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grimm

The trial of Congressman Michael Grimm, facing tax fraud allegations and other charges, has been postponed until February 2. At a hearing on the postponement, prosecutors hinted that some of the charges could be split from the indictment and prosecuted in a separate trial.

During a hearing on Tuesday, Grimm’s defense landed a minor victory, winning the postponement from an early December date until February 2 so that they can review materials. Prosecutors turned over approximately 100 hours of recorded conversations, including 10 hours conducted in a foreign language. The defense team said they’d need extra time to review them because, “I’d be sitting at my desk for two full working weeks,” said defense lawyer Jeffrey Neiman, according to the Staten Island Advance.

The judge also denied Grimm’s legal team’s request earlier this month for information from the prosecution that they thought would prove the investigation was the result of a political witch hunt and professional vendettas. That included knowing the involvement of particular FBI investigators and the role played by a prosecutor now running as a Democratic candidate for State Assembly.

The judge found the claims without merit, calling it “unsupported and random speculation.” The New York Times reports:

Prosecutors pointed out that there were 10 other cases involving cash payrolls to avoid taxes from 2012 to 2014, making it hard for Mr. Grimm to argue that he alone was selected. Mr. Kaminsky, they said, never acted with improper motive and was only one of several prosecutors involved in the investigation. As for the idea that the office chose Mr. Grimm for his politics, the other elected officials the office prosecuted in the last four years were Democrats, prosecutors said.

The judge is still mulling a motion to dismiss three perjury-related charges on the basis of jurisdictional issues. Because it pertained to his Manhattan-based restaurant, the defense argues that charges should have been filed in the Southern District of New York, not the Eastern District, which is where he’s being prosecuted.

The Advance notes:

Prosecutors conceded the jurisdictional issue, but Judge Pamela Chen stopped short of dismissing those three counts without prejudice Tuesday, as Grimm’s defense team is still seeking to dismiss the entire case, perjury charges and all, arguing “selective and vindictive prosecution.”

“In effect, the venue motion is really a separation motion of the perjury and obstruction counts, effectively resulting in two trials for the price of one,” Gatta said. “We’re happy to oblige the defendant if he wants two trials.”

waldbaums

A spotless Waldbaums parking lot sat silently in the dark Autumn evening. The grocery chain, which nests at 18th Avenue and New Utrecht, has become the subject of complaints for trash build-up on its property.

At its October 7 meeting, Community Board 11 members reported grievances due to litter at the Waldbaums parking lot at 8121 New Utrecht Avenue.

District Manager Marnee Elias-Pavia said that at an earlier local merchants’ meeting held on September 15, Bensonhurst business owners discussed the onslaught of trash surrounding the lot.

“Nobody wants to shop and look at garbage,” Elias-Pavia said.

Since the establishment is private property, the Department of Sanitation cannot be held responsible for maintaining the refuse. Therefore, the board hopes to ensure close monitoring of the establishment to promote upkeep of the lot.

Elias-Pavia, who added that she personally walks around the neighborhood as often as twice a day, promised to keep an eye on the situation.

“It’s not just about improper disposal. It’s about education as well,” Elias-Pavia said. “We need to teach both residents and store owners about proper sanitation practices.”

Elias-Pavia added that since the 18th Avenue strip is both commercially and residentially populated, the occasional litter might be coming from overhead apartment dwellers who don’t properly dispose of trash.

Still, on the Saturday, Sunday, and Monday early evenings that Bensonhurst Bean visited the site, the parking lot appeared to be spotless. There was no idle garbage, aside from the overflowing clothing donation bins and a few tied trash bags behind 18 Hipot, a neighboring Chinese hot pot-style restaurant.

Sal, an assistant manager at Waldbaums who asked us not to use his last name, said that the supermarket chain has been working with an external waste disposal company to take care of the garbage.

“Look outside and tell me if you see any trash,” Sal said.

Community Board 11, which meets monthly at the Bensonhurst Center for Rehabilitation and Healthcare, serves as a local channel to the government of New York City, and tackles city agency and hyperlocal quality of life issues.

Should the litter-problem return, don’t hesitate to call 311 or phone Community Board 11 at (718) 266-8800. You can also let us know in the comments or by emailing nberke [at] bensonhurstbean [dot] com.

