Showing posts from January, 2010

Cuomo Seeks Damages for Victims and Protection for Tenants in Over 9,500 Apartments

NEW YORK, NY (January 28, 2010) – Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo today announced his intent to sue Vantage Properties (“Vantage”), a major New York City landlord, to stop it from harassing tenants in rent-regulated apartments and to obtain monetary damages for tenants who have been victimized. The Attorney General has sent Vantage a five day notice letter, as required by statute, notifying the company of his intent to commence litigation against them.

Since March 2006, Vantage has purchased more than 125 buildings containing over 9,500 apartments – almost all of which are rent-regulated – throughout Queens, Harlem, and Upper Manhattan. The Attorney General’s legal action alleges that Vantage is taking action to force long-term, rent-regulated tenants to move out of their homes, and imposing significant rent increases on new tenants in order to increase profits. Vantage aggressively pressures long-term tenants by serving baseless legal notices and commencing frivolous Housing Cour…

Texas Attorney Convicted for Role in Pump-and-dump Stock Manipulation Schemes

A securities attorney was convicted today by a federal jury in Alexandria, Va., for participating in multi-million dollar pump-and-dump stock manipulation schemes, Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Criminal Division and U.S. Attorney Neil H. MacBride of the Eastern District of Virginia announced.

Phillip Windom Offill Jr., 51, of Dallas, was indicted on March 12, 2009, and today was found guilty of one count of conspiracy to commit registration violations, securities fraud and nine counts of wire fraud.

MICHAEL HERSHKOWITZ was sentenced today to four years in prison for his participation in a $27 million Ponzi scheme

PREET BHARARA, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that Manhattan real estate developer MICHAEL HERSHKOWITZ was sentenced today to four years in prison for his participation in a $27 million Ponzi scheme involving fraudulent loans secured by nonexistent mortgages.

According to the documents filed in the case in Manhattan federal court:

HERSHKOWITZ, working through a Manhattan real estate development company, The Kingsland Group, Inc., and related entities (collectively, "The Kingsland Group"), fraudulently induced approximately 100 individuals to lend the Kingsland Group over $27 million to fund the renovation of approximately sixteen multi-family apartment buildings located in upper Manhattan. HERSHKOWITZ and a co-conspirator, IVY WOOLF-TURK, falsely represented that the lenders would hold, as collateral for the loans, interests in bona fide first mortgages in the various properties in which they thought they were investing. In truth …

EEOC Sues Law Firm Kelley Drye & Warren for Age Discrimination and Retaliation

New York-Based Firm Significantly Underpaid Attorneys After They Turned 70
Solely Based on Age, Federal Agency Charged

NEW YORK -- Kelley Drye & Warren, an international law firm with its primary office in New York City, violated federal age discrimination law through its compensation system, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit it filed today.

According to the EEOC’s suit, in Kelley Drye’s system, attorneys who practiced law after turning 70 years of age received dramatically reduced compensation compared to similarly productive younger attorneys solely because of their age. The EEOC further charged that Kelley Drye unlawfully retaliated against Eugene T. D'Ablemont, an attorney who has practiced law at the firm for over 40 years, by further reducing his compensation after he complained about this discriminatory policy and filed a charge with the EEOC.

$428,500 Decree Ends Suit Against Eagle Wings for Sexual Harassment, Retaliation and Disability Bias

URBANA, Ill. – The federal district court in Urbana, Ill., today entered a consent decree under which Eagle Wings Industries, Inc. will pay $428,500 to a class of female employees who, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) alleged, encountered sexual harassment at the company’s Rantoul, Ill., facility. This amount includes the attorney’s fees for one of the class members.

According to the EEOC suit, the automobile parts manufacturer discriminated against a class of female employees by subjecting them to sexual harassment, retaliated against one woman for engaging in protected activity and also required one woman to undergo an unlawful medical examination, contrary to the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA).

EEOC Resolves Preliminary Injunction Action Against Aerotek, Inc. and Proceeds with Investigation

CHICAGO – The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced today that it has finally resolved an application for a preliminary injunction by securing the agreement of a major national employment agency to reverse instructions which EEOC alleged were previously given to non-management employees not to communicate with the EEOC without Aerotek’s counsel present regarding an investigation of alleged employment discrimination.

