Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Former Construction Executive Pleads Guilty To Tax Evasion In Connection With Bribery Scheme


Other Executives Charged and Sentenced in Same Construction Kickback Scheme

 Audrey Strauss, the Acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that ANTHONY GUZZONE, a former Director of Global Construction at Bloomberg, LLC (“Bloomberg”), pled guilty today to charges of evading taxes on more than $1.45 million in bribes he received from building sub-contractors.  In related proceedings, co-conspirator Michael Campana, a subordinate construction manager at Bloomberg, was sentenced on July 24, 2020, by U.S. District Judge Denise L. Cote to 24 months in prison, for evading taxes on more than $420,000 in the same scheme.  In addition, Ronald Olson and Vito Nigro, two managers of a construction contractor that performed projects for Bloomberg, were separately charged in July 2020 for evading taxes on more than $1.4 million and $1.8 million, respectively, in bribes that they received in the same scheme.  Olson pled guilty to those charges on July 29, 2020, before U.S. District Judge P. Kevin Castel.[1]

Acting U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss said:  “Bribery and tax evasion each impose hidden, unfair costs on the law-abiding public.  The sort of criminality admitted to by Anthony Guzzone imposes that burden widely, on customers, on employers, and on taxpayers.  Guzzone now awaits sentencing for his crime.”

According to the four criminal Informations filed in these federal cases, as well as other public documents and recent court proceedings:

Between 2010 and 2017, GUZZONE was the Director of Global Construction at Bloomberg, a global financial firm that was engaged in various building projects in New York City and elsewhere, while Olson and Nigro were executives at a construction contractor that performed projects for Bloomberg.  For most of that time, beginning in 2013, Campana was also a construction manager at Bloomberg.  Each of the defendants participated in a scheme to obtain bribes from construction sub-contractors, who paid kickbacks to the defendants in exchange for being awarded various construction contracts and sub-contracts performed for Bloomberg.

In all, the defendants are charged with failing to pay taxes, between 2010 and 2017, on bribes exceeding $5.1 million.  The defendants received such bribes in various forms, including millions of dollars in cash, as well as construction labor and materials for work on their individual homes and properties, and the direct payment of personal expenses.  Such personal expenses included charges related to Campana’s 2017 wedding, such as approximately $40,000 paid by sub-contractors to a catering hall in New Jersey, over $13,000 to a photography studio, and over $23,000 to a travel agent for airline tickets purchased in connection with Campana’s honeymoon.  Each of the defendants evaded federal income tax on this bribery income, by failing to declare it on income tax returns for various years between 2010 and 2017.

GUZZONE, 51, of Middletown, New Jersey, pled guilty today to a single count of tax evasion for the tax years 2010 through 2017.  GUZZONE is scheduled to be sentenced on January 7, 2021, at 2:00 p.m., before United States District Judge Lewis J. Liman. 

Olson, 53, of Massapequa, New York, pled guilty on July 29, 2020, to a single count of tax evasion for the tax years 2011 through 2017.

Nigro, 59, of Middletown, New Jersey, was charged on July 16, 2020, with a single count of tax evasion for the tax years 2011 through 2017.

The charges against GUZZONE, Olson, and Nigro each carry a maximum sentence of five years in prison, a maximum fine of $250,000 or twice the gross gain or loss from the offense, and an order of restitution.  The maximum potential sentences are prescribed by Congress and are provided here for informational purposes only, as any sentencing of the defendants will be determined by the judges.

Campana, 34, of Tuckahoe, New York, pled guilty to a tax evasion charge on November 26, 2019, for the tax years 2014 thought 2017, and was sentenced on July 24, 2020, to 24 months in prison, three years of supervised release, restitution of $155,000 in unpaid taxes (which he has repaid), and a fine of $10,000. 

Ms. Strauss praised the excellent work of the Internal Revenue Service.

[1]  In addition, all four defendants have been charged in New York State Supreme Court for participating in the underlying bribery scheme. Nigro and Campana have pled guilty in that case and are awaiting sentencing.

Former Wall Street Trader Sentenced To More Than 5 Years In Prison For Running A Ponzi Scheme


 Audrey Strauss, Acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that PAUL A. RINFRET was sentenced in Manhattan federal court today to 63 months in prison for participating in a Ponzi scheme in which he obtained approximately $19 million in total from victims through a variety of lies and misrepresentations.  RINFRET pled guilty to one count of wire fraud and one count of securities fraud on October 8, 2019, before U.S. District Judge Gregory H. Woods, who also imposed today’s sentence.

Acting Manhattan U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss said:  “Today, Paul Rinfret was brought to justice for callously lying to investors.  Rinfret told investors his investment returns were excellent, when in fact he failed to invest investor funds as promised, generated losses when he did invest, and diverted the majority of investor funds to his personal use and to repay investors in a Ponzi-like fashion.  We will continue to aggressively pursue frauds like this one, which caused millions of dollars in losses, in order to preserve investor confidence in our capital markets.”

According to the allegations contained in the Complaint and the Indictment:           

From at least 2016 through 2019, RINFRET engaged in a scheme to defraud potential and actual investors in an entity called Plandome Partner s L.P. for his own personal gain and for the gain of his family members.  RINFRET offered potential investors the ability to invest in Plandome Partners through the purchase of limited partnership interests.  In soliciting investments, RINFRET falsely represented to potential and actual investors (the “Victims”) that he would use all of their investment funds to trade futures contracts tied to the Standard & Poor’s 500 index using a propriety trading algorithm he had developed, taking for himself a fee equivalent to 25% of the net profits on the trades. 