Source: Senator Golden's offices

Source: Senator Golden’s offices

The following is a press release from the offices of State Senator Marty Golden:

State Senator Martin J. Golden, the Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Science, Technology, Incubation and Entrepreneurship, today is announcing that he has introduced legislation that will allow the email of a person who has passed away to be accessed by the executor of their estate.

The bill, S. 6176, has been introduced in the wake of growing concerns as more and more New Yorkers decide to handle their bills and finances electronically. As a result, individuals designated to settle an estate upon a person’s passing, require the information contained in new e-mail messages, and documents stored in email folders.

Senator Marty Golden stated, “As we continue to encourage people to go green and pay their bills on line, we must be cognizant of the fact that when a person passes away, many of their records are stored and managed through their email account. I look forward to working with my colleagues to create this important law in New York State. I believe this will assist in the difficult work of getting an estate’s affairs in order for we all realize that the despite one’s passing, e-mails of bills and statements do continue.”

Ten states already have similar laws including Delaware, Indiana, Nevada, Oklahoma, and Connecticut. Nine states are working towards creating such a law in their states including New York and New Jersey.

The arsenal of ID theft equipment recovered in the bust.

The arsenal of ID theft equipment recovered in the bust.

Sergeant Christopher Dixon and Officers Joseph Lavelle were making their usual rounds in the 62nd Precinct when they saw two men fidgeting with an ATM machine at TD Bank. What would have been a minor criminal mischief charge turned into a huge bust with hundreds of phony banking cards and identity theft technology seized.

Dixon and Lavelle were passing by the bank at 1630 Shore Parkway at 1:30am on October 15. They spotted Elvin Pineda, 25, and Luis Fernandez, 28, in the ATM using tools to remove parts of the machine.

They immediately cuffed the duo. On Fernandez, they found three counterfeit credit cards when he was searched.

The two were brought back to the precinct, where the command’s Field Intelligence Officer, Sergeant Jeremy Berson, and Sergeant Dennis Chan of the Financial Crimes Task Force began grilling the suspects.

cops

They spilled the beans, telling cops they were removing parts of the machine to ship them to China to be duplicated with skimmer devices attached. Skimmer devices record an ATM or credit card’s data when it’s swiped through, and can be secretly installed over ATM machinery.

Pineda then spilled some more, saying he had more equipment at his Bay 47th Street home.

When officers searched the house they found an arsenal of identity theft and bank fraud equipment. The haul included:

  • two embossers
  • two re-encoders
  • a laminator
  • two color printers
  • a tipper machine
  • six laptops
  • 127 blank Capital One credit cards
  • 76 blank American Express credit cards
  • 338 blank Citibank cards
  • 200 blank credit cards
  • 41 forged New York and out-of-state driver’s licenses
  • A trove of computers, flash drives and other equipment

Blank credit cards can be encoded with the data obtained from skimmers, duplicating a credit or debit card, while items like the laminator could be used to create fake IDs.

Pineda was charged with criminal possession of a forgery device, possession of a forged instrument and possession of a skimmer device. Fernandez was charged with grand larceny, identity theft and possession of a forged instrument.

They both were also slapped with a criminal mischief charge for tinkering with the TD Bank ATM machine.

corner media logoWe’re hiring our first full-time Account Executive to help serve existing advertisers and find new ones. Please check out the job description below, and if you think you’re the right fit for our team, send an introduction email and a resume to Liena Zagare at liena@cornernewsmedia.com.

Account Executive at Corner Media

Corner Media is looking for an entrepreneurial, experienced, passionate, and committed account executive to help build and professionalize our growing business.

We are Brooklyn’s leading local publisher, focused on hyperlocal journalism with integrity and heart. We are a network of seven sites stretching from Sheepshead Bay to Fort Greene, with deep roots in our communities, a full-time staff, and a mission of building a sustainable model for local media. This position will report to and work closely with the Publisher.

The ideal candidate will have experience and relationships in digital advertising and marketing in Brooklyn, New York, and will genuinely believe in our mission of doing great journalism in the communities we cover. This person will sell both display advertising and sponsored content, with a focus on large local institutions and regional advertisers, and will also work to ensure that campaigns satisfy our clients and stay true to our commitment to our readers. She or he will have a track record of success, knowledge of the market, and an entrepreneurial spirit that will allow her to shape our products, build new relationships, and begin generating revenue quickly.