In its application for a preliminary injunction filed in the U.S. District Court in Chicago on December 14, 2009, the EEOC alleged that Aerotek, Inc., the giant employment agency, had advised all of its recruiters in certain Chicago area offices not to speak independently with an EEOC investigator because, according to Aerotek, all of its recruiters were supervisors. The EEOC stated in its application it had obtained declarations refuting that contention and that Aerotek’s communications with its non-supervisory recruiters were interfering with the…

Memphis Goodwill Agrees to Pay $105,000 to Settle EEOC Race Bias and Retaliation Lawsuit

MEMPHIS – Memphis Goodwill Industries, Inc., a non-profit agency, will pay $105,000 to settle a race discrimination and retaliation lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced today. The EEOC had charged in its suit (No. 2:08-cv-02621-BBD-cgc, filed in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Tennessee) that Memphis Goodwill fired a transportation director in retaliation for reporting alleged race discrimination and because of her race, black.

In addition, the EEOC’s suit alleged that the vice president of operations chastised a group of African Americans by stating, “This is not the ghetto.” When the former transportation director complained to the vice president of operations, she received her first written reprimand from him within days and after receiving a second write-up less than 30 days later she was fired. After her termination, the EEOC said, a white male was hired as manager of transportation.

Added Charges in Celebrity Burglary Case

LOS ANGELES – Two young women suspected in the so-called “Bling Ring” celebrity burglary case were charged today with additional counts of receiving stolen property, the District Attorney’s office announced.

Courtney Leigh Ames, 19, who allegedly wore a stolen necklace to court for her arraignment last month, was charged with two counts of receiving stolen property. One count involved the necklace belonging to Lindsay Lohan that she allegedly wore to court Dec. 2. The other involved a leather jacket belonging to Paris Hilton, said Deputy District Attorney Sarika Kapoor who is prosecuting the case.

Columbus Accountant and Realtor Plead Guilty to Mortgage Fraud & Obstruction of Justice Conspiracies

WASHINGTON – Dennis G. Sartain of Hilliard, Ohio; and Bonnie Helt, of Columbus, Ohio, pleaded guilty today to conspiring to commit mortgage fraud, money laundering and obstruction of justice, the Justice Department and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced. Sartain, the accountant for co-defendant Thomas Parenteau, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiring to defraud the United States by impeding and impairing the IRS, one count of conspiring to commit money laundering and one count of conspiring to obstruct justice. Helt, a real estate agent for co-defendant Parenteau, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiring to commit bank and wire fraud and one count of conspiring to obstruct justice. Parenteau is scheduled to begin trial on March 8, 2010.

In April 2009, Sartain, Helt and Parenteau were charged with tax fraud, bank and wire fraud, money laundering, and obstruction of justice in a superseding indictment. According to the indictment and statements made at the plea hearing, Sartai…

ICE arrests Puerto Rican man for child porn and sexually enticing a minor

SAN JUAN, P.R. - A 53-year-old Puerto Rican man was arrested Jan. 20 by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents for sexually enticing a minor and production of child pornography.

Jose Joaquin Pabon Santiago of Cabo Rojo was charged with violations of Title 18, U.S. Code, sections 2256(2) and 2251(a). Specifically, the criminal complaint alleges that Pabon Santiago induced, enticed or coerced a minor to engage in sexually explicit conduct for the purpose of producing visual depictions of such conduct using materials that had been mailed, shipped or transported in interstate or foreign commerce.

Village of Mineola and Mineola Fire Department Settle EEOC Age Discrimination Suit

Long Island Fire District Had Barred Firefighters Over 65 From Receiving Service Credits in Retirement Benefits Program, Agency Charged

NEW YORK – The Incorporated Village of Mineola, N.Y., and the Mineola Fire Department will pay $237,072 to settle a class age discrimination lawsuit brought by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced today. The damages will be made in retroactive payments to a group of 25 firefighters who had been discriminated against based on their age and provide increased monthly pension amounts going forward to several firefighters.