Through his fraudulent scheme, RINFRET obtained approximately $19 million in total from approximately six Victims on the false claim that he would utilize their investment funds for trading.  RINFRET’s lies and misrepresentations were varied and many.  For example, RINFRET claimed that Plandome Partners traded through certain brokerage accounts, one of which simply did not exist, and two of which were not open at a time when RINFRET claimed to be trading in those accounts. 

Further, RINFRET used only a small portion of the Victims’ invested funds to engage in actual trading.  Instead, RINFRET used most of the Victims’ money to purchase luxury goods and high-end vacation rentals for himself and family members.  For example, RINFRET used the Plandome Partners account to spend almost $50,000 on a luxury Hamptons vacation rental, more than $40,000 on jewelry, and tens of thousands of dollars on the event venue where his son held his engagement party. 

When RINFRET did actually engage in trading with Victims’ funds, he generated losses.  But, to prevent his Victims from seeking a return of their money, and to induce additional investments, RINFRET falsely reported excellent investment performance results to the Victims through false and fraudulent monthly account statements that RINFRET typically emailed to the Victims.  RINFRET also sent fabricated brokerage account statements to the Victims.  

In addition to the prison term, RINFRET, 71, of Manhasset, New York, was sentenced to two years of supervised release, ordered to pay forfeiture in the amount of $20,268,268, and to pay $12,290,803 in restitution to his victims.           

Ms. Strauss praised the investigative work of Homeland Security Investigations and also thanked the Securities and Exchange Commission for its assistance in the investigation.

Governor Cuomo Announces 16 Additional Bar and Restaurants' Liquor Licenses Suspended for Egregious Violations of Coronavirus-Related Regulations


217 Businesses' Liquor Licenses Have Been Suspended During Public Health Emergency

Multi-Agency Task Force Conducted Over 8,600 Compliance Checks Over the Last Week, Observing 40 Additional Violations in New York City and on Long Island

1,161 Charges Have Been Filed and Processed To Date; Updated List of Suspensions and Charges Available HERE

 Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the state has suspended liquor licenses for 16 additional bars and restaurants in New York State after finding egregious violations of pandemic-related Executive Orders, bringing the total number of liquor licenses suspended during the coronavirus pandemic to 217. Over the last week, the state's multi-agency task force -- led by the State Police and State Liquor Authority -- conducted 8,634 compliance checks, documenting violations at 40 establishments. Businesses found in violation of COVID-19 regulations face fines up to $10,000 per violation, while egregious violations can result in the immediate suspension of a bar or restaurant's liquor license. 

In addition, the SLA continues its enforcement efforts throughout the rest of the state, with a focus in and around college areas and counties with upticks in COVID-19 cases. Suspensions in Albany, Dutchess, and Ontario Counties are a direct result of this detail's work. The SLA will continue to patrol these areas to protect New Yorkers during the COVID-19 pandemic and ensure colleges can continue to operate.

"Our heightened enforcement efforts are clearly making a difference - leading to more compliance and fewer violations, which has always been the goal. However, some business owners still believe these health and safety measures are optional, and we will not hesitate to hold those who recklessly put their fellow New Yorkers' health and safety at risk accountable," Governor Cuomo said. "With the start of flu season upon us, colleges and schools opening, and localized coronavirus clusters in the state, we cannot take any chances - and we must continue to enforce the rules that helped us beat back this deadly virus."

State Liquor Authority Chair Vincent Bradley said, "The task force has been working diligently to stop the small number of businesses who feel they are above the law from putting the public's health and safety at risk. There are more good apples in New York than bad, and we want to thank those who have been adapting to these tough situations and working to keep their employees and patrons healthy."

The 16 establishments issued emergency orders of summary suspension from the State Liquor Authority Board are located in New York City, Long Island, Mid-Hudson and Capital Region.

In New York City, that includes:

  • Bronx - 1
  • Brooklyn- 4
  • Manhattan - 1
  • Queens - 1

Those outside of New York City include:

  • Albany - 1
  • Dutchess - 2
  • Nassau - 2
  • Oneida - 1
  • Ontario - 1
  • Suffolk - 2

The emergency suspensions were ordered by Chairman Bradley, Commissioner Lily Fan and Commissioner Greeley Ford at special meetings of the Full Board between September 19th and September 27th conducted by a digitally recorded video under social distancing guidelines. Emergency Summary Suspensions are imposed when the SLA finds the continued operation of a licensed business threatens public health and safety. Suspension orders are served immediately and remain in effect indefinitely, with the maximum penalty including the permanent revocation of the license and fines of up to $10,000 per violation. Licensees subject to an emergency suspension are entitled to an expedited hearing before an SLA Administrative Law Judge.

"La Fuente Steak House" at 1306 Jerome Avenue in the Bronx, on September 27, 2020

On August 26th, investigators with the state's multi-agency task force and officers with the NYPD observed over thirty patrons standing and congregating, drinking, and smoking hookah in this business' sidewalk café area and on the street and sidewalk extending in front of a neighboring business.  Over ten patrons were seated under a tented area, which was enclosed on three sides, making it a prohibited indoor-type seating area. Multiple employees were observed without facial coverings, including members of the kitchen staff and a bartender. The business is a repeat offender, with pending charges filed just one day earlier for violations including no food service and employees without facial coverings, in addition to operating a hookah establishment without a permit. 

