Sign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York A Head of the Harbor couple has admitted to their role in smuggling undocumented immigrants from Pakistan to work in 7-Eleven stores that they owned on Long Island and stealing their pay.Farrukh and Bushra Baig both pleaded guilty Monday at Central Islip federal court to conspiracy to conceal and harbor illegal aliens for financial gain. Farrukh also pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud. They had been arrested last year.Loretta Lynch, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, had called the scheme a “modern day plantation system.”U.S. Immigration and Custom Enforcement agents had raided more than a dozen of the convenience stores, including some beyond LI, in what authorities had described at the time as one of the biggest busts of its kind in federal law enforcement history. Federal agents raided up to 30 7-Elevens nationwide as a part of the probe.Authorities have said the suspects hid the victims’ immigration status, stole their workers’ wages and forced them to live in illegal boarding houses. Prosecutors said the suspects forced them to pay their rent in cash to cover their tracks. The victims were afraid to report the crimes because they were afraid of being deported or arrested, officials said.The couple is scheduled to be sentenced Feb. 18.
Sign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Republican James D. Kennedy handily beat Democrat Joseph Stufano in a special election Tuesday to fill the vacant 12th Nassau County legislative district seat representing the county’s southeast corner, unofficial results show.Kennedy, the son-in-law of the late Presiding Officer Peter Schmitt (R-Massapequa), who represented the same district before he died in 2012, won 85 percent of the vote against Stufano’s nearly 15 percent, out of 2,281 votes cast, according to initial tallies from the Nassau County Board of Elections.Kennedy, 42, whose campaign manager was his mother-in-law—Schmitt’s widow—Lois, will replace one-term Nassau County Legis. Michael Venditto (R-Massapequa), who was elected in November to fill the 8th New York State Senate seat, which former Sen. Charles Fuschillo (R-Merrick) vacated a year prior.The result was expected in a district where registered Republican voters far outnumber Democrats.Kennedy, who also had the Conservative and Independence Party lines, is a Nassau elections board worker. His 53-year-old challenger is a biomedical engineer. Both are from Massapequa.The race was the first of three special elections to fill vacant county legislative seats on Long Island.In March 10, voters will decide who will fill the 19th Legislative District seat left vacant by former Legis. David Denenberg (D-Merrick), who resigned after pleading guilty to defrauding a client of his private law practice out of $2 million. At the time the case came to light, Denenberg was running against Venditto, son of Oyster Bay Town Supervisor John Venditto, for state Senate.The second Nassau special election pits Rita Kestenbaum, 56, who’s running on the Democratic and Working Families party lines, against Steven Rhoads, 46, who has the Republican, Conservative and Independence party lines and the Tax Revolt party designation.Kestenbaum is a former Hempstead Town Board member who became a gun control activist in 2007 after her 20-year-old daughter was shot to death on the night of her birthday outside her off-campus apartment in Tempe, Arizona, by a disturbed young man who then killed himself. Afterwards, Kestenbaum set up a foundation and has worked closely with the Long Island Crisis Center.Rhoads is a personal injury attorney who twice tried to unseat Denenberg. Both candidates are from Bellmore. Republicans also outnumber Democrats in that district.If the Republicans can win both Nassau special elections, then they would need to gain just another seat in the Nassau Legislature to control a super majority of 13 votes—they now have 10 of the 19 legislative seats—and that margin would enable the GOP to approve borrowing measures without needing Democratic support.The third special election, in Suffolk’s 12th Legislative District, will be held on March 31 to fill the seat held by former Legis. John M. Kennedy Jr. (R-Nesconset), who won his bid to become Suffolk County comptroller in November. Kennedy’s 58-year-old wife, Leslie, a longtime aide who ran her husband’s office, will be running for the seat herself.Kennedy’s Democratic challenger, Deborah Monaco, 55, is reportedly not going to run “an active campaign,” according to Suffolk County Democratic Chairman Rich Schaffer, due to time constraints and other factors. She has been the secretary of the Suffolk Democratic Committee and has a job at the Suffolk Board of Elections. Republicans outnumber Democrats in this district, too.—With Spencer Rumsey