The EEOC’s suit had charged that the fire district refused to let volunteer firefighters over age 60 accrue credit toward a “length of service award” (LOSAP), the equivalent of a retirement pension, because of their age. As a result, senior firefighters lost pension amounts after they turned 60, in violation of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), a federal law that protects workers …

Statewide Investigation Shows Telemarketers Routinely Lie to Donors During High-Pressure Calls

NEW YORK, NY (January 20, 2010) - Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that his office has filed lawsuits to shut down four professional fundraising companies that lie, manipulate, and deceive to get charitable donations. During telemarketing calls, these four companies consistently violated New York laws by disguising their status as paid professional fundraisers and lying about the programs that the donations would support.

The lawsuits against the four companies - Caring People Enterprises, Inc., Marketing Squad, Inc., Stage Door Music Productions, Inc., and Suffolk Productions, Inc. - are part of the Attorney General’s ongoing initiative to fight fundraising scams and to make sure generous donations from New Yorkers are being properly collected and used. Over the past three years, these companies have collectively reported raising $16 million. On average, they keep seventy-six percent of the funds raised.

Charles et al v. Good Samaritan Hospital et al

Charles et al v. Good Samaritan Hospital et al

Plaintiffs: Yannis Charles and Haydee-Lora Charles

Defendants: Good Samaritan Hospital, Estate of Lawrence Jay Rappaport, Lawrence Jay Rappaport, M.D., P.C. and Monsey Family Medical Center

Case Number: 7:2010cv00081
Filed: January 6, 2010

Court: New York Southern District Court
Office: White Plains Office
County: Rockland
Presiding Judge: Judge Kenneth M. Karas

Nature of Suit: Torts - Injury - Other Personal Injury
Cause: 28:1391 Personal Injury
Jurisdiction: Federal Question
Jury Demanded By: Defendant

Statement by Attorney General Eric Holder on MLK Day

Attorney General Eric Holder released the following statement today in recognition of Martin Luther King Day:

"Each year, Martin Luther King Day provides an opportunity for all Americans to rededicate ourselves to Dr. King’s dream of racial, social, and economic justice. Today is also a reminder of the power and importance of service to others. Dr. King’s example, and his enduring legacy, offer proof that the contributions of a single person can help to improve and inspire an entire nation.

"Without question, there are great needs to be met in America and beyond. Just this week, with the catastrophic earthquake in Haiti, we have been reminded that the work of helping others often extends beyond our borders. In the aftermath of this disaster, the outpouring of compassion, resources, and relief-delivery efforts from across our country are evidence that, even during tough economic times, the American spirit of giving remains strong.

Immigration attorney and associate sentenced on marriage fraud charges Subjects will face removal to their home country

COLUMBUS, Ohio - A local immigration attorney and her associate were both sentenced on Friday to two years probation for illegally marrying U.S. citizens for the sole purpose of evading U.S. immigration laws. The convictions make them both eligible for deportation.

Carter M. Stewart, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio, and Brian Moskowitz, special agent in charge of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Office of Investigations in Detroit (ICE) announced the sentences handed down Jan. 15 by U.S. District Judge Gregory Frost.

U.S. Files Suit Against Johnson & Johnson for Paying Kickbacks to Nation’s Largest Nursing Home Pharmacy

WASHINGTON — The United States has filed a civil False Claims Act complaint against drug manufacturer Johnson & Johnson (J&J) of New Brunswick, N.J., and two of its subsidiaries, Ortho-McNeil-Janssen Pharmaceuticals Inc. and Johnson & Johnson Health Care Systems Inc., the Justice Department announced today. The complaint alleges that these companies paid millions of dollars in kickbacks to Omnicare Inc., the nation’s largest pharmacy that specializes in dispensing drugs to nursing home patients. In November 2009, the United States, numerous states, and Omnicare entered into a $98 million settlement agreement that, among other things, resolved Omnicare’s civil liability under the False Claims Act for taking kickbacks from J&J.

In its complaint against J&J, the United States alleges that the company paid kickbacks to Omnicare to induce the nursing home pharmacy company to purchase and recommend J&J drugs, including the anti-psychotic drug Risperdal, for use in nu…

William Singler’s American Legal Process failed to legally notify individuals that they faced lawsuits, resulting in default judgments against them without the chance to defend themselves

ALBANY, N.Y. (January 15, 2010) - Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that William Singler, owner of Long Island based American Legal Process (ALP), has pled guilty to scheme to defraud for failing to provide proper legal notification to thousands of New Yorkers facing primarily debt related lawsuits.

