Saturday, February 22, 2020

AOC’s “Courage To Change” PAC endorses Samelys L贸pez in crowded NY-15 congressional race



  Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s new political action committee makes first Northeast endorsement for Samelys L贸pez, in an open seat in the South Bronx. As a rebuff to the DCCC who last year blacklisted organizations that provide support for insurgent campaigns, Courage to Change PAC has chosen Samelys Lopez, a Dominican and Puerto Rican housing justice advocate, to represent the South Bronx.

Growing up homeless in the shelter system, while facing housing insecurity like many of our neighbors in the Bronx, I have made it my mission to center those in my community who have been directly impacted by homelessness, food scarcity, and poverty,” said Samelys L贸pez. “It is personal experiences like these that have given me the courage to fight for transformative justice. I am honored to be the first candidate in the northeast to earn this endorsement. It truly takes political courage and a movement to change our politics.”

“When community leaders, activists, and working-class candidates try to run for office, organizations like the D.C.C.C. discourage them,” said Representative Ocasio-Cortez said in an interview with the New York Times. “One of our primary goals is to reward political courage in Congress and also to help elect a progressive majority in the House of Representatives,”

This endorsement signals that the movement, which brought people like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to power, is getting behind the true progressive candidate in this crowded race, full of current and former elected officials.

The powers that be want you to believe that the fight for, social, economic, racial, immigrant, criminal, and environmental justice is an impossible dream,” Lopez said. “Let me be clear, we are fighting for our basic human rights.”

The primary will be held on Tuesday, June 23rd, 2020 in The Bronx. Samelys is excited to head into the petitioning phase of the election after spending the last 5 months in every community in the district.  She has been invigorated by speaking to people about a Homes Guarantee, Medicare For All, Universal Childcare and a Green New Deal in NYCHA. L贸pez is also hosting a Homes Guarantee town hall on Saturday the 22nd at 2195 Valentine Ave, St. Simon Stock Gym from 2:00 - 4:00pm.

EDITOR'S NOTE:

There are thirteen active candidate Federal Election Commission accounts (fourteen if you include State Senator Gustavo Rivera who still has an open FEC account) for the 15th Congressional race Democratic Primary June 23, 2020. Three candidates are currently City Council members with Councilman Ruben Diaz Sr's District almost entirely in the 15th Congressional District. Councilman Ritchie Torres has a small part, and Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez is from Upper Manhattan, and has no part of the 15th Congressional District. Assemblyman Michael Blake represents the 79th Assembly District in which a  majority of the smaller assembly district lies in the 15th Congressional District. Former Councilwoman Melissa Mark-Viverito represented a council district that was a majority Manhattan council district partly in the western part of the 15th Congressional District.

Over three quarters of a million dollars has already been spent by the four current and one former elected officials.

The favorite in this race is Councilman Ruben Diaz Sr. who previously was the State Senator from the 32nd State Senate District which almost entirely lies within the 15th Congressional. Councilman Ruben Diaz Sr. has tapped 87th Assembly District Male District Leader Sergeant John Perez to run against the embattled current state senator from the 32nd district.  

More on all the races including the 14th Congressional District where Congresswoman Alexandria Ocassio-Cortez has five people who have registered with the FEC. It may not be a cakewalk for AOC who has spent close to three million dollars herself as of the last listed reporting.

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

馃彔 Homes Guarantee Forum Saturday, Feb 22nd & Bronx Progressives General Meeting - Wednesday,Feb 26th, 2019 at 6:30pm




Hello Bronx Progressives members!


Bronx Progressives is excited to invite you to our upcoming meeting on Wednesday, February 26th at 6:30pm at 2066 Morris Ave, Bronx, NY 10453 (4 Train to Burnside Ave).



We will be voting on endorsements for the 79th Assembly and the 15th Congressional districts and a reminder, nominations are open for the executive committee!
We look forward to seeing you all on February 26th at 6:30pm! We welcome all to bring a dish to share!


Join us for our HOMES GUARANTEE FORUM! 

