The alleged leader of a tax fraud ring employing Kazakh student visa-holders and a phony job placement website pleaded guilty on Tax Day yesterday, the Manhattan District Attorney announced.
We first wrote about Petr Murmylyuk last year, when he was charged in Newark as the alleged leader of a $1 million securities fraud scheme that involved hacking into the online trading accounts of unsuspecting individuals, and forcing them to engage in losing trades that benefited a network of phony accounts he and his cohorts set up. Later that day, Manhattan prosecutors expanded an earlier indictment of Murmylyuk, 31, charging him with stealing the identities of more than 300 unemployed people and collecting phony tax returns in their names.
According to the DA’s press release:
He recruited a network of eleven Kazakh student visa-holders, typically holders of J-1 Visas, to open bank accounts to receive the unauthorized refunds. MURMYLYUK pleaded guilty to Grand Larceny in the Second Degree and Money Laundering in the Second Degree, and is expected to be sentenced on May 6, 2013.
… According to his guilty plea, MURMYLYUK created a fake employment-related website with the address www.jobcentral2.net. The site offered fictitious job placement services through a program it claimed was “sponsored by the government and intended for people with low income.” MURMYLYUK sent e-mails with a link to his fake website through legitimate job search forums and college listservs and, in the weeks that followed, hundreds of people visited his site and submitted personal identifying information.
MURMYLYUK collected the information submitted to his website, and used it to forge tax returns in victims’ names. Using an e-filing vendor, the defendant claimed fraudulent refunds ranging from approximately $3,500 to $6,500 each. MURMYLYUK successfully obtained refunds in the names of 108 of the approximately 300 different victims who had visited www.jobcentral2.net, yielding more than $450,000 in stolen taxpayer funds.
MURMYLYUK recruited a group of students from Kazakhstan, many located on Russian-language social networking sites, to open accounts at banks across the country and provide their account numbers, online passwords, and other data to MURMYLYUK for use in the scheme. Many of the students returned to Kazakhstan shortly after opening the accounts for MURMYLYUK, were charged in the indictment in absentia.
Visual News created a cool new graphic of the busiest subway stops in New York. I took a slice of the map to show you our area, which compared to Manhattan, is comparatively light.
Predictably, Times Square is the busiest station, averaging 182,170 riders, followed by Grand Central, 34 St-Herald Square, 14 St-Union Square and 34 St Penn Station.
Based on Visual News’s chart, the Sheepshead Bay and Brighton Beach station sees about 10 to 19,000 riders per day. Bensonhurst stops are comparable to Sheepshead Bay. Interesting stuff.
One of the perqs of following some of our local elected officials on Twitter is occasionally one of them will share something that is really cool and — even better — is not politics-related.
That’s what social media-savvy City Councilman Domenic Recchia, whose 47th Council District encompasses Coney Island, did, when he re-tweeted a link to The Atlantic Cities’ Twitter account with this teaser: “What Manhattan might look like of [sic] Coney Island takes over NYC.”
Following the link will take you to a masterwork of tilt shift and time lapse videography that lends itself beautifully to the already phantasmagoric realm that is Coney Island, by Argentinian director Fernando Livschitz and his company, Black Sheep Films.
While this is Livschitz’s third video featuring “amusement rides on the loose in the big city,” I couldn’t shake the feeling that, somehow, somewhere, I had seen all this before.
City Hall. Source: Wikipedia
The New York City Districting Commission will hold its first organizational meeting tonight, July 17, 6:30 p.m. in the Council Chambers of City Hall, 260 Broadway, in Manhattan.
It will be the commission’s task to reconfigure all 51 City Council districts to reflect population shifts. The plan is slated to be submitted to the council by November. This meeting is open to the public. While public testimony will not be received at this meeting, the commission will afford opportunities for the public’s input at later dates.
Individuals requesting sign language interpreters for the hearing should contact the commission at email@example.com or call (212) 442-6940.
This garbage can-sized sinkhole on Hubbard Street was ignored for nearly six months, despite numerous complaints to 311, until Sheepshead Bites posted it last year.
Potholes. Freakin’ potholes.
Pedestrians don’t like them because they can cause trips. Drivers don’t like them because they can damage cars. The city doesn’t like them because they have to fix them.
Oh, wait, apparently, the city doesn’t have to worry about them. Because they never have to hear the complaints. Because they simply vanish from the 311 system.
One of the most common complaints to 311 is a pothole service request. Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer has issued the results of an investigation conducted by his office into the efficiency of 311, logging 280 specific pothole complaints around the borough. Nearly half of those – 134 – were made using 311′s online complaint form. Stringer’s office then followed up on the complaints by making calls and inquiring to the status, using the service request reference numbers given at the time of complaint.
Shockingly, every single one of the online complaints vanished from the system, along with nine percent of the phone complaints.
“It would appear that online 311 pothole complaints are, in fact, falling into a black hole,” Stringer said. “The fact that these complaints are being lost raises questions about what other types of calls may be falling through the cracks.”
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Source: New York Daily News
One of the meaningless mental notes I’ve made during my life is, while watching old war movies that take place on ships or submarines, I have noticed that there’s almost always some endearing and lovable tough guy aboard the vessel endowed with a thick Brooklyn accent (John Garfield and Dane Clark in “Destination Tokyo” come to mind).
I mention it only because, as a massive convoy of Sailors, Marines and Coast Guardsmen sails triumphantly into New York City today in anticipation of Fleet Week, May 26 to 31, the annual celebration of all things maritime, the impressive week-long roster of activities features but one measly two-hour event in Brooklyn, with dozens being held all over Manhattan, Long Island and New Rochelle. Where’s the love?
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Photo on left by Death. Photo on right by Randy C.
“Hey Ned, it’s Death [Please never address me like that again.], my Wife took a pic of a Manhatten street, Thought you’d like to throw it up on the site to show a WTF..”
There you go. WTF.
Now, anyone have ideas on what to do with the dead horse when we’re done beating it?
View larger versions of the photos.