The New York State Office of Addiction Services and Supports Announces Opening of New Women’s Addiction Treatment Program on Long Island


Outreach's Recovery Residence for Women Offers 25 Residential beds for Women Affected by Addiction in Suffolk and Nassau Counties

 The New York State Office of Addiction Services and Supports (OASAS) today announced the opening of Outreach's Recovery Residence for Women on Long Island. Operated by Outreach Development Corporation, the new 25-bed women’s residential treatment program, which opened officially earlier this year, will provide adults with comprehensive addiction services such as early recovery supports, medication-assisted treatment, and trauma informed care. OASAS contributed $1 million in funding for the facility and the Dormitory Authority of the State of New York (DASNY) oversaw construction. 

“During this difficult time with the COVID-19 pandemic, it is important now more than ever to make sure individuals and families have the services and support they need,” said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul, Co-Chair of the NYS Heroin and Opioid Task Force. “The opening of this new women’s addiction treatment program on Long Island will offer recovery services and residential options for women who are struggling with addiction in the Nassau and Suffolk County area. We are committed to continuing to invest in treatment and facilities across the state to help build back better, enhance quality of life and combat the opioid epidemic in New York.”

“Many gender specific life circumstances experienced by women may require a specialized treatment approach and this program will enable us to meet these unique needs,” OASAS Commissioner Arlene González-Sánchez said. “The opening of this new women’s program continues to build upon our overall statewide efforts to expand and provide targeted resources and supportive services for specific populations while also providing them with the tools to help them to thrive and achieve a life in sustained recovery.”

Outreach will be able to serve an additional 50 to 75 women per year as a result of this program. The addition of these beds furthers New York State’s efforts to provide a full continuum of residential care for women suffering from addiction in order to better deliver the individualized care that is essential to recovery. By incorporating essential elements of treatment all in one place, the Outreach staff is able to work with each individual to establish a personalized treatment plan which effectively addresses their recovery needs.

This new facility will offer residential addiction treatment services for women, ages 18 and over from Suffolk and Nassau counties, helping them to successfully transition back into their communities when they are ready. Residential treatment services also include case management services, group counseling, skill-building, training in life skills and parenting, and recreational activities. Additionally, the facility has 24-hour staffing, common living and recreational space, and transportation available to and from Outreach's enhanced outpatient program for women, also in Brentwood.

Outreach's Recovery Residence for Women is located at 400 Crooked Hill Road, West Brentwood, NY 11717. A video walkthrough of the facility can be viewed here.

“DASNY is proud to have managed this project for our partners at OASAS, helping oversee the design of a facility with features put in place specifically to help a vulnerable population receive the services they need on their road to recovery,” said Reuben R. McDaniel, III, DASNY President and CEO. “The additional living and treatment space provided, as well as special attention given to one-on-one and group therapy settings will ensure more women on Long Island have safe access to quality care.”

New Yorkers struggling with an addiction, or whose loved ones are struggling, can find help and hope by calling the state's toll-free, 24-hour, 7-day-a-week HOPEline at 1-877-8-HOPENY (1-877-846-7369) or by texting HOPENY (Short Code 467369). 

Available addiction treatment including crisis/detox, inpatient, residential, community residence, opioid treatment programs or outpatient care can be found using the NYS OASAS Treatment Availability Dashboard at or through the NYS OASAS website.

Tuesday, September 29, 2020

New Rochelle Man Charged With Attempted Murder Of Fbi Task Force Officer During A Broad Daylight Shooting In Yonkers


 Audrey Strauss, the Acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, William F. Sweeney Jr., Assistant Director-in-Charge of the New York Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”), and John J. Mueller, Commissioner of the Yonkers Police Department, announced charges today against DARREN SMITH for attempting to murder a federal law enforcement officer.  The defendant will be presented in White Plains federal court today before Chief United States Magistrate Judge Paul E. Davison.

Acting Manhattan U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss said:  “As alleged, the defendant fired a handgun into a commercial hub in Yonkers and, in a further wanton disregard for human life, attempted to direct his fire at a federal law enforcement officer.  Our Office will work to ensure that those who put our law enforcement partners in danger are held to account.”

FBI Assistant Director William F. Sweeney Jr. said:  “As law enforcement professionals, we all take an oath to protect the public from harm.  When this subject allegedly fired his gun wildly into a public square to prevent his arrest, police officers, including a task force officer from our Westchester Safe Streets Task Force, took immediate action to prevent innocent people from being killed or injured by stray bullets.  We take our oath seriously, and we won’t back away from our pursuit of holding criminals accountable for their actions.”

Yonkers Police Commissioner John J. Mueller said:  “As this was one of the most depraved and reckless acts I have witnessed in my 28 years in law enforcement, the response by our Yonkers Police Officers was also one of the most heroic and selfless acts I have witnessed in my career.  We often hear how our police officers run toward danger, without consideration for their own well-being. In this incident, everyone who views the video can attest to the validity of this often used term.  As Yonkers Police Commissioner, I could not be prouder of the officers and supervisors that God has blessed me to work with.  Thank you also to the outpouring of support from our beloved community who have inundated the Yonkers Police with well wishes and gratitude.”

As alleged in the Complaint[1]:

On September 25, 2020, after law enforcement officers attempted to stop SMITH’s car, he fled on foot with a handgun.  As officers, including a FBI Task Force Officer, attempted to arrest him, SMITH fired his handgun into Getty Square in Yonkers.  As the FBI Task Force Officer attempted to control SMITH’s hand to prevent him firing again, SMITH struggled to turn the gun in the Task Force Officer’s direction and continued to fire.  In the course of the struggle, the Task Force Officer fractured his finger, sprained his knee, and suffered several abrasions to his right hand.