We demand 12 million units of social housing, good cause evictions, ending MCIs and universal rent control!
FIGHT WITH US!
February 22nd, 2-4 pm
2195 Valentine Ave,
Bronx, NY 10457

***This meeting is ADA accessible and is a safe space for all races, religions, sexes, gender identities, ages and beliefs***
EDITOR'S NOTE:
Of course we know that Bronx Progressives will be endorsing their co-founder Ms. Samelys Lopez in the 15th Congressional District, but we would like to know if any of the other dozen or so candidates were even asked to be interviewed.
The same goes for the 79th Assembly District, because we are going to guess that 'Bring your own dish' Dion Powell will get Bronx Progressives endorsement in the 79th A.D. We also would like to know who was asked to be interviewed here to.

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Leaders Of 59 Brims Gang Among 18 Defendants Charged In Manhattan Federal Court With Racketeering Offenses


Charges Include Two Murders and Five Attempted Murders

  Geoffrey S. Berman, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Dermot Shea, the Commissioner of the New York City Police Department (“NYPD”), and Peter C. Fitzhugh, the Special Agent-in-Charge of the New York Field Office of Homeland Security Investigations (“HSI”), announced the unsealing of an Indictment charging 18 members of the 59 Brims gang, including the gang’s leaders, with committing various racketeering, narcotics, and firearms offenses, including murder and attempted murder. 

