic corrupt payments to Chinese government officials over a 10-year period to promote and expand Herbalife’s business in China.  Moreover, in an effort to conceal this widespread corruption scheme, Herbalife maintained false accounting records to mischaracterize these improper payments as permissible business expenses.  In addition to admitting its criminal conduct, Herbalife has agreed to pay combined penalties of more than $123 million.  This case signifies this Office’s commitment to ensuring that companies operating in the U.S. do not gain an unfair advantage through corruption and illegal bribes of foreign officials.”

Acting Assistant Attorney General Brian C. Rabbitt said:  “By engaging in a decade-long scheme to falsify its books and records to conceal corrupt and other improper expenditures, Herbalife misrepresented the information available to investors.  Today’s resolution reflects the department’s ongoing commitment to combating corruption and ensuring that investors can trust the accuracy of the financial statements of publicly traded companies.”

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

HERBALIFE conducts business operations in China through a group of wholly owned subsidiaries based in China (collectively, “Herbalife China”).  By 2016, Herbalife China was responsible for approximately $860 million, or approximately 20 percent, of HERBALIFE’s worldwide annual net sales, which exceeded $4 billion.  In China, to engage in direct selling – selling a company’s products through independent sales representatives – Chinese law required a company to obtain a direct selling license from national authorities as well as local authorities for each province in which a company intended to engage in direct selling.  From March 2007 through 2016, Herbalife China obtained licenses to engage in direct sales in 28 provinces. 

Yanliang Li, a/k/a “Jerry Li,” was the director of sales and/or sales vice president at Herbalife China from in or about 2004 through in or about December 2007, and then the managing director of Herbalife China from in or about December 2007 through in or about April 2017.  From in or about December 2012 through in or about February 2017, Li also held the title of senior vice president at HERBALIFE.  Hongwei Yang, a/k/a “Mary Yang,” was a high-level executive at Herbalife China and the head of external affairs from in or about 2006 through in or about April 2017.

Beginning in or about at least 2007 through in or about 2016, HERBALIFE, through Li, Yang, and others, engaged in a scheme to falsify books and records and provide corrupt payments and benefits to Chinese government officials, including officials of Chinese government agencies and a state-owned media outlet, for the purpose of obtaining, retaining, and increasing HERBALIFE’s business in China by, among other things, (1) obtaining and retaining certain of Herbalife China’s direct selling licenses; (2) improperly influencing certain Chinese governmental investigations into Herbalife China’s compliance with Chinese laws applicable to its business; and (3) improperly influencing certain Chinese state-owned and state-controlled media for the purpose of removing negative media reports about Herbalife China.

During the course of the scheme, in order to conceal these improper payments and benefits, HERBALIFE, through Li, Yang, and others, knowingly and willfully conspired and agreed with others to maintain false accounting records that did not accurately and fairly reflect the transactions and dispositions of HERBALIFE’s assets, by, among other things, falsely recording certain improper payments and benefits as “travel and entertainment expenses” and maintaining false Sarbanes Oxley sub-certification letters in HERBALIFE’s books, records, and accounts. 

In a related matter with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”), HERBALIFE agreed to pay to the SEC disgorgement and prejudgment interest totaling approximately $67,313,497.

In November 2019, the Government unsealed related criminal charges against Li and Yang, both of whom remain at large.  See United States v. Li and Yang, 19 Cr. 760 (VSB).

Ms. Strauss praised the outstanding work of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the U.S. Department Justice’s Office of International Affairs of the Department’s Criminal Division, and also thanked the SEC for its assistance and cooperation in this investigation. .

Governor Cuomo Announces New Record High Number of COVID-19 Tests Reported to New York State

 

100,022 Test Results Reported to New York State Yesterday

Hospitalizations Drop to 429—New Low Since March 16

Intubations Drop to 47—New Low Since March 14

0.69 Percent of Yesterday's COVID-19 Tests were Positive; 23 Straight Days with Infection Rate Below 1 Percent

Rapid Testing Ongoing in Western New York; Call 833-NYSTRNG to Make an Appointment

8 COVID-19 Deaths in New York State Yesterday

SLA and State Police Task Force Visits 1,734 Establishments; Observes 11 Establishments Not in Compliance

Confirms 698 Additional Coronavirus Cases in New York State - Bringing Statewide Total to 434,100; New Cases in 44 Counties

  Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that 100,022 test results were reported to New York State yesterday—a new record high. Hospitalizations dropped to 429, a new low since March 16, and intubations dropped to 47, a new low since March 14. New York State's infection rate has been below 1 percent for 23 straight days. The number of new cases, percentage of tests that were positive and many other helpful data points are always available at forward.ny.gov

"Yesterday's highest-ever number of tests and infection rate of 0.69 percent are great news, especially when you consider what's going on around the country and around the world," Governor Cuomo said. "The state is doing extraordinarily well, and again, kudos to all New Yorkers because there's no mystery as to how this happens. It's a social action and it's the community of the people of the State of New York acting out of mutuality and concern for one another. Everyone should continue to wear masks, socially distance and wash their hands, and local governments should continue to enforce state guidance so we can get through this together."