SMITH, 24, of New Rochelle, New York, is charged with one count of attempting to murder a federal officer, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, one count of using a deadly weapon to interfere with the performance of a federal officer’s official duties, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, and one count of discharging a firearm in the course of a crime of violence, which carries a maximum sentence of life in prison and a mandatory minimum of 10 years in prison to run consecutive to any other sentence imposed. 

The maximum potential sentences in this case are prescribed by Congress and are provided here for informational purposes only, as any sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the judge.

Ms. Strauss praised the outstanding investigative work of the FBI’s Westchester County Safe Streets Task Force, which comprises agents and officers from the FBI, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, U.S. Probation, the New York State Police, the New York City Police Department, the Westchester County Police Department, the Westchester County District Attorney’s Office, the Yonkers Police Department, the Mount Vernon Police Department, the Peekskill Police Department, the Greenburgh Police Department, and the New Rochelle Police Department. 

The charges contained in the Complaint are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

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

Acting U.S. Attorney Announces Charges Against Correctional Officer Who Demanded Bribe In The Form Of Sex From A Female Prison Visitor


 Audrey Strauss, the Acting 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 the unsealing of an Indictment charging ROBERT ADAMS with bribery and blackmail.  ADAMS was arrested this morning and is expected to be presented before U.S. Magistrate Judge Robert W. Lehrburger.  The case is assigned to U.S. District Judge Paul G. Gardephe.

Acting U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss said:  “As alleged, Robert Adams was derelict in his duties as an MCC correctional officer, not only by turning a blind eye to the smuggling of contraband, thereby putting inmates and fellow officers at risk, but also by exploiting his position of authority to pressure a prison visitor into having unwanted sex with him.  Now Adams, a sworn law enforcement officer, is facing prosecution for these alleged serious violations of the law.”

FBI Assistant Director William F. Sweeney Jr. said:  “Correctional officers are supposed to serve as society’s guardians – protecting us all from some of the worst offenders while they complete their sentences, not making offenders’ lives more comfortable by breaking rules, and certainly not engaging in their own extortionate behavior while doing so.  We allege Adams did just that – he allowed illegal contraband into the MCC, risked the overall security of the facility and safety of his co-workers, and even more egregiously, he used his position of authority to blackmail a victim to have sex.  Today we want to remind those who guard federal facilities the consequences for illegal behavior are just as severe for sworn officers as they are for anyone else in society.”

According to the allegations contained in the Indictment unsealed today in Manhattan federal court:[1]

ADAMS is a correctional officer employed by the United States Bureau of Prisons (“BOP”) at the Metropolitan Correctional Center (“MCC”), a federal prison located in New York, New York.  Between June 2019 to August 2019, ADAMS was, among other responsibilities, assigned to work in the visit area of the MCC.  Among his official responsibilities in that capacity, ADAMS was required to conduct searches, deny entry, detain visitors, and make reports when, among other things, he believed a visitor was smuggling contraband into the MCC. 

ADAMS abused his official position as a correctional officer by blackmailing and corruptly demanding that a visitor, whom he had caught smuggling contraband into the MCC (“Visitor-1”), engage in sexual acts with him, or else be arrested and denied future entry to the MCC.  Specifically, on or about July 5, 2019, while working as a correctional officer in the MCC’s visit area, ADAMS escorted an inmate away from a visit with Visitor-1, who was still in the visit area.  After discovering that the inmate was carrying contraband, ADAMS confronted Visitor-1 and told her that he had caught the inmate with contraband she had provided to him.  ADAMS further told Visitor-1 that she would be in trouble unless she met him at a nearby pizzeria.

As instructed by ADAMS, Visitor-1 left the MCC – without being reported or arrested for smuggling contraband – and walked to the nearby pizzeria.  Soon thereafter, ADAMS met Visitor-1 at the pizzeria, where he requested that Vistor-1 get in his car and travel with him to a motel to have sex.  ADAMS conveyed to Visitor-1that unless she had sex with him, she would be prohibited from visiting the MCC and would be arrested.  After arriving at the motel, ADAMS and Visitor-1 had sex.  Visitor-1 did not want to have sex with ADAMS, but agreed to it in exchange for not being reported to law enforcement or having her visiting privileges at the MCC revoked.

After the July 5, 2019, incident, Visitor-1 was permitted to continue to visit the MCC.  Not only did ADAMS not report Visitor-1 on July 5, 2019, for smuggling contraband, in dereliction of his official duties, but he was also present on other occasions where she returned to the MCC with contraband.

ADAMS, 39, of New York, New York, is charged with one count of bribery, which carries a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison, and one count of blackmail, which carries a maximum penalty of one year in prison.  The maximum potential sentences in this case are prescribed by Congress and are provided here for informational purposes only, as any sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the judge.

Ms. Strauss praised the outstanding investigative work of the FBI.  She also thanked the Department of Justice’s Office of the Inspector General for its assistance in this matter.  

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

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

Comptroller Stringer and NYC Retirement Systems Announce 34 S&P 100 Companies Will Publicly Disclose Workforce Demographics


Campaign more than doubles the number of U.S. public companies that will disclose their Consolidated EEO-1 Report, representing a 243% increase of S&P 100 companies, so that now nearly one half of all S&P 100 companies will be transparent.

