A Platinum Story -de Blasio Unscathed

 

The Real Deal

De Blasio won’t face federal, state charges in fundraising probe

News comes just days after Preet Bharara was fired

Mayor Bill de Blasio won’t be facing federal or state criminal charges for fundraising activities tied to his now defunct Campaign for One New York, officials announced on Thursday.

“After careful deliberation, given the totality of the circumstances here and absent additional evidence, we do not intend to bring federal criminal charges against the Mayor or those acting on his behalf relating to the fundraising efforts in question,” acting U.S. Attorney Joon Kim announced on Thursday.

The investigations hinged on whether de Blasio solicited donations from developers and others who had business before the city in exchange for political favors. In October, the New York Time’s reported that Jona Rechnitz, the real estate developer at the center of the NYPD corruption scandal, was cooperating with authorities. The mayor was accused of giving a retired police official a high-level position in his administration after Rechnitz called him and requested the appointment as a “personal favor.” The federal investigation was conducted by the Manhattan U.S. Attorney’s Office and the FBI. The Manhattan District Attorney’s Office led the state probe.

In his announcement, District Attorney Cyrus Vance stated that there wasn’t enough evidence to prove that the mayor violated state election laws in his efforts to help Democrats take over the Republican-controlled state Senate. The investigation focused on whether he wrongfully sidestepped contribution limits to individual candidates by directing donations to upstate county committees. Vance said, however, that the actions “appear contrary to the intent and spirit of the laws that impose candidate contribution limits.”

Kim noted the unusual nature of announcing that his office wouldn’t pursue criminal charges, saying that, in this case, it was appropriate to not “unduly influence the upcoming campaign and Mayoral election.” The announcement comes just a few days after President Donald Trump fired Preet Bharara from his post as U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York.

The decision not to prosecute clears what was a black cloud over the mayor’s re-election campaign. It remains to be seen if potential Democratic challengers who were waiting on the sidelines as the investigation dragged on will now step aside. Meanwhile, Republican mayoral candidate and Cushman & Wakefield executive Paul Massey announced Wednesday that he raised twice as much as de Blasio since Jan. 12.

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Circumcisions and Herpes – Metzizah b’peh Should Be Illegal, Mayor de Blasio

The Independent – UK

Herpes cases among babies linked to ultra-Orthodox Jewish circumcision ritual

New York health department alerts doctors to infections linked to ancient ritual in which circumcision wound is cleaned by mouth

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A baby boy was rushed to hospital when he developed herpes following a controversial ancient circumcision ritual, it has been reported.

The New York health department alerted doctors to the case of a newborn who fell ill after undergoing the ultra-Orthodox Jewish practice in which the circumcision wound is cleaned by mouth.

A rash is said to have spread across the child’s genitals, buttocks, inner thighs and ankle two weeks after the procedure.

There have been six cases of herpes among children who have had the ritual known as metzitzah b’peh performed on them since February 2015, reported the New York Daily News.

The majority of Jewish circumcision ceremonies do not include metzitzah b’peh, in which the mohel, or circumciser, places their mouth directly on the wound to suck away the blood.

An estimated 3,000 babies are circumcised each year using the method in New York City, home to the largest Jewish population outside Israel.

The city’s mayor Bill de Blasio told reporters officials were in the process of identifying the mohel who had performed the procedure and expected “full cooperation from the community”.

Mr de Blasio retracted the requirement for a parental consent form for the practice two years ago in a compromise with ultra-Orthodox leaders who agreed to help identify and isolate any mohels found to be responsible for an infection.

Of the six previously undisclosed cases, two occurred last year and three in 2015.

Since 2000, there have been 24 cases of infant herpes linked to circumcision, leading to two deaths and two cases of brain damage, according to the New York Post.

Herpes, a highly contagious viral disease which can cause blisters and ulcers, is more severe in newborn babies as their immune systems are not fully developed.

De Blasio – Not so Pro-Israel After All – or Are His Ultra-Orthodox Block Being Pacified?

deblasio

De Blasio isn’t jumping to defend Israel after UN vote

http://nypost.com/2016/12/29/de-blasio-isnt-jumping-to-defend-israel-after-un-vote/

Mayor Bill de Blasio — who has repeatedly cast himself as a fierce defender of Israel — refused Thursday to take a position on the UN resolution condemning the Jewish state for expanding its settlements.

