Saturday, March 13, 2021
Friday, March 12, 2021
In a 17-count indictment — unsealed today before Bronx County Supreme Court, Criminal Division Judge Michael A. Gross — Alexander was charged with multiple counts of Sex Trafficking of a Child; and related counts of First, Second, Third, and Fourth Degrees of Promoting Prostitution; Conspiracy; multiple counts of Endangering the Welfare of a Child; and Obscenity charges. Both Sex Trafficking of a Child and First-Degree Promoting Prostitution are class B felonies, and the Sex Trafficking of a Child is a violent felony offense. Alexander faces up to 50 years in prison if convicted of the top counts. Additionally, Alexander was remanded and ordered to return to court on March 12, 2021.
“The sexual exploitation of children is disgraceful, sickening, and blatantly illegal,” said Attorney General James. “Adults have the responsibility to protect children, yet Alexander’s alleged actions exposed minors to untold pain and suffering. My office will continue to use every tool in our arsenal to root out sex traffickers and child abusers, and bring justice to their victims. I thank the NYPD for their partnership in this work.”
“Today’s charges further affirm the NYPD’s unwavering commitment to combating sex trafficking and protecting the survivors of this heinous crime,” said NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea. “I commend our NYPD investigators and the New York state attorney general for their sustained work in this important case.”
The investigation was named “Operation Mile High,” after investigators revealed Alexander was listed as the C.E.O. of Central Jet Charter, a private aircraft charter company. Through the use of covert recording devices, social media, and undercover operations, the investigative team determined that Alexander was, in fact, trafficking children across county lines for sex. The initial investigation began after female minors reported Alexander to the NYPD, alleging that Alexander sexually abused them and other underage girls, and promoted them for prostitution to other men. An undercover police officer met with Alexander, who charged him a total of $300 for sexual intercourse with a 12-year-old victim and a 14-year-old victim — and encouraged the undercover officer to use alcohol and marijuana to make the victims more cooperative.
The investigation further revealed that, between 2018 and 2020, Alexander would lure female teenage victims (ages 12 to 16) to his apartment in Bronx County, often using marijuana and food to entice them. Once there, Alexander would attempt to perform sexual acts with them, expose himself to them, and show the victims nude photographs. Alexander also displayed nude photographs of himself with other female teenagers to his victims.
Alexander was arrested on December 5, 2020. The charges against the defendant are merely accusations and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty in a court of law.
This investigation remains ongoing, and Attorney General James urges anyone who may be a victim of trafficking or who knows someone who may be a victim to call the NYPD’s Trafficking Hotline at 646-610-7272.
Attorney General James thanks Bronx District Attorney Darcel Clark for her office’s assistance in this investigation.
The NYPD investigation was led by Detectives Antonio Pagan and Liam O’Hara, under the supervision of Lieutenant Amy Capogna, who oversees the NYPD’s Vice Enforcement Unit of the Human Trafficking Team. Captain Thomas Milano is the Executive Officer and Inspector Neteis Gilbert is the Commanding Officer of the Vice Enforcement Division.
The OAG investigation was led by OCTF Investigator Ramon Almodovar and Supervising Investigator Paul Grzegorski, under the supervision of OCTF Assistant Chief John Sullivan and Deputy Chief John McManus. The Investigations Division is led by Chief Oliver Pu-Folkes.
The OAG case is being prosecuted by OCTF Assistant Deputy Attorney General Caitlin Carroll, with assistance from Analyst Stephanie Tirado, under the supervision of Deputy Bureau Chief Lauren Abinanti and aided by Crime Victims Assistance Coordinator Priscilla Tavares. Nicole Keary is the Deputy Attorney General in Charge of OCTF, which is a part of the Division for Criminal Justice. The Division for Criminal Justice is led by Chief Deputy Attorney General Jose Maldonado and overseen by First Deputy Attorney General Jennifer Levy.
Audrey Strauss, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Peter C. Fitzhugh, Special Agent-in-Charge of the New York Field Office of Homeland Security Investigations (“HSI”), Philip R. Bartlett, Inspector-in-Charge of the New York Field Division of the United States Postal Inspection Service (“USPIS”), Dermot Shea, Commissioner of the New York City Police Department (“NYPD”), and Joseph Fucito, New York City Sheriff, announced today the unsealing of a criminal Complaint charging SHAMOON RAFIQ, a/k/a “Shamoon Omer Rafiq,” a/k/a “Omar Rafiq,” a/k/a “Omer Rafiq,” a resident of Singapore, with securities fraud, wire fraud, and aggravated identity theft for engaging in a scheme in which RAFIQ solicited millions of dollars through his use of false representations offering to sell purported investments in shares of stock in privately held companies that have not yet conducted an initial public offering (“pre-IPO stock”) that he did not actually own, his false impersonation of senior officials of a reputable family office investment firm, and other acts of deception.