Coca-Cola, Citigroup, Visa, Pfizer, Morgan Stanley, PepsiCo, Starbucks, Target, MasterCard, Verizon, representing a majority of the campaign’s 67 focus companies committing to disclose their EEO-1 Report

Success comes as direct result of the Comptroller and the Retirement Systems’ efforts launched in July calling on major companies that issued statements supporting racial equality and/or diversity and inclusion to match their words with concrete actions

 New York City Comptroller Scott M. Stringer, on behalf of the New York City Employees’ Retirement System, Teachers Retirement System of the City of New York and New York City Board of Education Retirement System (the “Systems”), announced that 34 S&P 100 companies which issued statements supporting racial equality will publicly disclose the composition of their workforce by race, ethnicity, and gender. This victory is a direct result of a national campaign launched in July by Comptroller Stringer and the Retirement Systems’ which called on 67 companies to match their statements affirming their commitments to racial equality and diversity and inclusion with concrete action, by publicly disclosing their annual EEO-1 Report data.

“It is not enough to condemn racism in words. I applaud these leading companies for taking this critical first step where they will make a direct impact within their own workplaces and set the tone for EEO-1 Report disclosure across the market,” said New York City Comptroller Scott M. Stringer. “By publicly disclosing the demographics of employees by race, gender, and ethnicity – including leadership roles and senior management – these companies will provide crucial information for shareowners to better understand diversity and workforce practices – and identify areas for growth. Companies are strongest when their workforce reflects the diversity of America, and I commend the CEOs of these leading companies for taking steps toward better transparency and representation. We still have much more work to do, and together with the New York City Retirement Systems we will continue building on this success to hold companies accountable and create meaningful, systemic change in corporate America.”

The Consolidated EEO-1 Report is the “gold standard” for diversity disclosure and will enable investors to evaluate the performance of portfolio companies in terms of their ability to hire, retain, and promote employees of color and women. At present, there are only 29 public companies that currently disclose their Consolidated EEO-1 Report, of which only 14 are in the S&P 100.  The Comptroller’s campaign results in a 243% increase to 48 S&P 100 companies becoming more transparent about their employees.

The 34 companies that have begun or committed to disclose EEO-1 Report data are:

  • AbbVie Inc.,
  •, Inc.
  • American International Group, Inc.
  • American Tower Corporation (REIT)
  • Amgen Inc.
  • Biogen Inc.
  • BlackRock, Inc.
  • Bristol-Myers Squibb Company
  • Capital One Financial Corporation
  • Chevron Corporation
  • Citigroup Inc.
  • ConocoPhillips
  • Duke Energy
  • Exelon Corporation
  • General Motors Company
  • Gilead Sciences, Inc.
  • Goldman Sachs
  • Mastercard Incorporated
  • Medtronic PLC
  • Morgan Stanley
  • PayPal Holdings, Inc.
  • PepsiCo, Inc.
  • Pfizer Inc.
  • QUALCOMM Incorporated
  • Starbucks Corporation
  • Target Corporation
  • The Southern Company
  • The Allstate Corporation
  • The Coca-Cola Company
  • UnitedHealth Group Incorporated
  • U.S. Bancorp
  • Verizon Communications Inc.
  • Visa Inc.
  • Wells Fargo & Company

In July, Comptroller Stringer and the Retirement Systems sent letters to the CEOs of 67 S&P 100 companies citing the need for these companies to publicly release data that would enable investors to measure the success of their diversity and inclusion practices, which are fundamental to the creation of long-term shareowner value. Companies were asked to provide a written commitment by August 30, 2020 to publicly disclose their EEO-1 Report effective upon its next submission to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) in 2021 or risk potential submission of shareholder proposals or opposition to the election of director nominees standing for re-election at the next annual shareowner meeting. For the focus list of companies, click here.

Specifically, the Comptroller and the Systems requested the Consolidated EEO-1 Report itself, which provides the actual number for each employment category. This disclosure gives investors and the public a comprehensive breakdown of a company’s U.S. workforce by race, ethnicity and gender according to 10 employment categories, including, importantly, senior management, defined to incorporate individuals within two reporting levels of the CEO.

Full disclosure of the EEO-1 Report provides investors with critical information that disclosure of diversity metrics selectively collected by management or partial EEO-1 disclosure does not. In particular, full public disclosure provides:

  • Standardized, quantitative, relevant and comparable employment data across companies and industries, so that investors can assess the representation and progress of black employees and other employees of color and women at various levels of the corporation;
  • Specific data on senior management diversity – in addition to setting a strong tone at the top for diversity, research by McKinsey suggests that companies in the top quartile for gender and ethnic/cultural diversity on executive teams have stronger financial performance;
  • Particularized data that will allow investors to assess the representation and progress of specific racial and ethnic groups by gender, such as black female employees. Disclosing only percentage representations prohibits meaningful, year-over-year comparisons.

Disclosure of EEO-1 Report data also provides the board and management with distinct advantages. In the first instance, it provides a cost-effective means to demonstrate substantive progress in diversity and inclusion practices since the company already collects the data for submission to the EEOC. In addition, some companies resist disclosing their Consolidated EEO-1 Report because they believe the mandated categories do not align with their particular organizational structure, however, disclosure of EEO-1 Report data does not prohibit any qualitative or quantitative disclosures that management believes reflect a company’s organizational structure or demonstrate the company’s performance.

Moreover, to the extent there is widespread adoption, another salutary effect of the disclosure of EEO-1 Report data may be the ability of the board also to benchmark the company’s own data to those of its peers, thereby facilitating the board’s oversight of company human capital management practices.

Comptroller Stringer serves as the investment advisor to, and custodian and a trustee of, the New York City Retirement Systems.