WILLIE EVANS, a/k/a “Mills,” JAMARR SIMMONS, a/k/a “Show Off,” ALBERT SHOULDERS, a/k/a “Bundy,” RANELL SLOAN, a/k/a “Rah,” DARNELL COOPER, a/k/a “Jeez,” JOSE RODRIGUEZ, a/k/a “Meso,” SYLVESTER WINT, a/k/a “Vesta,” YONETTE RESPASS, a/k/a “Yonette Davis,” a/k/a “Star Brim,” MARKELL BOBIAN, a/k/a “Kellz,” TIMOTHY COLEMAN, a/k/a “LA,” TYRONE ERVIN, a/k/a “Shoota,” SEAN GAMBRELL, a/k/a “Kash,” DARON GOODMAN, a/k/a “Handsome,” JAVARIS JENKINS, a/k/a “JayBz,” JERLAINE LITTLE, a/k/a “Noni,” SHAMARE REID, a/k/a “Sha,” MARKQUEL SIMMONS, a/k/a “Shellz,” and TYRIQUE SNOWDEN, a/k/a “Ty,” are members of a racketeering enterprise known as the 59 Brims.
The Indictment charges WILLIE EVANS, the gang’s godfather, or highest-ranking, non-incarcerated member, and JAMARR SIMMONS, the highest-ranking member in the Bronx, with the September 28, 2019, murder of Bradford Mensah, 22, in the vicinity of Crotona Park in the Bronx, New York.  JAMARR SIMMONS and DARON GOODMAN were previously charged with the January 11, 2020, murder of Jason Parris, 36, in the vicinity of East 170th Street and Webster Avenue in the Bronx, New York.  
In addition to EVANS and JAMARR SIMMONS, the Indictment also charges YONETTE RESPASS, the gang’s godmother, or highest-ranking female member, with participating in the racketeering conspiracy and with ordering a slashing.
U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman said:  “As alleged in the Indictment, the defendants were responsible for brutal acts of violence – murders, attempted murders, a maiming, and robberies – in service of the 59 Brims gang.  Thanks to the extraordinary work of our partners at the NYPD and HSI, the defendants, who include the leaders of the gang, now face federal charges for their crimes.”
NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea said:  “Targeting and dismantling gangs and crews, and preventing the violence so often associated with their illegal activities, continues to be one of our highest priorities.  By using precision policing we are targeting the small percentage of people responsible for committing much of the violence in New York, and making the safest large city in America even safer.  I’d like to thank our law enforcement partners for their efforts in helping us achieve this goal.”
HSI Special Agent-in-Charge Peter C. Fitzhugh said:  “The list of allegations against those arrested today includes murder, attempted murder, narcotics violations, firearms offenses, and robbery.  The 59 Brims gang acts with no apparent regard for human life and today’s arrests hopefully put an end to their senseless violence.  As law enforcement, we build investigations to identify not only those who carry out monstrous acts, but also to get the leaders in the organization who facilitate the horrific crimes.  Today, due to the great investigative activity in this case, HSI and its partners are happy to announce that those allegedly responsible from the street level to the highest-ranking members of the 59 Brims gang are facing justice, ultimately making the community safer.”
As alleged in the Indictment unsealed today in Manhattan federal court[1]:
On January 11, 2020, DARON GOODMAN and JAMARR SIMMONS shot and killed Jason Parris in the vicinity of 1441 Webster Avenue in the Bronx, and aided and abetted the same.  GOODMAN and SIMMONS killed Parris in part to maintain and increase their positions in the 59 Brims racketeering enterprise operating in the Southern District of New York.
On September 28, 2019, WILLIE EVANS and JAMARR SIMMONS shot and killed Bradford Mensah in the vicinity of Crotona Park in the Bronx, and aided and abetted the same.  EVANS and SIMMONS killed Mensah in part to maintain and increase their positions in the 59 Brims racketeering enterprise operating in the Southern District of New York.
On September 2, 2019, JAVARIS JENKINS shot at a rival gang member in the Bronx, and aided and abetted the same.  JENKINS shot at the rival in part to maintain and increase his position in the 59 Brims racketeering enterprise operating in the Southern District of New York.
On August 28, 2019, TYRIQUE SNOWDEN shot at an individual while attempting to rob the individual of narcotics and narcotics proceeds in the Bronx, and aided and abetted the same.
On August 24, 2019, SYLVESTER WINT and SHAMARE REID shot at rival gang members in the Bronx, and aided and abetted the same.  WINT and REID shot at the rivals in part to maintain and increase their positions in the 59 Brims racketeering enterprise operating in the Southern District of New York.
On August 8, 2019, JAMARR SIMMONS, ALBERT SHOULDERS, SYLVESTER WINT, YONETTE RESPASS, and SHAMARE REID maimed and assaulted an individual with a dangerous weapon, and aided and abetted the same, by slashing the individual in the face.  SIMMONS, SHOULDERS, WINT, RESPASS, and REID slashed the individual in part to maintain and increase their positions in the 59 Brims racketeering enterprise operating in the Southern District of New York.
On August 1, 2019, JAVARIS JENKINS shot at rival gang members in the Bronx, and aided and abetted the same.  JENKINS shot at the rival in part to maintain and increase his position in the 59 Brims racketeering enterprise operating in the Southern District of New York.
On May 21, 2019, JAMARR SIMMONS, TYRONE ERVIN, and SEAN GAMBRELL robbed at gunpoint individuals who were playing a dice game, and shot at the individuals while robbing them, in the vicinity of Davidson Avenue in the Bronx, and aided and abetted the same.  SIMMONS, ERVIN, and GAMBRELL robbed and shot at the individuals in part to maintain and increase their positions in the 59 Brims racketeering enterprise operating in the Southern District of New York.
On March 30, 2019, JAMARR SIMMONS and TIMOTHY COLEMAN stabbed a rival gang member in the Bronx, and aided and abetted the same.  SIMMONS and COLEMAN stabbed the individual in part to maintain and increase their positions in the 59 Brims racketeering enterprise operating in the Southern District of New York.
On December 6, 2018, JERLAINE LITTLE and others pistol-whipped an individual while robbing the individual at gunpoint in the Bronx, and aided and abetted the same.  LITTLE robbed the individual in part to maintain and increase her position in the 59 Brims racketeering enterprise operating in the Southern District of New York.
On November 29, 2018, JAMARR SIMMONS, MARKELL BOBIAN, TYRONE ERVIN, SEAN GAMBRELL, JERLAINE LITTLE, and MARKQUEL SIMMONS pistol-whipped an individual while robbing the individual at gunpoint in the Bronx, and aided and abetted the same.  JAMARR SIMMONS, BOBIAN, ERVIN, GAMBRELL, LITTLE, MARKQUEL SIMMONS robbed the individual in part to maintain and increase their positions in the 59 Brims racketeering enterprise operating in the Southern District of New York.
Between January 2019 and September 2019, SYLVESTER WINT made the unauthorized sale of multiple firearms that had been transported in interstate commerce, including at a location in the Bronx.
EVANS, 28, SHOULDERS, 23, RODRIGUEZ, 26, BOBIAN, 22, ERVIN, 19, GAMBRELL, 22, JENKINS, 22, LITTLE, 28, REID, 18, and MARKQUEL SIMMONS, 23, were arrested today and will be presented before United States Magistrate Judge Barbara Moses.  GOODMAN, 22, JAMARR SIMMONS, 33, and SNOWDEN, 20, were already in federal custody.  COLEMAN, 32, is in New York City custody and will be transferred to federal custody at a later date.  SLOAN, 27, COOPER, 28, and WINT, 21, have not been arrested and remain at large.  RESPASS, 28, has not been arrested at this time.  This case is assigned to United States District Judge George B. Daniels.
Charts containing the names, charges, and maximum penalties for the defendants are set forth below.  The maximum potential sentences in this case are prescribed by Congress and are provided here for informational purposes only, as any sentencing of the defendants will be determined by the judge.
Mr. Berman praised the outstanding investigative work of the NYPD and HSI.  Mr. Berman also praised the New York City Department of Correction, Correction Intelligence Bureau, and the Bronx County District Attorney’s Office for their assistance in the investigation.          
The charges contained in the Indictment are merely accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
COUNT
DEFENDANT(S)
MAX. TERM OF IMPRISONMENT
Count One: Conspiracy to Commit Racketeering (18 U.S.C. § 1962(d))
All defendants
Life imprisonment as to all defendants except Respass and Coleman, for whom the maximum term of imprisonment is 20 years