Thursday, March 11, 2021
Rahn+Bodmer Enters into Deferred Prosecution Agreement for Criminal Misconduct; Agrees to Pay $22 Million
Audrey Strauss, United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Stuart M. Goldberg, Acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General for the Department of Justice’s Tax Division, and James C. Lee, Chief of the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation (“IRS-CI”), announced the filing of a criminal Information against RAHN+BODMER CO. (“R+B”), a financial institution located in Zurich, Switzerland. The Information charges R+B with one count of conspiring to help U.S. accountholders evade their U.S. tax obligations, file false federal tax returns, and otherwise defraud the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) by hiding hundreds of millions of dollars in offshore bank accounts at R+B.
Attorney General James Responds to Legislature’s Action to Investigate Sexual Harassment Allegations Against Governor Cuomo
New York Attorney General Letitia James today released the following statement confirming that the independent investigation her office is overseeing into allegations of sexual harassment against Governor Andrew Cuomo will continue regardless of today’s actions by the New York state legislature:
“Today’s action by the New York state legislature will have no bearing on our independent investigation into these allegations against Governor Cuomo. Our investigation will continue.”
Earlier this week, Attorney General James announced the appointment of former Acting U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York Joon H. Kim and employment discrimination attorney Anne L. Clark as the two attorneys leading the independent investigation into Governor Cuomo.
Join me at the following Women's HERstory Month events:
Small Business Pop-Up
Date: Saturday March 13th
Location: Maestros Catering Hall, 1703 Bronxdale Ave
NYPL Family Storytime
Date: Wedsneday March 24th
Time: 11:00am - 11:30am
Location: Register Here
M/WBE Certification Webinar
Date: Wedsneday March 24th
Time: 6:00pm - 7:30pm
Location: Register Here
Assemblywoman Nathalia Fernandez
“If companies are going to manage New Yorkers’ personal information, they must make every effort to protect that information,” said Attorney General James. “But AMCA’s security failures resulted in 21 million Americans having their data illegally accessed. I am committed to protecting New Yorkers’ personal data and will not hesitate to hold companies accountable when they fail to safeguard that information. Today’s agreement ensures that the company has the appropriate security and incident response plan in place so that a failure like this does not take place again.”
Between August 1, 2018 and March 30, 2019, an unauthorized user gained access to AMCA’s internal system and was able to collect a wide variety of customers’ personal information. Despite numerous warnings from banks that processed its payments about a potential breach, AMCA failed to detect the intrusion.
On June 3, 2019, AMCA provided notice to the states, including New York — which immediately opened an investigation. The company also simultaneously began providing notice to affected individuals. To help manage the harm from the exposure of personal information, AMCA offered affected individuals two years of free credit monitoring.
On June 17, 2019 — as a result of the costs associated with providing notification and remediating the breach — AMCA filed for bankruptcy. In order to continue the investigation and take steps to ensure that the personal information of their residents was protected, Attorney General James and other members of the multistate coalition participated in the bankruptcy proceedings. The company ultimately received permission from the bankruptcy court to settle with the multistate coalition, and, on December 9, 2020, the company filed for dismissal of the bankruptcy.
Under the terms of today’s agreement, AMCA and its principals have agreed to implement and maintain a number of data security practices designed to strengthen its information security program and safeguard the personal information of consumers. These include:
- Creating and implementing an information security program with detailed requirements, including an incident response plan;
- Employing a duly qualified chief information security officer to oversee data safety practices at the company;
- Hiring a third-party assessor to perform an information security assessment; and
- Cooperating with the attorneys’ general investigation and maintaining evidence.
As part of the agreement, AMCA may also be liable for a $21 million payment to the states if the company violates the injunctive terms of the agreement. Because of AMCA’s financial condition, the payment will be suspended if no violation occurs.
Joining Attorney General James in co-leading this investigation were the attorneys general of Connecticut, Indiana, and Texas. They were joined by the attorneys general of Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia.
New York State Comptroller DiNAPOLI ANNOUNCES SALE OF $636 MILLION STATE OF NEW YORK GENERAL OBLIGATION BONDS
Competitive Offering to Feature Tax-Exempt and Taxable Bonds
The net proceeds of $125.1 million of the new money portion of the Series 2021A Tax-Exempt Bonds will finance projects authorized by the following voter-approved bond acts: Environmental Quality (1986), Clean Water/Clean Air (1996), and Smart Schools (2014). The Series 2021A Tax-Exempt Bonds will mature over 14 years.
The net proceeds of $77.5 million of the new money portion of the Series 2021B Taxable Bonds will finance projects authorized by the following voter-approved bond acts: Environmental Quality (1986), Clean Water/Clean Air (1996), Rebuild and Renew New York Transportation (2005) and Smart Schools (2014). The net proceeds of $452.8 million of the refunding portion of the Series 2021B Taxable Bonds will refund certain outstanding General Obligation bonds. The Series 2021B Taxable Bonds will mature over 21 years.
The bonds are expected to be awarded pursuant to electronic competitive bidding to be held via BiDCOMP on behalf of the Comptroller of the State of New York on March 16, 2021, as set forth in the Notice of Sale published in The Bond Buyer on March 11, 2021. The bonds will be dated on the date of delivery, expected to be March 23, 2021.
Dependent on market conditions, the State of New York reserves its right to change, amend or cancel this scheduled sale of General Obligation Bonds.
A copy of the Preliminary Official Statement is available.
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