Sign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Sponsored Content Brought To You By NY Auto GiantThe new 2015 Dodge Challenger takes one of the toughest, most stylish, dependable and beloved muscle cars on the market and supercharges it, revamping its aesthetics and power, and consequently creating a whole new level of ultimate driving satisfaction.This car makes a bold statement, indeed. The Challenger’s exterior has undergone a transformation, with new headlights, tail, grille and nose. Kelley Blue Book praises the changes, declaring: “The new headlights are nestled in a revised vertically split grille, reminiscent of the classic 1971 Challenger. The taillights are now LEDs, and are also styled after that 1971 classic.”The Challenger has always been eye candy, and its newest incarnation furthers that, with the 2015 models available in an array of striking colors: Billet Silver Metallic, Redline Red, Jazz Blue, Pitch Black and Bright White are just a few of the options.The 2015 Dodge Challenger builds upon its legendary beauty and power, with new upgrades and features that will leave you floored. Visit NY Auto Giant and drive one home today!Although the Challenger’s new look may appear a little retro, that doesn’t mean it is short of any must-have, modern amenities. Standard features include UConnect touchscreen display, keyless entry, start/stop button, Bluetooth, SiriusXM® Satellite Radio and USB inputs. Optional features include the Technology Group and Driver Convenience Group. Both of these upgrades help ensure a safer driving experience, with forward-collision warning and backup sensors, respectively.There is a great deal of room in the 2015 Challenger as well, with the backseat fitting three passengers comfortably. Car and Driver points out that the Challenger “offers more rear-seat legroom” than its competitors.The Challenger has always been renowned for its sheer power, and the new updates double-down on that characteristic, pumping up this muscle machine till its flexing at the seams. The all-new 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat exemplifies this.This puppy boasts a supercharged 6.2-liter HEMI producing an “unprecedented” 707 horsepower and 650 lb.-ft. of torque, “making it the most powerful and fastest muscle car ever,” states its schematics on dodge.com. Challenger’s engine, with its new, eight-speed, automatic transmission, is also catching people’s attention. Kelley Blue Book has especially positive things to say about the Hellcat model, echoing the manufacturer’s boasts and declaring it’s the car’s horsepower that makes it stand out from the rest: “The 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat debuts with a supercharged 6.2-liter Hemi V8 capable of an incredible 707 horsepower. That not only out-muscles the Chevrolet Camaro and Ford Mustang, it makes the Hellcat the most powerful American production car ever.”Click Here To Learn More About NY Auto GiantA blend of retro and modern, beauty and power, the 2015 Dodge Challenger will be sure to stop traffic.To get into your Dodge Challenger, stop by Atlantic Dodge Chrysler Jeep RAM and ask for Brendan Miller.
4SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr Despite slowdowns in a number of economic indicators in the first quarter, credit union loan and membership growth posted solid gains in March, according to CUNA’s monthly estimates.Loan growth rose by 0.6% in March and climbed 10.6% on a year-over-year basis. Fixed-rate first mortgages drove the increases with a 3.1% jump, followed by new-auto loans (1.1%) and used-auto loans (1%).Further, between March 2014 and 2015, fixed-rate first-mortgage lending and new-auto lending accelerated by 6.8% and 22.6% respectively.“Recent economic data suggest slower U.S. economic expansion in the first quarter of this year,” said Perc Pineda, CUNA senior economist. “Credit unions, however, continue to experience increased activity.” continue reading »
3SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr by: Eugene KimDigit is a money-saving app that saw its fair share of controversy following its official release earlier this year.The way it works is pretty straightforward: its secret algorithm tracks your income and spending patterns, and every 2 to 3 days, automatically saves a small amount of money that you won’t even notice is missing.The money gets transferred to a separate Digit savings account, held in one of its partner banks like Wells Fargo or BofI Federal Bank. Users can also manually set their savings amount or withdraw their savings anytime they want.But what appears to have gotten some people boggled was the fact that the users don’t earn any interest on their savings. Instead, Digit takes all the interest that accrues and spends it on its operating costs. Its logic: users get free access to Digit and save money they normally would have spent elsewhere. continue reading »