Count Two:  Murder in Aid of Racketeering
(18 U.S.C. §§ 1959(a)(1) and 2) 
Jamarr Simmons
Daron Goodman
Death or a Mandatory Minimum Sentence of Life Imprisonment

Count Three: Use of a Firearm to Commit Murder (18 U.S.C. § 924(j)(1))
Jamarr Simmons
Daron Goodman
Death or Life Imprisonment; Mandatory Minimum Sentence of 5 years

Count Four:  Murder in Aid of Racketeering
(18 U.S.C. §§ 1959(a)(1) and 2)
 Willie Evans
Jamarr Simmons
Death or a Mandatory Minimum Sentence of Life Imprisonment

Count Five: Use of a Firearm to Commit Murder (18 U.S.C. §§ 924(j)(1) and 2) 
Willie Evans
Jamarr Simmons
Death or Life Imprisonment; Mandatory Minimum Sentence of 5 years

Count Six: Attempted Murder and Assault with a Dangerous Weapon in Aid of Racketeering (18 U.S.C. §§ 1959(a)(3), (a)(5), and 2)
Javaris Jenkins
20 years’ imprisonment

Count Seven: Possession of a Firearm in Furtherance of a Crime of Violence, which Firearm was Discharged (18 U.S.C. §§ 924(c)(1)(A)(i), (ii), (iii) and 2)
Javaris Jenkins
Life imprisonment; Mandatory Minimum Sentence of 10 years

Count Eight: Attempted Murder and Assault with a Dangerous Weapon in Aid of Racketeering (18 U.S.C. §§ 1959(a)(3), (a)(5), and 2) 
Sylvester Wint
Shamare Reid
20 years’ imprisonment

Count Nine: Possession of a Firearm in Furtherance of a Crime of Violence, which Firearm was Discharged (18 U.S.C. §§ 924(c)(1)(A)(i), (ii), (iii) and 2)
Sylvester Wint
Shamare Reid
Life imprisonment; Mandatory Minimum Sentence of 10 years

Count Ten: Maiming and Assault in Aid of Racketeering (18 U.S.C. §§ 1959(a)(2), (a)(3), and 2)
Jamarr Simmons
Albert Shoulders
Sylvester Wint
Yonette Respass
Shamare Reid
30 years’ imprisonment

Count Eleven: Attempted Murder and Assault with a Dangerous Weapon in Aid of Racketeering (18 U.S.C. §§ 1959(a)(3), (a)(5), and 2)
Javaris Jenkins
20 years’ imprisonment

Count Twelve: Possession of a Firearm in Furtherance of a Crime of Violence, which Firearm was Discharged (18 U.S.C. §§ 924(c)(1)(A)(i), (ii), (iii) and 2)
Javaris Jenkins
Life imprisonment; Mandatory Minimum Sentence of 10 years

Count Thirteen: Attempted Murder and Assault with a Dangerous Weapon in Aid of Racketeering (18 U.S.C. §§ 1959(a)(3), (a)(5), and 2)
Jamarr Simmons
Tyrone Ervin
Sean Gambrell
20 years’ imprisonment