“I don’t really know what I think about the details of the resolution,” the mayor said at an unrelated press conference in Times Square. “What I know is it’s besides the point. The solution has to come from … Israelis and Palestinians. That’s the core of the matter. And right now that’s not happening.”

In past years, de Blasio has said it is his duty to speak out on Israel’s behalf.

“I will work every day … in support of the state of Israel because we know time and again the state of Israel is under attack,” he said at the Queens Jewish Community Council on Aug. 25, 2015.

De Blasio said that because Israel doesn’t have “enough friends,” New York must advocate for it.

 

“We must speak up,” he said. “We have to be one of the places that does.”

The mayor made similar comments the previous year.

“I am the mayor of the city … with the largest Jewish population anywhere on this Earth. By definition, I’ve said it many times, it’s not only normal and natural [to support Israel], I consider it my responsibility to stand up for the state of Israel,” de Blasio said on July 14, 2014.

City Hall press secretary Eric Phillips later issued a statement, saying:

“Mayor de Blasio said clearly that the U.N.’s role in the peace process has never been helpful. Like many at home and abroad, the Mayor also acknowledged that the ultimate consequences of the U.N.’s resolution cannot be predicted and that the effect of the U.S.’s abstention is unclear. What is clear is that the U.N.’s anti-Israel positioning in the Middle

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Satmar, de Blasio and Food Stamps

https://www.dnainfo.com/new-york/20161222/williamsburg/satmar-hasidic-teitlebaum-raid-fbi-eastern-district

Satmar Leader Linked to Mayor Arrested For $30K Food-Stamp Fraud, Feds Say

DOWNTOWN BROOKLYN — A fundraiser for Mayor Bill de Blasio who oversees government relations for a network of yeshivas was charged for running a $30,000 federal food-stamp scam, according to a criminal complaint.

Yitzchok Iziel (Isaac) Sofer was arrested by the FBI Thursday morning for filing false claims under the federal food subsidy, SNAP, between 2012 and 2016. He claimed poverty while at the same time taking out a life insurance policy in which he reported making $100,000 per year and having $600,000 in assets, Brooklyn federal prosecutors charged.

Sofer collected $30,516 in food stamps during that period, according to the federal complaint.

His arrest comes as part of an ongoing criminal investigation, the indictment stated, though prosecutors would not say if was related to a March raid of the Central United Talmudical Academy’s offices.

 

Read : https://www.dnainfo.com/new-york/20161222/williamsburg/satmar-hasidic-teitlebaum-raid-fbi-eastern-district

The Satmar and de-Blasio…. A Match Made of?

 

 

FBI grills de Blasio’s Satmar pals in fundraising probe

Federal investigators are questioning leaders in Williamsburg’s Hasidic community in their expanding inquiry into Mayor de Blasio’s fund-raising practices, multiple sources told The Post.

Rabbi and political fund-raiser Moishe Indig was questioned by FBI agents on Wednesday. Indig referred them to his attorney but agents seized one of his cellphones, the sources said.

“They told him, ‘It’s all about Bill,’ and they want more information from him,” said one source close to Indig, a de Blasio ally.

“They have an interest in Moishe because they’re digging into de Blasio’s fund-raising tactics and they want to know what favors they [Hasidic community members] are getting back from the mayor,” the source added.

Indig did not return calls seeking comment.

Agents visited Rabbi David Niederman on Thursday, but Niederman referred them to his lawyers, two sources said. Niederman told The Post federal agents did not visit him.

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Federal authorities on Thursday arrested Williamsburg political operative Yitzchok “Isaac” Sofer on charges he lied about his income to obtain $30,000 in food stamps.

The FBI interviewed Sofer two weeks ago about mayoral fund-raising and influence peddling, but he refused to rat on his friends at City Hall, the sources said. The sources believe the FBI brought the food-stamp charge to squeeze information from him.

“They know Sofer is a progressive Hasidic Jew who is friendly with all these guys in the administration including [top de Blasio aides] Avi Fink and Emma Wolfe,” a City Hall source said. “People in the community come to him to fix their problems and he has amassed his influence.”