In addition to Comptroller Stringer, the participating New York City Retirement Systems’ trustees are:

New York City Employees’ Retirement System (NYCERS): Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Representative, John Adler (Chair); New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams; Borough Presidents: Gale Brewer (Manhattan), Sharon Lee (Queens), Eric Adams (Brooklyn), James Oddo (Staten Island), and Ruben Diaz, Jr. (Bronx); Henry Garrido, Executive Director, District Council 37, AFSCME; Tony Utano, President Transport Workers Union Local 100; Gregory Floyd, President, International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Local 237.

Teachers’ Retirement System (TRS): Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Appointee, John Adler; Chancellor’s Representative, Lindsey Oates, New York City Department of Education; Natalie Green Giles; and Debra Penny (Chair), Thomas Brown and David Kazansky, all of the United Federation of Teachers.

Board of Education Retirement System (BERS): Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza; Mayoral: Isaac Carmignami, Natalie Green Giles, Vanessa Leung, Gary Linnen, Lori Podvesker, Shannon Waite, Michael Kraft (Manhattan BP), Debrorah Dillingham (Queens BP), April Chapman (Brooklyn BP), Geneal Chacon (Bronx BP) and Peter Calandrella (Staten Island BP); Thomas C. Sheppard, Kathy Park Price, Natalie Green Giles, Russell Buckley, Chris Attianese, Shaun D. Francois; and employee members John Maderich of the IUOE Local 891 and Donald Nesbit of District Council 37, Local 372;

Governor Cuomo Deploys Rapid Result Testing Machines to Address Recent Uptick in Cases in Cluster Zip Codes


.5 Percent of Yesterday's COVID-19 Tests were Positive

10 ZIP Codes in NYS - Where 3 Percent of NYS Population Resides - Accounted for 27 Percent of Positive Tests

State Deploying Up to 200 Rapid Result Testing Machines and Kits to ZIP Codes with Upticks in Cases

Hospitalizations and Intubations Remain Flat; Number of ICU Patients Down

SLA and State Police Task Force Visits 988 Establishments; Observes 5 Establishments Not in Compliance

Confirms 834 Additional Coronavirus Cases in New York State - Bringing Statewide Total to 456,460; New Cases in 42 Counties

Governor Cuomo: "Focus on the clusters. We have 200 rapid testing machines that we're going to make immediately available today. The private schools that are in those zip codes, I strongly encourage to request a rapid testing machine and have them start testing their students. Rapid testing machines are 15 minutes turn around for a test. You can do 4 per hour. We can make those available today, tomorrow. We can provide staff, Department of Health staff, to operate those machines if the local governments can't. That's every private and public school in those zip codes. To the local governments in those zip codes, it's the same offer."

Cuomo: "A number of local governments closed shelters during COVID. The state will put out guidance; they should reopen those shelters and they should open COVID-safe shelters. We know how to open schools; we know how to open restaurants; we know how to open flexible art space; we know how to open shelters. The weather is getting cold. Nobody should be living on the street. Nobody should be living on the street, especially in the middle of a global health pandemic. The public is anxious for their own public health and I understand that. I'm anxious about the health of homeless people. The cities - counties also - should reopen their shelters."

 I just want to give you more, an update on what we're seeing in the numbers when we look at the zip codes. The top 20 zip codes in the state - remember there are 1,769 zip codes, okay? - if you look at the top 20 zip codes in the state, they have an infection rate of about 10 percent. The statewide rate is about 1 percent if you don't count those top 20 zip codes. In those zip codes it's about 9 percent. If you focus on the top 10, the infection rate in the top 10 zip codes is about 15 percent. Those top 10 zip codes represent 2.9 percent of the state's population and 25 percent of the cases. 2.9 percent of the population, 25 percent of the cases, positive cases. So that's what the testing and the data does for you so target those top 10 zip codes.

Rockland County, zip code 10977, 30 percent tested positive. Rockland County, 10952, 25 percent positive. Orange, 10950, 22 percent positive. Kings, 11219, 17 percent. Kings, 11210, 11 percent. Kings, 11204, 9 percent. Kings, 11230, 9 percent. So, Queens 11367, 6 percent.

Focus on the clusters. We have 200 rapid testing machines that we're going to make immediately available today. The private schools that are in those zip codes, I strongly encourage to request a rapid testing machine and have them start testing their students. Rapid testing machines are 15 minutes turn around for a test. You can do 4 per hour. We can make those available today, tomorrow. We can provide staff, Department of Health staff, to operate those machines if the local governments can't. That's every private and public school in those zip codes.

To the local governments in those zip codes, it's the same offer. We will deploy rapid testing machines, 15-minute turn around, to local governments to focus on those cluster zip codes. Also, local governments should focus on those cluster zip codes in terms of mask enforcement and compliance enforcement in addition to testing. Testing, mask compliance, social distancing requirements - those zip codes, bars, restaurants, masks and additional testing. We have 200 machines that we will earmark just for that cluster.

The key to these clusters is to jump on them quickly, attack them from all sides, get the testing so you can do contact tracing and you can isolate. Get mask compliance up, hand sanitizer and gathering compliance - bars, restaurants, et cetera. We will be contacting the local governments and the schools. To accelerate this, I'm calling on the local governments and the schools to contact us if they need the machines, if they can use the machines and we'll send staff. Public schools, private schools and local governments.

One other point - there are a number of homeless encampments, primarily in urban areas across the state. People have been complaining about them, as they should. Not only is a homeless encampment a violation of that homeless person's dignity, it's also a public health threat now. People get nervous when they walk passed them. So, it's a public health threat for people who come in contact with homeless people on the street and it's a public health threat for homeless people.