Count Fourteen: Possession of a Firearm in Furtherance of a Crime of Violence, which Firearm was Discharged (18 U.S.C. §§ 924(c)(1)(A)(i), (ii), (iii) and 2)
Jamarr Simmons
Tyrone Ervin
Sean Gambrell
Life imprisonment; Mandatory Minimum Sentence of 10 years

Count Fifteen: Attempted Murder and Assault with a Dangerous Weapon in Aid of Racketeering (18 U.S.C. §§ 1959(a)(3), (a)(5), and 2)
Jamarr Simmons
Timothy Coleman
20 years’ imprisonment

Count Sixteen: Assault with a Dangerous Weapon in Aid of Racketeering (18 U.S.C. §§ 1959(a)(3) and 2)
Jerlaine Little
20 years’ imprisonment

Count Seventeen: Brandishing a Firearm in Furtherance of a Crime of Violence (18 U.S.C. §§ 924(c)(1)(A)(i), (ii) and 2)
Jerlaine Little
Life imprisonment; Mandatory Minimum Sentence of 7 years

Count Eighteen: Assault with a Dangerous Weapon in Aid of Racketeering (18 U.S.C. §§ 1959(a)(3) and 2)
Jamarr Simmons
Markell Bobian
Tyrone Ervin
Sean Gambrell
Jerlaine Little
Markquel Simmons 
20 years’ imprisonment

Count Nineteen: Brandishing a Firearm in Furtherance of a Crime of Violence (18 U.S.C. §§ 924(c)(1)(A)(i), (ii), and 2)
Jamarr Simmons
Markell Bobian
Tyrone Ervin
Sean Gambrell
Jerlaine Little
Markquel Simmons 
Life imprisonment; Mandatory Minimum Sentence of 7 years

Count Twenty: Conspiracy to Distribute Controlled Substances (21 U.S.C. § 846)
Willie Evans
Jamarr Simmons
Albert Shoulders
Ranell Sloan
Darnell Cooper
Jose Rodriguez
Sylvester Wint
Markell Bobian
Tyrone Ervin
Sean Gambrell
Javaris Jenkins
Jerlaine Little
Shamare Reid
Markquel Simmons
Tyrique Snowden
 Life imprisonment; Mandatory Minimum Sentence of 10 years

Count Twenty One: Possession of a Firearm in Furtherance of a Drug Trafficking Crime (18 U.S.C. §§ 924(c)(1)(A)(i) and 2)
Willie Evans
Jamarr Simmons
Albert Shoulders
Ranell Sloan
Darnell Cooper
Jose Rodriguez
Sylvester Wint
Markell Bobian
Tyrone Ervin
Sean Gambrell
Javaris Jenkins
Jerlaine Little
Shamare Reid
Markquel Simmons
Tyrique Snowden 
Life Imprisonment; Mandatory Minimum Sentence of 5 years

Count Twenty Two: Firearms Trafficking (18 U.S.C. §§ 922(a)(1)(A) and 2)
Sylvester Wint
5 years’ imprisonment

Count Twenty Three: Attempted Robbery (18 U.S.C. §§ 1951 and 2) 
Tyrique Snowden
20 years’ imprisonment

Count Twenty-Four: Possession of a Firearm in Furtherance of a Crime of Violence, which Firearm was Discharged (18 U.S.C. §§ 924(c)(1)(A)(i), (ii), (iii) and 2 
Tyrique Snowden
Life Imprisonment; Mandatory Minimum Sentence of 10 years
[1] As the introductory phrase signifies, the entirety of the text of the Indictment and the description of the Indictment set forth herein constitute only allegations, and every fact described should be treated as an allegation.

Brooklyn Owner Of Durable Medical Equipment Companies Pleads Guilty To Participating In $9 Million Health Care Fraud Scheme


  Geoffrey S.  Berman, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, and William F. Sweeney Jr., Assistant Director-in-Charge of the New York Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”), announced that GREG MILLER pled guilty today to participating in a $9 million scheme to defraud providers of “no-fault” insurance plans.  As part of the scheme, MILLER and his co-conspirators billed insurance companies millions of dollars for expensive durable medical equipment that was never provided to patients.  MILLER pled guilty before United States District Court Judge Katherine Polk Failla.     

