THIS WEEK IN THE NEWS
June 16 to June 20, 2014
Schneiderman Announces That Google And Microsoft Will Have Kill Switches In Next Operating Systems
One year after launching the Secure Our Smartphones (S.O.S.) Initiative, Attorney General Schneiderman was joined by San Francisco District Attorney George Gascón to announce that Google and Microsoft will incorporate a kill switch – technology that would render a device useless if stolen – into the next version of their respective operating systems. This commitment means that, along with Apple’s Activation Lock feature, anti-theft technology will soon be available on 97% of smartphones in the United States. The announcement was part of a new report issued by the S.O.S. Initiative, which used previously unreleased data to reveal new crime statistics. Specifically, the report showed that, after Apple introduced Activation Lock, robberies and grand larcenies involving iPhones plummeted. Simultaneously, violent crimes against people carrying Samsung phones – which did not include a kill switch at the time – surged.
The work of the S.O.S. Initiative continues. The coalition will continue to push for the implementation of kill switches across the industry. In addition, the initiative will continue to urge for the introduction of anti-theft technology that is opt-out, ensuring that consumers will not have to turn on this life-saving function for their phones.
Schneiderman Provides Funding For Nassau And Suffolk County Police To Be Equipped With Life Saving Heroin Antidote
In a remark delivered to the Long Island Association, Attorney General Schneiderman announced that both the Nassau and Suffolk County Police Departments have been approved by the Attorney General’s Community Overdose Protection (COP) Program to receive funding that will equip law enforcement officers with the life-saving heroin antidote. Across Long Island, 18 law enforcement agencies have been approved for $222,788 in purchases and training for the use of 2,452 naloxone kits. Since COP was launched April 3 to combat heroin use, the Attorney General’s Office has approved 117 police departments, and more than $1.72 million, to fund the reimbursement for 26,273 naloxone kits.
Schneiderman Announces Agreement With Capital One To Give All New Yorkers Equal Access To Bank Accounts
The Attorney General reached an agreement with Capital One to adopt new policies governing its use of a credit bureau named ChexSystems. The announcement comes amid concerns that ChexSystems and other credit bureaus used by most major banks disproportionately affect lower-income applicants and those who fall prey to identity theft by restricting their access to a bank account. Ensuring equal access to bank accounts will prevent struggling New Yorkers with credit or fraud risks from relying on high-cost alternatives to banking. This week’s Capital One agreement has the potential to save 825,000 “unbanked” New Yorkers more than $19 million in check cashing fees every year. Capital One’s new policy will allow thousands more of New Yorkers and consumers nationwide to open bank accounts by the end of this year.
Schneiderman Reaches Agreement With Major Retailers To Provide Unit Pricing Information For Online Customers
Through agreements with six national top retailers, Attorney General Schneiderman has ensured that, within nine months, unit prices will be available on the websites and mobile apps of Walmart, Costco, Walgreens, FreshDirect, CVS and Drugstore.com. This move will allow New Yorkers to make more informed decisions when shopping online, by providing easy access to information that will help them quickly compare prices of different items regardless of quantity, manufacturer, packaging size or discounts. This agreement is part of Attorney General Schneiderman’s initiative to make New York more affordable for middle class New Yorkers.
Schneiderman & DiNapoli Announce Sentencing Of Former Met Council Chief Financial Officer
With State Comptroller DiNapoli, Attorney General Schneiderman secured the felony conviction and sentence of Herbert Friedman, former Chief Financial Officer of the Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty. Friedman will pay $775,000 in restitution and will serve four months in jail. Friedman, together with other co-conspirators, stole approximately $9 million from the taxpayer-funded nonprofit organization in a 20-year grand larceny and kickback scheme.
Schneiderman Resolves McDonald’s Franchise Retaliation Investigation
The Attorney General reached a settlement with Warrenone, Inc., a franchisee operating four McDonald’s restaurants in Wayne and Monroe counties, resolving the Attorney General’s investigation into the illegal firing of an employee. Warrenone Inc. agreed to pay $10,000 to the worker, who was illegally fired after he reported a dangerous gas leak to local authorities, resulting in the restaurant’s temporary closing.
Schneiderman Announces Conviction Of Two In Fake Nursing Schools Scheme
Following an eight-week trial, Attorney General Schneiderman announced the conviction of two men for their role in a massive scheme to defraud students. The defendants defrauded more than 500 students of more than $5 million over a period of almost 5 years by operating a network of fake nursing schools in Brooklyn and Queens. Students were led to believe they were enrolled in a program that would qualify them for careers in nursing, but the schools’ certification and transcripts were fraudulent.
Schneiderman Reaches $115,094 Settlement With SUNY For Excess Medicaid Payments
Attorney General Schneiderman recovered $115,094 in excess Medicaid payments from the State University of New York. Daniel Squire Oral Diagnostic & Treatment Center on SUNY’s Main Street campus in Buffalo received illegal reimbursements from Medicaid for dental services.
Please join Attorney General Schneiderman for a Nassau County Community forum on June 26 at the Nathan L.H. Bennett Pavilion in Hempstead. See the flyer below for complete details.
The Attorney General will also host a Mid-Hudson Valley Community forum in Poughkeepsie on Thursday, July 17 at 6pm at Marist College. See the flyer below for complete details.
In Other News…
As part of a national settlement with SunTrust, Attorney General Schneiderman secured $7.5 million in direct relief from the mortgage servicers for New Yorkers, as compensation for abuses and delays they suffered during the mortgage process.
A Rochester-area nurse was sentenced for falsifying patient records. Attorney General Schneiderman remains committed to holding negligent caregivers accountable.
Attorney General Schneiderman spoke out in support of full reproductive rights for women at NARAL’s Men For Choice event in New York City.
The Attorney General was honored to address the Association of Hispanic Healthcare Executives, commending the organization for its work to ensure equal access to health care for all New Yorkers.
Visit our website at ag.ny.gov, where you can learn more about the office’s various initiatives. You can also contact us here.
For more info on NYS Attorney General Eric Schneiderman or other political figures please don’t hesitate to hit us up at RandyKFisher@gmail.com.
Posted by Charles and Randy Fisher (Twitter @HHSYC).