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AG ON FIRE: New York Attorney General Letitia James racked up the wins in 2022

AG ON FIRE: New York Attorney General Letitia James racked up the wins in 2022

AG ON FIRE: New York Attorney General Letitia James racked up the wins in 2022

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New York Attorney General Letitia James is a force to be reckoned with. Rising to prominence for the prosecution of the Trump Organization for financial manipulations in its business dealings,  James has more than one notch under her belt.

The NYAG has recovered millions of dollars for the people of New York in cases ranging from wage theft to Medicaid fraud.

Here are James’ top 10 accomplishments in 2022.

Number #10

In October, AG James secured over $750,000 from a pediatric dentistry group that performed painful and unnecessary procedures on youth covered by the state’s Medicaid program.

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“It is unconscionable that a medical professional would create a health services business that performs unneeded dental procedures on children simply to make money,” U.S. Attorney Philip Sellinger said.

An investigation showed that pediatric dentist, Dr. Barry L. Jacobson, and HQRC performed dental procedures on minors that included covering supposed infected teeth with fillings and crowns. For seven years – from 2011 – 2018 – Medicaid was billed for unsubstantiated medical procedures.

Number #9 

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James took on the USPS – more specifically the Trump-appointed Postmaster General Louis DeJoy – halting the department’s attempts to interfere with the mail.

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“After he assumed leadership in June 2020, Postmaster General Louis DeJoy pushed through drastic changes to the U.S. Postal Service’s operations that slowed mail operations nationwide, harmed everyday Americans, and made a mockery of the right to vote,” James said in a press release.

In August 2020, James joined Attorney Generals in the states of Hawaii and New Jersey in a lawsuit arguing against DeJoy’s handling of the postal service.

A preliminary injunction was granted by the courts.

Number #8 

Letitia James and a task force preventing harassment of tenants in Brooklyn reached a settlement with Greenbrook Holdings and Greg Fournier. Greenbrook owns a reported 1000 units across 188 buildings in New York City – most of which are rent stabilized.

Tenants of the properties have faced interruptions of essential services like gas and water, while subjected to dangerous living conditions.

“Greenbrook and Mr. Fournier forced tenants to live in unsafe and unacceptable conditions with no regard for anything but their own bottom line,” the Attorney General said.

“Tenants lived through dangerous construction, went without essential services such as gas and water, and suffered unsanitary conditions, putting the health and safety of families at risk. As our state continues to battle this housing crisis, my office and the Tenant Harassment Prevention Task Force will always stand up for New York Tenants in the face of illegal abuse.”

Number #7

The New York Attorney General secured $90,000 in stolen wages for workers paid below the minimum wage at a Queens laundry. Not only did the owners of Enterprise Cleaner a/k/a KTN Cleaner, Inc. not pay their employees minimum wage, but failed to compensate them for overtime or cover sick leave.

“All workers should be treated with the utmost dignity and respect, but the owners of Enterprise cleaners took advantage of their hardworking employees, fording them to work long hours and failing to pay workers what they were owed,” James said in a statement.

Number #6 

Attorney General Tish James and the NY Drug Enforcement Task Force took down a ghost gun trafficking ring in early December. A 438-count indictment led to the felony charges of three individuals who sold at least 47 illegal firearms.

57 contraband guns were confiscated in the investigation.

“I will not allow our streets to be flooded with ghost guns, assault rifles, or other weapons of war,” the tenacious prosecutor said.

Number #5 

Thanks to the fortitude of NYAG James, an attorney who embezzled nearly half a million dollars from the elderly is being held to account.

68-year-old Steven Nigrelli is accused of stealing more than $450,000 from elderly New Yorkers by redirecting payments to his own bank account – draining their trust accounts.

“The individual indicted today shamelessly embezzled hundreds of thousands of dollars from individuals that the law trusted him to protect. My office will continue to protect New York’s most vulnerable residents, and we will fight tirelessly to bring bad actors to justice,” James said of the case.

Number #4 

James took on nursing home abuse and Medicare/Medicaid fraud in two separate cases.

Two weeks before Christmas, the New York Attorney General filed a lawsuit against a Long Island nursing home for stealing over $16 million from the government in a fraudulent scam that exploited the state’s most vulnerable population.

In the middle of December, a Licensed Practical Nurse was indicted for sexually abusing at least one resident of the facility, thanks to AG James. Though accusations are not proof of guilt, James remains diligent in her commitment to holding bad actors accountable.

“Fulton Commons failed its residents and denied them the basic right of receiving comfortable, competent, and respectful care at the facility entrusted to serve them,” James said.

Cold Springs Hills Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation scammed over $22 million from its residents.

“An investigation by the Office of the Attorney General (OAG) found that Cold Spring Hills’ owners diverted over $22.6 million in Medicaid and Medicare funds from resident care through a fraudulent network of companies that were used to conceal up-front profit taking. The lawsuit alleges that long before the COVID-19 pandemic, the owners repeatedly cut staffing at the 588-bed facility, which created poor working conditions and endangered residents.”

Number #3 

August marked a monumental victory when James successfully blocked Jacob Wohl and his co-conspirator Jacob Burkman from misleading voters with an aggressive voter suppression campaign. A monumental decision that held the duo accountable for attempts to suppress the minority vote ahead of the 2020 general election.

Number #2 

AG James secured almost $300,000 in illegally held security deposits from tenants.

“As housing, health, and affordability crises continue, it’s more important than ever to put money back into the pockets of New Yorkers,” said Attorney General James. “Tenants deserve transparency and accountability from their landlords, and New Yorkers should trust that their security deposit will be returned to them as required by their leases and the law. I will always stand up to landlords who take advantage of their tenants and disregard the law for their own benefit.”

Number #1

This is the case that put Letitia James on the national radar. Her prosecution of the Trump Organization’s financial fraud has been at the forefront of the ex-President’s disgruntled rumblings. The recent conviction of the company’s misdealings in criminal court is a sign that James was on the right track.

James’ $250 million dollar suit is just the tip of the iceberg of Trump’s rapidly sinking financial and real estate empire built on fraud and lies.

But James has been working hard this past year. Outside of Trump and his shenanigans, the New York Attorney General had been steadfast in her commitment to bringing those skirting the law — and taking advantage of the system — to justice.

Tish gets it done.

Follow Ty Ross on Twitter @cooltxchick

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Ty Ross
News journalist for Occupy Democrats.

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