U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman said:  “As he admitted in court today, Greg Miller exploited New York’s no-fault auto insurance system by billing millions of dollars for durable medical equipment that was never actually provided to patients, was medically unnecessary, or was far more expensive than the equipment that was provided.  Now Miller awaits sentencing for his crime.”
FBI Assistant Director William F. Sweeney Jr. said:  “When private health care programs are abused, the financial burden is typically passed on to consumers of these programs by way of increased premiums and other means of supporting services provided by the company.  This is in no way a victimless crime, as it translates into very real numbers for those who pay into these health care programs.  Miller’s conduct was just another way to make a quick profit at the expense of others, and this type of behavior can’t be tolerated.” 
As alleged in the Information filed today in Manhattan federal court:
Between 2014 and 2019, GREG MILLER employed other individuals to serve as the nominal owners of at least two durable medical equipment (“DME”) supply companies located in Brooklyn, New York.  MILLER, the true owner and operator of the companies, directed these individuals to submit fraudulent bills to private insurance companies that provided “no-fault” insurance plans.  Under New York State law, a company that insures a vehicle involved in an accident is required to provide reimbursement for certain treatments and services provided to the vehicle occupants, regardless of who was at fault in the accident.  These treatments and services may include DME if the DME is necessary and actually provided.  The bills submitted by MILLER’s companies were fraudulent because, among other things, the bills were for DME that was never provided to patients, for DME that was medically unnecessary, or for expensive DME purportedly provided to patients when the DME in fact provided to patients was inexpensive DME.        
MILLER, 60, pled guilty to one count of conspiring to commit health care fraud and faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison.
The maximum potential sentence in this case is prescribed by Congress and is provided here for informational purposes only, as any sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the judge.  As part of his plea, MILLER agreed to forfeit $3,698,010 and to pay at least that amount in restitution.
Mr. Berman praised the outstanding investigative work of FBI’s Healthcare Fraud Task Force.

Manhattan U.S. Attorney Announces Guilty Plea Of U.S. Taxpayer In Panama Papers Investigation


  Geoffrey S. Berman, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York and Brian A. Benczkowski, Assistant Attorney General of the Criminal Division of the U.S. Department of Justice, announced today that HARALD JOACHIM VON DER GOLTZ, a/k/a “H.J. von der Goltz,” “Johan von der Goltz,” “Jochen von der Goltz,” “Tica,” “Tika,” pled guilty today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Barbara Moses to wire fraud, tax fraud, money laundering, false statements, and other charges.  VON DER GOLTZ, a former U.S. resident and taxpayer, is charged along with Ramses Owens, Dirk Brauer, and Richard Gaffey, a/k/a “Dick Gaffey,” in connection with a decades-long criminal scheme perpetrated by Mossack Fonseca & Co. (“Mossack Fonseca”), a Panamanian-based global law firm, and its related entities. 