Indig, Niederman and Sofer are influential leaders in the Satmar community, one of the city’s largest Hasidic sects. De Blasio ­aggressively courted the Satmars in his 2013 mayoral campaign.

It was Indig who convinced leaders of the Satmars’ Aroni faction to shift their support from Christine Quinn to de Blasio two weeks before the contentious 2013 Democratic primary, sources said.

Sofer said at the time that de Blasio’s support for private religious schools was a main reason for the endorsement.

Sofer and Indig were the hosts of an Oct. 3, 2013, fund-raising event for de Blasio, according to the mayor’s campaign Web site.

Indig, who landed on de Blasio’s “Worst Landlords” list back when the mayor was public advocate, has attended at least two meetings at City Hall with Niederman and other religious leaders, according to the mayor’s official schedule.

But Indig has never registered as a lobbyist despite advocating on issues important to the Orthodox community, sources said.

“Developers go to Indig with issues with their properties, hoping to get permits expedited or rezonings approved by the city,” said one Williamsburg source. “People hire him privately to get things done.”

Sofer, 39, works in government relations for the Central United Talmudical Academy, which is tied to the Aroni faction. The yeshiva’s lobbyist, Capalino+Company, pressed Fink and other City Hall officials in early 2015 to open a universal-pre-K program at the site.

The FBI raided the academy’s offices in March, possibly as part of a probe into the use of federal school-lunch funds, reports said.

CUTA spokesman Michael Tobman called Sofer’s arrest a “personal matter having nothing to do with the larger community or its institutions.” Sofer did not return a message seeking comment.

 

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Platinum Arrests – Now They Just Have to Follow the Money…

MarkNordlicht

U.S. charges Platinum Partners executives with $1 billion fraud

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-platinumpartners-lawsuit-idUSKBN1481BI?il=0

Top executives of New York-based hedge fund manager Platinum Partners were arrested on Monday and charged with running an approximately $1 billion fraud that federal prosecutors said became “like a Ponzi scheme” as its largest investments lost much of their value.

Platinum, led by Mark Nordlicht, for years was known for producing exceptionally high and consistent returns by taking an usually aggressive approach to investing and fund management, as outlined by a Reuters Special Report in April.

“As alleged, Nordlicht and his cohorts engaged in one of the largest and most brazen investment frauds perpetrated on the investing public,” Brooklyn-based U.S. Attorney Robert Capers said in a statement. The charges detailed schemes that included exaggerating the value of their investments, paying some clients ahead of others and rigging a bond vote in their favor.

Top executives of New York-based hedge fund manager Platinum Partners were arrested on Monday and charged with running an approximately $1 billion fraud that federal prosecutors said became “like a Ponzi scheme” as its largest investments lost much of their value.

Platinum, led by Mark Nordlicht, for years was known for producing exceptionally high and consistent returns by taking an usually aggressive approach to investing and fund management, as outlined by a Reuters Special Report in April.

“As alleged, Nordlicht and his cohorts engaged in one of the largest and most brazen investment frauds perpetrated on the investing public,” Brooklyn-based U.S. Attorney Robert Capers said in a statement. The charges detailed schemes that included exaggerating the value of their investments, paying some clients ahead of others and rigging a bond vote in their favor. 

Nordlicht, Platinum’s 48-year-old founding partner and chief investment officer, was arrested at his New Rochelle, New York, home on charges listed in an indictment filed in federal court in Brooklyn.

Others arrested included David Levy, 31, Platinum’s co-chief investment officer, and Uri Landesman, 55, the former president of the firm’s signature fund, said Federal Bureau of Investigation spokeswoman Adrienne Senatore.

Platinum is already liquidating its hedge funds, two of which have received bankruptcy protection. The firm and some of its executives also face lawsuits accusing them of stealing money or intellectual property from companies they invested in.

The nearly 50-page indictment on Monday said that since 2012, Nordlicht, Levy and Landesman schemed to defraud investors by overvaluing illiquid assets held by its flagship Platinum Partners Value Arbitrage Fund LP, mostly energy-related investments hit by the dramatic decline in oil prices.