A number of local governments closed shelters during COVID. The state will put out guidance; they should reopen those shelters and they should open COVID-safe shelters. We know how to open schools; we know how to open restaurants; we know how to open flexible art space; we know how to open shelters.

The weather is getting cold. Nobody should be living on the street. Nobody should be living on the street, especially in the middle of a global health pandemic. The public is anxious for their own public health and I understand that. I'm anxious about the health of homeless people. The cities - counties also - should reopen their shelters.

We'll put out guidance early this week on COVID-safe, but they know, basically, how to make a facility COVID-safe because they've all been doing it on a number of applications but, the shelters have to open. It's getting cold. Get homeless people off the streets and into a safe shelter.

Governor Cuomo Announces Moratorium on COVID-Related Residential Evictions Will Be Extended Until January 1, 2021

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the State's Tenant Safe Harbor Act will be expanded until January 1, 2021 to protect additional residential tenants from eviction if they are suffering financial hardship during the COVID-19 public health emergency. The Executive Order extends the protections of the Tenant Safe Harbor Act to eviction warrants that existed prior to the start of the pandemic.

"As New York continues to fight the pandemic, we want to make sure New Yorkers who are still struggling financially will not be forced from their homes as a result of COVID," Governor Cuomo said. "We are extending the protections of the Safe Harbor Act through January 1 because we want tenants to have fundamental stability in their lives as we recover from this crisis."

Governor Cuomo first announced a State moratorium on residential and commercial evictions on March 20 to ensure no tenant was evicted during the height of the public health emergency. The Governor signed the Tenant Safe Harbor Act on June 30 which became effective immediately as well as additional legislation providing financial assistance to residential renters and landlords. Additionally, previous Executive Orders have prohibited charges or fees for late rent payments, and tenants facing financial hardship can still use their security deposit as payment and repay their security deposit over time.

Earlier this month, the State's moratorium on COVID-related commercial evictions and foreclosures was extended by Governor Cuomo by Executive Order, until October 20th. This measure extends protections already in place for commercial tenants and mortgagors in recognition of the financial toll the pandemic has taken on business owners, including retail establishments and restaurants. The extension of this protection gives commercial tenants and mortgagors additional time to get back on their feet and catch up on rent or their mortgage, or to renegotiate their lease terms to avoid foreclosure moving forward. 


This is who we see as the favorite to win in the 15th City Council race. 

Elisa Crespo Gains Major Endorsements for City Council
Progressive Council Leaders Rosenthal, Van Bramer join LGBTQ Victory Fund, local leaders in supporting Crespo
Elisa Crespo, Democratic candidate in the 15th Council District, today is announcing major endorsements for her campaign, including City Council Members Helen Rosenthal and Jimmy Van Bramer; District Leaders Melissa Sklarz, John Blasco, and Samuel Nemir Olivares; the LGBTQ Victory Fund; and Northwest Bronx Democrats. Crespo was the only candidate running for election in 2021 included in this round of endorsements from the LGBTQ Victory Fund.
"The Bronx is facing difficult challenges, but we are resilient. With strong leadership, we'll create good-paying jobs and a dignified wage; ensure a just recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic; fund a quality education system; support our families, seniors, and small businesses; modernize our transit infrastructure; cancel rent; and deliver new affordable housing. I am ready to deliver for the community that has given me so much," said Crespo.
"I am proud to endorse Elisa Crespo for the 15th Council District. More than any other candidate, Elisa Crespo has been fighting for income inequality, jobs, and education, and is a bold leader standing against racial and gender injustice. Elisa has a plan and is the most qualified candidate to implement these changes once elected to the City Council," said New York City Council Member Helen Rosenthal, Chair of the Committee on Woman and Gender Equity.
"I'm proud to support Elisa Crespo for City Council because I know she will represent her district with passion, grit and conviction. Elisa is a trailblazer whose life story demonstrates her inner strength. We need more activists with the courage to fight for working people and lift up those who need a champion. Elisa is and will be that champion," said New York City Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer.
"I met Elisa Crespo as part of the Bronx Borough President's staff as part of the LGBT Policy Advisory team. In a short amount of time, I discovered her intelligence, passion, and vision for our community, for the Bronx and for New York. Elisa Crespo is the leader we need in the City Council and the 15th District and I am so proud to support her candidacy," said District Leader Melissa Sklarz.
"I am proud to endorse Elisa Crespo for City Council. During this difficult time of COVID19 I've seen Elisa step up to protect her community and engage with leaders around the city to make sure her district has the resources they need. We need a fighter for District 15 and Elisa embodies just that!" said District Leader John Blasco.
"When elected in the Bronx, Elisa Crespo will become the first transgender person in the City Council and to hold a legislative office in the state of New York. This historic advancement will cause ripple effects throughout the country confirming that LGBTQ and transgender candidates are as qualified and talented. I'm excited about Elisa's campaign - she's pushing a transformative and creative vision that includes a municipal jobs guarantee program for low-income people and vulnerable populations, and fighting for housing and environmental justice. Her personal life experiences - going through economic hardship, discrimination, sex work, family issues, and being a working-class New Yorker - Elisa understands the struggles and opportunities needed of everyday New Yorkers. She's smart, eloquent, and shares an electric and contagious energy that will inspire many in the fight for social justice," said District Leader Samuel Nemir Olivares.  
"We're proud to endorse Elisa Crespo, who is running to represent the 15th District in the Bronx on the New York City Council. Elisa is a trailblazing, trans Latina whose historic run is significant for the LGBTQ community. Elisa is poised to be the first trans voice on the New York City Council from the Bronx. Her allyship and solidarity with the LGBTQ movement will deliver unprecedented representation in local politics," said Mayor Annise Parker, President & CEO of LGBTQ Victory Fund.
"Elisa possesses a unique sense of justice, bravery, and inclusion that will be a refreshing change to Bronx Politics. We're proud to support her and her historic campaign for City Council," said Anthony Rivieccio and Sheila Sanchez of Northwest Bronx Democrats.
Born and raised in New York City, Crespo has called the Bronx her home for the last 10 years. A product of NYC public schools, she holds a Bachelor's Degree in Political Science with a minor in Human Rights, from John Jay College of Criminal Justice. Crespo currently serves as the Education Liaison at the Bronx Borough President's office, making her the first openly transgender woman of color to work for a borough-wide office in the Bronx. In her role at the Borough President's office, Crespo has helped countless families navigate the bureaucracy that is NYC's Education system. As a working-class latina, the product of public housing, public transportation, public healthcare, and public schools, Crespo is committed to addressing inequities in our city. For more information about Crespo and her campaign, visit

