Fighting for Justice for All New Yorkers
By Eric T. Schneiderman
Since taking office as attorney general nearly four years ago, I have made it my priority to ensure that the law applies equally to everyone, not just the rich and powerful.
That is the definition of equal justice under law: everyone gets a fair shot, everyone pays their fair share, and everyone plays by the same set of rules. This guiding principle has helped my office protect all New York families and hold accountable those who engage in public corruption.
That is why we have prosecuted consumer fraud across the state. We stopped more than 250 home contractors from cheating homeowners, cracked down on companies that were scamming soldiers at Fort Drum, and launched a statewide program toprotect seniors from financial scams.
We have cracked down people who steal public funds. After creating the first Taxpayer Protection Unit, we have recovered more than $30 million in taxpayer dollars from both small-time tax cheats and big corporations. In just three years, we have also recovered more than $813 million in money stolen from New York’s Medicaid program — more than any other three year period in our state’s history.
As New York’s chief law enforcement officer, I have taken a hard line against those in state government who abuse the law they have sworn to uphold. Anyone who believes in the essential role government can play in improving people’s lives must also be the toughest critics of those who abuse the public trust. Throughout my career, I have made rooting out public corruption a top priority. As Attorney General, I have brought cases against more than 40 politicians, government employees andleaders of nonprofit organizations for corruption — including state legislators, town supervisors, and a member of the New York City Council.
We have protected workers by going after unscrupulous employers who try to steal their hard earned wages, and secured back pay for fast-food workers, construction workers and car wash workers – even getting jail time for some of the offenders.
We have made New York State a safer place by cracking down on drug kingpins and closing the gun show loophole that allowed dangerous people to buy firearms without undergoing a background check. Working with gun show operators, we came up with Attorney General Model Protocols to make sure that no one can bring a firearm out of a gun show unless he or she can show that a background check was conducted. Former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, and her husband, Capt. Mark Kelly, called these procedures a model for the rest of the country.
We are fighting to protect the middle class by going after fraudulent financial practices by major banks and using the money we won to help New York familiesstay in their homes.