This caused a “severe liquidity crisis” that Platinum at first tried to remedy through high-interest loans between its funds before selectively paying some investors ahead of others, the indictment said.

Nordlicht, Levy and Jeffrey Shulse, former chief executive officer of Platinum’s majority-owned Black Elk Energy Offshore Operations LLC, also defrauded the Texas energy company’s bondholders, the indictment said.

Black Elk is now defunct. A remaining litigation trust is attempting to claw back money from Platinum and its executives over a scheme, described in the U.S. Department of Justice charges on Monday and by Reuters in April, that used the Beechwood group of reinsurance companies to rig a bond vote and pay the hedge fund manager ahead of creditors.

A Platinum spokesman declined to comment. Nordlicht’s lawyer and a Beechwood spokesman did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Michael Sommer, Levy’s lawyer, said he looked forward to clearing his client’s “good name.”

Lawyers for Shulse and the other defendants could not be immediately identified.

Founded in 2003, Platinum until this year had more than $1.7 billion under management, the indictment said. The Value Arbitrage fund reported average returns of more than 17 percent from its inception, according to prosecutors.

But this year, a series of investigations tied to Platinum came to a head. This led the firm to hire an independent monitor in July to unwind its funds, and a Cayman Islands court in August placed its main offshore funds into liquidation.

Those moves came after the June arrest of Murray Huberfeld, a Platinum associate who prosecutors say was a founder, on charges in Manhattan federal court that he orchestrated a bribe to the head of the New York City prison guards’ union, Norman Seabrook, to secure a $20 million investment with the firm. Both have pleaded not guilty.

Two weeks later, the FBI and U.S. Postal Inspection Service raided Platinum’s Manhattan offices in a separate fraud investigation that culminated in Monday’s indictment.

Others indicted on Monday include Joseph Sanfilippo, Value Arbitrage’s former chief financial officer; Joseph Mann, a former Platinum marketing employee; and Daniel Small, a Platinum managing director.

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission said on Monday that it was seeking a court-appointed receiver for funds managed by Platinum Credit Management, the firm’s second-largest vehicle after Value Arbitrage.

The case is U.S. v. Nordlicht et al, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York, No. 16-cr-640.

 

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-platinumpartners-lawsuit-idUSKBN1481BI?il=0

Setting the Record Stright – David Bistricer and Clipper Equity, Morality Aside

David Bistricer Asking for “Factual Correctness” – Follow-up

Lost Messiah Contributor, August 5, 2016

This past week, we were asked to correct some factually inconsistencies we had posted with our source material being The Real Deal and the Wall Street Journal which we were advised had gotten their facts incorrect. The claim was that Mr. Bistricer had not been subpoenaed by the U.S. Attorney’s office. We still question that validity of that response, providing the benefit of the doubt, we posted.

In our opinion, while U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara may not have subpoenaed Bistricer, the request for a correction opened an investigative can of worms for us. Mr. Bistricer can hardly be referred to as the fair haired landlord. His history precedes him. Surely all of the reports are not “incorrect”. Whomever sent that gmail pushed back to our blog stating:”Your readers, as you state in your mission, deserve the truth.”!!!

Well, in the endeavor to find that truth, and inspired by the request that we correct the record, we decided to do some digging. Perhaps it is no coincidence that Mr. Bastricer was de Blasio’s re-election fundraiser this past March! We have already determined that being in Mr. de Blasio’s court offers significant political and future financial clout to his players.

To “set the record straight” we have posted information a screenshot from a Facebook post dedicated at uncovering the ills of landords like Bistricer/Chitrit and Clipper. We have posted from the Wall Street Journal. We have posted an article in the New York Post outlining Bastricer’s modus operadi techniques, terrorizing tenants to inspire them to move out – most of them elderly and in poor physical condition. This is shared directly from the Haysha Deitsch playbook. We have posted a review on Yelp (one of many which we feel deserves significant attention) outlining some of the deplorable conditions in buildings owned by Clipperer Equity/Bastricer, an interview with Mr. Bastricer (for which the video is also included at the top of the page) and a clip of the Wall Street Journal Report regarding the de Blasio fundraising investigation. Continue reading