THIS WEEK IN THE NEWS
September 15 to September 19, 2014
In Syracuse, Attorney General Schneiderman was joined by New York State Police Superintendent Joseph D’Amico and Syracuse Police Department Chief Frank Fowler to announce the indictment of 41 people – including nine members of the same family – in “Operation Horseback,” a takedown of two related drug trafficking pipelines that transported heroin from as far away as Puerto Rico into Syracuse. “Operation Horseback” also recovered four kilos of cocaine, more than one kilo of heroin, over $75,000 in cash, and a shotgun and an assault rifle. Including those two busts, Attorney General Schneiderman’s Office has dismantled 20 dangerous drug trafficking rings since 2011.
Schneiderman Files Groundbreaking Lawsuit To Stop Pharmaceutical Manufacturer From Manipulating Alzheimer’s Patients
Attorney General Schneiderman filed an antitrust lawsuit seeking to prevent pharmaceutical manufacturer Actavis from forcing Alzheimer’s patients to switch medications as part of an anti-competitive strategy, designed to protect its revenue when one of its high-selling Alzheimer’s drugs goes generic next year. The Attorney General’s lawsuit argues that this maneuver would needlessly disrupt patient treatment and restrict patient choice just to protect corporate profits.
Attorney General Schneiderman reached a settlement with Wal-Mart Stores after an investigation by his office revealed that Wal-Mart advertised a nationwide sale of Coca-Cola soft drinks but charged customers in their 117 stores across New York State more than the advertised sale price. This false advertising was first discovered after an investigator from the Attorney General’s Office overheard a conversation while waiting to check out at his local Wal-Mart. The settlement requires Wal-Mart to change business practices to comply with state law and pay over $66,000 in penalties.
Schneiderman & D.A. Gascón Commend Apple’s New IOS 8 Operating System For Enabling Default Anti-Theft Feature
As co-chairs of the global Secure Our Smartphones Initiative, Attorney General Schneiderman and San Francisco District Attorney George Gascón praised Apple’s new iOS 8, revealing that new iPhones sold with iOS 8 will include Apple’s theft deterrent system, Activation Lock, as a default setting. This marks the first time in the history of the smartphone industry that theft deterrent technology is available by default on new products, an important step toward preventing dangerous and often deadly smartphone thefts – which the S.O.S. Initiative has pushed since launching last year. The Attorney General also discussed this significant achievement with WSYR-TV in Syracuse.
Attorney General Schneiderman announced the arrest and indictment of five individuals for running an alleged identity-theft ring targeting customers of local banks. The defendants stole over $850,000 by having bank tellers access and steal personal information of hundreds of unsuspecting customers – account numbers and Social Security numbers, for example – in order to make fake IDs, which were then used it to withdraw money from those accounts. The Attorney General also reminded any potential identify theft victims to review his office’s tips in order to protect their personal information.
Attorney General Schneiderman arrested a Westchester real-estate attorney who allegedly stole more than $1 million from his own clients’ escrow account, using the money to help fund his family’s extravagant lifestyle – including a membership at Westchester’s Waccabuc Country Club, a BMW, a Lexus, expensive jewelry and more. The defendant was also indicted earlier this year for embezzling nearly $2 million from the not-for-profit United Hebrew Cemetery in Staten Island as its Acting President, allegedly using that money to cover his theft from the escrow account. Note to lawyers: Attorney-client privilege does not give you the right to steal from clients in order to fund a lavish lifestyle.
Schneiderman Indicts NYS Employee And Accomplice For Stealing Over $2.5M In State Funds In Bribery Scheme
Attorney General Schneiderman indicted an employee of the New York State Department of Education, and an accomplice for stealing over $2.5 million from the state by diverting funds to NYC-area driving schools for services that were never rendered. The defendant allegedly received bribes in the form of regular cash payments for her role in the scheme. They have been charged with 19 felony counts including Grand Larceny and Bribery, and face up to 25 years in state prison.
A.G. Schneiderman Leads 8-State Coalition In Supporting Broad Protections Of Waters Under Federal Clean Water Act
Attorney General Schneiderman led a coalition of eight states in backing a federal proposal designed to ensure that the nation’s lakes, rivers, streams, and wetlands receive proper protection under the federal Clean Water Act (CWA). The coalition’s support came in comments submitted to the heads of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Army Corps of Engineers’ Civil Works Office on their joint Waters of the United States Proposed Rule. The proposed rule seeks to clarify what types of waters are covered by the CWA – an issue that has become muddled by two recent U.S. Supreme Court decisions.
Attorney General Schneiderman announced that 46 states and the District of Columbia have reached a settlement agreement with Minnesota-based company Medtronic to resolve claims under the False Claims Act that Medtronic improperly paid kickbacks to induce physicians to recommend Medtronic pacemakers and defibrillators to treat cardiac rhythmic disease.
In Other News…
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Posted by Charles and Randy Fisher (Twitter / Instagram / Facebook @HHSYC).