The fraud caused many to default and have costly judgments entered against them without the chance to respond or defend themselves in court.

Anne Marcotte and Billie Jo O’Donnell were arrested for causing severe trauma to a quadriplegic patient

ALBANY, NY (January 15, 2010) - Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the arrest of two Essex county nurses for causing severe trauma to a quadriplegic patient during a routine procedure and then failing to perform or seek any medical treatment for hours.

Anne Marcotte, 49, of Willsboro and Billie Jo O’Donnell, 38, of Witherbee, are both employees of the Horace Nye Nursing home in Elizabethtown. Marcotte is a licensed practical nurse and O’Donnell is a registered nurse.

Arkansas Man Pleads Guilty to Conspiring to Commit Murders of African-Americans

Plot Included Then- Presidential Candidate Barack Obama

WASHINGTON – The Department of Justice today announced that Paul Schlesselman pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy, one count of threatening to kill and inflict bodily harm upon a presidential candidate, and one count of possessing a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence. Schlesselman faces a sentence of 10 years under the plea agreement. A sentencing date of April 15, 2010, was set by Judge J. Daniel Breen, who is presiding over the case in Jackson, Tenn.

Schlesselman of West Helena, Ark., admitted to conspiring to murder dozens of people, with a focus on murdering African-Americans. He further acknowledged that he intended to culminate his killing spree by assassinating then-Senator Barack Obama, who was a presidential candidate at the time.

ICE on Prime Time Reality TV Series, 'Manhunters: Fugitive Task Force' 

In the city that never sleeps, at 1:30 a.m. on September 11, 2009, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Supervisory Detention and Deportation Officer (SDDO) Thomas "Tommy" Kilbride is wide awake as he briefs the fugitive task force members gathered at the U.S. Marshals Manhattan headquarters. ICE is one of the hundreds of federal, state and local agencies in the U.S. Marshals Fugitive Task Force given the unique authority to track fugitives across all borders and around the world.

SDDO Kilbride prepares the team for their latest manhunt beginning with, "How yous doing?" revealing his Brooklyn roots. Kilbride lays out the setting, the stage and the roles each task force member will play in a stakeout to catch a Dominican national with a criminal history, including illegal reentry into the United States where he now works at a trendy upper Manhattan nightclub.

Georgia Car Dealership to Pay $140,000 for Racial Harassment of Black Manager

EEOC Said Augusta Car Dealer Violated Federal Race Discrimination Law

ATLANTA – S&H Thomson, Inc., doing business as Stokes-Hodges Chevrolet Cadillac Buick Pontiac GMC, will pay $140,000 to settle a race discrimination lawsuit brought by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced today. The agency had charged that the Augusta car dealer allowed a white male management consultant to subject an African American sales manager to a racially hostile work environment over a four-month period.

The EEOC first filed the suit in April 2009 in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Georgia. According to the EEOC’s lawsuit against S&H Thomson, Inc., the white consultant visited the car dealership three to four times a week and never missed an opportunity to make racially derogatory comments towards the black sales manager. The sales manager was subjected to humiliating and degrading comments every time the consultant visited the dealership and …

Lawsuit seeks restitution and an end to fraudulent practices

Today’s lawsuit is latest action in Cuomo’s ongoing immigration fraud investigation

UPDATE: This afternoon, the Attorney General successfully obtained a temporary restraining order against the International Immigrants Foundation, Inc. (“IIF”), International Professional Association, Inc. (“IPA”), and their President Edward Juarez.

According to the order, the organizations must refrain from providing immigration services and from soliciting new clients. The order also prohibits the destruction of any records and freezes the assets of both the organizations and Edward Juarez.

Samuel Rivera, was sentenced to 15 years to life in prison.

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr. today announces that Samuel Rivera, who was charged in the brutal sexual assault of a 38-year -old woman working in an East Harlem laundromat, was sentenced to 15 years to life in prison.