Councilman Andy King Annual Back to School Giveaway with the Bronx YEP


Saturday was the annual Andy King Community Back to School Giveaway, free food giveaway, and meet Rapper Melle Mel in front of the Gun Post Lanes on Gun Hill Road. Tables were set for many different information and giveaways. Montefiore Hospital, the Montefiore Mosholu Community Center, American Cancer Society, Fresh Direct, and free bowling from the Gun Post lanes. Delicious food was provided by Chef K of Karibbean Flavor, also by McDonalds and White Castle. 

Over one-hundred boxes of food provided by Fresh Direct were handed out to area residents, but the almost two hundred people came to see rapper Melle Mel,  who did not disappoint them. The rapper stayed after performing to take photos with many of the people, and he even helped hand out the boxes of food from Fresh Direct with Councilman King. Members of the Youth Empowerment Program helped and then went inside the bowling alley to try their hands at bowling, many for the first time.

Above - Members of the Youth Empowerment Program with Councilman Andy King, Council Candidate Brian Melford, Rapper Melle Mel, and members of the National Action Network.

Below - Councilman King and Rapper Melle Mel are surrounded by the people who were at the various tables where there were free giveaways, Free food, or information. 

Above - Rapper Melle Mel gets right up into the camera lens.

Below - Councilman King thanks Rapper Melle Mel for his performance.

Above - Rapper Melle Mel helped hand out the boxes of food provided by Fresh Direct, as he places one box in this woman's wagon.

Below - Some of the many tables that had free giveaways or information 

The best food was being given out by Chef K of Karibbean Flavor.

Monday, September 28, 2020



 Mayor Bill de Blasio today signed into law a package of bills that will expand protections for workers, consumers, and commercial tenants. The bills extend and expand the City’s paid safe and sick leave law to reach more workers, reinforce and extend protections for commercial tenants, and protect the jobs of hotel workers.


“Today is about justice for hard working New Yorkers,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “From expanding paid sick leave, to protecting our commercial tenants and hotel workers, these bills are crucial to standing by New Yorkers who have worked through the worst of this pandemic and are now helping our City get back on our feet.”


The bills are:


Intro. 2032-A (Cohen): Aligns the City’s Paid Safe and Sick Leave Law with recently enacted New York State Paid Sick Leave Law. The law expands paid safe and sick leave to employees of small businesses with four or fewer employees and a net income of more than $1 million. This legislation also expands paid leave for workers at the largest businesses, those with 100 or more employees must now provide up to 56 hours of paid sick leave. It also brings domestic workers in line with other private sector workers by allowing them to accrue and use leave the same as other private sector workers.


Intro. 2083-A (Rivera): Amends Local Law 55 of 2020, which temporarily prohibits the enforcement of personal liability provisions in commercial leases or rental agreements involving COVID-19 impacted tenants, by extending the sunset date of this protection from September 30, 2020 to March 31, 2021. 


Intro 2049-A (Levine): Establishes protections for displaced hotel service workers in the event of a sale or transfer of a hotel. New owners will be required to provide existing employment and maintain wages for a period of 90 days. At the end of the 90-day period, the new employer would perform an evaluation of the worker. Intro 2049-A also establishes consumer protections and notice requirements for service disruptions for guests of hotels. 


 “Since Paid Sick Leave’s passing in 2014, we’ve expanded it to include safe leave, closed almost 2,000 investigations and secured millions in restitution for more than 36,000 workers. Now, with more paid hours and no waiting period to use them, as well as expanded protections for domestic workers, we can help even more New Yorkers during a time where sick leave is crucial,” said Department of Consumer and Worker Protection Commissioner Lorelei Salas. “If you would like to learn more about your sick leave rights or file a complaint, you can contact our office at or by calling 311.”


“COVID-19 has heightened the challenges around rent affordability, paid sick leave, and consumer protections. It has forced us to think creatively about solutions,” said Jonnel Doris, Commissioner of NYC Department of Small Business Services.  “These new provisions protect our hardest working New Yorkers and uplifts our business owner, commercial tenants, and hotel workers as we all work to recover."


“It is imperative that we do all we can to help working class New Yorkers and protect local businesses, and this is why the City Council passed a package of bills expanding the City’s paid sick leave to include more people, protecting displaced hotel workers and extending protections for small business owners. These laws are about fairness, and will be critical to support thousands of New Yorkers as we battle this pandemic,” said City Council Speaker Corey Johnson.