continue reading » The transition from high school to college is an exciting change for millions of Americans every year. In a lot of ways, the move symbolizes the transition from childhood to being an adult. There are new responsibilities to take care of, but also new friends to be made and new experiences to be had. For credit unions, a college campus presents a different type of opportunity. While credit union executives are not concerned with rushing sororities, attending football games or cramming for exams as students, they should still see room to grow their organization. A campus gives a credit union the chance to recruit young members and help them become financially independent – a step that could lead to extended loyalty down the road.In the fall of 2014, around 21 million students attended American colleges and universities, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. Students can be a valuable resource, and attracting a good handful of them to a credit union will have benefits for years to come. ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr
37SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr Unemployment, medical bills, a shopping addiction – these may all be obvious causes of debt, but they certainly aren’t the only ways people end up in the red.Other forms of debt are more insidious. They arrive looking like a big break or a money-saving option. But instead of getting you out of your financial hole, they actually dig you in deeper.Don’t let these five hidden sources of debt say “Gotcha!”Your New JobThe problem: Your new job is supposed to be your ticket out of paycheck-to-paycheck living, but a big boost in income is often accompanied by a big boost in spending.“When people get a new job, it looks like a limitless amount of money so they splurge on a new car or a buy a lot of clothes,” says Joe Heider, founder of Cirrus Wealth Management in Cleveland. continue reading »
Year’s end is a big time for interviews (at least it always is for me), and there are always the “standard questions” I know how to answer off the top of my head. Sometimes it’s the usual fare about money, my favorite money tips, why I wanted to start a finance blog, etc. But there’s one particular question that’s come up frequently in handful of interviews over the last few months that I found really interesting.“What was the biggest challenge you faced when you first started blogging?”Don’t worry, this article isn’t about blogging; rather it’s about overcoming challenges and how critical one specific personality trait is to managing your life, career, and finances. I’ve been fascinated by this idea for weeks and wanted to spend the last 600 words of the year tying all my thoughts together in a nice little bow for you to percolate on as you plan and prepare your life and finances for 2016.“What was the biggest challenge you faced when you first started blogging?”The biggest? Finding the strength/courage/motivation to keep going when things weren’t exactly going well. Sure, you can look and see slick graphics, corporate sponsorships, coaching services and that I now work for myself full time, but I like to always remind folks and clients that these things have come after three and a half years of hard work. 27SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr continue reading »
5SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr Those of us hoping that an analysis of the impact that Dodd-Frank regulations were having on credit unions and community banks would help bolster the case for regulatory overkill were sadly disappointed to read a recent report detailing the impact that Dodd-Frank. While acknowledging the concerns of small bank and credit union representatives, it concluded that it is too soon to definitively say whether smaller financial institutions are facing headwinds because of Dodd-Frank or macro trends unrelated to regulations. Nevertheless, the GAO was willing to note:The numbers of both full-time and part-time employees generally have decreased since the third quarter of 2010.Noninterest expenses as a percentage of assets are generally the same for credit unions of different sizes and generally have decreased for credit unions of all sizes since the third quarter of 2010.Smaller credit unions tend to have lower earnings as a percentage of assets than larger credit unions, but earnings at credit unions of all sizes generally have increased since the third quarter of 2010. continue reading »
47SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr Whoever first joked about having champagne taste on a beer budget made a pretty big assumption about human nature. They assumed people budget when in reality, they typically don’t.Philip Olson, a certified financial planner based in Austin, Texas, has a theory about why so many people are averse to budgeting: “Budgeting makes you look at the ugly truth,” he says. “It’s kind of like looking at the back yard you’ve neglected for the past 10 years—it’s not going to be super pretty at first, and it’s going to be something that requires some work or change on your part.”As trying as that work may be, it’s essential because having a budget is the first step to achieving financial success. “It’s the backbone of everything else that you do financially,” says David Weliver, founder of financial blog MoneyUnder30. “It all comes down to that golden rule of spending less than you earn. A budget is how you control that.”Here’s how to get started budgeting: continue reading »