This job is based in Brooklyn and can work out of our office in Ditmas Park. We offer competitive compensation and commissions, as well as the satisfaction of helping to build a lasting local institution.

Responsibilities

  • Prospect for new business, pitch advertisers, and make sales
  • Focus on larger — five- and six-figure — buys, and on shaping products around that scale
  • Create clear and compelling sales material
  • Generate and traffic insertion orders
  • Manage all aspects of relationships with clients
  • Serve as a channel for client feedback to publisher
  • Hit or exceed quarterly sales targets

Requirements

  • Digital sales or marketing experience
  • Understanding of and relationships in the Brooklyn marketing community
  • Experience negotiating, structuring, and closing complex five-figure insertion orders
  • Genuine passion for hyperlocal media, and ability to explain its importance to potential clients

About Corner Media

Corner Media is founded on the belief that local news can be run as a sustainable business through careful growth, and a relationship of trust with local readers and advertisers. Corner Media offers readers unvarnished news from people who really care about their neighborhoods. Its seven sites —  Park Slope Stoop, South Slope News, Ditmas Park Corner, KensingtonBK, Fort Greene Focus, Sheepshead Bites, and Bensonhurst Bean — have deep reach into key Brooklyn neighborhoods. Corner Media provides advertisers a platform and email and social channels that connect with Brooklyn communities, and offers both sponsored content and display advertising.

Corner Media is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of age, color, disability, marital status, national origin, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, veteran status, or any other classification prescribed by applicable law.

homeless

Police have arrested Elliot Baez, a homeless man they say is responsible for vandalizing the September 11 Wall of Remembrance in Coney Island on Friday.

A surveillance camera caught a person authorities believe is Baez, 58, smearing white paint over the memorial and encircling the image of Police Officer Moira Smith at approximately 2:38am Friday.

After video was released, a tipster led authorities to Baez on Saturday afternoon even though initial descriptions suggested the vandal was a woman. Baez was charged with criminal mischief after making self-incriminating statements to police, according to reports.

The Wall of Remembrance, located at MCU Park, honors first responders killed on September 11, and has an image of each of the fallen heroes. Smith’s image appears to have been targeted, but cops told her husband Baez was “deranged” and had no apparent motive or agenda against Smith or her surviving family, according to the Daily News.

Smith was the only female first responder who perished during the terrorist attack. A survivor who worked at the World Trade Center was one of the last people to see her alive, and he has built a website detailing her courage as she helped conduct the evacuation, and has called for a public statue in her honor.

Congressman Hakeem Jeffries praised the NYPD’s quick apprehension of the vandal.

“The heroes who laid down their lives to save others on September 11 deserve our reverence and respect for the sacrifice they made that day,” said  Jeffries. “The Memorial at MCU Park in Coney Island stands as an important reminder of the courage and valor displayed by American patriots in the face of unspeakable terror. The officers from the 60th precinct who tracked down this suspect should be commended for their thorough work, and the perpetrator should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.”

Source: MTAPhotos/Flickr

D LINE

From 9:45am to 3pm, Monday to Wednesday, Manhattan-bound D trains are rerouted via the N from Stillwell Av to 36 St, Brooklyn.

  • Trains stop at 62 St-New Utrecht Av.
  • To Bay 50 St, 25 Av, Bay Pkwy, 20 Av, 18 Av, 79 St, and 71 St, take the 205 St-bound D to 62 St-New Utrecht Av and transfer to a Coney Island-bound D.
  • To 55 St, 50 St, Fort Hamilton Pkwy, and 9 Av, take the 205 St-bound D to 36 St and transfer to a Coney Island-bound-bound D.
  • From these stations, take a Coney Island-bound D to 62 St-New Utrecht Av or Stillwell Av and transfer to a 205 St-bound D.

From 10:45pm to 5am, Mondau to Friday, 205 St-bound D trains run express from 145 St to Tremont Av.

N LINE

From 9:45am to 3pm, Thursday and Friday, Coney Island-bound N trains run express via the D from 36 St, Brooklyn to Stillwell Av.