“This sentence successfully concludes the prosecution of a violent sexual predator and ensures that the public will be protected from him for a very long time,” said District Attorney Vance. “Sexual assault is a serious crime that leaves its victims with lifelong scars.”

Giumarra Vineyards Sued by EEOC for Sexual Harassment and Retaliation Against Farm Workers

Farm Workers Fired for Assisting Teenage Female Employee Who Was Being Sexually Harassed in the Vineyards, Federal Agency Charges

LOS ANGELES – Giumarra Vineyards Corporation, one of the largest growers of table grapes in the nation, violated federal law by subjecting a teenage female farm worker to sexual harassment, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit announced today. Further, the EEOC said, the company retaliated against a class of other farm workers who came to her aid at its Edison, Calif., facility. All of the victims identified in the lawsuit are indigenous Indians from Mexico, a minority among the Mexican farm worker community.

According to the EEOC’s suit (EEOC v. Giumarra Vineyards Corporation, et al, Case No. 1:09-cv-02255), filed in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California, the young female worker was subjected to sexual advances, sexually inappropriate touching and abusive and offensive sexual comments about the m…

4 illegal aliens indicted for running prostitution ring 50 others found to be in U.S. illegally during investigation and placed into removal proceedings

PHILADELPHIA - Four men were charged in federal court on Jan. 11 for a conspiracy to run a prostitution ring in the city. As a result of an investigation led by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Jose Claudio Corona Cotonieto, 27; Raymond Gonzalez Salazar, 31, Nicolas Gonzalez Salazar, 22, and defendant FNU LNU #4, a/k/a "Leonel Rubio," were charged with conspiracy to run a prostitution ring in various locations around South Philadelphia.

According to court records, between August 2009 and January 2010, the defendants operated brothels out of residential locations, including 1221 A South 7th St. and 1314 South 6th St. Defendants Cotonieto and Raymond Salazar would arrange for and schedule Hispanic females to travel from New York City to Philadelphia on a Greyhound bus. Once the girls arrived in the city, the defendants would take them to one of the brothel locations to work for a week and returned to the bus terminal where they departed the city.

Federal jury convicts previously deported man on sex trafficking charges Joint investigation dismantles family-operated outdoor brothel

SAN DIEGO - A previously deported Mexican national, who operated an outdoor brothel in a remote local canyon, could receive life in prison following his conviction on federal human trafficking charges, including two counts of sex trafficking by force.

Adrian Zitlalpopoca-Hernandez, 32, of Tlaxcala, Mexico, was found guilty by a jury last week on charges stemming from a year-long joint investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the San Diego Sheriff's Office (SDSO). Zitlalpopoca is scheduled to be sentenced April 12 before District Court Judge Rodger T. Benitez.

Cocaine and Crack Cocaine Sales Made Inside Grant Houses, Near Two Schools

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr. announced today the indictments of 11 individuals operating in and around the Grant Houses, located in the Harlem area of Manhattan.[1] The individuals principally sold cocaine and crack cocaine, with less frequent heroin sales. Many of the felony drug sales occurred in the vicinity of P.S. 125, an elementary school located at 425 West 123rd Street, and I.S. 286, an intermediate school located at 509 West 129th Street.

The 10-month investigation, code-named “Grant Denied,” was a joint endeavor between the Manhattan District Attorney’s Homicide Investigation Unit and the New York City Police Department. The investigation was the result of community complaints regarding criminal activity in the area which included the distribution of street-level narcotics, as well as a number of drug-related shootings and robberies.

North Carolina Ginseng Dealer Sentenced to Prison for Illegal Export of Ginseng Valued Over $100,000

WASHINGTON—Howard William Ledford of Hayesville, N.C., was sentenced today in federal court in the Western District of North Carolina to serve one year in prison for illegally selling and transporting wild American ginseng into Georgia, the Justice Department announced. Ledford was also fined $50,000 which will be placed in the Lacey Act Reward Account.

Ledford pleaded guilty on Nov. 9, 2009, to two counts charging him with selling and transporting wild American ginseng in violation of the Lacey Act. Ledford admitted that in 2004 and 2005 he sold wild ginseng for approximately $109,000 without the required export certificates and transported, or caused the transport of wild ginseng into Georgia from North Carolina.