Manhattan U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman said:  “Harald Joachim von der Goltz went to extraordinary lengths to circumvent U.S. tax laws in order to maintain his wealth and hide it from the IRS.  Using the specialized criminal services of global law firm Mossack Fonseca, von der Goltz set up shell companies and off-shore accounts to conceal millions of dollars.  Now, after years of concealment from the United States, von der Goltz has admitted guilt in a U.S. court and awaits sentencing that could result in a term in a U.S. prison.”
AAG Brian A. Benczkowski said:  “Over nearly two decades, von der Goltz conspired to keep his income hidden from U.S. tax authorities and law enforcement.  Today’s guilty plea demonstrates the Department’s steadfast commitment to prosecute taxpayers who use offshore structures to obscure their wealth and evade their tax obligations.”According to the allegations contained in the Indictments[1], other filings in this case, and statements during court proceedings, including VON DER GOLTZ’s guilty plea hearing:
Since at least 2000 through 2017, VON DER GOLTZ conspired with others to conceal his assets and investments, and the income generated by those assets and investments, from the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) through fraudulent, deceitful, and dishonest means.  During all relevant times, VON DER GOLTZ was a U.S. resident and was subject to U.S. tax laws, which required him to report and pay income tax on worldwide income, including income and capital gains generated in domestic and foreign bank accounts.  Nevertheless, VON DER GOLTZ evaded his tax reporting obligations by setting up a series of shell companies and bank accounts, and hiding his beneficial ownership of the shell companies and bank accounts from the IRS.  These shell companies and bank accounts made investments totaling tens of millions of dollars.  VON DER GOLTZ was assisted in this scheme through the use of Mossack Fonseca, including Ramses Owens, a Panamanian lawyer who previously worked at Mossack Fonseca, and by Richard Gaffey, a partner at a U.S.-based accounting firm.  Specifically, in furtherance of VON DER GOLTZ’s efforts to conceal his assets and income from the IRS, VON DER GOLTZ engaged the services of Mossack Fonseca, including Owens, to create a sham foundation and shell companies formed under the laws of Panama and the British Virgin Islands to conceal from the IRS and others the ownership by VON DER GOLTZ of accounts established at overseas banks, as well as the income generated in those accounts.  VON DER GOLTZ, Gaffey, and Owens also falsely claimed that VON DER GOLTZ’s elderly mother was the sole beneficial owner of the shell companies and bank accounts at issue because, at all relevant times, she was a Guatemalan citizen and resident, and – unlike VON DER GOLTZ – was not a U.S. taxpayer. 
VON DER GOLTZ, 82, a citizen of Germany and Guatemala who resided in Needham, Massachusetts, and Key Biscayne, Florida, pled guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit tax evasion, which carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison; one count of wire fraud, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison; one count of money laundering conspiracy, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison; four counts of willful failure to file Reports of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts, FINCEN Reports 114, each of which carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison; and two counts of false statements, each of which carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison. 
VON DER GOLTZ is scheduled to appear before Judge Richard M. Berman on February 24, 2020, at 9:30 a.m., at which time it is anticipated Judge Berman will set a sentencing date.
The maximum potential sentences in this case are prescribed by Congress and are provided here for informational purposes only, as any sentence for the defendant will be determined by the judge.
Gaffey is scheduled to proceed to trial on March 9, 2020, before Judge Berman. 
U.S. Attorney Berman praised the outstanding investigative work of IRS - Criminal Investigation and HSI, and thanked the Justice Department’s Tax Division and the Federal Bureau of Investigation for their significant assistance in the investigation.  Mr. Berman also thanked the Criminal Division’s Office of International Affairs, which provided significant assistance in securing the defendant’s extradition from the United Kingdom.  He also thanked law enforcement partners in France, the United Kingdom, Panama, and Germany for their assistance in the case.
The charges as to Owens, Brauer, and Gaffey are merely accusations, and they are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
[1] As the introductory phrase signifies, the entirety of the texts of the Indictments and the descriptions of the Indictments set forth herein constitute only allegations as to Owens, Brauer, and Gaffey, and every fact described should be treated as an allegation.

Attorney General James Condemns Federal Proposals To Roll Back Critical Anti-Discrimination Protections For Patients And Students


   New York Attorney General Letitia James today sent two multistate comment letters to the Trump Administration, opposing federal proposals that roll back critical anti-discrimination protections for patients and students. Both proposals stem from President Trump’s Executive Order that allows faith-based organizations to deny services to various groups. In the first proposal, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) would eliminate transparency requirements for faith-based providers that help patients to understand their rights and access referrals to care from alternative providers. In the second, the U.S. Department of Education is vastly expanding the definition used to claim a religious exemption under Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972. This would allow schools to discriminate on the basis of sex against students or faculty based on the moral beliefs and practices of administrators, even if those practices have no connection with a religion. Together, these federal proposals are part of the Trump Administration’s ongoing assault on the rights of women, survivors of sexual harassment and violence, and LGBTQ+ individuals.
“The president’s Executive Order is nothing more than a veiled attempt to discriminate against our nation’s patients, students, and those who are most vulnerable,” said Attorney General James. “Religion should never be used as weapon, yet the Trump Administration has repeatedly worked to pit Americans against each other by using faith as a wedge between us. Our coalition is fighting the president’s attempts to divide Americans along religious lines, and will continue to do everything in our power to protect women, LGBTQ+ individuals, and those who need these valuable protections.”
In the first comment letter, the coalition of 23 attorneys general contends that HHS’ proposal fails to safeguard the rights of women and LGBTQ+ individuals — both groups which already disproportionately face barriers to care, particularly when it comes to obtaining accurate information about their health care and referrals. The receipt of accurate and impartial information from providers is vital to a patient’s health and could mean the difference between life and death. Under the proposal, faith-based providers will no longer be required to notify patients of their rights, including the right to a referral. For instance, removing notice and referral requirements will adversely impact a woman’s ability to access critical reproductive care, including an abortion. In fact, religiously-affiliated crisis pregnancy centers — which have seen an uptick in federal funding under the Trump Administration — have been known to offer patients misleading information in an attempt to discourage them from obtaining an abortion or accessing contraception. In the comment letter, the coalition maintains that HHS’ proposal is arbitrary and capricious because it fails to consider the evidence or adequately justify the proposed changes. 
In the second comment letter, the coalition of 20 attorneys general highlights how the Department of Education’s proposal to expand religious exemptions under Title IX could give schools free rein to discriminate against students or faculty on the basis of sex — significantly harming people who have suffered discrimination, including sexual harassment and violence. Currently, Title IX contains a narrow religious exemption for educational institutions controlled by a religious organization. The proposal would allow more schools to discriminate on the basis of sex by broadening the criteria for institutions to claim a religious exemption, such that even schools with a tenuous relationship with religion could claim exemption from Title IX requirements. As a result, under the proposal, a student could unlawfully face discrimination — for using birth control, being pregnant or parenting a child out of marriage, or for being LGBTQ+ — simply because of the moral beliefs or practices of school administrators. Sexual harassment and violence survivors could also be denied the protections of Title IX by schools claiming to be exempt under the proposed rule. This kind of discrimination can needlessly and seriously disrupt a student's academic trajectory and career and could have a detrimental long-term effect on their mental and physical health. The coalition also notes that the proposal is arbitrary and capricious because the federal government failed to provide any substantive reasoning that would justify this dramatic departure in policy, which is contrary to the goals of Title IX.