  • Trains stop at 9 Av, 62 St-New Utrecht Av, and Bay Pkwy.
  • To 59 St, take the R.
  • To 8 Av and Fort Hamilton Pkwy, take the Coney Island-bound N to 62 St-New Utrecht Av and transfer to a Ditmars Blvd-bound N.
  • To 18 Av, 20 Av, Bay Pkwy, Kings Hwy, Avenue U, and 86 St, take the Coney Island-bound N to Stillwell Av and transfer to a Ditmars Blvd-bound N.
  • From these stations, take a Ditmars Blvd-bound N to 62 St-New Utrecht Av or 36 St and transfer to a Coney Island-bound D or N.

R LINE

From 11:45pm to 5am, Monday to Friday, there are no R trains in Brooklyn between 59 St and 36 St – take the N. R trains run between Bay Ridge-95 St and 59 St, Brooklyn.

From 9:45pm to 11pm, Tuesday to Thursday, 95 St-bound R trains run express from 71 Av to Roosevelt Av.

F LINE

From 10:30am to 3pm, Wednesday to Friday, Avenue X-bound F trains skip Avenue U.

From 10:30am to 3pm, Wednesday to Friday, F service operates in two sections:

  1. Between 179 St and Avenue X.
  2. Between Avenue X and Coney Island.

From 10:30am to 3pm, Wednesday to Friday, F trains run every 20 minutes between Avenue X and Coney Island.

From 11:45pm to 5am, Monday to Friday, Manhattan-bound F trains skip Smith-9 Sts, Carroll St, and Bergen St.

From 9:45pm to 5am, Tuesday to Friday, Coney Island-bound F trains skip Sutphin Blvd, Van Wyck Blvd, and 75 Av.

From 12:30am to 5am, Wednesday to Friday, 179 St-bound F trains run local from 21 St-Queensbridge to Roosevelt Av.

62ncPct

The next meeting of the 62nd Precinct Community Council will be held Tuesday, October 21, 7:30pm at the precinct stationhouse, 1925 Bath Avenue, corner of Bay 22nd Street.

The community is invited to attend. For additional information, call (718) 236-2501.

 

Avenue U's N line station. (Source: Google Maps)

Avenue U’s N line station. (Source: Google Maps)

Early morning straphangers made a gruesome find Saturday after a man hanged himself at Avenue U’s N line subway station in Gravesend.

The man was found hanging by a “thick rope” at about 3:35am, police told the Daily News. The rope was tied to the staircase on the Manhattan-bound side of the platform, Gothamist adds. Conflicting reports indicate he was either 22 or 25 years old.

His identity was not released, but police believe it was a suicide and are still investigating, though no criminality is suspected.

The scene was cleaned up quickly. Neighbors who rode the train at the station just hours after said they were unaware of the incident until reports surfaced later in the day.

After a busy week, here’s a chance to catch up on some of the news happening outside of our neighborhood! We’ve pulled together some of our favorite recent stories from our site and our sister sites, as well as some other fascinating pieces that are worth a read this weekend:

Longtime Ditmas Park resident Leonard Phillips was shot and killed in a home invasion. He is remembered as a gentle man and accomplished auto mechanic. [Ditmas Park Corner]

Two people died after being ejected from a motorcycle off a Gowanus Expressway overpass. [South Slope News]

Cajun pizza joint Two Boots to return with new space on 5th Ave. [Park Slope Stoop]

Homeless shelter moving into hot sheet hotel in Sheepshead Bay. [Sheepshead Bites]

This artists’ residency is free, focused on increased exposure through media, and a subway ride away. [Fort Greene Focus]

Apples, apples, and more apples in Windsor Terrace. [Kensington BK]

Popular gay bar Excelsior to find new life in South Slope. [SSN]

Where you’ll find the best sushi in Park Slope (and possibly all of Brooklyn). [PSS]

Grab your shades, ’cause these modern buildings are about to bling Fort Greene out. [FGF]

Domestic violence on the rise at NYCHA developments. [NY Daily News]

You can help bring hundreds of turkeys to families in need this Thanksgiving. [DPC]

How’s the city doing on rat control? Pretty terribly. [Crain's]

We’re not encouraging you to troll DOT’s #25MPH social media initiative. Not at all. [SB]

A bunch more underground subway stations get wi-fi – but not in Brooklyn. [Brokelyn]

Follow us on Twitter and Facebook, and sign up for our daily newsletter. If you have any news tips, story ideas, questions or anything else, e-mail us at editor [at] sheepsheadbites [dot] com.