Purchasing Official at a New York City Hospital Pleads Guilty to Bid Rigging

WASHINGTON — A New York Presbyterian Hospital (NYPH) purchasing official pleaded guilty today to conspiring to rig bids on re-insulation services contracts, the Department of Justice announced today.

Freddy Deoliveira, who held various supervisory positions at the NYPH, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Manhattan. According to the charge, between approximately October 2000 and March 2005, Deoliveira conspired with others to create the appearance that contracts at NYPH were awarded in accordance with NYPH’s competitive bid policy, when, in fact, they were not. Deoliveira admitted that he designated which company would submit the low bid on a contract, and which company or companies would submit higher, complementary bids, to ensure that his designated company would be awarded the contract. To create the illusion of a competitive bidding process, Deoliveira’s co-conspirators would use each other’s letterhead to submit the high, noncompetitive bids. In exchange for awarding the co…

ICE Secure Communities criminal alien initiative expanded to Sacramento, Solano counties

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Law enforcement agencies in Sacramento and Solano counties Tuesday became the first in northern California to benefit from an initiative developed by the Departments of Justice (DOJ) and Homeland Security (DHS) that modernizes the process used to accurately identify and remove dangerous criminal aliens from the community.

The initiative, Secure Communities, is administered by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Secure Communities enables ICE to determine whether an individual arrested by a participating state or local law enforcement agency is a dangerous criminal alien and take the appropriate action to remove the individual from the community.

Investigation by Cuomo found hospital and nursing homes flushed painkillers, antibiotics, anti-depressants, hormones and other pharmaceuticals - risking release into drinking water supply

Groundbreaking settlements help to safeguard the drinking water of 9 million in New York City and portions of Westchester, Putnam, Ulster, and Orange Counties

NEW YORK, N.Y. (January 12, 2010) - Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo today announced groundbreaking settlements with five health care facilities located in the New York City Watershed to immediately end the practice of disposing of pharmaceutical waste into the watershed. The agreements announced today are the first-ever settlements requiring sources of pharmaceutical releases to end this risky disposal practice.

The five facilities are located in Delaware and Putnam Counties and within the New York City Watershed, an almost 2000 square mile area that drains into reservoirs and lakes providing drinking water to eight million residents of New York City and one million people living in Westchester, Putnam, Ulster, and Orange Counties. The practice of flushing unused pharmaceuticals allows for the release of painkillers, antibiotic…

EEOC Sues Asia Pacific Hotels for Sexual Harassment

Female Employee Sexually Assaulted by Restaurant Manager, Federal Agency Charges

SAIPAN, CNMI – The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) today filed a federal sexual harassment lawsuit against a company which operates several hotels in Saipan, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. In its lawsuit against Asia Pacific Hotels, Inc., doing business as Saipan Grand Hotel, and Tan Holdings Corporation / Company, the EEOC charged that the restaurant manager of the Saipan Grand Hotel sexually assaulted a female employee while she was asleep in her room.

According to the EEOC’s suit, the sexual assault occurred when the hotel's restaurant manager lay down in the bed where the woman was sleeping and partially undressed her for the purpose of engaging in acts of physical touching of a sexual nature. The victim awoke screaming, local police authorities were called and the manager was taken into custody, the EEOC said. In its lawsuit, the EEOC asserts that the hot…

West Texas Cap Maker Settles EEOC Sexual Harassment Suit

Co-Owner Pulled Employee’s Pants Down in Front of Co-Workers, Federal Agency Charged

WICHITA FALLS, Texas – A Crowell, Texas-based cap manufacturing facility has agreed to settle a sexual harassment and constructive discharge lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced today.

The EEOC’s suit charged that Crowell Contract and Design, Inc. subjected embroidery machine operator Deanna Collins to a sexually hostile work environment created by the president and a co-owner of the company, Timmy Christopher. According to the EEOC, Christopher would tug on Collins’ pants and made multiple threats to Collins to pull down her pants. He followed through with these threats when he pulled her pants down in front of her co-workers, humiliating and embarrassing her, the EEOC said. The continuing harassment, culminating in this invasive behavior, forced Collins to resign her position, according to the EEOC.