LIVE.     WORK.     SHOP.     THRIVE. 


Our trainings are free. These workshops address barriers for district small business owners and build robust equitable economic development tools. These tools help drive the systemic change needed to support equitable economic development in the Bronx, while also providing important information to avoid fines from increased government-imposed small business regulations.

NYS Plastic Bag Ban Info Session, Weds - February 26, 2020 - 5:00pm

Learn about the NYS Plastic Bag Ban and what steps you need to take to comply with the law.
The NYS Plastic Bag Ban goes into effect on March 1, 2020. All businesses should be aware of what they need to do to comply with this new law. The New York State Bag Waste Reduction Act prohibits the distribution of plastic carryout bags by retailers in New York state.

Businesses that are not exempt from the law are required to provide paper bags to consumers. Businesses must charge a 5 cent paper bag fee per bag. SNAP and WIC recipients are exempt from this fee. Businesses must show the transaction of the paper bags clearly on receipts and shall state the number of bags provided to the customer. The paper carryout bag reduction fee must be reported and paid to the state commissioner of taxation and finance on a quarterly basis.

Learn more about this ban and what you need to do during this information session hosted by the Third Avenue Business Improvement District and NYC Department of Sanitation.



Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez Opens Bronx Campaign Office





Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez kicking off her re-election bid, opened her Bronx campaign office on Saturday February 15th. The address is 1371 Herschell Street just off Westchester Avenue. This location seems to be the middle of the Bronx part of the 14th Congressional District. To the East is Throggs Neck, Pelham, and Country Club. To the West is Parkchester and Castle Hill. To the North is Morris Park, Van Nest, and Pelham Parkway.

  The campaign office is divided into different sections where different activities can take place. After she wins re-election Congresswoman Ocassio-Cortez intends to turn the campaign office into a community space for meetings and educating people how to help themselves, and others. The lease is for five years so it looks like Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez intends to stick around. One thing however, in 2021 there will be redistricting, and with the possible loss of two congressional seats for New York no one can predict what Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez's district will look like for her race in 2022. 


Above - AOC chats with one of the many volunteers.
Below - The volunteers wanted selfies with Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez.



There are two community meetings with Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasia-Cortez Wednesday February 19th at PS 304 2759 Lafayette Avenue in the Throggs Neck area from 7:30 - 9 PM.
Thursday February 20th at Janell Towers 801 Neill Avenue in the Morris Park area from 7:30 - 9 PM.

Contact OcasioCortez.com/events  to sign up for these and other events including petitioning beginning Tuesday February 25th at various locations listed. You must be a registered voter in New York State, and a member of the Democratic Party to collect petition signatures.

Bronx Fashion Week Returns 2/.29./2020 At the Bay Plaza Mall


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