Governor Cuomo also reminded Western New York residents that ongoing rapid testing is being conducted at eight sites in the region. Residents can call 833-NYSTRNG to make an appointment. On August 27, the governor deployed a testing SWAT team to Western New York to address the recent uptick in COVID-19 cases in the region. He also announced the eight sites, which can be found here: 

Delavan-Grider Community Center 

877 E. Delavan Ave. 

Buffalo, NY 14215 

True Bethel Baptist Church 

907 E. Ferry St. 

Buffalo, NY 14211 

Northwest Buffalo Community Center 

155 Lawn Ave. 

Buffalo, NY 14207 

Dunkirk Fire Murphy Training Grounds 

665 Brigham Road 

Dunkirk, NY 14048 

SUNY ECC North 

6205 Main St. 

Williamsville, NY 14221 

Union Fire Company 

1845 Union Road 

West Seneca, NY 14224 

John A. Duke Senior Center 

1201 Hyde Park Blvd. 

Niagara Falls, NY 14301 

YWCA of the Niagara Frontier 

32 Cottage St. 

Lockport, NY 14094

Yesterday, the State Liquor Authority and State Police Task Force visited 1,734 establishments in New York City and Long Island and observed 11 establishments that were not in compliance with state requirements. A county breakdown of yesterday's observed violations is below:

  • Manhattan - 1 
  • Queens - 4 
  • Suffolk - 6

Today's data is summarized briefly below: 

  • Patient Hospitalization - 429 (-29)
  • Patients Newly Admitted - 51 
  • Hospital Counties - 30
  • Number ICU - 112 (-4)
  • Number ICU with Intubation - 47 (-1)
  • Total Discharges - 75,062 (+72)
  • Deaths - 8
  • Total Deaths - 25,327

Sunday, August 30, 2020

Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz - MONDAY 8/31: Census & Food/Mask Giveaway 1:30 PM - 3:30 PM


Census & Giveaway Event
Monday, August 31
1:30pm to 3:30pm
Kingsbridge Library (West 231st Street & Corlear Ave)
Along with Council Member Andrew Cohen, Congressman Adriano Espaillat, Congressman Eliot Engel, Met Council, New York Public Library, and the U.S. Census Bureau, I am pleased to share that we will be hosting a "Make the Bronx Count" event at Kingsbridge Library on Monday, August 31. We will be giving away free food boxes, reusable water bottles, reusable tote bags, and face masks as well as helping people fill out their census!

WHO: Offices of Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz, Congressman Adriano Espaillat, Congressman Eliot Engel, Council Member Andrew Cohen, New York Public Library, Met Council, U.S. Census Bureau, and you

WHERE: Kingsbridge Library (291 West 231st Street, cross street Corlear Avenue, accessible by Bx1, Bx2, Bx7, Bx9, Bx10, Bx20 buses)

WHEN: Monday, August 31 from 1:30pm to 3:30pm (or while supplies last)

Please contact my office with any questions at DinowitzJ@nyassembly.gov (or reply to this email) or leave a voicemail at 718-796-5345. Shareable flyer is available here: English & Spanish

REMINDER: Fill Out Your Census!
Sometime this year, you should have received in the mail one or 
two mailings from the U.S. Census. That mailing includes a code 
where you can go online to complete your census online. I did it 
already, and it took only a few minutes (might take a few more if 
you have more residents in your home).

Please know that this information is highly protected and nobody 
is allowed to share it, even with law enforcement authorities 
(like ICE) or your landlord. You are free to answer honestly and 
completely. It is very important that we get an accurate count so 
that our community gets its fair share of federal resources and 
government representation.

The census can be completed (with or without your code) online 


Saturday, August 29, 2020

Let's Go to the Federal Election Commission to See the Numbers in the 14th Congressional Race

 

This came in from the Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez campaign to us

Our opponent’s first wave of attack ads just arrived in NY-14 neighborhoods. Take a look:

This is just the tip of the iceberg. With $1,000,000 to spend, our opponent can afford tens of thousands more of these – plus television, radio, and digital ads to attack our principles.

When we’re asking for your support, we don’t expect every person to give. But we ask because we know that when you can support the cause, you will. That’s how this transformative movement works. It’s a whole lot of people doing their part to make something great.

We have to correct the record. That’s why we set a $1,000,000 goal for August – to MATCH what our opponent has on hand to attack us.

EDITOR'S NOTE:

Let's go to Federal Elections Commission to find out the truth about this, and how much money AOC has on hand.

OCASIO-CORTEZ, ALEXANDRIA

CANDIDATE FOR HOUSE NEW YORK - 14 ID: H8NY15148 

Total raised -   TOTAL CONTRIBUTIONS -  $12,590,375.20

                           TOTAL DISBURSEMENTS -  $10,076,655.71
 
                            ENDING CASH ON HAND  -   $2,962,555.44

                                Coverage dates: 01/01/2019 to 06/30/2020

This does not include any monies raised in the month of July 2020.