Former Houston law office employee pleads guilty to immigration fraud

HOUSTON - A former employee of a Houston law office has pleaded guilty to conspiring to file false asylum applications on behalf of Chinese nationals who claimed they were being persecuted in China for practicing Christianity, U.S. Attorney Tim Johnson announced Friday. The investigation was conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) with assistance from the U.S. Postal Inspection Service and the Department of Labor - Office of Inspector.

Elizabeth Jones, aka Elizabeth Tsai, 52, pleaded guilty to the charge before U.S. District Judge Melinda Harmon this morning. Jones was indicted in August 2007 and arrested in Hong Kong in January 2008. After waiving her right to an extradition hearing in Hong Kong, Jones was returned to Houston to face charges.

Sims Chevrolet To Pay $85,000 To Settle EEOC Suit For Racial Discrimination And Retaliation

Cleveland Dealership Withheld Wages From Employee for Complaining About Discrimination Against Class of Black Workers, Federal Agency Charged

CLEVELAND – Andy Chevrolet, doing business as Sims Chevrolet, a Cleveland automobile dealership, will pay $85,000 and furnish other relief to settle a race discrimination and retalia­tion lawsuit, the U.S. Equal Employ­ment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced today.

In its lawsuit, the EEOC charged that since July 2007, Sims Chevrolet subjected a class of African Americans to different terms and conditions of employment and a hostile work environment on the basis of race. The federal agency alleged that the discriminatory conduct included racial epithets, such as repeated use of the N-word, and also involved management making sales team assignments based upon race. Additionally, the EEOC claimed that Sims retaliated against one of the individuals after he complained about the unlawful discrimination by withholding his wages.

Saks Fifth Avenue Settles EEOC Disability Discrimination Suit

New Orleans Store Fired Employee Because of Ulcerative Colitis, Federal Agency Says

HOUSTON — Saks Fifth Avenue, the high-end retailer based in New York City, has agreed to pay $170,000 to settle a disability discrimination suit brought by the U.S. Equal Employment Oppor­tunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced today. The settlement resolves the charge of a former Saks makeup artist, Marlene Babin, who claimed that Saks fired her from its New Orleans store because of her disability, ulcerative colitis.

According to the EEOC’s suit (No. 08-4464 in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana), Babin began working for Saks in 2000. She was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis, an inflammatory bowel disease, in 1999. From February of 2004 through December of 2004, Babin underwent five major surgeries in connection with her colitis. During this time, she spent a total of three months in the hospital and had to take four extended medical leaves of absence from work.

EEOC Obtains $110,000 in Settlement of Sexual Harassment Case with Las Vegas Car Dealership

Women Were Sexually Harassed and Retaliated Against for Complaining, Agency Charged

LAS VEGAS – Bill Heard Chevrolet Corp. of Las Vegas will pay $110,000 and furnish other relief to settle a sexual harassment lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced today.

The EEOC had charged in its suit (EEOC v. Bill Heard Chevrolet Corp.-Las Vegas, et al, Case No. CV-07-01195-RLH-PAL) that management and coworkers at the car dealership openly grabbed at a woman employee’s breasts, made crude remarks about women’s bodies, persistently solicited them for dates and/or sexual favors and sexually assaulted at least one female employee. The EEOC further charged that some women were repeatedly told that women should not be in the car business. When the women tried to complain about the daily verbal harassment, the agency asserted, they suffered retaliation in the form of discipline, demotions and/or terminations.

H&R Block to refund fees paid by all customers nationwide who purchased “Express IRAs”

Agreement requires H&R Block to convert all existing “Express IRA” accounts to new program that does not charge onerous fees

NEW YORK, N.Y. (January 4, 2010) - Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo today announced a multi-million dollar settlement with H&R Block requiring the company to refund fees it charged to low- and middle-income customers nationwide who were enticed into purchasing its fee-laden and fraudulently marketed Express IRA product.

The agreement settles a lawsuit filed by the Attorney General’s Office that alleged that H&R Block (NYSE: HRB), the nation’s largest provider of tax preparation services, steered hundreds of thousands of its customers, including more than 30,000 New Yorkers, into individual retirement accounts that were virtually guaranteed to lose money due to a combination of hidden fees and low interest rates.